Europe Trip 2016 || Family Visits

Its been a while since I’ve posted and I still have a few more days of my recent trip to Europe to document. The last week or so of our trip was spent in the small town of Boxtel in the Netherlands. The majority of our time was spent with family, playing card games, drinking tea, and chatting. We only see our grandparents once a year so we try to spend as much time as we can with them in the short time that we visit, soaking up their presence.

Uncle Denis
The freshly planted flowers in Oma’s garden


Sunday night was spent around the table enjoying the traditional Sunday meal of  biefstuk met aardappel and snijbonen. We finished off with Oma’s special pudding and a quick game of duizenden and a few dropjes for the winner.

Sunday Dinner

On Monday, Suus, Marguerite, and I went to Den Bosch for a girls day. We did a bit of shopping and just walking around the center of town. We stopped into a small cafe for a quick coffee and snack.

img_7317After a bit more shopping and bit more walking, we met up with Luc and Bart in front of the St. John’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is famous for the hundreds of small gargoyles that face towards the sky at the top of the Cathedral. For the first time in 500 years, they opened the top of the Cathedral to the public so that people could view the small gargoyles. The guides that took us up were so knowledgable and told us so many stories about each of the small gargoyles. Right as we were walking back down from the top of the Cathedral, it started to rain so we decided to grab an early dinner.

We found a small tapas restaurant and as soon as we walked into the door, we saw a huge flash and a heard deafening boom of thunder. Seconds later there was torrential downpour and we were very happy that we were inside. We had a few snacks while waiting for Daan and his girlfriend, Julia to arrive and laughed at Marguerite’s mispronunciation of “lol” the Dutch word for “fun” which she pronounced “lul” which is the Dutch word for penis. After we had finished our meal, we all piled back into the car and headed back to Boxtel.img_7322

On our last day in Holland, we did all of the things we hadn’t managed to do in the last few days. We had a quiet morning having breakfast and playing dominos with Bart. Then we rode our bikes to the grocery store and picked up flowers and some worstebroodjes (our favorite Dutch snack) and rode to Oma’s house. We painted our yearly paintings for her wall, played a game of duizended, and ate lunch. As it was getting later, we said our goodbyes which is always very sad. Luckily it was a beautiful day so we could leave Oma in her favorite spot, enjoying the sun in her back garden. When we went back to Suus and Luc’s house we packed up all of our stuff and then made tacos for dinner. Suus and Luc took us to Amsterdam where we were staying so that we wouldn’t have to wake up as early for our flight the next morning. We stayed with one of our Dad’s old friends, Caroline and Jelmer. They found a copy of our parent’s wedding video (Carolin was the “Best Man” and also translated the ceremony for all of the Ducthies at the wedding). It was funny to see how much our parents have changed, but also how they still have so many of the same facial expressions and tendencies. After watching a good portion of the video, we decided to call it a night and head to bed.

The next morning we woke up early, and Jelmer took us to the airport. We went through security quickly and then found our gate and talked and read until we boarded our flight. Next stop, USA.


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