We’ve had some great walks in Zuid Limburg this Autumn. Plenty of time on our hands to explore hikes and places I have always wanted to visit in the area. Hikes with friends in Meerssen, a hilly hike in Gulpen, exploring the Brunssummerheide, a visit to Kasteel Hoensbroek, and our usual favorite— a bike ride to the American Cemetery in Margraten. I must admit. When musuems, theaters, and zoos are closed I am happy that we live so close to nature. At the same time, I miss the Hudson Valley so much this time of year. Nothing beats the colors of Autumn in NY. Of course.
On Father’s Day we went to the Barefoot Walk in Brunssum as a nice outing. It was a warm day, but not too hot. Perfect for walking barefoot through a little forest. It was a great little nature adventure for our little ones. I was so impressed. Everyone walked 4 kilometers without complaining. This was a big win.
Thibault is a naturalistic person. I think he thrives in nature and feels very connected there. When the walk was finished he wanted to do it again. He has a very adventurous spirit. Plus, he had no fear on this walk. At one point we had to cross a pond stepping on tall wooden poles while holding on to a rope. It was quite challenging,especially for him because his legs are so short and I don’t think this portion of the walk was made for toddlers. At the end, I needed Jaap to help me on the last few steps because I really felt like I was going to lose balance and fall into the pond. Thibault was there on the other side cheering me on. It was a humbling experience. It was a beautiful way to spend Father’s Day together.
Yesterday was the perfect winter day. We traveled to the Eifel National Park for a day trip in nature. It was picturesque. Walking in the woods, snow covered trail, building tiny snowmen, throwing snowballs, and breathing in the fresh winter air. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Thibault and Flora loved walking around in the snow. Little T is such an active little boy. I’m sure he wishes he could run and jump around all day, but it’s still so little and he can barely move in all of his snow gear! But, he still got to walk a decent portion of the trail.
It’s strange that we have lived near Maastricht for seven years and this was our first time exploring nature in the Eifel. It’s so close. In just a little over an hour, we were in a totally different landscape. Snow was an added bonus. We didn’t expect that when we left our home, so that was a nice surprise.
This family day trip was much needed following another Carnival season. Carnival is very hard for me with two small children. I used to love Carnival in Maastricht, but things change drastically when you add a child or two to the mix. Getting out of the daily routine was a refreshing break this week.
Our trip ended with some coffee and cake in Monschau. One of the cutest German town’s I’ve ever been to. What a fab day!
Our weekend was off to a good start! Flora and I enjoyed some coffee and a babychino at Confetti in Maastricht, while Thibault played in the “speelhoek.” We ended with a quick stroll around the Friday market and our morning was complete. Flora was impressed by the market. “Wow. This place is pretty cool. Look at all the different things here!.” It made me realize I should take the kids there more often. There are a lot of cool things to see at the Friday market. She’s also at the stage where she talks loudly about something she sees even if it is about another person. She saw a man at the market and practically shouted, “He’s not wearing a coat! And he’s smoking!” Luckily the guy didn’t even notice and I had a little laugh. So–this is something that we are working on.
The sun was shining on Saturday and we took advantage of the day. Some outdoor play in the backyard and a nice stroll near Valkenburg. Thibault had some fun at the playground thanks to his new outdoor winter pants! He’s growing up so fast.
We headed out for a quick walk around Eijsden castle last weekend. Flora loves castles and we had a chatty stroll round the grounds while Jaap tried to give Thibault a nap. I only wish the walk around the castle was a little bit longer. It’s such a beautiful little place. It’s still January and I’m already thinking about spring!