Friday, September 14, 2012

The Zoo, Vondelpark, & other fun stuff

We've had a really great week around here!  Last week, Andy and I had a little outing to the Nine Streets, a more boutique-like shopping area.  It's beautiful.  Here's sweet Andy on our walk:

We had a lot of fun on Saturday.  It was so fun to have Cam around to play with us!  In true Messick form, we went to the zoo.  It's right downtown, so we expected it to be small, but it was amazing! It was really big.  They had a lot of animals that we don't usually have in our American zoos.  And all the animals were closer with not as much blocking us from getting close to them.  Andy didn't seem to enjoy it as much as we'd hoped, but Cam and I still loved it.  Our favorites: the giant anteater, lemur land, all the crazy insects, the giant crocodiles, and the red pandas.  

Looking at the sea lions.
Giant anteater.  So weird. 
Proof I was there.
I can't handle how cute he is.
On our way back from the zoo, we stopped by the famous fry place on our street to try their frites and mayo.  (Fries and mayo.)  I was pretty sure it would be disgusting.  I'm not a huge fry person and don't like mayo.  But, I am a believer now! This place was incredible!

Later that afternoon, we headed to our local park, the Vondelpark.  It was beautiful.  The weather all weekend was incredible--like shorts and t-shirt incredible.  That is rare here! We (along with the rest of Amsterdam) decided to take advantage of the incredible weather by chilling at the park.  It was packed!  People everywhere sitting on blankets with picnics. We brought a ball for Andy, and he had a blast running around.  

Cam also bought his bike on Saturday.  It's a used bike.  (Clearly.)  Everyone rides bikes here, which is so cool.  He rides to work now, which is great.  We're going to get another bike for me soon.  This nice guy from our ward is letting us borrow one while we're here.  We'll put a seat on it for Andy.  It'll be nice for me to finally ride a bike here! Anyway, here's Cam riding his bike to work on Monday.

We loved our ward on Sunday.  We met a lot more great people! A really nice guy, Alan, invited us over for dinner that night.  He's American and even made us brownies! He lives right on the canal--it was beautiful.  We had so much fun getting to know him.

A couple days ago, Andy and I headed back to the Vondelpark.  I think we'll go walking there a few times a week.  They even have a little playground I found.  Andy loves all the dogs everywhere.  Isn't it beautiful?

Cam had a fun work get-together last night.  Cam is replacing a really sweet French girl, Amandine, while she goes on maternity leave.  Last night was her "going away" party.  She had some people over for drinks and appetizers.  It was fun for me to finally meet her and the other people Cam has been working with.  We definitely were the weird ones though! We already feel a little out of place at work gatherings, even in the US.  We're just not used to non-Mormon etiquette!  Like how everyone brings a gift to the host/hostess--we were clueless about that at the last party we went to in the summer.  Well this time, the usual discomfort was coupled with the fact that we don't drink, we don't understand the customs/etiquette here, and we're the only ones who have a child....and, let's just say, we felt a little awkward at times. :)  But it was still really fun to get together and meet people.  We get lonely! (Hint, hint: visitors welcome.)  

We're having a great time here, trying to fill in as much as we can.  This weekend: England! 


  1. Oh the zoo! it seems soo much fun. and Andy is getting so big. he is so adorable. and Cam's bike is so fun. It looks so beautiful there! I miss you guys. Love you!

  2. I just love all the smiling pictures of Andy! And his hair is blonder than ever! Every picture has a beautiful green background, it really looks so breathtaking. I'm glad your ward is taking care of you!

  3. You are living my dream of traveling everywhere by bike, spending the afternoons in green parks, taking weekend adventures. How awesome! You all look great! and Little Andy? Full on BIG BOY! Miss you guys!

  4. Ok Andy is looking so grown up, especially with him walking all around! He is so stinking cute. Tell Cameron he looks way European on that bike.

  5. You are seriously living the dream!

  6. I just love reading about your adventures. I'm trying to live vicariously through you! I wish we could come visit! That park looks gorgeous. I hope your bike looks just like Cameron's. I LOVE IT!

  7. Oh I can't get over how big Andy is! I remember you coming to my apartment with him when he was 3 months old! You seriously are living an amazing life, I'm still jealous and wish I could hop on a plane today to come visit you!

  8. I so love your blogs!! I envey you with your traveling. How fun for you stephnie to return to England and meet some of your friends and share your experience with my wonderful grandson!!! Little Andy is so cute,how I would love to kiss that sweet face. love to all of you and how I would love to visit you. Grandma Elizabeth