Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Dutch Turns Seven

For Dutch's seventh birthday, he told me he wanted a sleepover. So, we let him invite a few of his closest friends over for pizza and video games. First up, though, he got to see his happy birthday message on the electronic sign in front of the school.

I ordered him a Mario Kart cake and they spelled his name wrong. They left out the 'C' so I had to carefully move the 'H' over and make my own out of white frosting and red food coloring I luckily had on hand. Crisis averted.

The boys had a ridiculously good time and provided us some laughs with their antics. Our favorite moment of the night was probably this:

I know Dutch enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I'd do it again as it was pretty exhausting to manage this many boys, especially around bedtime!

As I've done in prior years, here are some of my favorite quotes from Dutch over the past year:

- "I'm gonna be honest with me. I'm not doing very good."
- "I have a hard life every day."
- "Can't we just buy it from amazon?"
- "Dad, do you think one country like Africa or Florida has run out of gasoline yet because they used all the gas from the dinosaurs?"
- "Have fun doing your mom things."
- "That was one mom with four kids. How does she even handle that?"
- "Is it gonna get more hype than this?"
- "At least he knows how to use a blinker."
- "Can I use the Tesla to see if I can drive?"
- "What does it feel like to not exist?"
- "This is how a noob does it."

Dutch Goes to Europe - Day 6

Alas, our vacation in Europe was coming to an end. We had to fit in as much time with Kim and Fabian as we could, so we headed to Koln and spent the last day with them. We started at the Koln cathedral and even though I've been there before, it was still worth another visit.

We also checked out the famous 4711 eau de cologne store (with perfume fountain) and the schokoladenmusem (chocolate museum). You can guess which one Dutch liked better! They handed out free samples of chocolate and I'm pretty sure Kim grabbed a couple extra.

We finished the night with dinner and Dutch Blitz back at Kim & Fabi's apartment and tried to delay the inevitable!

We snapped a few more pics so we'd never forget the fun adventure we had with some of our best friends!

We drove back to Frankfurt and then departed for the USA the next morning. I feel really lucky to have been able to experience this with my son, sister, and niece. I hope to get back to Europe again later this year or next. If you get the chance to travel, especially internationally, do it!

My little jet setter

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dutch Goes to Europe - Day 5

Before we departed the Netherlands to head back to Germany, we made a stop at the beach in The Hague. It was quite cold, but it's never a bad day when you can collect seashells on the beach.

The next activity we went to was truly breathtaking for me. It was like giddy schoolgirl pee your pants caliber excitement. I've seen a professional soccer game between 2 countries before, but to actually watch the Netherlands versus Germany, in Germany, was beyond. The fans are so dedicated and there's just an energy in the air that is addictive. Dutch has really started liking soccer over the past year, so to be able to take him to this as his first professional game was really neat! Also, Kim is half Dutch/half German, so she found a way to support both teams! The game was intense and Holland made a crazy comeback in the end. What a night!

Still one fun day left before we had to head back to the US!

Dutch Goes to Europe - Day 4

Day 4 started with a drive from Heerlen to Rotterdam. We did a little shopping and eating, and of course had to try some yummy treats.

We continued on to The Hague and checked out Madurodam, which we discovered was an amazing place for photo ops! We were especially lucky to be there around sunset. Madurodam is a miniature park with scale model replicas of Dutch landmarks. It's truly a fascinating attraction and I think we all enjoyed the visit. These are definitely some of my favorite photos from the whole trip!

We finished the day with dinner near the beach in The Hague. Since it was vacation, Dutch got another yummy treat!

Day 4 was pretty great, but Day 5 was what I had been especially looking forward to for months!!

Dutch Goes to Europe - Day 3

It's literally taking me months to write all these posts because life is insane lately! But, I definitely want to get all the details recorded so we always have these memories to look back on.

We started Day 3 by visiting Hoensbroek Castle, which is one of the largest castles in the Netherlands. We climbed down into the tiny, windowless dungeon and then ascended some questionably sturdy steps to get to a lookout tower. It's always interesting to set foot in buildings that are hundreds and hundreds of years old, because we just don't find those in my neck of the woods!

After the castle, we drove to Geleen, where Kim's aunt Renee lives. Renee has completely welcomed us into her family and she feels like my own Dutch aunt! She prepared a wonderful lunch for us and we enjoyed spending time with her and her husband Huub. I hope they'll come visit us in Texas soon!

The last activity for the day was a trip to Clip 'n Climb in Sittard. The kids had a blast there! There were so many different awesome climbing walls and obstacles. I should've paid to participate too!

We finished up the day with dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Sittard and then retired to our hotel in Heerlen. More cities in the Netherlands on tap for Day 4, so we had to get some rest!