Blackpool 2015

A few photos from our family trip to Blackpool.


Catching up over a milkshake with her uncle.


On the promenade for the Firework World Championships

The family pool tournament.


Erin realising her dream of visiting the infamous amusements arcades of Blackpool!


Winning at the camel racing.


Minion bashing.


“I want to be big”

Blackpool Tower

Gorgeous day at Blackpool Tower


Blackpool Pleasure Beach


Blackpool Tower from the pier

More amusement fun


Donkey ride


Blackpool Tower selfie


A final family photo at the tower


Turkish dinner



Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Celebrating St Andrew’s Day at Camera Obscura

The Scottish Government is generating awareness around some great events going on in Scotland for St Andrew’s Day which is fast approaching on 30th November!

There are lots of special events running all over the country throughout the month and some great deals for a family day out in celebration of St. Andrew’s Day.


Last year we visited the Royal Yacht Britannia which is one of my favourite attractions in Edinburgh. This year we opted for Camera Obscura, somewhere we’ve never been before.


Camera Obscura is located at the top of the Royal Mile. There are optical illusions of all types spread over six floors. It’s very interactive and great for kids, although we saw lots of adults visiting on their own too!


We had fun with magic eye pictures, the mirror maze, and this ‘Willy Wonka’ room that makes everything look out of proportion.


Our favourite features were the electricity (although the electric shocks weren’t as fun!) and the Vortex. Alex had to ‘opt out’ due to motion sickness!

We had a great day, don’t forget to visit the roof terrace for panoramic views of the city, they really are breathtaking.

Camera Obscura

There are a range of St Andrew’s Day offers including 2-for-1, kids go free and even some free events. The full list of events and offers can be viewed here.

Posted in Edinburgh | Leave a comment

A New Christmas Tree!

Last year I got so fed up with our Christmas decorations that I chucked the lot. In fairness we had a cheap 4ft tree and a random selection of decorations, very few of which I actually liked. I’ll be honest, over the last few years Christmas has felt like another chore on the to do list. I decided in the summer that this year would be different. I started my shopping early and I had intended to spend a bit of money on a tree and decorations that would help bring the Christmas spirit home. Then an email dropped into my inbox asking if I’d like to review a Balsam Hill tree! This is just one of many strange coincidences recently. Of course I gratefully accepted.

Balsam Hill

While we were away in Prague I even started preparing by buying some decorations. Tinsel has been replaced by colourful wool garlands and little toadstools. We’ve gone with a sort of Scandinavian fairytale theme with glass baubles.

Balsam Hill

Our tree was waiting for us on our return, a handsome 6ft Nordmann Fir Tree complete with LED lights.

Christmas Decorations

We were so excited that we decided to unbox it early. The husband was impressed that it came with special gloves for setting up – it makes the task all the more manly. It also has a holder for packing away too. The lights came already attached making it really quick to set up, it took us under 30 minutes to erect and decorate.

Christmas Tree Decorations

We need a few more colourful decorations to complete the look (we’re waiting for this year’s Edinburgh Christmas markets) but I’m thrilled with it. In all honesty our small livingroom doesn’t really do it justice. It’s a real beauty and has got my Christmas off to a wonderful start. I’m determined to make this our best Christmas yet!

Balsam Hill Tree

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Things To Do In Edinburgh For Film Lovers

It’s easy to see why Edinburgh has such a strong connection to the film industry. Not only is it home to one of the most important Film Festivals in the world, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, but also the city has featured in many famous movies. Edinburgh has many eclectic venues where film buffs can indulge themselves and numerous film locations to visit.

Here are my favourite things to do in Edinburgh for film lovers;

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The film festival started in the same year as the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. It is the world’s longest running film festival, and has helped to define film festival events across the globe. There is no need to travel to Cannes or Venice to see the stars, watch ground-breaking new films and see emerging talent, it all happens right here.

The 70th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival will run from 15th to 26th June 2016.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival

Luna Cinema

The Luna Cinema is the country’s leading producer of open air cinema events. Classic films shown on a big screen in a beautiful or prestigious setting. What could be more magical on a summer evening than taking the family for a picnic under the stars and enjoying a favourite movie? The Luna Cinema comes to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh every summer.

Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ

The Luna Cinema

Edinburgh Film

Dominion Cinema

The Dominion Cinema is a distinctive building designed in the 1930s, the interior has a mix of modern and traditional décor. The cinema shows most of the new releases and is one of the venues for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Why go to a bland multiplex when you can relax and enjoy a film with wine and snacks, reclining chairs and sofas to cuddle up on.

18 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4RT

The Dominion Cinema

Filmhouse Cinema

Filmhouse is a three-screen independent cinema showing a wide range of films from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to arty films, restored classics, and themed seasons and festivals. It is housed in a former church at 88 Lothian Road. All three cinemas are fully accessible, and films are regularly screened with audio description and hard-of-hearing subtitles

As well as three screens, the cinema has a café bar. Drinks can be taken into the cinemas – just ask for a plastic glass!

The Filmhouse


Famous films set in Edinburgh

Trainspotting (1996)

Danny Boyle’s famous film is a gritty portrayal of Edinburgh life and features many scenes in and around the capital. The most recognisable is when the main character Renton (portrayed by a young Ewan McGregor) is seen racing along Princes Street to the sound of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, pursued by security guards from the nearby shops. In another scene Renton and Spud slither down Waterloo Place, right by the station; no film has done more to put Edinburgh on the map in the modern era.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

The film is based on Muriel Spark’s celebrated 1961 book and is inspired largely by Spark’s own time at Gillespie’s school. Maggie Smith won the best actress award in 1969. 1960s Edinburgh portrays 1930s Edinburgh seamlessly. The Marcia Blaine school is sited in the Edinburgh Academy building in Henderson Row, and you can stand in the same spot as Maggie Smith on the Grassmarket and shout: “Observe, little girls, the castle!”, shortly before heading off to Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire was inspired by the real life events of the 1924 Olympics and features many scenes in Edinburgh. The most spectacular shot is the sweeping shot of the city’s rooftops from Arthur’s Seat.

There is also a scene when one of the main characters, Eric Liddell, tips his cap to the statue of John Knox, located in the courtyard of the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall, just off the Mound.

Burke and Hare (2010)

Historical Edinburgh became famous for corpse-stealing due to the notorious Burke and Hare murders in 1827 and 1828 which have resulted in a string of movies. The most recent one stars Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg. The Greyfriars Kirkyard scene transports the audience back to Victorian times with chilling scenes of the pair sneaking into Greyfriars at night to dig up recently buried corpses to sell to the medical students at the university, before they decide this is too much like hard work and start murdering people. Although it is filmed on a set you feel as if you are there.

One Day (2011)

Any modern movie tour of Edinburgh could not miss out the adaptation of David Nicholls’ bestselling romantic novel. In the opening scenes graduating Edinburgh university students Dexter and Emma are seen in what looks like the quadrangle of Old College. The pair (played by Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway) then kiss in the street in Stockbridge. In the final scene, which is a flashback to the pair’s ‘morning after the night before’ moment from the opening scene, we cut to the iconic view across the city from Arthur’s Seat to end this romantic tearjerker.

Posted in Edinburgh | Leave a comment

Chocologic Tasting

“Do you want to try some new chocolate that has no added sugar?”

It’s not the kind of gig you turn down.


We embarked on our mission with the seriousness of a military operation. There were score cards and feedback forms (created by Erin). If someone was going to pitch us no added sugar chocolate, we were going to test it rigorously to ensure it was up to our usual standards!

More on the tasting later…

First, a bit about what makes Chocologic different.

The company literature says it’s a delicious tasting chocolate treat that contains less sugar without compromising on flavour. The sweetener alternative is Stevia which you may already be familiar with. Chocologic bars have 60% less sugar than standard chocolate bars. Stevia doesn’t cause tooth decay, and can be eaten by those with diabetes.

The Verdict

Milk: This was our least favourite. It was less sweet, in a good way, but we felt it had a little bit of a tang to it.

Hazelnut: My favourite chocolate is hazelnut and I think I preferred this to my usual Galaxy. It was less sweet which I liked, my only criticism is that I’d like larger chunks of hazelnut.

Dark: This one was nice but it didn’t have the bitter kick of normal high quality dark chocolate, which I missed.

On the whole we were quite impressed. We didn’t feel ‘cheated’ at all. We even felt that in a blind taste test you wouldn’t be able to tell between a standard non branded chocolate bar and Chocologic.

The bars launch in November and will be available in Milk, Dark, and Milk Chocolate with hazelnuts and will retail between £1-£2. Keep an eye out for the Neapolitan Assortment box and the Belgian Chocolate Seashells.

Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Healthy Eating With Slissie

I’m always interested in everything Edinburgh so when I was asked to review a product created by someone from Edinburgh, it peaked my interest.

The product is a diet aid called Slissie. It’s like the dieting version of a vaporiser. Diet vaping? Could it catch on?

The Slissie comes with a charger and flavour tanks. It’s pretty easy to use, you charge it up and then click the button a few times to release the flavour and then you suck.


I didn’t find the Slissie suppressed my appetite, in fact in some ways it made me more aware of it – the inventor Liz says this is part of the idea, it highlights your weak spots so that you can overcome them and maintain a healthy weight. I did find the flavour put me off eating though (even though I felt hungry) in the same way that brushing your teeth does.

If you’re the kind of person that snacks because of boredom or because you have given up smoking then Slissie will give you something else to do with your hands to help you replace the habit. I can imagine it would be highly effective for ex-smokers or those giving up as a ‘next phase’ in the process.

I have only tried the mint flavour so far, but there are others including fruit and chocolate. The chocolate one will be interesting. Will it increase the desire to eat the real thing, or will it make me feel like I’ve already had some? Each flavour tank should last around 7-10 days and more can be bought from the website so you can continue using Slissie for as long as you need.

Liz is also currently working with Edinburgh University on how Slissie can break unhealthy eating habits, and soon there will be a Slissie app to help you track your progress.

I’m going to pass my Slissie onto my mum, she gave up smoking a year ago and has been vaping – it will be really interesting to see what experience she has.

Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Family Camping 2015

A bit behind on blogging our trips from this year. A few photos from our family camping trip.

Family Camping

Catching up on news with her uncle.

BBQ Chicken

BBQ time. Once again we got lucky and had some pretty good weather for our camping trip.

Family time

Relaxing family time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Family games time.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Pan Review

Review by Erin and Alex

We recently went to our local cinema to see Pan, Warner Bros latest film about the boy who never grows up, Peter Pan. But wait, we’ve already seen a Peter Pan film and know the story, don’t we?


Well, as this film is at pains to point out in the opening voiceover introduction, this is not the story we all know and love but an origin story taking us through how this young boy (played by Levi Miller) got to Neverland in the first place.

When we first catch up with Peter, we see him as a baby, being dropped off at the orphanage with the aforementioned voice over in the background. We then cut to a now 12 year old Peter and his best friend Nibbs complaining about the awful conditions they live in, enforced upon them by militant nuns. The head nun was played by the magnificent Kathy Burke, channeling Waynetta Slob if she was Irish and had found God.

Peter and Nibbs suspect she may be hoarding all the food rations sent to the orphanage for herself. A feeling that’s reinforced when they see her wolfing down a doughnut. Either that or a wartime British version of Dunkin Donuts has opened up round the corner. They find her stash, along with the orphans records which reveals to us a letter for Peter from his erstwhile mum. In it, another world is talked about (alarm bells are ringing) but the reading of the letter is interrupted by Sister Slob.

After a lashing from a cane, they’re sent to bed. This is where things take a turn, well, to the second star to the right. As the boys sleep, some people dressed as a cross between black beard and circus clowns rappel in through the skylights, snatching up boys as they go. Turns out a flying pirate ship is parked on the roof and the boys are whisked off to Neverland. Also turns out Sister Slob was in on it the whole time! We knew she couldn’t be trusted!

When they arrive in Neverland, they and we, are introduced to the villain of the piece, Blackbeard. Weirdly though, the pirate that all pirates fear arrives to a chorus of Smells Like Teen Spirit, the magnificent and somewhat out of place Nirvana song? What!? Anyway, Jackman excels in this role, combining the comical malice of Dustin Hoffman in Hook, with the suave charm of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. The other performances don’t live up to his I’m afraid. In particular, I was disappointed with Garrett Hedlund as James Hook, Peter’s best friend when he arrives in Neverland. That’s right, you heard me correctly, they are friends, but more on that later. Hedlund’s performance is so over the top, Saturday matinee at the theatre, that I found him jarring and an uncomfortable watch. After being sent to mine for Pixium (pixie dust to you and me) Peter is accused of theft, sentenced to death, flys then escapes with Hook. They meet up with natives who have a prophecy of a returning boy who wears a necklace with panpipes on it, rescuing them from the tyranny of Blackbeard.

The performance of Hedlund as Hook, encapsulated my issue with the film. There are things to like, such as the incredible flying pirate ships, the thrill of seeing the boy who can fly actually fly. But the film felt, well, un-cinematic. It felt to me like a stage production, with all the over exaggeration that entails, presented on screen. Interestingly, Erin (aged 9) loved it. The sense of adventure, the fast pace and overall sense of wonder had her, erm, hooked. For the adults watching, I think we wanted a darker, more realistic (if you can make a fairytale realistic) angle on the story. You also get no clue, as to why James Hook, portrayed here like Han Solo flying a pirate ship, turns into Captain James Hook (Pan’s evil nemesis) which left me feeling a little hard done by.

Overall, I think this is purely a kids film. Never mind all the flaws, the sense of adventure will carry them through. This really is a film that doesn’t want to grow up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Family Sightseeing in Amsterdam

Our final day was ambitiously set aside as a chilled out sightseeing day. Sightseeing with kids doesn’t always work out but there was plenty for Erin to see in the museum district, so it was a great success.

Amsterdam Breakfast

We kicked the day off with a continental breakfast which was complimentary at our hotel. I love the blue and white plates.


A quick bit of tree climbing at the Vondelpark.

Miffy in Amsterdam

On our way back from Vondelpark we found a Miffy exhibition.

Miffy In Amsterdam

More Miffy.

I am Amsterdam

I am Amsterdam.

I am Amsterdam

Pit stop for coffee and croissants, right after just one more photo…

Amsterdam Selfie

Amsterdam selfie while Erin played in the park.

Water fountains Amsterdam

An ice lolly in the museum gardens and a good hour of free water fountain entertainment. One of those perfect moments.

Amsterdam in bloom

Amsterdam in bloom.

Amsterdam canal

One final Amsterdam canal shot.

Argentinian Steak

We found an Argentinian steak restaurant for dinner. We had a mixed meat platter between the three of us which was served on a table barbecue. Good food for us and a fun experience for Erin.

Family holiday Amsterdam

A fantastic end to a great family holiday in Amsterdam. We’d highly recommend it.

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Ten Christmas Gift Ideas For 2015

Christmas is nearly upon us and I don’t mind admitting that the last couple of years I really haven’t enjoyed the shopping aspect much. I’ve been really busy and it has become yet another chore on the list. This year I’m a bit less busy and have been able to enjoy the experience a bit more. I started my Christmas shopping by accident in August during a trip to Amsterdam and I’m now around two thirds finished. I’m really pleased with my purchases this year and my laid back approach has added to the enjoyment. Here are some of my Christmas Gift Ideas for 2015.

1. Theatre Tickets

I’m moving more towards experience gifts for family members who have everything. First Christmas shopping task, scan the listings at the three local theatres and see if anything matches any of the people I buy for.

2. Fairtrade

Fairtrade or handmade stuff can be really unique. I buy for someone who works in a big department store where you can buy almost everything, and she takes advantage of this (and her discount!). It means I have to work a little harder to try and find a unique gift.

3. Gifts purchased in other countries

The last few times I’ve been abroad I’ve made a point of bringing home a few gifts. Not duty free, although that is a good last resort for gifts. These gifts have been from independent shops you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

4. Retro/Vintage/Hard To Find Items

These never account for the full Christmas shopping loot, but each year you may find one or two items that fit this criteria – usually old records, football shirts, and signed memorabilia.

5. Fresh Flowers

Flowers are usually given on Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, or for birthdays but Christmas is also a great time to show someone you are thinking of them by giving them a nice bouquet. Sending flowers to your loved ones abroad is easy even if they are half a world away. There are international florists that deliver blooms worldwide like Interflora who delivers in the UK and FreshFlowers which ships flowers to Melbourne, Australia.

6. Hobby Gifts

Each year family members develop new hobbies and this is a great place to start when it comes to Christmas gift buying. Hobbies and interests in my family at the moment include music, magic and movies. These have provided a source of inspiration for this year’s gifts.

7. Alcohol

Maybe not the most unique of gifts, but almost everyone enjoys alcohol of some kind and receiving a really unique bottle of gin or rum could be their dream gift – and even if it isn’t, it certainly isn’t going to lie around gathering dust!

8. Family Day Out

If you’re buying for families with multiple children it can be nicer to buy a family day out voucher for a local attraction.

9. Something From Your Country

If you’re buying for people abroad, take advantage of what is unique to your country. Scotland is famous for whisky, cashmere, and tartan. If anything like this appeals to friends and family abroad then it can make quite a special gift for them.

10. A Highly Personalised Experience Gift

Some people have unusual things that they are particularly passionate about – it could be a type of food or an unusual hobby. From these you can design your own experience gift. We have one family member who loves a particular fast food joint, we are planning his ‘dream’ gift around this.

So that’s my top ten Christmas Gifts Ideas for 2015. Do you have any ideas to add?

Featured post

Posted in Featured | Leave a comment

Shopping & Eating in Amsterdam With Kids

Our second day in Amsterdam (our first was spent in the canal district) was spent shopping and eating, two of Erin’s favourite pastimes.

We started with a traditional Dutch breakfast of poffertjes, little pancakes usually dusted with icing sugar – served with a side of bacon.

Poffetjes Amsterdam

Breakfast set us up nicely for a walk down to the main shopping area. Erin sniffed out a fangirl shop and purchased this Superman beanie hat. There are loads of shops, many were familiar chains but there were a few that seemed to be independent or Dutch.

Shopping in Amsterdam

After a long morning shopping and exploring (and avoiding the Red Light district) we found a nice square and went in search of a pub for a pitstop.


We were keen to try bitterballen, a popular dutch snack comprising of ragu coated in breadcrumb and deep fried. They were amazing, but my appletiser wasn’t doing the trick so I sampled my first ever beer.


Bitterballen and beer are made for each other. Perfect.

Beer and Bitterballen

Erin and I can’t resist a bookshop no matter where we are. We spotted a Waterstones and were amused by an additional section of ‘British Food’ which featured such delights as Colmans Apple Sauce and Yorkshire Teabags!

British Food in Amsterdam

On our first night we ate in the tourist district. It was well priced but the food was just ok. On our second night we were looking for something a bit more special. It’s a challenge trying to find somewhere the food is good, the price reasonable, and the restaurant young person friendly. We did, after a couple of hours research, find a restaurant that fitted our criteria.


Humphrey’s offers a fixed price menu for adults, and a three course menu for kids. It was the perfect mix of good food, good value, and family friendly.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once again we couldn’t fault Amsterdam, we all really enjoyed ourselves and there was plenty to keep us entertained.

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

What Is Success?

Every so often I have a moment of clarity when it comes to life, this week I was exploring the idea of success. I was thinking about how success is personal, it’s different for everyone.

My definition of success for me

Success is spending every day of my life doing what I want, with whom I want.

Success is doing work every day that I find interesting and fulfilling – what you create when you are passionate and fulfilled is far better than when you’re not.

Success is not having to tolerate people I don’t resonate with – surrounding yourself with people you don’t enjoy or bring out the worst in you makes you miserable.

Success is never having to compromise my morals or happiness for money – finding a way to make money that also makes me happy is success.

Success is not having to sacrifice family time to make money – there is always enough time for both. It’s not successful sacrificing family for work or business success.

Success is not sacrificing the luxuries I enjoy because I don’t have enough money – I want to travel, cook, indulge in a few hobbies, eat out, dress comfortably, have a home with the things I need, and travel some more. That’s it. That’s all I need money for.

Success is not filling my life with pointless excess that saps my energy and happiness – I don’t need to accumulate money to prove my worth to anyone. I don’t need to accumulate excessive amounts of money to feel secure either. I came with nothing and I will leave with nothing but my experiences and the love and special times I’ve shared with family and friends. At the moment having a second car feels very close to excess, I’m keeping an eye on it. I discovered the idea of ‘enough’ and ‘The Fulfilment Curve’ in Your Money Or Your Life. Prior to that, like many other people, I thought more was always better. I’ve monitored this over the years and I can definitely identify times when excess has creeped in and it has detracted from my overall happiness.

Success is having control over my own time – I’ve put this last, but it’s actually the most important indicator for me. I don’t want someone telling me where to be for a large proportion of my time on this planet. Success is being in charge of where to be and when. If I can get up every morning and decide for myself what I will and won’t do, that’s success. It’s not everyone’s definition, but it’s right for me.

This has been my definition of success for the last ten years. By my own definition, I can reflect and see that I have enjoyed a lot of success – the majority of the time all the above has been true. By other people’s definition, they may think I haven’t been very successful at all. That’s the thing about success, it’s not the same for everyone. Your definition should be different to mine, we are different people with different hopes and dreams and priorities.

Our definition of success may be different, but we can still support each other towards our own version of it.

That’s where the problem is for me in the world at the moment, there seems to be a very popular idea that the amount in your bank or your net worth defines whether you have been successful. If your goal was to have a million pounds, then that would be considered successful. If your goal was freedom and time spent with family and you’ve spent 80hrs a week working while ignoring your family’s then that’s not very successful at all.

Success in society has become commonly defined by money, your seniority at the work you choose to do, and your net worth. It doesn’t matter whether you’re happy, if your family are happy and healthy, or you have any kind of freedom. I wonder if actually this is many people’s idea of success and I’m just different, or whether people have just not given it too much thought and so fall in with the popular definition, even though it’s not serving them. Is this why on realising the money goal that people do not discover the pot of gold, happiness, at the end? Because that was never their real definition anyway. They have simply satisfied someone else’s criteria.

My definition is total freedom. It’s not always easy to achieve, and definitely provides enough of a challenge for me. I expect over my lifetime I will achieve varying degrees of success, for the moment I am enjoying feeling very successful – and that’s the thing, it’s a feeling not a number.

What’s your definition of success?

Posted in Life | 2 Comments

Amsterdam Canal District With Kids

I wasn’t 100% sure Amsterdam would be a great destination with a kid but it was cheap and 90 minutes away on a plane, and I’ll try anywhere once.

We landed, as promised, inside 90 minutes flying direct from Edinburgh. The weather was fantastic and this was our view.

Amsterdam Canal

We managed to walk everywhere in Amsterdam, we didn’t require public transport at all. This kept costs down and made it really easy to go anywhere we wanted. The first place we headed, a special request from Erin, was Anne Frank’s house. We arrived and the queue snaked back too far for us to consider standing in it in the mid day heat. I chanced my arm and went to an unmarked side door and asked if there was a better time to return, I explained I had a nine year old who simply couldn’t queue that long in the heat. Well the door attendant ushered me inside and explained I could purchase tickets for a pre-set time later on that day as I had a child. We just had to come back to the same door at the time allocated and we’d get to go straight in. The staff were super friendly and there was no extra charge! Top tip if you are a parent – go to the side door!

While we waited for our allocated time we sat beside the canal and enjoyed a bit of lunch.

Amsterdam with kids

Erin enjoying a refreshing lemonade on a VERY hot day in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam lunch

Goats cheese and walnut roll, Amsterdam style.

We returned to Anne Frank’s house after lunch, and as promised we went straight inside. No photos were allowed inside and I won’t spoil it. It’s quite a solemn experience but Erin really enjoyed the history. There is a charge for this but I seem to remember thinking it was quite reasonable.

Afterwards we visited a small cheese museum which was free.

Amsterdam Cheese

Cheese in a huge variety of flavours and colours.

Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Huge quantities of cheese at the cheese museum. Erin also enjoyed the little penny press, yet another addition to her coin collection!


The perfect canal view with gorgeous flower boxes.

Amsterdam Kids

My view for much of our trip – the back of Erin’s head as she happily snapped away.

Family Time Amsterdam

One of the two of us.

With Erin seeming to be growing up at a rapid pace, family time and trips like this are a top priority for us, and this one was close to perfect.

Amsterdam Ice Cream

You can’t go on holiday and not have ice cream, the shop we found not far from Anne Frank’s house was particularly good. That pink stuff is watermelon sorbet and it was delicious.

Amsterdam Cake Shop

The view at one of the many cake shops in Amsterdam. Macaron fans will be pleased to know that they are also well catered for!

Mercure Hotel Amsterdam

Back at our hotel, the Mercure Canal District . Our room was small but we had everything we needed.

Amsterdam Hotel

Erin had her own little area which as you can see she took full advantage of.

Family Amsterdam

That night we headed out for some food. We ended up in the touristy bit, it was ok if you want to eat quite cheaply, if you are a bit of a foodie you probably need to search a bit further afield to find somewhere that suits (we found somewhere which I’ll link to in my next post).

Family time Amsterdam

Tired but happy, a fantastic first day in Amsterdam.

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment