Saturday, September 22, 2018

Amsterdam! Part I!

An opportunity to visit Amsterdam with my son popped up this past summer, and I leaped at it! The chance to go on an adventure with my son to a brand-new (to us) place? I couldn't afford to miss it! A part of me still hardly believes we went because going to the Netherlands is something I never thought I'd get to do.

I shouldn't be surprised, though. Know why? The first two reports I ever wrote, wa-a-ay back in elementary school, were on:

1. squirrels
2. Amsterdam

I had seen squirrels (as my long-time blog friends know). It was high time I saw Amsterdam!



But while I'd written a report when I was about seven (that I'm sure was quite riveting), I wanted to learn more about Amsterdam (or Amsterdarn, for those of you who are goody two shoes).

So I bought a book.

Russell Shorto's Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City is an excellent book! I highly recommend it, whether you're going to visit Amsterdam, have gone already, or would just like to learn about an incredible place with a history of tolerance, radicalism, and a lot of water. It's both entertaining and fascinating. I started reading it on my trip, and it made my experiences there richer. While I'd previously learned snippets of facts, like about the Dutch in New York and John Adams in the Netherlands, I had no idea that so many United States places and institutions (for example, the stock market) had roots in Amsterdam.

Shorto is a talented storyteller. I love this book so much that I've been recommending it to family and friends, and I even bought a second copy to give as a gift.

Another book choice I made because of our trip: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

I read it when I was a kid, probably close to the age Anne Frank was when she started her journal, but I'm rereading it. After seeing where she and her family hid during World War II, I want to reread her thoughts and experiences. It's so tragic, so haunting, and so heartbreaking. It's something that must never be forgotten. Not ever.

I'll end here for now. Next time I'll post more of the photos my son and I took on our trip!

Have you been to Amsterdam? What nonfiction books have you read because of places you've traveled or would like to visit?


Jemi Fraser said...

what a fascinating trip to experience!! I have multiple Anne Frank books in my classroom and the kids are always intrigued

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Jemi! It's great that you have so many copies available to your students. It's such an important book.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Cherie Reich said...

Wow! That's awesome you got to visit Amsterdam. I've always wanted to go there.

Arlee Bird said...

How fortunate you were to be able to make that journey. I've never been to Europe at all much less Amsterdam. I'd like to go, but it's unlikely that I ever will unless someone pays my way and I have a distinct purpose in going beyond just going to see it.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Dawn Simon said...

Cherie and Arlee, I feel so fortunate that I was able to go. I hope you are each able to go there someday soon! :)

DMS said...

What a wonderful opportunity for you and your son. I have never been to Amsterdam- but I would love to visit.

I have read The Diary of Anne Frank twice. Once growing up and once a few years ago. Can't wait to hear more about your trip. :)

Dawn Simon said...

Thanks, Jess! The trip was so much fun, especially seeing everything with my son. I loved it!