Monday, June 6, 2011

Camping De Roos, Netherlands

Recently someone was telling me that she'd begun a personal mission to reduce the high volume of annoying vacation photos which she's asked to peruse with friends. After an onslaught of offers to see other people's vacation photos, exhausted and bitter, she said, "You know, I don't mind looking at holiday photographs, but I never want to see more than five. I wasn't there, so I'm not happy like the guy who just got back. I'll celebrate the trip, but please people limit the vacation photos to 5 happy moments unless I'm going there next week."

But I'm that guy. The one that can't limit the numbers. The one who is so happy about the trip, and still soaking up the sun and fun. It's still oozing from my pores. I wish you could smell the fresh pine from the bike trail through the woods. I wish you could hear the kids laughing and screaming down on the dock of the river's edge. I want you to know how interesting it is to chase a guy around because he's sporting wooden shoes, clogs, for real! They still wear those shoes in Holland people! (OK that last part is true, but perhaps not something that should be admitted to) I never did get to take his picture with them but was told he's a regular and if we go back I'll have yet another chance.
So I let everyone pick 5 Holland Highlights instead- here they are.
(The family, long weekend trip, to Holland, at a campsite called "Camping de Roos". Beautiful place. If you happen to be in Holland, I highly recommend it!)

Arleigh's 5 highlights definitely rank among the funniest....
For Arleigh, Holland camping highlights include rolling in grassy fields,

playing with dad

snacking, snacking, and snacking

fishing,...(aka threatening to jump in)

(FYI turkey kielbasa isn't the best bait for fishing in Holland)

and searching for bugs

Emory's Holland highlights include
playing soccer (with anyone willing)

'biking practice' (= sitting on bike and waiting for someone to hold onto shoulders)

(** note special talent of photographer here- photo shot from hip biking at about 10 miles per hour whilst biking a second human being in front seat)

learning to be 'camp cook'

fishing off the dock,....

OK, well it was all good until that fishing got a little boring.

And building sandcastles. Great summer fun.

Stella's highlights included but are not limited to-
"jumping", usually off of docks into river water. This was by far the most common and happiest activity for her.

fishing - An eternal optimist, she'd have sat on the dock til dawn without so much as a nibble.

Catching minnows- via the bucket of a German girl who she communicated with "by pointing".

Blowing bubbles- a longstanding favorite for this gal no matter where she is

biking (always in proper attire- swimsuit and flip flops)

Addie's highlights are primarily linked to her friend who was there.

Emily was Addie's first friend in Belgium and part of a family we hope to know forever. Emily, Addie, and Stella spent a large amount of time in swimming suits, riding bikes, and padding a raft in the river.

When we tore her away from Emily, she was content with bubbles,

 jumping off docks into rivers
 and, well, paddling around with her sis and best bud.
Dad's highlights are summarized into 4 words (ages 8 and under),..guess which words those might be?

playing 'kid' at the playground

biking with family and friends... (like Stella and bubbles, this guy is happy if he's on a bike- no matter where)

Rolling in grass...

For me- well, I really can't pick just 5. I can't.
People watching was fascinating. Travelers came to camp via any and every means you might imagine. 'Trekkers' showed up on foot and by bike with tents packed on front wheels and in backpacks. Canoeists, camper vans, tents packed in cars, and even via donkey hee- hawed his way through camp one evening.
Not a highlight, but factually interesting...Each thatched roof was passed seemed a work of art. Our English friends who were camping too, said that it used to be a very cheap form of roof, lasting only 10 years, but cheap and easy to replace. They said now in the UK it has become quite expensive as the thatchers are a lost breed. Their work is a dying art it seems. So sad.

Watching the Dutch kids in a pitch near us, do the Macarena, was quite entertaining.

A short but sweet visit via bike ride, to the nearby town of Ommen, was of course a highlight,

another sweet highlight- the penny candy shop on the campground. Loved watching the kids work over and over their decisions on how to spend change for a little treat.

To pick just one or two? Impossible.
I have a new favorite word to share though. Just one word. On a bike ride we came across a sign, warning of speed bumps. "Drempels!" ... love it.

How perfect a word. Having a bad day?"oh drempels!" Hit a little speedbump in life? Don't worry, it's just a drempel. Bad day at school? "Don't worry honey, you'll get over this drempel and move on". I will say though, we had such a darn great time on this Holland camping trip, that I may be down in drempels for awhile. (Try it out- a great Dutch word I tell you!)

In the meantime, in poor etiquette, I'll be showing off the gazillions of annoying holiday photos from this trip, now tomorrow's memory.

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