Holland and Belgium

Heather, Sophie and I went on a fabulous trip to Holland and Brussels, Belgium. While it was only 10 days, it was still great to see a couple beautiful countries!

Sophie did great on the 11 hour flight to and from Amsterdam(Schippol Airport). She also flew for free since children under 2 fly free, but after 2 they pay FULL FARE(which sucks), so we decided to take this international trip now rather than later because of the cost for her as well. She turns 2 in July. When Heather and I went to Hawaii last October, I hated the feeling I had leaving Sophie behind, so having her with us on this trip was great and I was glad she was with us. I don’t like leaving her for any length of time apart from us.

We got to do pretty much everything we wanted to do while in Holland, but there is never enough time to do ‘IT ALL’. We saw the Van Gogh/Rembrandt Museums in Amsterdam, as well as the Rijks Museum, Heineken Brewery, the ‘I AM(STERDAM)’ famous letters near Rijks Museum, and the ubiquitous Hard Rock Café. Sad part was we never went into any of these places due to our poor planning and late arrival into Amsterdam that Sunday. It was all good though. We did take a boat tour on the canals and saw the city from that perspective. Commentary on the boat was bad, but great views none-the-less.

A highlight on the whole trip was going to Keukenhoff where the Famous Tulip Festival is held yearly for about 2 months(March-May). The place was fantastic and worth the trip in gold. We spent over 4 hours there and loved it!

We spent some time in Delft, where the famous porcelain shoes/pottery is made with the classic white with blue colors are painted on. Very scenic and pretty city.

We spent several days in Den Haag aka THE HAGUE. Another pretty city with lots of vibrant life in the streets. I love the public transportation in Europe because you really don’t HAVE to drive anywhere, just take your local bus/tram/train to get where your going.

We stayed in Rotterdam for a night and the next day headed out to Brussels on the Thallus(Fast Train) which took about 55 mts. Not a bad ride and enjoyable. We were blown away at the beauty of Brussels. We stayed right off the Grand Place at an Ibis hotel. Now most hotels in Europe are small, but I really don’t care, because most of the time your just using it for sleep anyway, so that doesn’t really bother me. Now, the Grand Plaas, as it were, is a big center cobblestone floor surrounded by Giant 500-year-old buildings, each unique in its own right. With many avenues to get here, the architecture/steeples/designs were tremendous. People of all walks of life there, enjoying Belgian Waffles, making sketches of the facades on paper, Sophie chasing the pigeons all over and laughing her head off and on and on…

Heather and I did take a beer tour one afternoon while we were there. Belgium is known for creating beer, thank you Trappists Monks!!! It was a great experience, with so much history in Europe and Belgium wasn’t lacking!! We entered into many pubs and tried out the local brews, which weren’t sold anywhere outside of Belgium and they were fantastic! Pubs in Europe and not only a local watering hole, but also a place where families would come together to socialize and spend time together-which is a lot different from our ‘bars’ here in the USA.

Loved the trip, would definitely recommend both countries and very glad we were able to see another part of the world that Heather and I both have passions for.



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