Babymoon in Europe: Part Two

We left London Sunday evening and hopped on the Eurostar to Amsterdam.  I’m sure you’re wondering, “what’s a pregnant woman going to do in Amsterdam?”  I mean, I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t get high, and at almost 6 months pregnant, I wasn’t able to hop on a bike to see the sights.  But I could eat!

We got in to Amsterdam late Sunday night, so we didn’t have a chance to do much that first night, other than to find a place to eat close to our hotel.  Like the London leg of our trip, we didn’t have much of an itinerary.  Our plan was to figure it out when we got there.

The one thing I knew, I wanted to visit in Amsterdam was the Anne Frank Huis, but be warned: tickets sell out fast!  I procrastinated on purchasing them, and tickets were gone by the time I tried.  They do release a limited number of same day tickets each day, so I held out hope that I’d get lucky by checking the website each day that we were there.

We came up empty-handed the first day, so we decided to just walk around Amsterdam and see the sights.  Our hotel was located right on one of the canals, so we walked some of the canals, through  the Jordaan neighborhood, Vondelpark and up to the Rijksmuseum.

45056389_10160957635870623_7847083589719031808_n

We ran out of time to do much more that day, so we made our way back closer to the hotel to find a place to eat.  We found a cute little restaurant a couple blocks from our hotel to grab a bite to eat, but I couldn’t tell you anything about that dining experience.  Why?  Because my eyes were transfixed on the bakery across the street.  I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before.  It was bright, colorful and super inviting.  I told Lee we would be making a pit stop at the bakery as soon as dinner was over.

The bakery was packed.  I perused all of the different options while I patiently waited for my turn.  After some back and forth and absolutely no help from Lee, I chose a slice of Dutch apple pie and a chocolate cream puff.  They did not disappoint.

 

We awoke the next day, attempted to get tickets to the Anne Frank House and this time we were successful!  We finished our breakfast and then made our way over to the museum.

The tour was amazing.  Heartbreaking, but amazing.  You actually get to walk through the apartment where Anne’s family and others were holed up during World War II.  There are still remnants of pictures and magazine ads up on the wall in the room that Anne and her sister occupied for the majority of their time in the apartment.  I found the museum to be educational, poignant and incredibly well done.

45039370_10112723133749910_7569733409405140992_n
Anne Frank’s diary is on display, in all of the languages in which it has been translated.

From there, we took a boat tour of the canals, which was conveniently located outside of the museum.  It had started to rain, so it seemed the best way to see the rest of Amsterdam since we couldn’t walk around.

We made one more trip to Rene’s bakery on our way back to the hotel before calling it a night.  The next leg of our trip would be taking us to Brussels first thing the next morning.

While there was a lot we managed to accomplish in the 2 days we spent in Amsterdam, there’s definitely a lot that we need to go back and experience.  I would have loved to rent a bike and see the sights that way, however, I was a little nervous about hopping on a bike at 5 months pregnant.   I’ve never been to a city that is so bike friendly!  I would have also liked to take a day trip out to the country side to see some of the famous windmills.  And I’d be lying if I said trying a space cake wasn’t somewhat intriguing.

It might take us years to make it back to Amsterdam, but it’s definitely on our list of places to visit again.

 

Babymoon in Europe: Part One

As you may remember, my husband and I planned a trip to Europe.  We scheduled the trip a few months after our IVF cycle, with the idea being the same as our Europe trip after the previous cycle.  If our IVF was successful, it would make for an incredible babymoon.  If it wasn’t, well, at least we’d have a vacation to look forward to.  As luck would have it, our cycle was successful, and we were determined to make our babymoon one hell of a celebration.

We left for Europe at the end of October.  Our trip would start as our Europe trips always do; with a few days in London.  This was my 8th trip to London and my husband’s 4th, so we didn’t really have an itinerary planned for this trip.  Our plan was simply to take in the sights and enjoy ourselves.  Chances are we won’t be making it across the pond again any time soon.

We did make a point to visit the Museum of London, which neither of us had been to in our previous visits.  It’s a museum that takes you through the history of London, from the prehistoric ages all the way to the present time.  It’s a great way to experience London’s history and it’s free!  We spent the better part of our day taking in London’s history at the museum.

Our weekend in London was spent with some of our closest friends and favorite UK residents, Charlie & Gareth.  We spent the morning making our way over to One New Change, a shopping center complete with rooftop patio and breathtaking views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the city itself.  It was there that my baby bump made its social media debut.

44869170_10112710526734470_2754820207229796352_n

From there, we went to Borough Market.  It’s an outdoor food market with tons of vendors and a variety of different foods.  We managed to destroy some cheese and olives breadsticks, pretzels, pad thai, bratwurst and Turkish delight in the short time we were there.  Honestly, we might have had more.  It’s all a food coma haze to me at this point.  They were out of the one thing we showed up for, however.  There’s a vendor there called the Pieminister that’s supposed to have the most amazing pie and mash, but alas, they were out of all the ones we wanted by the time we got there.  Oh well.  Gives us an excuse to go back, doesn’t it?

44896650_10160953402405623_857092021343485952_n
A pregnant woman leads the way into the food market of her dreams

From there, we made a special trip to a bookstore in London called Waterstones.  Their store on Picadilly is the largest bookstore in all of Europe and one of my favorite places to visit when we come to London.  This time, our visit was particularly special, as I was buying my baby girl her very first Paddington Bear book.  I got incredibly emotional walking through the children’s books thinking about how lucky we were to be having this baby and how I couldn’t wait to start reading her some of my favorite stories from my childhood.  Picture it if you will; me, 5 months pregnant, walking around the  children’s book section, clutching a stuffed Paddington bear and crying hysterically.  Lee just looked at me and laughed.  Not in like, a “haha your tears are funny”, but more of a “that’s my pregnant wife, isn’t she adorable” sort of way.  I would use the excuse that pregnancy makes one emotional, but frankly, I’m just an emotional person and Paddington is one of my favorite books.  I probably would have cried about buying it for my child even if I wasn’t pregnant.

After a long day out and about in the city, it was time to head back to the hotel.  The plan was to take a quick nap and head out for dinner with our friends.  In actuality, it ended up being a 3 and half hour nap, followed by snacks purchased from the local grocery store, playing card games and watching music videos in our friend’s room.  It was a wild Saturday night.

Our last day in London was more like a half day, as we would be leaving for Amsterdam on the Eurostar later that evening.  We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel with our friends, and did a bit of shopping before we left for the train station.  We stopped at a cute stationary store and I happened to find a pregnancy journal.  It seemed like the perfect thing to work on during our 4 and a half hour train ride, so I snatched it up.

We also made a quick stop over at the British Museum, another one of the free museums that London has to offer.  We didn’t stay long, as we had a train to catch, but it provided a great spot to look around while we waited for an afternoon rain shower to pass.  The Great Court is, in my humble opinion, one of the coolest places in London.

museum london london metropolitan museum
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Once the rain passed, we walked back to the hotel, picked up our luggage and said goodbye to our friends.  Then it was off to St. Pancras to embark on the next leg of our European Vacation:  Amsterdam!

 

 

Back from Hiatus

It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve posted!  A lot has happened in the last 6 months, and I have every intention of getting you all up to speed.  The abridged version is that we went on a babymoon to Europe, lost my mother-in-law to cancer and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  All of these life events deserve more explanation and their own separate blog posts, so please bear with me as I dust off my computer and get back into the swing of writing.

I thought I might not have much to share after getting pregnant, but as it turns out, there’s so much I’ve learned about pregnancy, the birthing process and raising a baby that I thought might be helpful to those of you reading.  So many of us have that dream of living the Pinterest ideal of motherhood, where we can accomplish it all while donning freshly applied makeup and a whipping up a delicious and nutritious dinner for your husband as soon as he walks in the door.  The reality of it all, is sometimes, that’s just not gonna happen.  In fact, some days, your only accomplishment (other than keeping a tiny human alive) might be that you showered that day.  And you know what?  That is perfectly okay.

Thank you so much for your patience as I’ve navigated my life over the course of the last few months.  I look forward to sharing my story with you!Hello-Im-back