Jul 31, 2012

Cheekiemonkies in Netherlands: Day 2

The Friso Farm Experience Part 2

(Daddy recounts)

Day 2, and we were due to be back at the Farm for a final bout of filming. Not that I think the monkies minded one bit, for they were looking forward to the mingling with the farm animals and their new-found friends.

The weatherman had forecast thundery showers on this day, and he was right. We had a thunderstorm during our first night in Amsterdam but luckily for us, the skies cleared up when we were departing our hotel after breakfast. And what a magnificent sight greeted us as we were enroute to the farm.

In fact, we were all so enthralled with the scenic view that the tour bus had to make a stop for us to soak everything in.

Erm actually, it was because the film crew hit upon the idea of grabbing some shots of the cows grazing in the fields so as not to let the clear blue skies go to waste.

Not that I complained of course. For one, it gave me ample opportunities to coax some jump shots from my 3 monkies.

And they didn't disappoint.

The photo above is easily one of my fave shots of the trip. Everything - the jumps, the expressions, the backdrop - just seemed to fall into place at the right time.

Well, it looked so fun that I just had to give it a go myself.

Needless to say, we reached the farm in high spirits and the boys were naturally overjoyed to be able to play with their angmoh friends once again.

Compared to the previous day, there was anything too taxing for the kids, as we already viewed and filmed the operations of the farm. So it was more of conducting interviews with the Farmer & his family and us parents.

So the kids were left to their own devices, which largely involved traumatizing the farm animals. At least they tried to be nice and fed the house cat some fresh milk too.

As filming wrapped up,it was time to say our goodbyes. I could sense that Ash & Ayd were a tad reluctant to leave the farm, as well as their 2-day-old friends. In fact, the wifey & I couldn't bear to leave the farm too! She fantasied how it would be so idyllic to live on the farm, to which I concurred... but only on the condition that there is WiFi.

It had been a great 2 half-days out at the farm! It was refreshing and enriching to see how the entire milking process operates in a farm.

So now, I'm glad that my kids know that milk doesn't come from a tin, but fresh from a farm. Or that banana milk doesn't come from one of the four udders of the cow, and neither does strawberry milk come from a pink cow for that matter.

And with that, it was time to get down to something more serious - the touristy stuff!

And nothing comes close to touristy than a cruise along the Amsterdam canals.

Along the cruise, we came across this huge bicycle park. It was as much like our multi-storey carpark here in Singapore, but the entire complex was full with bicycles!

In fact, I think they have more bicycles in cars there... which shouldn't be that surprising as the roads have dedicated lanes for cyclists in the Netherlands.

It was definitely interesting to catch a glimpse of Amsterdam from a different view. As we cruised along the waters, we came across many houseboats that dot the banks of the canals which are actually all occupied. It sure makes for an interesting choice for a home!

But I reckon the one person who wouldn't be living in such a houseboat anytime soon would be Ash.

He got a teeny weeny seasick 20 minutes into the cruise! And how about Ayd? He was just feeling the after-effects of lunch.

As for Ale, she was displaying the symptoms of hyper-activity.

Just look at her taking a piggyback ride on her poor nauseous brother's back. LOL.

And when she wasn't getting any response from him, she decided to mimic her brother's actions too.

Fortunately, our canal cruise came to an end when we disembarked at a stop outside Gassan Diamonds - an Amsterdam-based diamond cutting factory.

We were given a guided tour of the factory, where we witnessed diamond cutters at work, and given a brief demonstration as to how diamonds are cut and polished.

Obviously, one could also stock up on diamonds at the shop after the tour. But our tour prematurely ended as Ash was still feeling a bit seasick, Ayd was getting woozy while Ale was plain cranky as the tiredness began to take its toll.

And so luckily for my wallet, the whole family left the factory and headed back to our hotel for a rest.

We met back up with the rest of the group for dinner, and this was how the skies looked at 9+ in the evening.

As Ayd would say, it's still too early to be sleeping!

And he was right. Luckily there was some free entertainment just in front of our hotel, on the streets of Dam Square.

Nothing like huge bubbles to keep the kids in a trance, if you ask me.

It was getting a bit cold to be standing in the streets soon after, so we all did the next best thing - shopping! Not that we had much time to shop though, because the shops close quite early in Amsterdam. But no matter, there would be ample chances to do so. Or least that was how I pacified the wifey.

And so, our Day 2 in Amsterdam has come to an end but our adventures had only just begun. For we would be putting our self-planned itinerary into action from then on!

See MORE photos of our Day 2 Adventures in our Awesome Amsterdam album on our Cheekiemonkies' Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.342800939133515.78313.110845722329039&type=1

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