I spent the summer of 1999 visiting The department of Econometrics, The VU. During July and August the whole family was here. We then returned home, and I came back to Holland for the month of September. We lived (and later I lived) in the Hospitium, Laan Van Kronenberg 9, Amstelveen (bordering with Amsterdam on the south). We biked a lot, travelled in Holland on weekends, took a trip to Germany (a conference in the University of Ulm, Schwartzwald) and Belgium (Brussells), and generally had great fun. Here is some information we collected during that summer.
Information in English about Holland:
There's the Netherlads Menu containing a large collection of links
Currect weather (not always reliable: weather here changes fast!) - CNN
Trains in Holland
Bicycle routes (great site!)
Maps: in Holland (actually in Benelux: Holland, Belgium, Luxenburg) this site will give you a map with complete driving instructions, distances, times etc. from door to door, that is from starting street address to the target street address. Within Europe, it will also provide such information from city to city.
Holland with kids: a random collection.
Holland is a great place for kids. There are bicycle routes everywhere, people treat bicycle with great respect and give riders priority. You can safely ride with your kids even in the center of busy cities (we did, in Amsterdam, with kids 8, 13 and 16!). Best of all, there are many parks where your kids can practice and have fun.
We strongly recomment the Amsterdam Boss (south Amsterdam, west of Amstelveen) for a great place to ride, explore and picnic. There are small pools for young kids, small petting zoos, and other fun stuff.
Try the Mirandabar swimming pool, for all ages.
There is a hidden park for kids in the south corner of route A10 and the Amstel river.
There is a (free) small pool for kids in Beatrix park.
Try the ride along the Amstel river, especially on the east side.
If you like beer, try Gollem, at Raamsteg (between Spuistraat and Singel). They have a huge collection of beers.
Strange but important: the telephone directories in Amsterdam (and in Holland?) are ordrerd by last name, and within the last names by address! (not by first name). So, if you don't know the address and you are looking for a common name, well, good luck. Also, peoples initials (which is all that is listed in the directory) often have nothing to do with the name you know (its like a nickname, but more official).