When we first stepped out of the car there was this overwhelming aroma of cocoa. There was a cocoa plant nearby and the smell of it almost made you feel warm, it was so divine.
Zaanse Schans is really just a well-preserved neighborhood on the Zaan river, that exists now primarily for tourists. It definitely has charm. It was really windy but we had a good time. The first thing we did was learn all about the wooden shoe. It was really fun to see how they were made and how once they were dried, they actually weigh very little. It's mostly moisture in wood that makes it heavy. (My kids, and even Richard, were skeptical about wooden shoes so the presentation and mini-museum were my vindication. Someone might have said "Wow. So they actually wore these.")
Needless to say, by the time we got home, cooked dinner and put everyone to bed I was exhausted.