Rotterdam Girls Trip

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Flora and I had an amazing girls trip weekend to Rotterdam last week! What a modern and trendy place. I couldn’t believe how much there was to see and do. We had one night away from the boys (and Grandma) and two full days of good times!

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Flora posing at a Rotterdam icon

In no particular order, here are our highlights and memories.

Flora’s Faves:

The water taxi! By far the greatest part of this weekend was shooting around Rotterdam by water taxi. I will never forget the “taxi” driver and passenger laughing at how loud Flora and I were laughing. We were completely surprised by how fast the boat broke away from the harbor after crossing under the Erasmus bridge. It was hilarious.

 

Euromast. Checking out the views of the city on top of the Euromast and getting a better idea of how massive this port really is.

Sushi & dinner at Markhal with chopsticks for kids!

Lunch at the iconic Hotel New York another Rotterdam hot spot easily reached by water taxi, so we shot over there after our morning activity.

Maritime museum I must say. This place would have been heaven for Thibault. The top floor was all hands on for kids. Flora moved bags of rice with the crane for about 20 minutes. I saw other short toddlers moving “cargo boxes” the entire time. Thibault would have loved it and Flora did too.

Contemporary art on Witte de Withstraat I’m pretty sure Flora enjoyed this place more than I did. I was in love with her commentary and attention to detail while we walked through all of the exhibits.

Overall an incredible trip with my little lady. I love her curious mind, healthy appetite for Asian food :), and her traveling spirit. I can already see that she will be a traveler when she grows up. Walking through life now holding her hand as long as I can. XOXO.

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Acadia, Maine– Hunters Beach

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Hunters Beach

This was part of our first day exploring Acadia with the extended family. We went for a picnic lunch on one of the rockiest beaches in the park. Of course, this was my father’s idea. It was quite hilarious actually. The little cousins loved it though.

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My favorite part was catching Flora on top of this rock. I’m not sure how long she was sitting there alone before we noticed her. She was sitting there pretending to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. hahahaha. Another beautiful moment in Acadia…

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First Girls Trip to Amsterdam

 

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People watching in Vondelpark

Flora and I had our first (of many!) girls trips to Amsterdam over the Easter weekend. We had a blast! This trip came at the perfect time for me. I just finished a music show at school and have been very busy leading up to its production. It was the perfect way to unwind and relax with my little lady.

The original idea came when Flora showed an interest in Vincent van Gogh. Earlier in the winter, their theme at school was “Art” and learning about van Gogh really had an impact on her. She would talk a lot about it at dinner and such. I told her that van Gogh had his own museum and she just couldn’t believe it. So I thought, girls trip! Jaap and Thibault could care less, so what a great opportunity!

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Enjoying the playgrounds at Vondelpark

We had such a great time. Lunch at my favorite lunchroom, De Bakkerswinkel complete with carrot cake, of course, followed by the entire afternoon at Vondelpark. Just enjoying the speeltuin, taking in the balmy breeze, and watching the people of Amsterdam walk on by.

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Flora also wanted a sushi dinner at some point during this trip. We ended up at a cozy little place near Museumplein for dinner. We’ll definitely go back there the next time we need lunch near the Museum Quarter. They brought us warm hand towels after the main course and we ordered some Japanese green tea and Flora loved it. It’s these small details that are special. Sometimes you don’t think about something or realize how interesting something is, until a little person points it out to you. Our sushi experience was the perfect ending to our long and busy day.

Flora loved the hotel. I knew she would find it fun. Breakfast was a highlight! Citizen M is still one of my favorites too. The mood lighting, toilet and shower in a glass dome, and the feel of modernity. She loved it. The next morning we were off to the van Gogh Museum, but Flora was feeling a little bit under the weather. Our time at the new Japanese exhibit was cut short because she was not feeling good. However, she still had a nice time. For me, it was a dream come true. Walking around an art museum in Amsterdam with my daughter who is correcting my Dutch pronunciation of “van Gogh”, talking to me about van Gogh’s favorite color, and what paintings she likes the most and why. It was definitely a parenting highlight! These are the moments that we live for and what makes life so amazing.

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Walks with Thibault

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Thibault and I enjoyed a beautiful walk together this morning. At the end of our street is a small trail touching some farmland. I haven’t walked it in some time and thought it was time to change up the normal route with Mr. T. Here is a view from our walk.

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I feel so grateful to have Mondays off now. This is the day where Thibault and I get some alone time. I can follow his schedule, enjoy long walks together, and some extra bonding time without worrying about entertaining Flora. It’s our special time together. Yet another reason why I am so grateful we live in the Netherlands and that I can have this flexible, part-time work schedule.

Enjoying my last day of maternity leave with this little man. XOXO

Our little sous chef

Flora has become quit the little helper in the kitchen lately. She’s always loved helping in the kitchen, particularly making smoothies in the morning with me for breakfast. Now that she’s three and getting older, I see that she is getting better at helping with the actual cooking aspects. As long as she has a spoon to lick or sugar to taste, she’s happy. I LOVE that she loves to cook with me because it’s something that I really enjoy doing. It’s so much fun to do it together.

Last Saturday we made some pancakes for breakfast. Delicious! I’ve tried a couple of pancake recipe, but this one was by far the best.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1893-everyday-pancakes

 

 

 

Snowy days

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The temperature has dropped a little bit and we’ve had some picturesque snow days. Watching Flora experience snow for the first time has been exciting. Sometimes I get sad that my children will not grow up with the childhood “snow” memories that I have, but this week—it happened! Much of my childhood was spent sleigh riding, building snowmen and snow forts. One of the many joys of growing up in upstate NY. But this week, Flora got a little taste of what it’s like. She was so proud of her snowman and so excited to get out and simply walk in the snow. I was also excited to breathe in this cold, wintery air. It was wonderful!

As for Thibault, he celebrated his 10 week birthday this week. Time is flying by. I’m trying to soak up all the tiny cuddles while they last. We’re so lucky to have him a part of our family. Here is what he has been up to:

Interacting with Flora, playing on his activity mat, smiling at his mobile, and long walks with fresh air