If it involves maple syrup, our kids are interested in it. So when we told them that we were taking a Pancake Boat Cruise in Amsterdam's harbor, they screamed with delight.
Once on the actual boat, they had a blast. This two-decked small cruise deck features a 1-hour tour (without a guide blabbering on the mic), and all the (Dutch) pancakes you can eat. Beer costs extra, and nothing goes with Dutch pancakes quite like a small glass of beer. Choose from any of the three varieties of pancakes: plain, apple, or "spek." That's "bacon" for those of you a bit slow to pick up Dutch. Yes, bacon pancakes.
Once you've selected your pancake, the fun begins. First, a photo of what I'll call the "Dutch food pyramid":
Note the abundance of sugar products, sugar byproducts, and sugar-filled products: M&M's, chocolate sprinkles, multi-colored sugar sprinkles, chocolate chips, white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, jam, honey, and other stuff.
Step 1: Spread wet stuff on pancake, i.e. syrup, jam, etc. Step 2: Sprinkle sugar stuff on pancake (this is where our kids excelled...in Maya's case, heaping no less than 5 different sweet things on her pancakes). Step 3: Roll it up. Step 4: Consume. Step 5: Hope that representatives of the Netherlands Association for Diabetes Control are not on the same boat, ready to handcuff and arrest you for a gross violation of insulin abuse and illegal blood sugar spiking.
We enjoyed the pancakes and the short cruise, and surprisingly, the kids' sugar high wasn't too bad, and the rest of the day went pretty well. The captain of the boat was a nice guy...the boat is just one of his jobs--he's also organizing a huge jazz festival in Amsterdam that will take place next June, and he expects over 25,000 people to attend.
I've been getting behind on posting many of the photos that we've taken, so here are a bunch for you to enjoy:
The kids before their first day at the British School of Amsterdam.