But at some point in our journey to the Netherlands, she said to me, "I have to let you know that I'm more interested in doing art than looking at it; I hope that doesn't disappoint you." And her gentle brown eyes peered into mine searchingly. (That talk I gave the girls on "authentic self representation" seemed to have "taken" with Tippy too.) I just smiled into the honest face I love and said, "Of course it doesn't."
I, on the other hand had enough excitement to cover the five of us if necessary. I even loved the name: "Rijks" museum. "Rijk" is a Dutch word that means "riches," and "abundance," and I could not wait to see this place of aesthetic beauty, filled with works of the Dutch Masters, displayed in a way that allowed the public to get up close. I explained to the girls that even the colours on the walls were from the palate used by the famous painter Vermeer.
So the day after we arrived in Amsterdam we set out on foot for the Museum Quarter in search of a dream about to come true.
Early birds, we arrived at the exquisite building just as it was about to open for the day.
We started in the elegant cafe, with delicious, strong, black, Dutch coffee for Paul and I, and tea and hot chocolate for the girls; with a selection of Dutch cookies that Katherine declared, "Fancy."
And then began a feast of another kind in which we were drenched in the finest Dutch art of the past 500 years or so.
On the top floor, to the rapid click, click, click, sound of an old movie projector, a film was playing. It was by film maker Andor von Barsy, and was called, "De Stadt die Nooit Rust," which means, "The City that Never Rests." It was made in Rotterdam in 1928. I sat down on one of the plain wooden benches in the room and watched the evocative and historic footage, as my eyes filled with tears. I thought about the fact that somewhere in that busy city on the day Andor von Barsy made the film, there was a little girl of two years old, named Pieternella, who would one day have a daughter named Belinda! You can watch the film by clicking here (note: it has been uploaded to You Tube in two separate clips. )
In the same room that the film was showing was a beautiful propellor plane, which I found Tippy sketching.
A curator peered over her shoulder to look, and with a nod, said approvingly, "Good."
Tori and Katherine explored the museum together, taking photographs. All of us were absorbing the riches of the Rijksmuseum in our own way.
We left at midday for lunch, but Katherine and I came back to tour the special exhibition on the history of fashion magazines.
Beneath the arches of the museum, there is a bike path. Nothing, not even a revered museum can stop the Dutch from riding their bikes!
And as well as bikers, there were buskers. We saw three of them that day, taking turns: a young violinist, a saxaphonist, and an an accordianist with a haunting and beautiful voice.
The acoustics were outstanding and all of us were captivated by the music.
When the young singer looked into a distant place in her imagination and sang, La Vie en Rose, that beautiful and haunting song, originally by Edith Piaf, the tears were back, and by now the girls were getting used to it. :)
There was much, much, more, but this is a blog and not a book. Let me just say, my heart was full when Tippy turned to me, and meaningfully said..."Thank you."