Inaugural Houseguest

We had our first houseguest visit us! Welkom, Kara. We arrived on a Tuesday, and my sister Kara landed exactly one week later. She has a hard time leaving her nephew alone for very long! Probably one of the happiest consequences I’ve encountered, Kara’s company Stryker recently opened an office for her division in Amsterdam, and she will be heavily involved in the business here. What are the chances?!

Her visit was like any other, except for the minor detail of being in an entirely different country! She brought Max some new outfits (including a sweater vest with bow tie), Penny got riled up the minute she stepped foot in the door, and she barely set Max down the entire week. That first day, she scoped out the new digs, and we walked around the neighborhood and Vondelpark. We ate dinner outside at a darling little Italian place in our neighborhood, Restaurant Sardegna, where Grayson joined us. Our waiter was wonderful as was the food, and it came with a great recommendation for wine (very important!).

Bath night!
Bath night!

Kara worked the next few days, and Grayson dropped her off at her office on his way to work each day. She had work dinners on Wednesday and Thursday. Two of her colleagues actually live in our neighborhood, and they all met for dinner around the corner at a popular restaurant called Van Dam Brasserie on Thursday. I’m pretty sure she went to a rave and a DJ concert too, but I’ll never tell.

Kara did get home late each night, and like I said, she has a hard time leaving Max alone for very long. One night, she snuck into our bedroom to look at him. When I woke up from a sleepy haze, all I saw was a strange figure standing over my baby. I was sure it was an intruder, and frantically woke Grayson so he could save us. He woke up, saw what I saw, and tensed up. Then my manly husband said, ever so politely, “Excuse me!”. Lovely. That will really save our baby from a potential kidnapper. Kara turned around in the dark, and walked out of the room. The next morning, Kara confirmed she thought Grayson was just talking in his sleep and that she sneaks into our room every night. We let her know she was about to get tackled, and we all had a good laugh.

“She is definitely just like his Mom, only cooler and way more fun.”

Kara stayed through the weekend, and we had a wonderful time. Saturday morning, we walked through Vondelpark and picked up food for the week at the neighborhood Farmer’s Market. That afternoon, we ventured into Amsterdam Centrum (the canal belt), and toured the Nine Streets, saw the Anne Frank house, the Netherlands Palace, and walked by several “coffee shops” and the Red Light District. We ate lunch at a cafe outdoors on a canal. We were so excited because there was a table open right on the canal, and we went to all the trouble of finagling the stroller back to the table. We finally got settled at the table under a tree, and a bird promptly (ahem) relieved itself on Kara’s head and her Louie scarf (hey, at least it wasn’t my baby!). Ah, the open table now makes sense! I tried so hard not to laugh, and we moved all of our stuff back to a different table. We had our favorite meal that night at Restaurant Oud Zuid back in our neighborhood.


On Sunday, we dressed up Max for Halloween as a lion (he loves lions), and he took part in his first parade in Vondelpark. He was the cutest one there. We strolled through more of the Oud Zuid neighborhood and saw some very fancy old houses. That evening, we made stew with our Farmer’s Market finds and relaxed at the house. Monday morning, Kara had to head home. In typical Kara fashion, she left in a whirlwind after waking up Max, and barely made her international flight.


Max already misses his Auntie Kara. She is definitely just like his Mom, only cooler and way more fun. I’ve always heard that saying, but in this case, it is certainly true. We can’t wait for her to come back for adventures at Christmas!


    1. Thanks for a great update on your activities. Let me know if Aunt Kara is not keeping up on her duty to spoil Max.

    1. Ha! Great recap of a wonderful trip! A rave, an intruder, bird poop….sounds like a typical Kara whirlwind. And don’t forget Max’s first parade! Such a fun time – can’t wait to come back for more adventures!!

    1. Thanks for a good laugh and smile. I’m loving this blog and your adventure.

    1. Yes, Grayson has strange sleep antics, like the time we were visiting
      in Portland and sound asleep one night when Grayson comes in in his
      boxers, goes into the closet and turns the light on, stands for about 5
      minutes and leaves. Next morning he remembers none of it. Thus
      Kara’s reaction.

      1. I can neither confirm nor deny that this event happened. #sleepwalkerproblems

    1. Suzanne – as my husband hates to travel and I now have 3 kids I am greatly enjoying living vicariously through you! Thank you for sharing; you have a beautiful family!

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