Well the fun has begun! The flight to Amsterdam was surprisingly easy, although I did not sleep longer than one hour the entire way.

When we arrived at the Schipol airport in Amsterdam we were met with tulips and kisses on our cheeks by my uncle Kees and cousin Kai. They drove us about an hour away to their house in Den Haag, a big city in Holland that my family has lived in for many years.

That day we decided to stay close to home and went to the prison gate museum, which they call Museum De Gevangenpoort. I had been when I was younger while visiting Holland with my mom and had enjoyed it so I did not mind going again to show Deanna.

After the museum we walked around downtown Den Haag for a little while, but with the time change and the lack of sleep on the plane, Deanna and I decided it was time for a nap. We went back to the house and slept for a little while until we were woken by my aunt Josje for dinner.

That night we had some cous cous and meat with bread and salad and shortly after we went back to bed to try and sleep through the night.

That didn’t work out so well. It’s taken us about a week to get into a normal sleeping routine.

Anyways, on our second day we went with my family to Amsterdam. We went to the Rijksmuseum which is a huge and newly renovated art museum (I believe one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in Holland). The building was gorgeous and so full of detail there were times I caught myself paying more attention to the architecture than the art on the walls.

That day we also went to the Heineken Museum and did a tour that they call the Heineken experience. It was SO cool. There were rooms with big screen TVs and lounge chairs where you could watch videos and play video games. There was even a room that reminded me of a club! The lights were dim and the music was loud with couches lining the walls. They gave each person two large glasses of Heineken to drink and also a free Heineken glass to take home.

After the Heineken experience we walked around Amsterdam for a little while and then went on a canal cruise. The architecture and design of the buildings in Amsterdam are so extraordinary it’s hard not to be amazed. It started to hail by the end of the day so we took a taxi back to the car and drove back to Den Haag.

We had Thai food for dinner, which was good but not the same as the Thai food in San Diego that I’m used to and then we went to a birthday party for one of the neighbors who was turning 18. It was nice talking with and meeting people but we were so exhausted that we left around midnight to go back home and get some rest.

The third day we were still so tired that we decided to make it a lazy day and not do too much. We went and visited my grandparents which is always difficult because they don’t speak much English and my Dutch is horrible. It was nice to see them and it got a little bit emotional towards the end. They are my moms parents and since she passed away about 9 years ago I am the closest they have to her. They made a comment about how I don’t look like her, but I think that I do.

That day we also went to the Scheveningen which is the beach area of Holland. We had cappuccinos at a beautiful hotel on the beach and relaxed. That night we had fish and chips at home and went to sleep early.

The last day Deanna and I decided to go out on our own to Amsterdam. I wanted to show her the Red Light District and she also wanted to go to the Anne Frank house. We did both and it was nice to be able to explore the streets and do as we pleased.

I absolutely love Holland and I always have the fondest memories of my visits there. I will definitely be coming back in my future and hope to be able to experience my “homeland” with that special person someday.