Hoge Veluwe Explorations

I just passed my ten year anniversary of living in the Netherlands and visiting the Hoge Veluwe has been on my list of places to see in NL for almost that long. It was wonderful to finally explore this region as a family.

We stayed in Otterlo for three nights and we were blessed with great weather! We arrived at the house and ran straight to the pool in the neighborhood of the vacation park. It was perfect. It was so hot that day and ending it with an early evening swim really lifted everyones spirits. It was just perfect for us. We saw a lot of families with teenagers who at first were quite annoying at the pool, but I must admit. Seeing families traveling with their teenage kids made me happy. Hopefully vacations like these will still be enjoyable when my kids are teens.

We went to the Apenheul and spent the day checking out all the monkeys and apes. It was a unique zoo. I thought it was pretty cool to sit down at a cafe for an ice cream and have monkeys jumping off the trees right next to you. The place was great.

Before heading to Ameland we spent one whole day exploring a part of the Hoge Veluwe. We rented bikes, visited the Kröller-Müller Museum, and even saw some wildlife. It was an amazing place and the kids were happy the whole day.

Sculpture garden at the Kröller-Müller Museum

Flora and I shared a tandem bike, which was super fun. The whole bike system at the Hoge Veluwe is incredibly smart and so Dutch. I was so impressed with all the bike options they offered for people with families and disabilities.

Thibault lasted about two minutes inside the Kröller-Müller Museum, thank god for the sculpture garden and Jaap. Flora is such an art lover and I must say, she has such a good eye for beauty. I loved talking with her about the paintings and van Gogh, Monet, and the art work. It was just lovely. We could have spent another hour there, but we wanted to catch up with Jaap and T. The sculpture garden is peaceful, calm, and beautiful. It’s the perfect place to explore art with an active toddler.

After our museum tour, it was time for some biking in nature. Well, this portion of the Hoge Veluwe was a lot less vast than I imagined. It was not crowded and we were very safe in regards to corona regulations, but I imagined this part of NL being much more vast. Still, it was beautiful and we got super close to wildlife. This deer was injured, which might explained why he didn’t run away with all the spectators.

We had a great time biking around this park. We stopped to watch their deer for about 30 minutes, biked up to the old Hunting Lodge, and sat by the lake to have an ice cream. The entire time the kids and I were belting out Hamilton tunes. We made a large loop and ended back at the visitors center for some time on their large playground. The whole day was perfect.

This stupid virus has brought a lot of suffering to the world. Everyday I am grateful that I live in the Netherlands and this summer made me appreciate all that we have. This country is a beautiful place and I’m so thankful we were able to explore it in a safe way.

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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