It is 4 am and Baby X is convinced he is ready to wake up and start his day. While the dogs burrow themselves deeper under the covers, I am also forced to wake up and begin my day with this big blue-eyed baby. I secretly can’t wait until Baby X is Teenager X and I cruelly decide to wake him up before 5 am on a weekend. It will happen. But revenge will have to wait. By 11 am, Baby X and I had played with his kitchen, made French toast, walked the dogs (that crawled out of bed at 8 am), did a load of laundry, and were utterly bored. We got ourselves packed up and set out to Amsterdam Centraal in need of a Sunday adventure. We followed a bunch of tourists onto a bus to Zaanse Schans, which is a short trip from Amsterdam. This town is a small open-air museum (free of charge) that is home to eight functioning windmills. I snapped a few shots of the picturesque windmills (while Baby X snoozed).
Along our walk, I spotted a ferry. Up for another adventure, we hopped on a small boat/ferry (paid 1 Euro) destined for Zaandijk. Our fellow boat mates were a couple from India and a couple from Germany, with whom I engaged in small talk and learned their children’s names, hobbies and favorite foods – Wow, I forgot how much I miss small talk! Devin’s been in Paris for too long. Crossing the Zaan River, we arrived at the Zaandijkersluis (Zaandijk Lock), which was built in 1727 and restored in 1996. Interestingly, the lock is maintained by a group of some twenty volunteers who work in shifts.
We proceeded to wander around an adorable little quarter known as Domineestuin (Vicar’s Garden). According to some locals, from 1709 until 1912, this ‘village within the village’ had its own rules and customs (kind of like Canada’s Quebec). Being Sunday, everything was closed and the streets were bare. We eventually stumbled across a small café that smelled of fresh baked bread (and brownies). We shared an avocado sandwich, which was delicious, and kept on trekking. Upon advice from a friendly dog-walking fellow, we found a small little playground and eventually made our way to a petting zoo. Baby X loved the zoo. He was especially fond of the Llama, who we affectionately called “Llama,” but he also spent some time chasing rabbits, cruising on tractors and riding a pony. When the rain started to sprinkle, we headed back to the train station and called it a day.