Monday, June 24, 2013

A Break from it All

I know what you're thinking. A break? A break from what? I have lived in Amsterdam for 3 months after returning from 4 months of traveling in SE Asia. I know. Rough life.

But adjusting to life in Amsterdam has been harder than I expected. There are things that make it smooth and seamless, like the fact that everyone speaks English and that people are just plain friendly. I no longer break into a sweat when I can't figure out which kind of flour to buy at the grocery store.

We have had lots of visitors as well, which has been wonderful but made it harder to get our life here organized. As such we still need closets for both bedrooms and furniture for the patio. There are a few boxes that need attention...and now it's all just starting to blend in.

The weather has been horrible. It has been one of the coldest and longest springs in the last 100 years in the Netherlands. It gets old. It sounded like France had a better chance of warmth and sunshine. (With one week left in June, I am still wearing a jacket and scarf nearly every day!)

I think the hardest adjustment is something that happened some time between when we left Germany in November and when we got to Amsterdam in March. Simon is growing up. He's big. He no longer sits in his nice big stroller while I wander through the city getting my shopping done. He wants to ride his bike, which means he is no longer contained and I have lost the massive storage at the bottom of his stroller! This has been quite devastating. Grocery shopping and any errands at all have become much more work and much more stressful. As a result we eat mostly pasta, pancakes, sandwiches, and raw veggies. I have cooked all of 5 or 6 meals since we moved here. I'm serious.

On top of all that, I haven't been feeling very well for the last couple of months. That has probably slowed me down the most. And when I realized that our exciting news might also mean that I would not be able to spend nearly 6 weeks in Minnesota this summer with my friends and family, I booked a pity trip to France.
Coming in November....maybe October....hopefully not September!
It seemed to do the trick. We had a great time, with lovely sunny beach days and pleasant cool evenings. Martin only stayed the weekend, so Simon and I were on beach duty. Simon immediately made a new best friend from Austria. "I love Caroline. She's my best friend." Her wonderful parents invited us out in the evening for dinner or a playground play date, so I even got in some adult conversation!
According to Simon, a very sandy beach.
Simon is always chasing....
And it turns out Antibes is a lovely place for a beach vacation with kids. The beach where we spent each day was loaded with families with young children. European schools are still in session, so nearly all kids were under 5. It was warm but not scorching hot (that comes in a few weeks) and the water was not so warm, but the kids don't mind! I could be convinced to go back again next year! And thanks to the Frenchies love of striking, we even got to stay an extra day!
Sun, sand, and snow!


  1. happy for you...I was wondering when #2 would show up:)
    Simon Says....bring me a sister?

  2. What fun! And congrats on the big announcement ;-) YIPPPEEEE!!! It IS tough when they decide they are too big for the stroller. Sadly, we hit that in Europe last Fall with Ethan. Suddenly he just wanted to push the stroller, and our 5 year old wanted to laze in the stroller. Not a good combo! That's why we ditched that baby when we went to SE Asia! Hahaha!! France looked like fun! Oh, and what luck you had with the Spring weather?! Bummer!

  3. OMG, Kris, I found you! Unfortunately I was not able to find you via my new Facebook account in order to add you again.
    Maybe you would like to find me... my new Facebook account is named Mari Ga Be.
    You seem to have a great life, I'm so happy for you!
    And what do I see? You are going to be a mom again! Wooohoo! That's so great! But don't forget to tell Simons sibling that she or he should stay inside at least 37 weeks! ;-)
    Would be great to hear from you!
    Many hugs! Marion