Friday, September 21, 2007


Okay, here goes, another vacation post. I'm going to sum up close to three weeks in Holland in a single post, so get a cup of coffee, a beer, a margarita, or whatever floats your boat, and settle down for a long winter's nap...Oh wait, that's not quite right, I mean settle down for a fascinating, adventure-filled post, chock-full of nuts (oops, I mean highly interesting, unbelievably good-looking people).

We knocked ourselves out looking for some extreme sports to thrill and amaze you, and here's what we came up with:

Biking with kids. The risk is falling off when your kid won't sit still.

Taking kids to pool. High risk of being thrown into the water by kids (Hey, there are four here, last time I checked we only had three. So, which one isn't ours?).

Ghost busting. Laughing until you wet your pants is a definite risk here.

Feeding the ducks. Risk of having your finger bitten off by ferocious feathered beasties.

Getting dirty. Definite risk of having a bath afterward.

Trampolining. I don't even need to tell you what the risk is here.

Besides trying out high risk sports, we also did some more relaxing, touristy stuff. Let's see, there have got to be some windmills in here somewhere...

We drove down a blue street in Drachten, which was once a canal, they made it into a road, and now they decided that they really miss the canal, so they painted it blue and in the future they're planning on turning it back into a canal. (Talk about fickle, will ya'). These guys don't seem to realize that it's not a canal yet...

Pieterburen. Hmmm, St. Petersburg 1806 km...too far to walk. Nope, no windmills around here.

Orphaned seals in Pieterburen. Anybody want to adopt? They make great pets. All you need is a big pool and a large supply of fresh fish.

Emmen zoo. An educational field trip.

Where are the kids? Oh wait, those are the monkeys. We learned lots by watching them, like the best way to control your offspring is to hold them by their tails. Unfortunately, our kids don't have any tails, so that technique's out. The girls also learned some fascinating things (that had nothing to do with holding anybody's tail). Let's just say they now have the birds and bees perfectly straight.

Giraffes' horns are soft and fuzzy...and they are tall (okay, maybe we already knew that, but we wanted to pet them anyway).

If you stand still enough... butterflies will land on your shoulder. Very pretty, but we haven't seen any windmills yet.

Who's the kid here?

We also visited some more serious places:

Wirdum. This is the house my Mom grew up in, and I used to spend my summers in. Now it's a shop...nothing like going back to your grandparents' house and finding it full of knick knacks. Well, I guess that's what you usually find in most grandparents' houses anyway.

The house where my Mom was born. First it was a church, then a house, now it's a nothing sacred anymore?

Okay, we're hungry and we're not walking any further until we eat.

Bridge over troubled water. Well, I guess it would only be trouble if one of us fell in.

This is the house that Jack built. No, it's really a small hand-built chapel, that is used for weddings, meetings, concerts, etc.

And inside the church...we find the professor in the pulpit.

Windmill. Okay, that's obvious. So, we finally found a windmill...not a real one, but it'll do.

And, last, but not least a visit to the Afsluitdijk. This dike is 32km long and keeps the North Sea out (I wouldn't want to be that kid plugging the dike with his finger if this one ever gets a hole).

Celebrating 75 years of the Afsluitdijk and of my Omke Wiebe! (If you click on the picture you can see it says: 75 yaar Afsluitdijk.)

And that, my friends, concludes this blogcast of the Endless Vacation Pictures. I hope the Spanish Inquisition doesn't barge in on us as we enjoy photo after photo of my family doing...well, what everybody does on vacation...pose for pictures, of course.


  1. I've always wanted to go to Holland but I never really got a chance. Well, technically, I've been there but only for a couple of days long time ago...

    Your kids look so happy and relaxed ! There're pretty natural in front of the camera !

  2. What a great post! Very VERY pretty people AND educational too.
    So the monkeys taught the birds and bees lesson for you, huh?

    Thank you for the wonderful humor this morning.

  3. I know that people take precautions against picking up illnesses when traveling abroad, I didn't know you could also contract extra children.

    That street sign looks like it points in 80 directions. Some pranksters could cause a lot of damage rearranging the arrows on that one. Hmmm. Maybe they already did.

  4. Hi Theresa,
    I had a great time reading about our vacation. We sure had a fantastic time and I hope that some day you'll come again. But first I'll see you in about three weeks in Spain and I'm looking forward to that too.

  5. NO ONE expects the Inquisition!

    wow -- i, for one, lovelovelove these pictures, and, of course, reading all about your travels. i can't imagine how weird it would be to discover your grandparents' home had been turned into a shop -- altho' at least this way you were able to go inside and "snoop" around, so i guess there's that! (i once returned to my home town, and found out my grandparents' home had been relocated. and no, it wasn't a trailer home, just a lovely ranch-style house that was more "mobile" than i had imagined)

    i know i don't have to tell YOU this, but your kids are absolutely gorgeous. clearly they come from good stock! glad to know you all had such a grand time, and managed to take a few thousand pictures, in order to prove it to your friends and/or selves (having traveled with kids, i know it's sometimes hard to know what a good time was had until you get back home)! : ) xox

  6. Ah, my ancestral homeland... that I've never been to. :(

  7. thanks for the pic of the windmill. i wouldn't have believed it was Holland otherwise.

  8. Why am I a little creeped out by that photo of all those monkeys?


    Lovely pix otherwise.

  9. Great pictures, but where are the shoes? Don't they all wear wooden shoes and dance in tulips there in Holland???

  10. Zhu: Who knows someday you may get the chance. I've always wanted to go to England, and technically I've been the airport. One of these days I'll have to remedy that...

    Pavel: Yes, the monkeys definitely gave them a lesson they won't forget any time soon. Nothing like a visual aid to get the point across. My cousin's daughter said that the monkeys had gotten it all wrong though, that you're supposed to fall in love first, and then have sex. These kids are wise beyond their years.

    Frogster: Oh definitely, and in more ways than one, so be careful if you go on any trips with your wife in the future, unless you want to come home with a bundle of joy. The sign just points to places with "Peter" in their names, so you may not know where you are, but you can always get to someplace called Peter. And it could also help you pick a name for that bundle of joy. ;)

    Mem: We did have fun, didn't we? We'll be back for sure, I don't know when, but we will. We're counting down the days now til you come. :)

    Neva: I knew the house was a store. In fact, I had been once before, but it's one of those places that we always go visit when we're in Holland. It's very weird going inside, because there's nothing left of the way the house was. Your grandparents' home was moved? Now that is weird. Did you find it?

    Diesel: For shame, a Dutch descendant who's never been to Holland. You should go sometime, it's a great country with lots of interesting things to see, and who knows, you may even come across some long-lost relatives along the way.

    minijon: It's not a real windmill, so I could be fooling you. For all you know that picture could have been taken at a minigolf course. ;)

    Jocelyn: Yeah, it's kind of like The Birds, but with monkeys.

    Dorky Dad: Oh yeah, but since we were tourists, we didn't have any wooden shoes. And they tiptoe through the tulips...wouldn't want to smash 'em, you know. ;)

  11. Holland? I went to Amsterdam this past summer. twice...very nice coutnry.

    I am really glad you encountered a miniture windmill in the end. Love teh ghost :)

  12. Your travelogues put my paltry vacation post to shame! Loved it - great pictures and I got quite a chuckle from the video.

    Your family roots are quite interesting. Did they at least offer you a discount in the shop that was once your grandparents' home?

    By the way, I voted for you in the Caption Contest - way to go!