Sunday, July 29, 2018

Holiday update... Oh, and 100 of 10 of course (Day 6 - Gull)

We are really getting into the holiday groove here. 

It always takes us a few days, and then of course it's been so hot for the past few days, and that resulted in a whole lot of lethargy and inactivity. For the past two days we were pretty much holed up at home during the day and only ventured out in the morning and the evening hours. 37 degrees is just a little too much to do much, and even going to the beach at mid-day seemed out of the question when temperatures were this high. 

As a result I've felt a bit cooped up, and I also had the usual pangs of guilt over the boys' screen time, but it was so hot that I couldn't really ask them to go do anything else when all I was able to do was sit somewhere with a cold drink and read a few blog posts here and there. Boy #1, still struggling with ME, suffered particularly. He normally really enjoys drawing and it's his main low-energy activity besides his tablet, but with the heat he's just felt too tired and drained to do much other than watch YouTube videos. Not fantastic, and my parenting-guilt was at an all-time high, but sometimes you just have to live, you know? 

Despite the heat we've had a good time so far. I've got a lot further with my sun hat - just need to add a couple more rows and then need to get some hat wire to finish it.

 There have also been numerous beach trips with the boys in the mornings and evenings, either all together, or at times just in small groups with those interested and willing to get out, lots of ice cream at the lovely Italian ice cream cafe down at the beach promenade, even little trips to the supermarket have been made more enjoyable than the usual grocery shopping by the adventure of finding new and intriguing food stuffs. 

A few days ago I brought home a promising-looking tub labelled (to me at least) totally incomprehensibly with: "De Zeeuwsche Boerin" - De Beroemde Zeeuwse Keukenstroop. It's a pretty-looking tub, quite old-fashioned. It was in the same shelf with all the chocolate sprinkles and the jam and honey, so I knew it probably wasn't cod-liver oil or liver pate, or worse, some kind of household cleaner, but other than that I had no idea! We had an old family friend who lives in the Netherlands visiting that day, so I presented the tub to him and asked him if he could identify its contents. He explained that it's a syrup made from apples, which is traditionally produced in the Zeeland region further to the south. I've been eating the stuff on my bread rolls every morning since, it's lovely!! 

Grandma watched the kids for us one afternoon and despite the heat D and I cycled to the next village, Noordwijkerhoud, to visit the bike shop there because we had seen that they had old ex-rental bikes for sale. It's a cute little place and we stopped for some iced tea at the market square.

The bike shop visit was successful too - I'm now the proud owner of my own Holland bike - meet Paula, my new ride! 

I've also done a bit of exploring. You might have seen my previous 100 of 10 photography post, but I think I've found Noordwijk's haunted mansion, or rather, haunted hotel. It's all boarded up and it looks very mysterious - it sits in a row of immaculate and quite posh properties right by the beach and it's clearly been empty for a long time. I wonder what happened and why nobody has bought it? It was a good photo opportunity anyway.

Last night the heatwave finally broke with a storm and in the early hours of the morning we had thunder and lightning and a lot of rain. By noon today the skies cleared again, but it's remained in the low twenties and it's been as windy as you'd expect it to be at the North Sea coast. We took the opportunity to head out on our bikes for a bit, as a family. This coast line is so beautiful - endless wide beaches, dunes, and I'm so in love with all the bicycle paths everywhere. I really love that we can head out with the kids and don't have to be terrified to go on a road with them, and the pace of life that comes with cycling everywhere is so much nicer than all that racing around in the car that we normally have. 

After a picnic lunch at a beach on the way D headed back with boy #1 and boy #2, who were both tired, and I continued on for a while with boy #3, who is always ready to do a bit more or go a bit further. 

Seriously, that boy has so much energy - even during the really hot last few days, when we were all just lying around, he was playing football in the baking-hot courtyard and asking to play Frisbee!! 

We are planning a trip to a local mountain bike park tomorrow, and next week we are hoping to make it to Amsterdam and Le Hague for a few day trips. I can't wait! 

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  1. Your trip sounds so wonderful. Too bad about the little heat wave. Hopefully it will stay pleasant for the rest of your stay. Your photos are fantastic and I have enjoyed seeing them. The spread for the bread sounds scrumptious. Good find. and Paula is a right smart looking bike.

  2. Sorry that the heat took the wind out of your sails for a bit, but glad to hear that the heat broke! Lovely photos. My Mom was an Appel-stroop Addict! My husband too!

    How did you like being surrounded by cheese? I attended a cheese market but the smell was too much for me. I felt like my arteries were closing

    Great bike!

  3. Wonderful photos! We're not taking a holiday this year so I hope you don't mind if I go on yours in my imagination. The photos of the haunted hotel are amazing and it's nice to meet Paula.

  4. Love the photos from your trip and it sounds that despite the heat you are all having a wonderful time. Love the new bike addition.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful family trip away. So nice to meet Paula is she coming home with you? Lots of wonderful memories to treasure.

  6. What an awesome trip! I love that you share it with us and especially the pics! I love the old would be fun to fix it up and make it useful again or for a home right on the beach! Enjoy your trip!

  7. Even with the heat, the pictures show a beautiful place to vacation. It sounds so wonderful. Enjoy the time and makes lots of memories! Paula looks like a very sturdy bike. I, too, am curious if you plan to take her home with you?

  8. I hear you on the heat, all I wanted to do last week was sit on the sofa and read, or better even, sit in the fridge and read (which wouldn't work because of the light going out when door closes issue). I think I just fell in love with Paula, what a beauty!

  9. What a wonderful holiday you are having? Hope the weather is kind for the remainder. Love Paula.

  10. I've been to Noordwijk several times on holiday as a teenager. Your post has brought back some lovely memories for me.

  11. Paula is lovely - congratulations - and the haunted hotel pictures are wonderful - I am sure there are lots of stories in those old walls.