Published: June 20th 2012June 17th 2012
John and Andrew at the entrance to Vondelpark, near the Museumplein in Amsterdam.
We got up and began packing up for our next leg of the trip. Several of us munched on the remaining bread and cheese intermittently as we got dressed and organized for our flight to Africa and stuffed things into bags. We had several hours in Amsterdam before we needed to head to the airport so we checked out of the room, leaving our bags at the hotel, and headed out. We picked up a croissant for Andrew (who had not partaken of the cheese) and hopped a tram to the Museumplein stop and then headed out on foot into Vondelpark. It is a lovely urban park, filled with bicyclists and joggers. Sonia amused herself by photographing unusual bicycle-based contraptions (e.g. bicycle with wheelbarrow attachment containing toddlers, baskets with puppies, toddler seats with bugshields, two-seaters, people riding side-saddle on back..). It was good to get out and walk before the long flight and we had some good conversation as we made a loop to the far side of the park and back. We walked back towards the hotel, on a mission to enjoy a Belgian waffle treat before leaving Amsterdam. Andrew had very specific requirements in his mind and we passed
Andrew had been looking for a tree to climb and this bent-over giant was an obvious choice.
many potential vendors by looking for just the right waffle. We eventually settled on a suitable establishment and enjoyed a short break after our long walk. We reclaimed our bags, hopped in a taxi and were quickly at the airport. Our flight to South Africa started with a short flight to London. In London, we had to re-clear security and Lauren accidentally left her lotions in her hand luggage, causing her to be pulled aside for a manual inspection. The process must have taken thirty minutes, although we had a long layover and were therefore not particularly stressed. We watched in amazement as the person in front of her had his Pandora's box of a carry-on bag carefully examined. As they took out a seemingly endless array of wallets, small vials of liquid, and other random bric-a-brac, we were all thinking to ourselves that we approved of his undergoing the additional scrutiny. Lauren's carry-on issue was resolved in under a minute when we finally got the front of the queue. We indulged ourselves with business class seats for this leg of the trip, in hopes of arriving well rested in Cape Town. The kids took full advantage of the layover
After turning down many establishments offering waffles that failed to meet specifications, Andrew finally enjoyed a Belgian Waffle, minutes before we headed for the airport.
in the business class lounge. Andrew explored the entire (very large) lounge, got himself a bowl of pasta with a brownie topping and made extensive use of the free internet. Lauren was slightly more moderate (no brownie on her pasta, for example) and generally stayed in one place while making extensive use of the free internet. As a special treat we were able to get seats on the upper deck of the 747 (with its lie-flat seats) and the kids marveled at the different gizmos and gadgets on this British Airways flight relative to our United flight to Frankfurt. Off to sleep, with dreams of Africa.
There are more photos below