Arriving in Holland on a late Thursday evening after an 11+ hours flight from Bangkok’s afternoon flight departure meant really late bedtime for the kids. They slept for a little more over 3 hours prior to landing (of course it is convenient that sleep always, always have to come before landing!) and that is more than just a power-nap to last them for a while more.
I was still stoically trying to recover from the embarrassment of the little incident during flight descent when Squirt, with a big smile on his face, started screaming in excitement at the top of his lungs and innocently squealed out loud ““Mama! We are going doowwwwwnnnn!” (Read the story here) as we patiently waited for the final cue to get ourselves out of the plane before we made our way to the baggage collection.
The kids were super-hyper right after we landed. They loved their little travel trunkies and had a blast pulling them along and was excited to show -off their trunkies to their Oma and Opa who had made the time to “collect” us from the airport and drove us to their home.
As annoying those 2 little imps can be trying to pull their trunkies in line and disrupted people who were walking by, I thought they looked quite cute tugging their brightly coloured trolley bags.Those trunkies were both filled with nothing but toys and snacks which had kept them occupied while in the plane. I supposed it made them feel more adult. At least they stopped fighting over who got the right to pull our carry-on trolley bag. Phew. Fi-bloody-nally!
The drive to my in-laws was a scenic one. We passed by fields littered with sheeps, cows, ducks, horses along with their young and was greeted by some colourful tulips fields along the way. A pretty sight and sights which awed the kids (and me!) to no end. All sorts of flowers were blooming everywhere. It was the kind of sights that would lift your spirits up and bring about the little springs in your heels.
It was still light at 8.30 pm when we arrived at our destination and the little imps had seen no reason for them to go to bed.
They stalled for time when we arrived home, ecstatic with the new sets of toys that were laid out especially for them and pleaded with us to play a little bit more before they were shoved into their beds. It was still morning for all they care! Why friggin’ sleep right?!
By the time they were in bed and almost fast asleep, it was past 9.45 p.m. For us, it was just about the right time to adjust our body clock as we both virtually had no naps while in mid-air.
Both kids woke up at about 3.am. local time, refusing to go back to bed. Squirt finally relented after a few cuddles, but Spud fought vehemently with her Dad that lasted over several hours. At 3.am (or 7 a.m BKK time) she was done sleeping! Somehow, she managed to keep herself up till 7 pm the next day without any naps! I could have fallen asleep standing up. Madness!
We left the kids to Silver Bullet parents the day after we arrived as I had to pop by my local office for a business meeting. And, had Silver Bullet not accompany me, I would have been completely lost trying to navigate some parts of Amsterdam which neither of us had ventured out to before. Even so, we still got quite lost, but eventually managed to find the place I had to be. The only consolation was that the weather was nice to be walking about without breaking out too much sweat.
We didn’t spend a lot of time in Amsterdam after my meeting. We grabbed lunch, walked around a little and then headed back home and spent another hour on a train ride. As we combed through the streets of Amsterdam which we have been to a gazzillion times, I realised that even after a year of hiatus, I was quite bored with the city.
We had a quiet weekend. The kids played outside (and inside and practically did not stop playing!), had a visit from Silver Bullet’s Opa, caught up with Silver Bullet’s close friends who just had babies and visited his father who had a birthday (a visit which Spud had refused to come along), and ran errands to prep ourselves us up for a little family trip to Belgium.
Apart from that, we took things easy. I checked myself out from my everyday reality and started winding down.
I was loving the environment, the scenery, the weather and even though was not at all too thrilled in anticipation of the kids’ potential tanrums, I was certainly looking forward to spend some quality family time.
It was, as the Dutch calls it, gezellig**
** Gezellig: an untranslatable word that is used A LOT. It encompasses the heart of Dutch culture where it can mean beyond nice, cosy, warm, fuzzy. Or something to that effect. Dutch rules apply where it sometimes cannot be used in some context. Too complicated to explain. Go ask a Dutch.