When we paid the deposit for my sons to go on their 12 day Scout camp in Holland, we jokingly said we would go on holiday to Amsterdam with our daughter at the same time. We loved Amsterdam when we visited a couple of years ago and really wanted to go again. We also liked the idea of being close to the boys, at least for a few of the days they were away. I was worried about how my younger son might cope and I thought it would be good to be on hand if he needed us.
So after a few months of joking about it, we went ahead and booked it. Even better, the boys didn’t mind. They knew they were going to have a brilliant time themselves, so they were fine about us going away without them. They knew their camp was a massive treat for them and they didn’t have a problem with their sister getting a treat too.
Amsterdam isn’t a traditional place to take children. We didn’t see many kids when we there. My daughter was sufficiently unusual that guests and staff in the hotel chatted to her and people looked at her as she was out cycling on a tandem with Daddy.
But it is a beautiful place and it is possible to avoid the red light district, stag parties and coffee shops that don’t just sell coffee. You do have to be on your guard a bit though! We discovered the bike hire place we went to (only five minutes from our respectable hotel full of business people and older tourists) was right next to a sex shop. We managed to get her to look away from it by talking about what was happening on the other side of the canal, but eventually she noticed it. I wonder if she also smelled the unusual smoke you could smell almost EVERYWHERE?
We were unlucky with our weather, but we still had a brilliant time. It’s great being able to devote all your time to just one child (and it really helped me stop thinking about the boys every minute of the day). She’s always a delight, but on her own she’s even more delightful and she really thrives on having the undivided attention of both Mummy AND Daddy. She absolutely loves staying in hotels and likes it even better without the boys nagging her or arguing with her.She chats non-stop and takes in everything that’s going on around her. She knew where she wanted to visit and she made some really good suggestions.
I’m so glad we took the plunge and went away with her.