Haarlem Girls Weekend

At Easter, Flora and I had a girls weekend trip to Haarlem. It was so beautiful and so much fun to spend quality time with this girl. She is the easiest, happy traveler. I really love her so much, it’s hard to put into words.

We finally visited the Corrie ten Boom huis. I think this was more fun for myself, but weeks later when we were reading about her with Thibault in the Rebel Girls’ Book, I could see that she was really proud that she had been there and knew who this person was.

Haarlem was beautiful. Tulips blooming, sun was shining, and lunch outdoors. We had dinner one night at a sushi restaurant. Flora was so cute and happy. She thought the place was so modern. These are little things that make kids excited about life and me too. But, the highlight was the kermis. Flora loves a kermis! She’s a kid who cannot get enough of this stuff. She was so happy that we could go on the rides and see Haarlem from high up.

It was a beautiful weekend. I love that this tradition is returning. It really was a spectacular weekend together.

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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Rainy day fun

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Flora is now a proud Museumkaart holder. I didn’t realize kids could also get museum cards in NL and after calculating in my head how many museums she went to last year, it was worth it for her to get a card this year.

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We made a trip to Hoensbroek castle and it was a family hit. Flora loved (and Jaap) loved completing the scavenger hunt the castle provides for it’s young visitors. It was a fun way to get us to explore all the rooms. She loved climbing the tower, playing the old games in the cellar, and thinking about all the princesses who have lived here before. It was a great day. A little history, a little culture—happy kids and parents!

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