My Mom Came to Visit!
Four months in and I wasn’t as homesick I was thought I would be, but I did miss my family terribly. Which is why I was so excited for my mom to come visit at the end of April! We had a relaxed itinerary: she would fly into Amsterdam on Friday, I would pick her up after work and we would drive to Belgium to spend the weekend.
Saturday morning we headed to Brugges, Belgium:
Believe what you hear: this town really does look like it came out of a fairytale.
We also climbed the Belfry of Bruges, all 366 steps of this bell tower…
But the view was definitely worth it. And we did get a good workout.
Next up: Ghent, Belgium
We ate an awesome Belgium wafel and ate it besides a castle before we discovered an alley of street art.
Just a little fun fact: it was the very first time a Starbucks barista had spelled my name correctly on my cup. And I have Jensen Ackles to thank for that. Here’s the proof.
The next day we slowly made our way to Utrecht in Holland, but first we stopped in Breda and Gouda.
Then we started to make our way to Utrecht, our final destination of the day. We booked an AirBnB earlier that morning, so we plugged in the address to Google Maps and hoped to not get lost. To no avail. We ended up getting very lost and were about 2hrs later meeting our AirBnB host than we had anticipated. But we made it. And our host was very gracious and so very kind. She even gifted us stroopwafels (they’re heavenly… especially with some nutella)! We did some touring of the city in the morning.
Then we made our way into a charming cafe for some coffee and lunch. It’s amazing but I feel like all the shops are so chic, I love it!
After refueling, we made our way to De Haar Kasteel.
After our gorgeous trip to the castle, we made our way back north to Friesland (where I’m living). We didn’t get lost this time. Jos and Imca, the parents of the host family I’m au pairing for, were waiting for us when we got home so we could have some wine and so my mom could meet and get to know them. They also rearranged my schedule that week so my mom and I would have a lot of time to hang out with just each other, which was so sweet of them to do! We definitely appreciated it. We spent the week going on day trips around the Netherlands.
We went to the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, of course. Spring was in full swing now and the famous tulip fields were in full bloom. Just look at these photos!
Just a few more…
I also took her to Groningen to show her where I spent a good amount of time. And so she could get her Starbucks fix. We also ventured to Giethoorn, the Venice of the North. However, I now realize that there are a few cities that have been known to be the “Venice of the North”, such as Amsterdam, but I believe that Giethoorn definitely deserves the title.
You can drive to the outskirts of town and rent a motorboat from one of the many boat venders (I saw a sign saying you could pay as low as 6EUR, but since we stopped at the first vender we saw, we paid around 15EUR, still not bad). Then you just ride on into the city. They give you a map, but it didn’t do us much good- we got lost and ended up taking a longer route than we anticipated.
Friday afternoon quickly came and we were on our way to Amsterdam for the final few days of my mom’s visit. We booked a hotel close to the airport, she had a really early flight, and began exploring.
After our wonderful weekend in Amsterdam, my mom’s trip had come to an end and she had to head back home in times for Mother’s Day!
(Yes, we did match. And there were many more selfies taken than I’m usually comfortable with, but this new camera makes it so much more fun).