Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Holland -- Part II

We spent most of Saturday at Keukenhoff and, wanting to avoid the dangers of too much sightseeing with small children, we decided to save Amsterdam for another trip, even though it was only 40 minutes away.  So, after getting our fill of flowers, we headed back to the hotel to relax a little.  For everyone else, that meant watching some much-missed televison (remember, we've had five months with no TV) but I decided to take a long walk and explore the small village in which we were staying, Nordwijk aan Zee.

It's a picturesque little town with cute houses like this:

And this:

Most with bicycles parked out front, of course:

There was also a cute little pond with baby ducks swimming by:

And even this darling hat shop (closed unfortunately, not that I'd know what to do with fancy hats like these):

After resting a while, we had dinner in the hotel restaurant.   Did I mention we stayed at the cutest hotel ever?  With a fantastic restaurant? It was so nice.  They had exquisite grown up food but also your basic kid food:  nuggets and fries, mac and cheese.  Kate ordered a kids' meal but then ate most of my dinner, even the "salad" I unwittingly ordered.  The waiter described it as couscous with beef, but it turned out to be a layer of beef tartare on a bed of couscous, surrounded by chunks of raw salmon.  Not much of a raw meat eater, I was having my doubts.  But then Kate started devouring it and I thought I better try it before she inhaled the whole thing.  It was delicious, just not what I expected.  Kate definitely does not have your typical three-year-old palate!

The next morning we got up and headed right out to the car.  After our hellish journey there (the four-hour-trip somehow took us seven, thanks to horrible traffic through Brussels and Antwerp.  And we got lost once or twice.  Or three or four times.  Yes, we will be getting that GPS very, very soon), we decided on a leisurely trip home, punctuated by interesting stops that would allow us to get out of the car, stretch our legs, and break up the long trip somewhat.

First on the agenda:  Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting not one, not two, not even three, but NINETEEN windmills!  All in one place!  How convenient.  When I heard about it, I thought why drive all over Holland to see a random windmill or two when we could go right to Windmill Central?  So to speak.  And, fortunately, it was just a small detour from the route home.  Armed with detailed directions and maps from Google, we set off and found it without difficulty.  It was fantastic:

So the kids don't look too thrilled.  Could've been because it was cold and windy -- or maybe because the path was absolutely covered in goose poop -- or maybe they feared Mom was about to ask them to walk to each windmill and pose for more pictures (I really wasn't!)

But they cheered up when I offered them stickers to look happy in the picture.

Ah, much better.  Bribery.  It works every time.

Next on our agenda, the Tin Tin Museum just outside of Brussels.  If you know Will, you know how much he loves Tin Tin, and you might remember that this museum was the only thing that got him excited to move to Luxembourg.  It also was conveniently on our way home, so it seemed like a good idea.

I don't think Will was disappointed:

Most of the biographic info about the author, HergĂ©, wasn't of much interest but he loved looking at the book excerpts and drawings.  This room was particularly exciting:

On the walls were posted all the Tin Tin books in various languages.  Look at that expression! Once again, a boy who knows he's in the presence of greatness.

Kate and I didn't find the museum all that fascinating, but for any Tin Tin fans, it's a must-see.

And that was it.  This trip was probably my favorite since we got here and I know we'll be heading back next spring!

No comments:

Post a Comment