Friday, December 19, 2014

London Part 2

On Saturday in London we woke up and knew we needed to get Elliot some running around time. We made our way over to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. We let Elliot run around the park on our way to the playground. Once we got there he was in heaven! And we actually saw Hugh Grant there playing with his little boy! When we left there Eliot crashed in the stroller and we headed to Trafalgar Square and had some lunch before our afternoon plans.

A little park bench snack

This squirrel followed us around the whole park

My little buddy

He over course loved the tractor at the playground

and the swing

Catching the changing of the guards

During the changing of the guards

We met up with Sam and Dan again and they took us to a little local spot for afternoon high tea. Under Westminster Abbey there is a place called a Cellarium. If you tell the guards at the back of the church they let you in. Elliot did surprisingly well, as long as we kept the treats coming :) 

Proper English tea!

Pinkies up! 

We flew out the next morning and got right to relaxing after a busy trip! We had such a great time in London and look forward to going back again some day!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This year for Thanksgiving the three of us decided to go to London. Brent and I had each been separately, and wanted to go together. Plus our friends Sam and Dan moved to London this past summer and it was a great excuse to visit them. I really love London and any excuse to go is a good one :)

We left on Thanksgiving and unfortunately all three of us woke up that morning not feeling great. We powered through and got to our hotel. They were having a Thanksgiving dinner there and we all ate a little bit and were in bed embarrassingly early. We knew we wanted to feel better for the rest of the trip and that night of sleep really helped all of us.

Trying to enjoy a little Thanksgiving

Crammed in the tube!

We started our day with a walk over to Buckingham Palace

Saying hello to the Queen 

Elliot's new thing when taking pictures

A perfect London shot
After walking around a lot of the London landmarks, we made our way over to Covent Garden district. It was all decorated for Christmas and they even had a Santa! We had lunch at the Jamie Oliver restaurant and enjoyed reading an English menu!

Someone is excited for his lunch
One of the best cookies ever!

Covent Garden Santa- Made from legos! 

Our walk back to the hotel through Hyde Park
That night we met Sam and Dan for dinner. Elliot and I were only there for a little bit of time as it was way past his bedtime. Overall, our first day in London was great!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chinese Lights at the Botanical Gardens

Two weekends ago, the Botanical gardens in Utrecht opened a winter display called Chinese Lights. We knew we had busy weekends coming up so we made sure to go opening weekend. It was pretty cool and a lot bigger than we thought it would be. It was so fun to watch Elliot take in all the lights. He kept looking and saying oooo, so sweet! We took a ton of pictures so here a just a few!

The entrance

So excited

All he wanted to do was touch them

Holland scene

So cool. The reflection was awesome 

Friday, December 5, 2014


We've had so many events lately that I need to write up about and really hope to get a bunch of them down this weekend! But I have to jump ahead of all of those and write about last night.

While we were eating dinner last night we heard a loud banging on our window. We were all a bit startled and so B went to check it out and when he opened the door he was greeted by quite the surprise. His employees dressed up as Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet(Black Pete) as a surprise for us and Elliot. It was seriously so funny and super sweet of all of them to do that for us. Elliot was a little unsure of them at first but as soon as they started giving him pepernoten(traditional little such cookies that Zwarte Piet throws around) he was ok with them all. There is a lot of controversy right now over the Zwarte Piet and if it should be changed. I'm not going to weigh in on my thoughts but we definitely got the true Dutch experience last night. Hopefully, the pictures don't offend anyone and keep in mind it is the norm here.

Approaching Sinterklaas

A little unsure

Presents for Zwarte Piet

He loves his train set 

Finally a smile!

Group shot

I can truly say I think we have experienced just about every "Dutch" thing now!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekend Fun

Happy Monday I mean Tuesday! We did quite a bit this weekend but it still felt like a relaxing weekend. Isn't that the best? We had been planning on driving up to Northern Holland on Saturday but the weather was terrible and there would not have been much to do indoors. Since we were all ready to go early in the day, we headed into the center so we were there right when everything opened. We did some Christmas shopping, ate lunch and then made our way over to the train museum. Elliot and I have been multiple times but Brent was a first timer.
Playing with the gears

Hi Mama!

My little conductor

Playing outside 

On Sunday it was Sinterklaas parade time. I've written about our previous parades here and here. The weather was really rainy and gross but with this being our last holiday season living here we were determined to go. We went with a few other expats and their kids. Elliot didn't quite know what to think about it all. Or maybe he was just tired because it was nap time :) 

Zwarte Piete

Trying to stay dry and warm

Elliot waving at Sinterklaas

Lots of people braving the rain