What I did on my Summer Vacation {our trip to the Netherlands & Paris}

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks since we arrived home from Europe, and our trip already feels like a dream. Vespa-ing (totes made that a valid word while in Paris) around Paris & drinking wine in a park while gazing upon the Eiffel Tower? Who does that? We did, according to our pictures, though now it’s just a fond and fading memory… 

This two week excursion in the Netherlands & France is not indicative of the kind of vacations we usually have. It was a complete and total splurge, brought about by 1) close friends moving to Rotterdam and b) huge life changes and a sudden influx in the bank account brought on by selling our house to become grad student + fam. It was an impulse decision, and one that we’re thrilled that we made. Here are just a very few highlights of our time away!

Wooden Shoe Bike in Amsterdam

Why yes, that IS a wooden shoe ‘bakfiets’ (cargo / stroller bike) outside of Amsterdam Centraal Station!

Potted Trees in Rotterdam

Potted Trees in Rotterdam. I found this hilarious and awesome.

Drinking on the Streets in Rotterdam

We bought beer & cider to drink while we walked the streets of Rotterdam JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL.

McDonald's Menu in Holland

I’m considering moving to the Netherlands simply to enjoy the incredibly delicious McDonald’s menu.

Delft Blauw Cow

…because why SHOULDN’T a cow carry the weight of the world on her shoulders? (It should be noted that this picture was taken in a shop window in Delft, where they paint anything they can get their hands on!)

Cone head Cabbage in Holland

Food grows in mysterious ways in the Netherlands. I have never before in my life seen conehead cabbage.

Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands

At the Afsluitdijk: I’m pretty sure this is the longest dijk in the world. The Dutch are crazy. This thing is 32km long and keeps the ocean (right) from flooding the country. Do you see how much higher the ocean is than the lake?!

University of Groningen

My husband estimates that there are about 800 bikes in the sea of metal in front of the University of Groningen. 50% of all trips within this city are taken by bike!

Airbnb in Groningen, Netherlands

We Airbnb’d it in Groningen and landed in this lovely 1930′s apartment a 10 min bikeride from the city centre. Only downside: Owner smokes in his livingroom so it was a bit stinky.

Brouwer Homestead in Gasselternijveenschemond

Above: My grandpa as a child and his family in front of the Brouwer family farm.
Below: Me (youngest grandchild of my grandpa) & Nils Wilting (grandchild of the man who bought the farm from my Grandpa’s family in the 1950′s)

Airbnb Paris

We Airbnb’d it in Paris, too, and weren’t disappointed.

Rent a Vespa in Paris

We rented a Vespa for 2 days in Paris. If you ever go to Paris, here’s my advice: DO THIS!!

Inside Versailles

Besides the 10 seconds during which I managed to snap this photo, we were literally shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists throughout the length of the tour inside the Palace. Next time we’ll head straight to the gorgeous gardens.

Biking at Versailles

Biking the palace grounds at Versailles. You can’t tell here but I’m about 20 minutes away from heat stroke while recovering from the previous night’s bout with the flu.

Rain in Paris

In spite of the copious amounts of rain, Paris was absolutely incredible. If anyone ever tries to talk you out of going because it’s ‘too cliche’, tell them that’s precisely why you want to go. It is SO worth it!



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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.

One comment

    Those potted trees kill me.

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