The International Leg Tour

Just a few days after Urs’s visit in April, the Anastasia family, friends of ours from our old neighborhood arrived for a quick 36 hour visit.  They were in London for a family trip and the vacation was unexpectedly extended so they made a quick decision to come to the Netherlands for a visit.  We didn’t tell the kids…

We didn’t tell them because their girls are two of Aidan and Liam’s closest friends from home.  Especially for Aidan.  Aidan and Lindsey have always stayed in touch and even when they’ve gone through the “I’m too shy to actually have a conversation with you until the moment I have to get on a plane despite the fact that we text and email regularly” phase for a few years, they’ve always stayed close.

We had a baseball game that day (surprise!) and Josh and I arranged to get a rental car so that I could head into Amsterdam to pick up our friends.  We showed up at our house and had the girls ring the bell.  Josh had the boys answer the door and the looks on their faces were priceless.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to actually capture that reaction.  Like with any visit with this group of friends, we all picked right back up where we left off and it was nice to see Aidan and Lindsey have finally made it past their shy phase.

It’s amazing the stuff you can cover in just 36 hours.  We spent a few hours walking around Naarden, took some time wandering around Amsterdam and still had time to go to Keukenhof to see the tulips.

But like our visit with Urs, the best part was getting to have some quality time with our friends and bonus, for the kids to also have time with friends from home (I’m pretty sure this is only the second time kids from home have been to visit).  Thanks for visiting Anastasias!!!

Oh and in case you were wondering why it’s called the International Leg Tour – it is all about Rich wearing shorts no matter the time of year.  And during their trip, there are several shots of him posing similar to he and Josh above with the “leg” on display!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

Aidan Turns 12 in the Netherlands

I’m still working on finishing up our Portugal entries, but in the meantime, we’ve had another birthday in our house.  This time for Aidan!  It’s hard to believe this kid is now 12!! That’s now 7 birthdays celebrated abroad. Like with Liam, I’m blown away by that number.  Not to mention the fact that my baby is now 12!! Continue reading

“This” Kid Is 9!!

While I still have a lot of posts from our trip to Portugal, this one has to take priority.  I’m always astonished at how fast my kids are growing.  But the reality often hits me when they have birthdays.  However, not for the reason you think.  Sure they are another year older, but it’s also representative of another year that they’ve been away from the US. And I’m blown away by the fact that Liam was just over 2 1/2 when we left the US for Barcelona almost 6 1/2 years ago and now, here he is, living in yet another country and is now 9!!   Continue reading

Venice… with kids

In a month filled with travel, our first stop is Venice, Italy.  Most people don’t usually think of the romantic city of Venice as a place to take their kids, especially without the most important piece of the puzzle… your husband!  But this week, I did just that.  The kids had this week off for their spring break and as Josh and I have already been to this beautiful city on our own, I thought it was a good chance to take the kids since he couldn’t take the time off.   Continue reading

My Calendar is Full

I’ve been a bit radio silent lately.  It’s been for a number of reasons, but the biggest one … I just haven’t had the time.  It’s a shame because through this blog, I’ve realized just how much I enjoy writing.  It’s cathartic to me and something that has become more than a hobby.  Alas, these days, my calendar has been full and there just hasn’t been enough time to do everything I want to do and some things have had to fall by the wayside.  One of them has been my writing. Continue reading

Being 8 is Great! Happy Birthday to Liam!

I think it’s kind of crazy that Liam has had way more birthdays abroad than he had in the US.  Actually he’s had twice as many birthdays abroad than he had at home!  We moved to Spain when he was 2 1/2 and now we are celebrating his 8th birthday here in the Netherlands!

Seven was a challenging year for Liam with our move to the Netherlands, leaving Barcelona behind and making new friends and going to a new school. But he has rocked it.  He has shown he’s made of tough Continue reading

Another Perspective of Keukenhof

As you know, I went to Keukenhof last week with my friend Brenda.  But as it is tulip season and we had more visitors this week, there was no getting around seeing it yet again.  However, don’t get me wrong – I wanted to see it again.  This is not a painstaking kind of thing for me.  Tulips are my favorite flower and while there are certainly other flowers on display at Keukenhof, the vast majority are tulips.  Not to mention that Keukenhof is a lovely place to just take a nice leisurely walk with friends while enjoying the sights and smells of 7 million flowers in bloom. So it was no skin off my back to go see them again with our friends, the Giddys. Continue reading