This is a trip that had been planned for a while. I looked forward to visiting the place where we are moving next, Delft, the Netherlands. So much about Europe enchants me and I was looking forward to old buildings, canals and beauty. We started off the flight on the right foot. They upgraded ALL of us to business class, WHAT?? Who puts kids in business class? We were loving it. The real china came out and I had to admit business class with children left me a bit more anxious. Ahhh, don't break the plates, the china! So many breakables! As we arrived in Mumbai I can say that the last leg of this trip was the first airplane trip that was a struggle. We had some stomach issues when we arrived in Mumbai (which we think was from something we ate in Nepal) and we were just wanting to land in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, we had some throwing up on the plane and needless to say we were all very glad to arrive in the Netherlands.
We stayed at a campsite in Delft, Netherlands. Camping is the way to go in Europe. It is usually much less expensive than anything else and it is so accessible and is much nicer than the campsites we are accustomed to in the US. They not only have camping but also have cabins on the property. We stayed in a 3 bedroom chalet home with a playground, small store and petting zoo close by. It was about 15 min walking distance to the center of town and very easy to find. The Dutch are known for their bikes, it is the way most people get around. So, we joined in their mode of transportation and by the 3rd day we all had bikes to get around town with. Biking there is amazing. The town is laid out for people to bike, so we were able to go so many places quickly. Also, the Dutch bike parking game is strong. See the third picture below for awesome bike parking.
While we were in Delft, Jeff had to visit his University every day and work, have meetings, write and work some more. Though this was more of a work trip for him, we made it a bit more of a vacation for us. While he was working we continued to homeschool, but I took advantage of being in the Netherlands. After some morning reading and math we would venture out. We visited a windmill, saw how an Archimedes screw worked and how they used it to push back the sea. We visited the Vermeer museum and learned about the golden era of the Netherlands. We visited the Princehof museum and learned about William of Orange, the first monarch and some of the history of the Netherlands. We went on a walk in the woods and learned how to use a compass. We visited one of the old city gates and Josiah loved seeing the spaces cut out where the archers would defend the city. We visited a petting zoo and saw baby pigs. We climbed to the top of a 600 year old church where all the monarchs are buried. We read a book together that takes place in the Netherlands and we were dangerously close to IKEA so we may have visited there a bunch for some soft serve ice cream. But obviously this had nothing to do with school. I think it was a very profitable time for the kids and I know I really enjoyed all the things we were able to see.
Netherlands, we had a great time. We love your cheese, your yogurt, your flowers, canals and old buildings. We loved your open spaces and charming ways. Your smells of bread and variety of chocolates keep us coming back for more. We look forward to spending more time with you in the future. Your weather will keep us guessing, but we are thankful for the time we had with you. Until next time, the Davids