If you’ve ever traveled with children you might have noticed there are two types of traveling kids: The kind that are so excited to experience the world they master jet lag in minutes, and mine.
My kiddo needs a soft landing. She could care less about how amazing our destination is or what kind of time constraints we are working with, she needs a nice bed, quiet time, and sleep.
Knowing this and being honest with myself about who my family is (I am personally the other model) means that I make our nicest hotel reservations for day 1. I make plans but know that the likelihood that they will materialize is almost nonexistent. And I sit inside a hotel room even though every inch of me wants to be outside exploring.
My kiddo is my number one propeller to explore the world nowadays. This also makes her the gage by which we measure traveling movements.
And so it is that we landed in Amsterdam, after an exhausting but typical flight, at 10:30am. It meant a great check in time and an afternoon free to adventure and walk and eat and discover. For me. For my kid it meant time to check in and sleep, then eat, then sleep and have quiet time to process.
We met in the middle and enjoyed a nap, followed by a few hours of walking around Amsterdam, and then coming back to the hotel five minutes after a total emotional, exhaustion propelled meltdown had begun.
It was 5:10pm by the time we got out the door, but staying at The Renaissance means that our great location offers plenty of sights for our walking shoes. We walked along two canals, Dam Square, past the Red Light District and into the far stretches on the eastern area of town. We walked into supermarkets and quiet neighborhoods. It was the perfect evening to take a walk: cold enough to need jackets but warm enough that you could enjoy the sights without freezing. So we walked and walked and walked.
We finally got around to getting money out of the ATM machine right after we found out we couldn’t buy French fries from a local place with a credit/ debit card. Then we ate French fries with mayo and peanut sauce. Yum. I would have taken a better picture but I was too busy trying to eat my share before they disappeared.
It was a lovely evening and a great introduction for Andy (who has never been to Amsterdam). But by 8pm the kiddo was shutting down and we found ourselves walking back towards the hotel for some rest and relaxation. I know my kid enough to realize that she was on sensory overload and needed the crisp, white bedsheets back at The Renaissance.
I purposely reserved our first evening at The Renaissance because of its location and modern feel. While the mommy is happy to rough it a bit more than a five star central area hotel, the kiddo is a creature of comfort and loves her elite hotel stays. She will happily settle into my travel style, but only after a soft landing.
And so it is that we found ourselves in a city full of amazing Indonesian and Indian restaurants and us, still red eyed from our flight, eating in bed by 9pm.
Amsterdam has been a great hostess and landing pad. Tomorrow it’s off to the Czech Republic!