Local Heart, Global Soul

February 12, 2017

Getting Settled And Sorted In Our Respective Accommodations…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last year,  on the Thursday before Easter, we find ourselves in the island of Texel and in the process of looking for our accommodation.

The place we will be staying is a rented house in a holiday park called “De Krim”.

The place that we have rented is a small, two story house: there is one downstairs bedroom with a double bed for Himself so I take photographs of the downstairs area, inside and out.

However, because of my foot injury I don’t want to have to go upstairs so Little Mr commandeers my camera and takes the honours.

Due to us arriving later in the day, and the variation in the weather during the our stay, these photographs were taken over the entire weekend.

The house is compact but plenty big enough for our needs.

The house that our friends hired is smaller, it’s actually more a static caravan. The area of their place is less than half the size of our accommodation, but they will be over at our place quite a bit, or out and about, so the size of the sleeping area is less important.

Their baby and almost four year old are more impressed with the playground for tots, so everyone is happy there.  Little Mr is pleased with the garden space at the back of our place, he and Himself had a kick-a-round with a football we have bought with us.  The house has plenty of space for everyone, perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 28, 2016

Starting The Day And Using Our Planet Wisely…

On our last morning of our surprise weekend away last summer, we head with our friends to the on-site restaurant for the breakfast that can be paid for as part of your stay. Since the accommodations at De Vreemde Vogel (The Strange Bird) only have tea and coffee making facilities and we are packing up to leave later on, we have opted for the short walk to the restaurant rather than find a bakery. In keeping with the reduce, reuse, recycle ethos here, the path leading to the restaurant is lined with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Next to the terrace tables there are several swings and a chestnut tree with some new but spiky chestnuts which make interesting photographic subjects. Breakfast is a simple but completely adequate affair made with local ingredients and we left satisfied and with smiles for the new day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

De Vreemde Vogel / The Strange Bird

March 8, 2016

The Rocket Where Anyone Can Be An Astronaut For The Night…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just aound the corner from the “caravans on stilts” at “De Vremde Vogel” we find a small field with a surprise at the end of it.

Little Mr sees it and lets out a whoop of delight, and even Kiwi Daughter is impressed.

The surprise that our friends have arranged for us this weekend is that we get to sleep in … a Rocket!!!

The “Rocket” comes in two parts, the lower section is a converted shipping container that houses a double bed and three tiny lockers, then there is a shower and toilet at the rear end.

The next section is like a connecting porch, with the entry door and to the right, the ” Rocket” section.

A ladder leads up to a first bunk at head height, and then still further up to another single bunk at the very top.

Both bunks are a tight fit but I’m assured by the kids that the view out of the top porthole window is worth the climb. Of course my foot makes the ladder impossible for me so I handed the camera to a willing volunteer (Little Mr) who took all of the photos from up high, the beds etc.

From the bottom I can look skywards, the “innards” look like this is a converted silo or something. Outside there is a small raised patio with a picnic table and of course plenty of space around it with the grass field. The main outer door of the shipping container opens to reveal a large wall to wall glass window (on the far side of the double bed). The accommodation is basic, but highly quirky which is indeed the whole point of all of the accommodation’s here at De Vreeme Vogel. There is a kettle but no further cooking facilities, but that said there is a restaurant on site.

The kids delight in exploring the rocket tower, the later summer weather is cool but just warm enough for us to eat together outside before the shadows lengthened, the sun went down and the coolness turned into cold. Although a tiny heater is provided, I would personally find the uninsulated metal floor too cold for winter, but for summer this place would be a true delight. It’s similar to camping in that things are “back-to-basics” basic but without the hassle of trekking outside to a toilet or shower block in the middle of the night, or enduring wet bedding and belongings should the unpredictable Dutch weather decide to be inclement instead of decent. For this weekend it is perfect!

Himself and I sleep with the heavy metal door of the shipping container closed at night but Himself opens it out wide in the morning so that we can sit in bed with a cup of tea and enjoy the early morning rays of sunshine creep over the dew on the field we are in. Beautiful!

Even quirkier is that fact that both the birdhouse and the rocket accommodations each sport a small record player and a small pile of vinyl (that’s “records” if you are from the post record and tape generations). The beds are comfortable and the fact that there are only two outside steps and no inside ones is a feature I specially appreciate our friends taking into account when they arranged this weekend. For me it’s also a welcome break from the four walls of home where often my only outings are for medical appointments. This is a most welcome change and the weather has been brilliant considering these are the very last days of summer.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://devreemdevogel.nl/
De Vreemde Vogel / The Strange Bird

November 19, 2015

A Pentecost Weekend, We Are Heading Away…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the Netherlands various religious days are also national Public holidays. One of these is the Pinksteren weekend.

Pinksteren, (“Pentecost” in English) occurs seven weeks after Easter and is made up of two days: Whit Sunday and the subsequent Monday.

Pentecost is the day in the Christian calendar when the Holy Spirit descends from heaven onto the followers of Jesus. The Dutch call the second day of Pentecost (Whit Monday) “Tweede Pinksterdag”.

Since I am currently on extended Medical Leave from my work, I am restricted when it comes to taking annual leave without permission from my work. With this in mind, and because I have not had a proper holiday in over a year, we decided to take advantage of the long weekend and head out of the city. Our destination is a holiday park in the east of the Netherlands, an area called the “Veluwe”. Situated in a large forested National park, towns, villages and holiday accommodations there take advantage of space and realities proximity to nature. Little Mr has a little friends from the neighbourhood join us for the weekend, her travel experiences are limited and this is an excellent chance for her to see more of the Netherlands. Our destination is the Landal Colderhoven Holiday Park, so we pack the kids up after the school day has ended and head eastwards. We get there in the early evening and take a look at our accommodation for the weekend…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 4, 2015

De Zeven Heuvelen Hotel: The Hills Were Made When They Dug The Pool?

Filed under: Accomodation,Nijmegen,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the beginning of January this year, I had another operation on my foot. This was done by one of Europe’s top foot surgeons in the city of Nijmegen on the other side of the Netherlands.

Looking for a hotel that would accommodate our family of four for the first night, and Himself and the kids for the nights I would be in hospital, plus our two friends and their toddler son was not at first easy.

On the list of essential requirements was an indoor swimming pool because I knew that if that wish was accomplished then all three kids would be happy and endlessly entertained, and as it turned out the pool turned out to be the highlight of their trip.

My daughter is training to be a lifeguard and my son, whilst not quite up to his sister’s standard still is a very confident swimmer, having passed the rigorous Dutch swimming diploma system. Both kids adore our friends son, so their toddler gained two personal assistants / playmates / entertainer in the pool and they played for literally hours on end in the water. This was even more perfect because our friend was expecting her second baby and said toddler still wasn’t always sleeping through the night so tired parents could keep a weather eye on proceedings without having to actually provide all of the entertainment.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Only one hotel in the area had both an indoor swimming pool and two family rooms available for the dates we needed them, which is how we ended up at the “De Zeven Heuvelen Hotel” (The Seven Hills Hotel) in Groesbeek, about fifteen kilometers out of  Nijmegen.

Being New Zealand raised, I have to admit that I struggled to find one, let alone seven hills in the area, but I’ll assume that they are (or were) here somewhere and that I’m clearly more in need of new lenses than I thought I was.

The family room that we had was decently large, with a kitchenette so that Himself could cook pasta for the kids after the first night, and a second room of the main one that contained two single beds. The room that I booked for our friends was smaller (as requested) but I was horrified when I saw it in person (there were no photos on line) that it had a spiral staircase to access the mezzanine sleeping area upstairs.

The hotel had put a stair-gate at the bottom of the stairs but omitted to add one to the top, so our friends had be very careful when their toddler was upstairs, Luckily he was terrified of the stairs and kept well away.

I was also worried about my pregnant friend, spiral staircases not being easy to negotiate if she needed the lavatory downstairs during the night, but on the up-side they spent almost all of the “inside” time in our far larger room, and shared meals there too so it ended up not being an issue.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend this room for a family with very young children though, space is tight and those stairs are frightening. It’s a shame that there were no photographs showing this on the hotel website. Luckily the swimming pool was such a hit that little time was spent in the room,  and our (bigger) room was perfect for both families needs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our friends family room…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

(photograph © Little Mr)

Hotel & Bungalowpark de Zeven Heuvelen
Cranenburgsestraat 23b
6561 AM Groesbeek
Telefoon: 024 – 397 58 41
info@dezevenheuvelen.nl

De Zeven Heuvelen Hotel

 

 

 

September 13, 2015

Kids Struggle To Finish Their Meals But Demolish Desserts Like Pro’s…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago we visited Limburg in the south of the Netherlands and stayed in a Landal Holiday Park close to the town of Vaals.

After a day out we were ready for a nice meal, sometimes something home-cooked back at the hired house and other times in the Park’s restaurant.

On this occasion we chose to have a night off from the kitchen and came to the restaurant for dinner.

Between us we enjoyed  french-fries, a burger, shrimp salad, a large side salad, chicken nuggets (which came from the children’s buffet, so were available as soon as we ordered and which were consumed inhaled by Little Mr before I got around to taking the photographs).

Both kids, in the fashion apparently  inherent to children the world over, struggled with their main course and had Himself help them out to finish their plates, but about fifteen minutes later managed to polish off an ice-cream sundae each. In Little Mr’s defense his entire menu then appeared to overwhelm his vast energy reserves and having persevered to the last mouthful he cuddled up on Himself’s lap and promptly fell fast asleep.

Himself carried Little Mr back to the house where I removed my son’s shoes and trousers and tucked him into bed. It was one of those occasions when just when you think your kids are becoming “big kids” that they suddenly look very small, vulnerable and little again. The next morning, with batteries recharged he was back to his “almost-big kid” self. As with our previous meals here the food was ok, completely edible but nothing  to write home about. Maybe our expectations were too high…Still, we were feeling lazy and not having to cook or do dishes is a definite bonus when you are tired.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The night is neither too warm nor too cold but the warmers have been lit on the terrace outside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

September 7, 2015

Around Landal, Activities For The Active And The Restful Alike…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back at our holiday home in the Landal holiday park close to Vaals, in the Dutch province of Limburg, Family Kiwidutch are not short of things to do.

More accurately, the ones doing the doing were Himself and the kids.

I was on hand to take photographs when I was already close by for example, in the restaurant for dinner but they were on their own when it came to places like the tennis court.

I spent most of my time inside of the park in our rented house, or in the garden of the house, sleeping or resting with my foot elevated after our regular half days out.

One of the things that the kids really liked was the bowling alley, but they quickly found that bowling with an “actual” bowling ball rather than the WiiSport virtual reality sort was far heavier and harder then they imagined.

I didn’t attempt it but watched and took photographs for the family album. There is also a play area for younger kids on the other side of the two bowling lanes, and other things like badminton on offer too. There was also a small, level, grass lawn on the rear side of our rented house, we enjoyed several picnic lunches and dinners there and Himself and Little Mr managed a football kick-around there too. All in all we enjoyed staying in this house.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 29, 2015

A Busy Day Needs A Hearty Breakfast…

In this archive post Family Kiwidutch have spent the night in the Amrath Grand Hotel de l’ Empereur Maastricht and are getting ready to see some of the city before we check into the holiday park we have booked later. But first we need breakfast to fortify us for the journey so a cooked breakfast, yoghurt, croissants. tea and coffee are most welcome. Let’s check out the breakfast room…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amrath Grand Hotel de l’ Empereur Maastricht

 

June 27, 2015

Amrath Grand Hotel de l’Empereur Maastricht: Settling In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in 2013 we had a series of short holidays around home rather than one long one abroad so that we could work in some family time around my many medical appointments.

In August we headed for Maastricht, in the far south-eastern corner of the Netherlands and arrived on a balmy evening.

Our hotel is called  the Amrath Grand Hotel de l’Empereur Maastricht, and the building is as grand as the name suggests.

The kids are delighted that we have adjoining rooms and  Himself and I are extra pleased because it means that we actually get to sleep together.

Whenever a connecting door is not available and we are in a hotel rather than in a holiday house, the kids are too scared to share the room together without a parent. That always results in me doubling up with Kiwi Daughter and Himself in the other room with Little Mr.  Of course when your kids are smaller this is a better arrangement for reasons of security anyway.

We can see the railway station from our window, it’s also a grand old building  full of architectural detail, but the double glass windows keep out traffic noise so we can enjoy it without it being annoying.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amrath Grand Hotel de l’Empereur Maastricht

June 18, 2015

Getting Up Way Too Early…A Long Day Ahead…

Filed under: Accomodation,Nijmegen,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in October 2014, Himself and I went to Nijmegen to see Doctors, have tests and look for solutions for my problem foot since it isn’t healing as planned.

Yesterday when the kids got out of school, we dropped them off with friends and Himself and I hit the road, arriving in time to have dinner before the Golden Tulip Val Monte hotel restaurant closed up for the evening.

Even though we were both outwardly calm, it was one of those night’s when Himself and I tried to sleep in spite of the thousand questions racing though my brain and after tossing a turning and laying quietly looking at the ceiling, I finally realised that Himself was doing exactly the same thing.

I whispered a question asking if he was awake and he was relieved to tell me that it was 04:00 am and he had been awake for a while.

Both of us were nervous about what the specialists would say and sleep was going out of the window until we knew more. Luckily both the swimming pool and the restaurant where breakfast was served were both also open extra early, so we started the day with a swim and  breakfast and had both the pool and the breakfast area completely to ourselves.

I was very pleased that there was no-one to see me get into the pool, there was a ladder rather than steps so with one good foot and Himself giving me more than a hand I got in (and out) eventually.

It wasn’t however graceful at any moment of the procedure, but my physiotherapist would have been proud of my effort, knowing how much of a non-swimmer I am. In the breakfast room I spy some unusual egg cups, they were plastic throw-a-way ones so I asked if I could take two for our children back at home and the staff were happy to oblige. It was still early when we got back from breakfast and after packing we decided to just leave early for the hospital rather than sit around watching the minutes tick slowly by…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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