I want to give Amsterdam, the fantastic museums, and my quest for bunnies their full due. And I'll most definitely be waxing poetic about Van Gogh. But I'll start you off with my Friday: library, tutorial, (working on the) train to Brussels, and a quick stop in a (research-related) church. I would call that the 'work half' (vs. the 'fun half') but I actually enjoyed the frenetic, peripatetic productivity. Call me crazy. I also managed to make it to the Sultan's World exhibition, relax in a sidewalk cafe, and take an evening walk through the gardens of Laeken Palace, which are only open to the public a few weeks each year. There, as luck would have it, I happened to meet my father in the ticket line - lucky because my phone service had cut out just before we confirmed our meeting place. Once again, dad's immovable work schedule met the unstoppable force of our travel interests.
The Sultan's World show had a massive array of objects, and some great insight into East-West interactions in the Renaissance. It was understandably centered on Italy, as they had the most direct interaction with the Ottoman Empire, but happily included some Northern objects as well. I didn't have overmuch time there before it closed, but I did get a nice overview of early modern exploration and exchange. Happily, I had the place almost to myself - along with the security guards trailing after me, waiting out the clock.
The Laeken gardens were lovely, particularly in the evening and with the gorgeous weather that day. I'm so glad they make them available, and that we happened to be there at the right time. I thought they were mildly crowded as we filed along the path - but that was until I saw the masses at Keukenhof the next day.