Day 270: Beautiful Day in Amsterdamse Bos

 

 

Sometimes not having a plan is the best plan of all.

This morning we were up early to get Jeff to the airport by 7:45 am on a Sunday morning!  He has meetings back in the States this week. I wished he could have taken me along, as I’ve felt a bit home sick, and I hate the feeling of him being so far away, even though I’m fine on my own. Jeff and I were commenting how strange it is that the roads from our house to the airport are now second nature. When I first arrived, I was afraid to even get in the car to drive less than a mile to the grocery store. I couldn’t read Dutch, wasn’t used to traffic circles and couldn’t tell what the traffic logos meant. Now, it’s all good and I got him there on time, and back home again without the Navigation system! Oooh….ahhh… just kiddin’.

Charlie had a friend sleep over last night and they had fun eating American pancakes, playing Mine Craft and video games and loved being in their pajamas all morning. I was liking just hanging out too, procrastinating shopping and cleaning as we have a house guest tomorrow night.  Luckily Patti Beth suggested we get out and go for a bike ride since the weather was so nice, otherwise I could have easily wasted the day away being lazy. I’m soooo glad we went out as you’ll see the highlights below from our wonderful, unplanned day.  What I thought would be a short ride, turned into a 6+ hour adventure in the sun!  Life is good, especially with family, friends, and good weather!

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The cherry blossom trees all bloomed since last week and Blossom Park was gorgeous today!

 

The location of the trees is known as Bloesempark (Blossom Park), located in the south-east of the Amsterdamse Bos, between Burgemeester A. Colijnweg and the pond that’s known as De Poel. At the time of planting, each tree was given a name: 200 have Japanese women’s names, while the remainder have Dutch women’s names.

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peaceful

 

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I noticed two trees that had pink blossoms on opposite sides of the park. The rest appeared to have white blossoms.

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white blossoms with lots of people out today enjoying the gorgeous weather

 

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The entrance to the park is over a footbridge that we are standing on. As you walk behind us, there is a large circle with a half wall for you to sit and enjoy the views.

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The boys were playing catch in the circle grass area between all the trees. We saw one woman explaining to her child what my boys were doing, as I don’t think many people play baseball in Holland. There are baseball teams of course, but most children play field hockey and soccer (football). Can you see the ball in the air?

Thanks to Chris and Patti Beth for bring a bag full of sports equipment and snacks to entertain the kids!  After playing catch, the boys ran off to play hide and seek in the bushes. Don’t you love hide and seek?

On the opposite side of the Amsterdamse Bos is a place they call Fun Forest. They have ropes courses for use, however you have to have a reservation to do the serious courses with cables and helmets. Today was so beautiful out, that of course they were fully booked. The kids still had fun playing on this small version that exposed them a bit to what they can look forward to next time when we plan ahead.

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focused and curious

 

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even the big kid liked climbing around and playing!

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This one was crossing with a cookie in her hand!! 😉 They were very hungry as we hadn’t planned on being out so long and lunch was long overdue.

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We ate lunch at De Bosbaan and had a great view of the racing waters. There was a rowing competition going on today.

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After lunch we rode our bikes through the forest again and let the kids play on the workout equipment. Charlie loved playing on the rings and doing flips, and I loved watching the horses go by.

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There is so much to see and do in the forest. This part has an adventure island where the kids can pull themselves across the water to the island and run around and climb and swing and cross bridges and platforms over water. The kids had a blast!

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Look at them all working together! I love this kind of old fashioned fun.

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This windmill is part of the infamous restaurant, the Jonge Dikkert, in Amstelveen which is on our way home as we headed out of the forest. What a gorgeous site.

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Queens Day is coming up and the children of the town are preparing their places on the streets to sell their second hand goods. It’s the one day of the year that people are allowed to have a “garage sale.” They are not allowed otherwise, so this is a big deal! Up and down the road as we rode our bikes, we saw tape and chalk lining areas for upcoming sales! I can’t wait to go see them all!

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The red part of the road is the bike path! How great is that? Where the lady is walking her dog, is for pedestrians and is where the children are claiming their space for Queens Day sales.

After 6 hours of wandering through the city, we finally came home in time to get to the grocery store before it closed. Most stores are closed on Sunday. When I got to the store today, many of the shelves were empty. All the fresh bread was sold and so were all the salad fixings.  Crazy!!  But we were able to make do and find other items to start off the week, fresh!

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This is a picture of the kids checking out Charlie’s class’ art work that we purchased last night at the Art & Wine & Cheese Fair. Charlie was so excited that we won the auction for this piece and was proudly showing his sister the part he created. I LOVE this Mandala piece and all it represents and can’t wait to take it back with us to America!!

A mandala can take many forms, from elaborate Buddhist sand works to the stained glass windows in Catholic cathedrals. Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit. Typically they are created in the shape of a circle because the circle is a potent and universal symbol of wholeness and eternity.They are also most commonly symmetrical and are used to aide spiritual meditation. These mandalas have a focus on color, shape and pattern to create a sense of symmetry and wholeness. Each student created a piece of the mandala and they were put together to create a whole.

I am truly blessed to be living in Holland right now, soaking up the sun, enjoying my friends and kids and all that is good.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get outside!  Namaste.

 

4 thoughts on “Day 270: Beautiful Day in Amsterdamse Bos

  1. Holy cow! I can’t believe how much you did in one day. I learned so much about other cultures just reading your day’s summary….thanks for that! The park with the flowering cherries is just wonderful. The photos are spectacular with the bright blue sky as the backdrop. I was most amused by the info about the one-day-only “garage sale.” This weekend I had PEOs dropping by to fill up my garage with items for next week’s yard sale. We all commented how we miss your expertise…not to mention how we miss YOU. We will be thinking of you next Saturday. Cheers!

    • Kris – I was totally thinking of you and the garage sale as I see the emails floating around. I love garage sales and can’t believe they don’t have them here except maybe once or twice a year. Good luck with the PEO sale – I hope you have fun and make a lot of money. I wish I was there to help out! We had so much fun last time…. Yesterday was a surprise to me too… when the sun is out here, you don’t want to be indoors at all, so we just kept going and going. I’m so glad you like reading my daily updates and get something out of them too. See you soon, my friend!! xo

  2. Oh wow! I’d forgotten about the cherry trees! I’ll have to try and get back there while they’re still in bloom! I wonder if they’ll still be there next weekend? They have such a short life span!

    And I adore the mandala! I’m very moved by them at the moment, and find Charli’es one particularly inspiring! Thank you!

    • You should try to go this week maybe, because I heard the same thing that they don’t last very long and they are gorgeous against the clear blue skys we’re finally seeing! I loved your Rembrandt park photos too. I’ve never been there. We’re so lucky to be learning from each other. I love that you found Charlie’s mandala inspiring too. The kids and I keep looking at it and see different things and wonder which child made which part. We love the color patterns and differences in choices that they made – some black and white, some white and black, some fully colored, some not… I love it more and more. Thanks for sharing.

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