My most mortifying moment as a parent happened in Amsterdam. My husband and I were there with our then-eight-year-old daughter and toddler son, having a lovely time strolling beside the canals and visiting the Anne Frank house and eating stroopwafels.
And then we blindly turned a corner and found ourselves in front of a shop window displaying a live in-progress sex show.
Whoa! If I could have run directly from there to the airport I would have, but even more nightmarishly, we were lost in a maze of in-your-face, XXX-rated action. Not only did my kids get an education they weren't prepared for, but so did my husband and I.
Amsterdam is a small, easy-to-navigate city that can be perfect for a European adventure for a young family. But, as evidenced by my experience, a family trip to Holland's largest city bears advance research and planning to make the most of its G-rated pleasures and avoid the city's seamier side.