Sunday, March 2, 2008

The daughter cometh

My 18-year old daughter arrives for twelve days on April 2.

This is really great: in the years that I've lived out of the country, no-one of my family tagged along nor visited.  Nothing malevolent about it: I'm back to Seattle every quarter, the kids are older teens DSC03241with school and work and their own agendas, and Europe seems a loooong way away from Seattle (beyond New York, even).  But, now, she and a friend have decided to take time at April break for Grand Tour.

How best to spend your first twelve days in Europe (without Dad getting in the way too much)?

"I want to do Amsterdam!"  she says.  I'm still thinking that one through; I know what she's thinking!  So, the Van Gogh is probably required, and they'll enjoy the city center and canals (boat?) -- then Jamie Oliver has opened '15' here (or a rice table?).  Should I worry to keep them out of the red light district (fat chance).

They asked about tulips, and it's a good time of year for the Keukenhof and the fields near Leiden.  My birthday falls in there too: they can come along to the office, share treats, meet colleagues, sing The Song.

Or just turn them loose locally: wander Arnhem and get to know the local neighborhood experiences, navigate the stores, and see how people actually live here.

Beyond...

A weekend in Paris would be fun for them: Eiffel Tower, a bit of good food, skip the Louve, let them shop?  Take the train or the  4-hour drive: if I drive, then swing down through Belgium (how exciting is Brugge beyond chocolate) and back around Luxembourg (got to get out the maps...they wanted to see a castle...).

DSC03240 And / or I suppose a trip to London isn't impossible: cheap Ryanair from Einthoven or the Chunnel: day in the city, stay over in Cambridge at night (parties at that colleges on the weekend).

Okay, lots of possibilities for a first trip to Europe.

In general, I want them to have the 'experience', to come away with some insight and some positive feelings.  I'd want a mix of the everyday experiences and the grand 'must-see' things in about equal proportions, with ample time for wandering and discovery.  My job is to supply venues and advice, not to be tour guide.

Suggestions, Please...?

Oh, and keep my daughter out of temptation and trouble!

1 comment:

TextualHealing said...

I can hear you are excited already
Most teens and twenties who come to the NL are going to want to do some blow and Daddy's not 'going to get in the way of that! It's partly just the atraction of doing somethig legally that you can't do at home. What to do? Police her? Turn a blind eye? Or offer some careful advice? If the later just warn her that the weed is here is much stronger than at home and to be careful. And absolutely not think about stocking up for the rest of the trip to France and Belgium!! (Or just discretely leave a few tourist magazines around the house that carry that message). But this is advice from someone without kids who doesn't have a strong moral position on thes things.

I would recomend Utrceht as being as pretty as Amsterdam without the tourists, hustlers and red light district.