A visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without a stop at the Zaanse Schans to see the windmills.
As publisher of Family Getaways and TravelAge West, I travel quite a bit, but it is rare that I have an opportunity to take along my two sons, age 11 and age 9, and my husband. However, early last year a business trip to Germany fell right before my boys would be on spring break, so I decided to pull them out a few days early and bring the whole family along.
The first week of my trip was dictated by my work, so our number-one decision was where we would spend the extra four days exploring. And we decided on Amsterdam, since that is where the business portion of my trip would end.
My first resource was Judy Connor of Valerie Wilson Travel. Connor handles all of my business travel bookings, so I knew she’d be a great asset. She helped me with each of my requests, which included: three nights’ hotel accommodation, a hotel located in the heart of downtown — preferably near the tram and canal — and a room with two double beds. It was the last request that caused the most grief. Apparently, in Amsterdam, most of the three- and four-star hotels have either one double or two twin beds or, if they do have doubles, they only guarantee upon check-in. Thankfully, Connor found a Marriott hotel that could accommodate all of our needs. What’s more, she found a bed-and-breakfast package that included two full breakfasts each day, a significant savings when you have two growing boys.
Ultimately, our trip included a visit to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills, a museum day at the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, a stop at the Rembrandt Canal House, a canal boat tour, and the boys even indulged me in a visit to the floating flower market.
But we couldn’t leave Amsterdam without enjoying a waffle. A friend told me that they were a local favorite, and my boys still talk about those warm, thick waffles with chocolate and whip cream!