Local Heart, Global Soul

June 11, 2014

Holiday Villa Ownership, Costs More Than We Guessed… Luxury Sea-Side (For A Weekend At Least)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve arrived at the Roompot “Noordzee Résidence De Banjaard”  holiday park that my sister in law has organised,  there are large houses that are holiday homes for the owners, but individually let out to the public  via the holiday  park website when they are not using them. Houses vary in size (and thus price) .

We have a three bedroom house that has a large kitchen, dining area and living room.

One set of in-laws also has a three bedroom place, for themselves, their youngest son and Oma (Grandmother) and the other in-laws have a slightly smaller two bedroom house that has a double, plus a room with two single beds for their two children.

Our rented house has a large double bedroom for Himself and I, a room with two single beds for our two kids and a smaller with singles for our friend and her toddler daughter.

Our double room has French doors leading out to a balcony that overlooks the street and which is the roof of  the veranda below. We aren’t the sun-bathing types (Like all New Zealanders these days, I’m only too well aware of the risks of skin cancer, and our family prefer Factor 80 sun-block to any sort of tanning lotion) , but if you were you could opt for a spot in the shade or in the sun as takes your fancy.

There is an extra cupboard (or it may be a small room) downstairs that’s locked, it’s storage for the owner’s personal belongings, understandably they need somewhere to keep their own bed linen and private effects that are not meant for casual tenants to use.

Other than that there is not a massive amount of storage in the house, but since I think that there are rules that prohibit year round occupation in the holiday park and most tenants would only be hiring for a week or two at the time, that’s less of a problem short term.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The living area is nice and large downstairs, our villa may have the same amount of bedrooms as one of my sister in laws, but is considerably bigger inside, so after the family sharing a picnic dinner at their place on the first evening, on the Sunday, everyone did the same at ours and the larger amount of space was noticeable when filled with a crowd.

It appears that there are various floor plans available for owners to choose from and the houses are more or less compact as a result. Judging from the house rules and reading material our owner is clearly of German nationality,  and I think that many of the houses here are also German owned: it’s an established fact that with large land area but  limited coastline, German nationals love to holiday in the Netherlands and be close to the sea.

This frequently leads to German families returning year after year to their favourite places on the Dutch coast, combined with the fact that many Dutch speak German and communication is easy,  has lead to a trend where owning  a property of your own by the sea is a good long term family investment. The holiday houses aren’t cheap though,  One of my sister in laws had a brain wave and thought that one of these would also be a brilliant idea, until we checked out the website and discovered prices between 300.000,– and 400.000,–  Euro for the types of villas we were staying in and her dream one a little larger.   Ouch… her dreams quickly evaporated at those  prices.

There are various modes of “transport” to play on and to get around with: short term hires of tricycles plenty big enough for adults, with a “side-car” sort of arrangement that the kids were delighted with. Then for a set fee you could hire a little cart, to take your stuff to the on site swimming pool, playground, or in our case, to transport tired toddler back to the villa.

We had all weathers during the weekend so my photographs reflect that… Let’s take a look around …

(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)

(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)

November 20, 2011

Villa Brazza: One Déjeuner Magnifique and One L’enfant Terrible…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We leave the Leerdam Glass Museum and decide that since we didn’t want the hassle of cooking for ourselves this short break, that we had better find some lunch before we head back to the camp site for a rest.

We drove around aimlessly on purpose at first,  taking smaller roads just to see where they went and after a short while we came out onto a big road where there was a sign advertising food.

The café/ restaurant is calle Villa Brazza, the building is impressive:  a stunningly beautiful railway station in brick and whilst it’s clear that the space where the restaurant is now, is probably a reincarnation of  the former waiting room and ticket offices, the building does still function as a train station so we sat by a window that looked out onto the platform and were conveniently lined up with the spot where the fiets (bicycle) carriage  part of the train is located at the end of the train.

Two trains came and went whilst we ate and on both occasions the bicycle carriage was a hive of activity, first alighting passengers stream out with their bikes and then the  passengers waiting to board stream in.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For the middle of the day I was amazed (and delighted)  to see how busy it was,  it’s such a Dutch tradition to cycle to a train station,  take your bike on the train and then cycle onwards to your destination after you’ve arrived in the city you are travelling to.

There are many complaints about how congested the ever increasing  car traffic is making Dutch Roads,  but bicycles still outnumber the Dutch by about three to one and it’s nice to see so many people going about their business with their bikes.

We’ve arrived a little to early for lunch so the place is still empty and getting ready for customers,  but this turns out fine for taking photos of the surroundings …

…(I try a few ‘arty’ photos with sunflowers, pumpkins and a square(!) watermelon  …with mixed success) and taking our time choosing what we want.

The kids opt of guacamole and chips,  I bag a taglietelle with baked salmon and creamy white wine sauce and Himself got a pasta dish that I forgot to write down the name for, but I do remember that it  had mushrooms in it somewhere somehow.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr turned out to be in an incredibly unreasonable mood and drove us spare by constantly trying to stand up on the lovely velvet bench seats.

NOT something he’s ever allowed to do at home and he persisted with his efforts-with-attitude to the point that a member of staff had to come over and also join in the telling-off’s. (sigh, some days, he’s not one of mine, I swear).

It was sad that this efforts only made Himself and I resolve to remove him from the premises as soon as we could possibly manage so while the meal was very tasty we would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if we hadn’t eaten it so fast.

There were howls of  indignant protest from Little Mr. about the lack of dessert but we are  not  rewarding his determined lack of listening and self control with treats and in the end the one I felt most sorry for was Kiwi Daughter who was excellently behaved, ate well  and sadly missed out on dessert by default.

Whilst Himself paid the bill and managed to get a grumpy, uncooperative Little Mr. out the door, I whispered to Kiwi Daughter that we would make things up to her later, so when she suggested that a small, extra sum of cash could maybe be added to her pocket money in lieu of dessert treats and this was duly done.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’d love to come back here and have a more restful meal (maybe when Little Mr. is old enough to have left home as that’s probably for how long this place will have bad memories of this visit).

We get everyone in the car and try and ignore/head off/mediate the beginnings of World War Three that Little Mr. appears determined to start with Kiwi Daughter, Himself and me.

Back at the camp site I need a rest, Himself says he will try and keep Little Mr. quiet and I say not to bother, I’m so tired I’ll sleep anyway.

The girls on the bike tour packed up  and left on the next leg of their journey early this morning,  since then a couple arrived with a big tent and set it up more or less in the same place the girls had been,  but we passed them on the driveway leaving for town as we came in so I knew the kids had the entire camp site to themselves and assumed hopefully nothing would fix Little Mr.’s determined bloody-minded mood like a rare opportunity to let of steam with no noise control limits.

I was both right and wrong…  he apparently made a lot of noise during the ensuing games of chasing, tag and hide and seek and I slept through it all for  almost three hours anyway, but sadly Little Mr’s  strange mood and itch for trouble hadn’t abated much even after that, after all.

He’s totally out of sorts… end of holiday blues? too much excitement over the adventure of camping?  or just a little boy having a really big “off” day.

The mind of  six year old children is hard enough to figure out at the best of  time, so forget logic and common sense and just settle on a vague … ‘who knows?”.

(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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