Saturday, August 9, 2008

Armstrong/LeMond/Sastre--move aside. Cole can ride a bike!

Cole has been loving his "free ride" around Amsterdam...that is, a seat on the back of Daddy's bike instead of having to ride a bike of his own.

But we knew that he was plenty big enough to be riding his own two-wheeler--we had just been procrastinating on the "practice" sessions.

After we arrived home from a holiday in Switzerland, we took Cole's bike out into the street to see what would happen without training wheels.

Here's what transpired:

Bonus Feature: The Making of Klompen

Earlier this year, Cole attended a birthday party that was held at a cute little farm just outside of Amsterdam. On this farm, in addition to holding birthday parties, they make really great cheese and also crank out hundreds (thousands?) of pairs of traditional wooden shoes ("klompen") every year.

For whatever reason, I'm a bit fascinated with klompen--perhaps it's my general fascination with unique cultural icons. Whatever the source, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I bought myself a pair.

During my mom's visit, we returned to the farm and watched a pair of wooden shoes being turned out on some ancient machinery.

In this first movie, the shoes are taking their shape:

In this next movie, you can see how the inner parts of the shoe are carved out:

And here is the (partially) finished product.
Mine are customized with the three Amsterdam X's (found in the ubiquitous city crest), with my name etched into the side of one shoe.

Cole Turns 5

It's hard to believe that our "baby" is now 5 years old (July 7th). Cole celebrated with a big party and all of his classmates from school and a bunch of other family friends. Everyone had a great time...especially the birthday boy!

Click HERE for all of the pics from the big party.