Visitors, the North Sea and (a few) Tulips


Visitors!  We had visitors from America!  Nana and John came to see us and our new house and our chilly spring.  Unfortunately, a good portion of the time they were here was spent in our house due to the rain, but, hey, this IS Belgium.

We did manage to get out a bit, though.  We had to show off Mons, of course.

Grande Place, Mons

Check it out!  The tables are out at the Grande Place.  Spring!

We also gave tours of:  The kid’s schools, the base, the Admiral’s office,  St. Waltrude’s Collegiate Church, Havre Castle, the Belfry grounds, Waterloo, Holland (including Haarlem, the Keukenhof Gardens, Gouda (the town, not the cheese), and the North Sea), Lens in France, though not the Lens Louvre, and the Van Gogh House….. Whew!

We spent the weekend in Holland….

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Holland really is full of bikes.  They come at you from every direction.

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Sampling the local waffles.  Like two super thin, crunchy waffles filled with melty brown sugar.

Haarlem Canal

Oh, and canals.

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We were in Holland specifically to see the tulip fields.  Unfortunately, the winter has been so cold, as you know, that the fields were a little behind in the blooming.  What should have been stripes of color were still stripes of green.  Crocuses and daffodils helped a bit.



We drove to Gouda to have dinner that night.  That wasn’t the plan, but the town we were staying in turned out to be a bit weird.  Evidently, most of the towns within 20 miles of Amsterdam are commuter towns.  The only thing in them is thousands of apartments.  Tens of thousands.  Everyone who lives there spends most of their time in Amsterdam.  Coming home only to sleep, apparantly.  We couldn’t find one restaurant.  Gouda, however, was very pretty.  And all the waiters spoke perfect English.  Actually, nearly everyone in Holland did.


Town Hall

Strange commuter towns and no tulips?  Who cares!  I’m going to the beach!

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It wasn’t what we Virginians would consider beach weather, but, whatever!  We had our toes in the sand.  We picked up shells.  We took pictures like tourists who had never seen the ocean (well, sea).  We came home with sand in our shoes.  Ahhhh…


One more thing happened last week… I turned 41.  And the sun came out.  A birthday miracle!

sunny birthday in Belgium

I like the sun.

All in all, a pretty nice way to spend two weeks.

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3 thoughts on “Visitors, the North Sea and (a few) Tulips

  1. You put your visitors in the past tense so I guess they are on their way home.  Hope they get good connections.  I love the pictures of you and your children with the yellow tulips and the one of Ben with the children with the orange tulips.  I am going to forward your blog to Ellen because every time she sees me she gives me orange tulips.  I had a nice note from Lucie.  Will you tell her that i got it?  I wonder what is going on in N Korea.  I haven’t seen or heard anything about them for a week.  Everything is about the marathon bombing.  Hope you are all happy in Belgium.   Gran

  2. Ellen:  I get one of these about once a week.  As you can see Joan and John are there (or were I think they are on their home).  Thought you might be interested in the picture of Ben with Lucie and Eliot.  They are so close to all these countrys.  Just wondering what is going on in N. Korea.  Haven’t seen or heard a word  about it since the marathon bombing.  Joan said it was all over the news in Belgium.  I am never sure if the things I send get to where I send them so I hope you get this.   Becky

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