Our second day in Europe started with breakfast at our hotel, which Dutch was a big fan of because he could "make" his own pancakes. He promptly informed me that we needed to buy one of these machines for our house.
After breakfast, we met up with Kim and Fabian and departed for the Netherlands, planning to make a couple stops along the way. First up was Tagebau Hambach, which is the deepest open-pit mine. It's a controversial endeavor, because the site where the coal mining is happening is on the ancient Hambach Forest. Protesters have erected their own communities inside what's left of the forest, to try and prevent further expansion by the mining company. Quite an impressive sight, but since it's a depressing topic and a little heavy to discuss with the kids, we decided to lighten the mood by playing on the nearby playground instead!
Next up was a visit to the Lindt Factory Store in Aachen, Germany. I wouldn't call myself a huge chocolate lover, but you still have to go, just to take it all in! It's crazy to see so much chocolate in one place. The prices are really good too, so this was definitely a chance for us to stock up on some gifts for loved ones.
After the Lindt store, we stopped for dinner and Dutch and Kim got to do some more bonding!
Our final stop for the night was Hotel Heerlen in Heerlen, Netherlands. It's a beautiful hotel on a large estate. We knew there was lots of really fun stuff in store for us the following day, so we called it a night!