Home Sweet Home

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Jeff came home today!! Our family is complete. I was glad that we came home first and got settled and over jet lag and that he stayed back to close up shop, so to speak. He handled the packers and movers and cleaners and final walk through. I am blessed to have a great life partner and I’m so thankful he’s home with us again. I bet I’ll be able to sleep better now!

We had a wonderful homecoming dinner with our family friends and our beloved shared Traeger smoker!!

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Life is good and simple!

Day 211: Down on the Farm

It feels like Friday today, but its only Thursday. My timing is off because the kids are off from school this week and April and Steve are here on vacation with us. But the sad part is that they are leaving to go back home tomorrow. But I told the littlest one we couldn’t be sad today because we have to enjoy the moment. She agreed, until it was bed time and she looked at me with her big brown eyes, full of happiness and sadness all swirled together. And the big tears started rolling out, until Juliana told her to look up to stop the tears. It kinda worked but not really. We all just felt it, and hugged and agreed to not really cry until tomorrow.

Today we wanted to just chill at the house and didn’t get dressed until after lunch time. Everyone was happy just hanging out together.

20130222-000510.jpg Breakfast croissants

20130222-000601.jpg Fresh flowers that opened as soon as Jeff brought them home to me. Aren’t they beautiful?
When we finally decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine, we were shocked how cold it actually was. But we braved the literally freezing temperature and (ad)ventured over to the forest to explore Adventure Island and the goat farm. We all had fun being outdoors, but had to keep moving so our hands and feet wouldn’t freeze.

20130222-001236.jpg Rope Swingin’

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20130222-001542.jpg Walkin’ the planks!

20130222-001643.jpg Running on the wiggly bridge

20130222-001838.jpg Enjoying the mama pig and the baby pig nudging her to move for milk access. So funny to watch.

20130222-002056.jpg Seesaw fun for five

Day 210: Home Again

Traveling is fun and exhausting. We had a great last day exploring the top of the Eiffel Tower and being amazed by the metro system. We all enjoyed one last crepe before leaving Paris, and enjoyed the 3+ hour train ride back to Amsterdam.

When I asked everyone what they loved about the trip, we all had similar things to share. We enjoyed the food, the light, the sun, the houseboat, the monuments, just being together, the shopping, and the transportation system. We loved going up the Eiffel Tower this morning before we had to leave, and all the amazing views. What a cool experience for all of us! We’re already dreading April and Steve leaving us in a couple days! It’s so nice to have friends visiting for awhile.

Going up the Eiffel Tower

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Our house boat is the one the furthest from the bridge, away from the Eiffel Tower and closest to the shore😁😣. We were so close to everything and the location was perfect for the 9 of us.

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One last crepe!

Running for the train, for the fun of it. We weren’t late!

20130220-223108.jpgMy bottle of wine for the train ride home! So appropriate.

Life is good!

Day 209: 3 Days in Paris

Today was our third day in Paris. There is so much to see and do, but traveling in a herd of 9 slows you down a bit. We still managed to cover a ton of ground and saw so many sites, cute stores, and sampled delicious food.

The fun started this morning on the metro, listening to musicians entertain us and strolling for tips before the next stops.

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We were headed to the Sacre Couer, high up on a hill in the Montmartre section of Paris.

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The kids enjoyed riding the funicular to the top. The lighting today was amazing again.

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No pictures were allowed inside the cathedral, and a few who took the risk were yelled at and made to destroy their images before leaving the building. Yikes!
Juliana and I got a half hour to go shopping alone in the Montmartre area. We loved it and want to come back, just the two of us to wander and shop without any time limits.

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We trammed over to the Latin Quarters part of town and discovered the Universities and the Pantheon. We also found a great place for dinner, which included cheese and mushroom fondue. Mmm!!!

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For dessert, we promised the kids sweet crepes and found a cute street shop with a friendly guy selling and serving.

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We packed so much into one day, and the kids were great sports! I think if you’re traveling with kids, breaking up the day into smaller chunks and stopping for a drink or a snack helps to reenergize them and everyone else for that matter!

Hope you enjoyed our little view into Paris!
xo. Adriana

Day 208: Paris, Day 2

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I could go on and on about what I love about Paris, but the thing I love the most is the natural light and its glow reflecting off buildings and the water. I kept stopping just to admire the light. Well, I also stopped to look in bakeries, and cute boutiques and to admire the vast architecture of old buildings. There is so much wonder in Paris, that I was constantly in awe.

Here are some pictures from the day.

20130218-230817.jpgGood morning, Paris!

20130218-230931.jpgGood morning, Eiffel Tower.

20130218-230944.jpg Good morning, Louvre.

20130218-231238.jpgHello, Venus De Milo.

20130218-231350.jpg Jeff and I in a thousand years.

20130218-231645.jpgYear of the snake?!?

20130218-232410.jpg The infamous Mona Lisa

20130218-232639.jpg Love locks on a Parisian Bridge.

20130218-232829.jpg Saint Chappelle.

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Warm afternoon sunlight.

20130218-233209.jpg Sweet couple gazing in the Sweet Shoppe at night.

20130218-233234.jpg Lollipops!

20130218-233702.jpgNotre Dame at night.

What a great, cold,long day it’s been. Namaste.

Day 205: The Night Lights

Finally the weather warmed up a bit to above freezing and walking around town was more enjoyable. I knew it was going to be cold in Holland, but it has been colder than I expected this week. The good news is my definition of cold has changed, and I think I’ve acquired a higher tolerance level to the cold weather!!

On our way up to the flower market area for dinner, we spontaneously decided to get off the tram so that we could start the evening with a quick viewing of the Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum. It was 5:30 pm and our reservation was for 6:30 pm. I checked the hours for the museum and we had 30 minutes before closing and no kids with us. We could do it! The security guard thought we were crazy, but I told him we only needed 10 minutes to see Rembrandt’s work with our museum passes. And we did just that…headed straight upstairs and through the gift shop to see the magical masterpiece from 371 years ago! It was great going there at the end of the day when there was no one else really there. It was like our own private party!

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We still had five minutes to see my favorite exhibit, the simplest of all and one that makes me smile.

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It’s this cool clock with a video projection of a man inside who controls the minute hands with a dry erase marker and eraser, literally changing the clock minute by minute. It makes you aware of time passing and I absolutely love it, because it looks like nothing but makes you think.

We were out of the museum and back on a tram exploring more of the city before dinner.

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Coming into Amsterdam before dusk was beautiful. I loved watching the changing night sky and bright lights.

We were on our way to enjoy an Indonesian rijstaafel, or rice table in English. Indonesian food is my favorite type of cuisine. A rice table is an assortment of several different small dishes, that everyone at the table shares. We probably tried 15 different types of food, including chili eggs, shrimp and tofu, red curry green beans, rendang, gado gado, mango salad, satay skewers, cucumber salad and a couple chicken dishes.

The dinner was delicious and fun to share, although hard to tell from these dimly lit pictures.

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Hope you have a great, light filled weekend!

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Day 202: Doors & Entry Ways

It’s still so cold out today. Luckily the sun was shining, which makes me smile.

While April and Steve were exploring the Anne Frank house, I wandered around nearby since I’ve enjoyed Anne’s house twice before. I enjoyed admiring all the entry ways to the canal houses and imagined who lived there and what life would be like living along the canals. Here are some pictures from the day.

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Hope you are having a good day, exploring and learning and enjoying the moment. xo