Mom and Dad Visit the Netherlands!

Hot on the heels of our trips to London, Berlin and having Urs and the Anastasia’s visit, my parents arrived.  They landed on the morning of Liam’s 10th birthday and would stay through til the day after Aidan turned 13.  I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift for the kids than to have their family here (as Josh’s parents arrived immediately after my parents, the celebrations continued for their birthdays for yet another week – more on that later).  

My parents aren’t big travelers.  Actually, scratch that… my dad enjoys travel, my mom, not so much.  She likes to be in her comfort zone.  That’s not a criticism – just the way that it is.  It’s hard to convince her to get on a plane and fly 4000 miles to a new country.  Heck, it’s hard to get her on the highway down the street from her.  So you can imagine the push – pull we had for a good long time before I wore her down 😉  It was only when I found the most amazing flight deals with a direct flight, coincidentally coinciding with both kids’ birthdays, during the peak flower season that I was able to convince her to get on that plane and come visit.

I will admit, I was nervous about how the flight would go.  When they came to visit us in Barcelona, my dad was having issues with his knee and his health.  My mom got off the plane with a massive smile on her face.  So the kids and I were taking bets on what this flight would be like.  I was happy to say both of my parents got off the flight happy and ready to rock and roll.  Ok, they were exhausted so maybe not so much rocking and rolling, but they were happy to be here and excited for the visit.

It’s been so long since they visited, that I don’t remember every aspect of it, but each day we set off on a fun adventure.  I had some quality time with each of my parents.  We walked around Naarden Vesting which is one of my favorite places around here and my dad was fascinated with the star shaped fort and all of it’s history.  I should mention that my dad is a huge history buff so coming to a country with so much of it was a lot of fun for him.  He and I also made a trip to Arnhem where there were several battle sites from WWII, including the John Frost Bridge of “A Bridge too Far” fame.

But it wasn’t all about history.  We did a boat tour in Amsterdam on a smaller boat that could take us to all the harder to reach canals.  We spent time in the village of Giethoorn and rented a small boat to take us around the picturesque canals.  And we went to Keukenhof, of course, since it was tulip season.

More important than all the tourist spots that we hit during their visit, was the chance to spend time with my parents.  When we go home to visit, we are always pulled in 5000 different directions and I feel like our families tend to get the shaft.  It was nice to have some focused time with just them.  I think it’s also important for them to see we live in a safe place and are happy with our lives here.  I certainly hope this won’t be the last time they come to visit… I should start looking at flights!

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Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

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