Day Four – Science and Boats

We woke with a determination to get every last penny of saving from our IAmsterdam cards and got to NEMO the children’s science museum just as it opened. Which was a blessing because later on it got extremely busy. In fact it was the only really busy place we went to the whole time we were away which isn’t bad for half term.

NEMO is terrific. Loads of hands on experiments and buttons to press and explanations in both languages. Phoebe loved the water cleaning area where she filled and emptied buckets a lot. Tilly was very taken with the Chemistry Lab (she now wants her own apparently) where she wore a lab coat and messed about with test tubes. Phoebe didn’t want to go in there in case she accidentally turned herself into a frog.

There was a science show at one point entirely in Dutch but very funny and dramatic so the kids enjoyed it. I noted with interest that a large number of children were laying on the stairs to look through the gaps. A member of staff came and ask them to move…sideways a bit. That wouldn’t happen in the UK.

The only area we avoided was the “Let’s Talk About Sex” area. I know, I know, I should have been taking the opportunity to discuss it openly at an early age where there are loads of things for the kids to look at, but after all I am English, they are only four and six, and I wasn’t sure discussing a display of artist mannequins in different sexual positions was a way I wanted to finish the holiday. I also avoided the “French Kissing Machine” where each child put their hand inside a tongue and flapped it around at the other one. I am so British.

We went on the roof. Fantastic view and bitterly cold, but the whole place is fabulous. Highly recommended.

For lunch we went to the maritime museum cafe. We ordered cheese toasties for 4.50 euros each. The waitress asked if we wanted whale shaped ones for the kids which were the same price. I asked if they were the same size. She said they were smaller. I said no then. She brought them anyway.

We had promised that the kids could go on the boat outside the maritime museum but of course our cards had run out and the museum was expensive. But a promise is a promise and it was a great replica ship. There was also a show in the museum where you were filmed pretending to row and projected onto the screen. It had pirate attacks in it that Tilly hid from but it was an experience.

We only did about half the museum and could have spent longer but I think everyone was ready for pizza so Vapianos again for dinner.

On the way back someone asked us the way to somewhere. We obviously looked like we knew what we were doing. We didn’t know the answer.

We played new logic puzzles before bed and tried to get to sleep early expecting Irish music at high volume in the night.

And then it happened. The night before an early start to catch the train and aeroplane and we had the worst night of the week. Tilly chose the last night to launch herself off the top bunk five feet in the air. I was worried about her so let her sleep with me in a single bed. Well I say sleep, I certainly didn’t and eventually my protection instinct faded and I am ashamed to say I sent her back to the lethal bed. Then the music started and the bass filled the room. Plus Tilly had at some point had a nose bleed as the cleaners would discover the next morning when changing the bed. She didn’t notice though so not all bad. We were extremely pleased none of this happened on day one.

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