30 September 2015

Holland days (geddit?)

(It's ok, I didn't either.)

A lucky turn of fate saw us heading to Julianadorp in Nord Holland, past Amsterdam, just as the O'Shannessy's were in town! We were so close we had to try and meet up, and it turned out perfectly. It was like Christmas for Josh and Lewie with the attention of other adults, and their endless supply of €1 for the rides. Yay!

Lewie exploring the cheaper rides :)

Ah, the swings. I had resisted you for so long. What have you done Bernie and Lucy?!?!

Awesome shot of everyone. Josh (c) 2015

"You guys are great! I especially like your cake."

Soon lunch turned into dinner and we absolutely had to say goodbye so we could get to our accomodatin and to bed. Sad to go but so good to see you Lucy, Brendan, Bernie and Leo! Drop in again anytime!

We were staying in a holiday park in Julianadorp that had an outdoor playground with jumping pillow, mini golf, actual golf (blurgh), an indoor playground, bowling alley and a pool. AND it was close to the beach! There was also the tourist island of Texel just off the coast with lots of great bike trails and a brewery, plus you have to catch a ferry to get there. Even if the island isn't that great, surely the ferry will entertain the kids for a little while. I actually had no idea how far away this island was. All part of the adventure!


When all else fails, put him on top of an old brewery barrel!

Sunday we decided to explore closer to the holiday park. We had tagged along with our new Aussie friends Katie and Shane and their children for this trip, and everyone loved the giant jumping pillow. It took a lot of parental encouragement to head to the indoor playground so we could get a coffee :)

On the walk to the beach.
"Where are the ducks, Josh?"

Totally different to what I am used to, but I selfishly liked the Dutch way of doing things. How else are people going to push prams or ride to the beach with their dogs in bike trailers if not for a bitumened section of sand dune?!?

"Mum, the water IS really cold! Oh, my toes are sandy. I'm going back in!"

We're quite happy staying rugged up on the sand, thankyouverymuch.

Beautiful seaweed-eating boy.

The beach was lovely, but it wasn't really swimming weather, despite Josh's efforts. Luckily, we also had the toasty indoor pool for Lewie's first swim! He doesn't look too sure here but he did love it, eventually! In a similar vein, Josh really wanted to try the slide but was a bit worried (it was quite high up, even higher than those swings). After a few trial goes, he decided that was the only thing he and Ben were going to do for the next two hours! Lewie and I went back to our holiday house for sleep.

After a wonderful time away, a very badly timed case of gastro (from me earlier in the week) hit Ben the night before we were due to drive home. It was close call at times, but we made it. Just.

Overath Straßefest and Mountaineer Lewie

For the wine festival month of September we headed to Paul and Mieken's local street fest in Overath. Think school fete but with bratwurst, pommes, crepes, kölsch and, of course, wine! Perfect!

One of the first rides we saw was a crazy high carousel swing which Josh LOVED and WANTED TO GO ON NOW!!! They were quite high and I wasn't sure he would actually enjoy it once strapped in up high. So we continued walking and saw the dodgem cars. 
"Hey look Josh. Dodgem cars! Do you want to go on them?" 

"Okaaaaaay. Are sure you want to go on the high swings?"
<photo please Ben>

In other news, Lewie is also keen to reach new heights. His current trick is to climb Josh's chair. Eep!

Bike riding in Köln :)

10 September 2015

Refugee aid

We had been thinking a lot recently about what we could do to help the terrible situation faced by so many Syrians, when Bosch announced they would be collecting donations of clothing, toys and books. Well, we can definitely help with that. I hope to do more but this is a start.

My two little helpers. I think I'll keep you two :)

Love this pic of Josh in his AWB gear after he visited the rubbish/recycling company with kinder. Lewie in the background!

They're our beautiful boys!

5 September 2015

Just some pics of the boys

Pick up some Champagne on your way home

A hastily organised getaway to 'somewhere in France' brought us to the Champagne region!  The picturesque old town of Laon was lovely to walk around..despite there being no where to eat until the family unfriendly time of 7pm.

Josh: "That's where the dinosaurs park down through that tunnel".

Out front the Cathedral Notre Dame... Good spot to stop for a morning coffee.

Lighting a candle for Grandmama Pearl 😍

Josh being a statue.

The next morning we headed back to Laon but this time we caught the funicular up to the top of the massive hill where the old town lies. The "Poma 2000" as it is called... It must have seemed futurisic when they built it, which I guess it is as it is the world's only fully automated funicular!

Lewie's wriggly weighty-ness meant he had to go up on the shoulders for the first time!

Strolling around the old town walls...

...to the old town gate.

Give me your angry knight face. 

The town reference for a standard 'metre'. I wonder when the Americans will catch on...

Outisde the Civil Tribunal office..."Just married".

After the big drive yesterday, today's plan was 'take it easy'.

Love a good baguette.

The heat sent us scurrying for shade and double scoop ice creams. And then we pushed on to visit a local champagne cave... After all that's why we came here! But not being able to find the tourist office and having no phone data meant we had to rely on Ben's memory to get us to the Pommery champagne cave.  

Last time we visited in 2008 with our bestie's Bri and Adam.

And now in 2015... With two new 'little ones'!

Look at these young kids...

And now... Has Ben gotten shorter or Kirstie taller!?

One hundred steps to get out of the wine cave! Josh said he would be happy to do the tour again if it meant he got another grape juice at the end.

Hanging around the holiday house.

Outside our holiday house before the trip home.

A carefully researched lunch stop in Belgium on the way home in the town of Namur. We found this awesome little square off the main drag with lots of restaurants to choose from. Josh thought he would try a pickled onion with mixed results!

A stroll along the river, looking over the massive old fortress and trying to stop Josh falling in.