Local Heart, Global Soul

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 6, 2015

Kids On Holiday: Parents Learn From Their Mistakes…

As some of you saw yesterday, I completely messed up several posts by labelling two posts and three not-yet-started draft pages (that I forgot about), all with yesterday’s date. As a result you got one post that was meant for today and I had to go back and renumber quite a few posts in my schedule. I can only apologise for the weirdness, the necessary increases in morphine are really messing with my concentration skills and I’m making multiple mistakes on everything from A-Z in everyday life, not just here on my blog.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The holiday park where we had a summer break a couple of years ago is part of a chain called the “Landal Holiday Parks”, and we’ve already been to several of them in years past.

Ideally Himself and I would prefer to rent a Gîte de France, or something like it: an independent stand alone holiday house in the countryside.

As a couple we have done this many times but now that we have kids, things become more complicated.

Isolated houses are Himself and my idea of heaven but for two children in spite of there being a swimming pool on site, it means having no other children to play with so they spend the entire holiday taking this frustration out on each other.

After at least three holidays involving scrapping children we got the message and revamped our holiday location plans.

The Landal Parks offer individual holiday house of various sizes and prices and a family friendly environment, where if the children are old enough, they can race around the complex on bikes or spend time on and at the myriad of entertainments provided. Some of the Park’s, like this one, also have a policy where car driving is only allowed for arrival and departure, cars must be parked by the main entrance the rest of the time. Less mobile people like me can apply for special exemption, so our car can remain parked by the house, but the result of this policy is that there are almost no cars around the Park, making the location even more kid friendly.

Some of the Parks even have heated swimming pools and things like bowling alleys, so wet day entertainment is sorted too. This means that Himself can cycle and do activities with the kids, or let them loose cycling together alone and I can relax in the house, cook dinner or whatever I feel up to. There is usually restaurant and a snack bar on site too so we don’t even have to cook if we don’t want to. The secret to an excellent family holiday is “kids happy = parents happy = result!” Each holiday home is different… Let’s take a look at where we stayed (ours is the first house on the left)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Downstairs double, so the only stairs after I took these photographs are the ones to the front door…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One kid has a long room upstairs with a single bed at each end…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The other kid has a double upstairs…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Washbasin area between the two upper rooms…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 18, 2015

A Family Sized Meal, A Treat From Oma…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this archive post my husband’s extended family have come away together to a holiday park as a group, on a long weekend so that Oma (Grandmother) can spend time with us all together.

Naturally since it’s her weekend the three families who attended took care of her costs, but as a Thank You she wanted to treat us to a dinner in the restaurant.

The Landal park complex has a variety of eateries and on this occasion she wanted us to go into the main restaurant because she and several other families are vegetarians and there would be more options on the main menu.

The children mostly went for the easy and less adventurous option of fries, nuggets and the like, but the adults went for everything from cheese fondue to surf ‘n turf.

The saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” so I suppose I better get cracking posting photographs.

I do have to say that some members of the family enjoyed their meals more than others, but in a very large group there are always different tastes to cater to some things on the menu that turned out a bit different to what was expected and in the end the meal was less important than the fact that the service was friendly, Oma was really happy and we all had a good time.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

March 14, 2015

Landing In Landal: A Holiday Home From Home…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Several  years ago my husband’s family decided that it would be a good idea if his mother, Oma  (Oma = Grandmother) could have a long weekend away somewhere in the Netherlands, with present, as many of the extended family as possible.

The destination on this occasion was the Veluwe, an area of national park in the east of the country that contains wooded forest, open and semi-scrub land and roaming wildlife such as deer and many birds.

Dotted amongst all of this are various small towns and villages and because it’s a popular tourist destination, many camping grounds ranging from the  tiny eco-friendly minimalist sort to the larger parks that have fully furnished holiday houses and  on-site amenities swimming pools, bowling alleys, cycles for hire and restaurants.

Since Oma is in her 90’s and I’m in no condition to be attempting tents and sleeping bags, the families have opted for three holiday houses close to each other in a large Landal holiday park.

The houses come in different sizes and prices and we also took a family friend and her young daughter, so our place slept six, in three different rooms.

The holiday home had all the immensities we required, a shower and bath for scrubbing off the large of Mother Nature that Little Mr in particular was sure to collect whilst rummaging around in forest, an on-site restaurant because Oma wished to treat us all to a meal once during the weekend (all other costs for her were of course laid on by everyone present), an outdoor space and tables etc for everyone to join together for outdoor meals “at home” in the holiday houses, and in the case of our kids, a space where they could sit together and make loom-bands, since in this archive post, this was the first year that the world had gone completely and utterly loom band crazy.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was a pleasant surprise to find a dishwasher (the narrowness of my original 1930’s Dutch kitchen and the stone worktop mean one doesn’t fit in our kitchen at home) and  for himself,  a good coffee maker in the house, the perfect start to his habitual crack of dawn risings.

The beds (even the double beds) are made with German style duvets, which means a single duvet per person rather than one large double one.

I must confess that under this system there are never any hogging of the bedding problems and I’ve always warm enough … the downside is that cuddling up close together is tricky, trying to decide which bits of the his and hers duvets go where for comfort without gaps appearing letting in the cold when someone moves fractionally.

The other downside is that we have four very decent but not so new double bed size duvets at home (for the double bed in the guest room and in ours)  and I’m too eco-friendly Dutch to get rid of them whilst they have good life left in them.

Laundry is certainly a lot easier when dealing with single sizes so this arrangement is still high on my wish list for when the old duvets are at the end of their use.

Our living room (as we have the fractionally biggest house of the three rented for the weekend) is a good size to accommodate all should the weekend weather be inclement, there is a door leading out to the outside patio right off the living room and it’s one of the houses in this complex of over one hundred houses that is closer (relatively) to the restaurant, reception and main area, so do-able with crutches at least once. Let’s take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our children’s bedroom…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our friend and her daughter’s room…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Around the Landal site, plenty for kids…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Most of the weekend’s meals were buffet, picnic style… like this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although on the last day, we (ok, the others not me) cleared the table at a flat out running pace as the first fat raindrops fell, and then literally two minutes later the heavens opened and the cloudburst looked like this…

 

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