Easter in the Netherlands

Can you believe it?  I’m writing a blog post about not being in Northern Ireland.  This is not because I’ve had enough of this beautiful wee island.  Rather, it is a celebration of the fact that, now we do actually live here, school holidays no longer need to be spent travelling here to go house/school hunting.  Happy days!

It’s handy living near the airport, that’s for sure.  We took the first flight to Amsterdam last Thursday and were with my parents in time for lunch.  And it was warm and sunny, hurrah!

Hmmm.  What to do on Easter weekend in the Netherlands?  Tulips!  Of course.  We visited the wonder that is the Keukenhof.  I do not have the words to do it justice, so here’s a load of photos instead.

Orchids

Luke and I were fascinated by this funny purple and green orchid which looks like a little face.

Can you see it too?

With the culture out of the way (!), we spent Saturday at DinoLand.  It was a bit of a trek (serious dedication on the part of the grandparents, not only coming with us but doing the driving all the way there and back!) and was, without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend for the boys*.

Once again, I just don’t have adequate words (!!), so here are the pics.

We celebrated Easter Sunday at the English Reformed Church in Begijnhof, Amsterdam.  The congregation joined the choir in singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.  Superb!

You’ll be unsurprised to hear that there was delicious food on the go most of the weekend.  We visited a Stroopwafel shop, much to the delight of the boys – and they were quick to point out every one of the many cheese shops we passed!  Mum made a fantastic Simnel Cake for our visit.  There wasn’t a lot left by today – I got through more of it than I realised while we were watching Line of Duty…

A change is as good as a rest, they say**.

It’s true.  We left here exhausted; had a series of early mornings, busy days, sunshine, food and chat; and are home refreshed for the new term.  It reinforces the importance of taking proper time off – not always easy to do when one’s office is in the house.

It was lovely to return to find our own tulips had survived a few days of neglect – they’re a welcome reminder of our trip.  Oh, and whilst writing this I’ve enjoyed a spectacular salted caramel Stroopwafel from that shop.  Amazing.

*That, and the water pistol fight with the welcoming family next door…!
**W
ho says that?!

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