Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Start of Holland

Spring Break we took a trip.

Decided to drive 3 1/2 hours to Holland to the Tulip Festival, then to Amsterdam and then onto Belgium.

Here is the start to our adventure.

The Drive
We got stuck in a Stau (rhymes with COW...means a traffic jam) for 4 hours, and only moved 10 miles (20 km). Brian had already started with a headache so his inner Road Rage started to come out. He had the grand idea of pulling off one of the exits to run around and eat lunch. (Little did we know that there was no on-ramp back onto the freeway and had to back track 2 miles to then sit in traffic for another two miles that we had already traveled.)

How pretty is this countryside? We were up on a hill so you can see the beautiful parts of the countryside behind us. And the grass really was almost that green. I only lightened the whole picture just a little.

Spencer sleeping in the car melts me...I love when he puts his hands behind his head to sleep. He also has this new thing of stuffing his blanket behind his head, or over his face, to get comfortable. And he really makes a "to do" about it. He'll move it around and nuzzle his head back onto it to get it just right. He'll even take it off and reposition it if it's not the way he wants it.

Brian trying to control all his patience. Please know that I was totally giggling and laughing the whole time cuz our roles had totally been switched. He's usually a very patient person. I don't think it helped that I kept making quips that fueled his rage.

Here's the reason for the Stau. At least it was worth it and it wasn't just cuz some guy had stalled on the side of the road...

I love these pictures of Spencer when he's deep in thought. He loves to read this "Thomas the Train" catalogue. He gets really into it and studies each train in there. It entertains him for a long time.

Our friend from church gave us this great idea to stay at this place called "Eurocamp". And of course the first thing that comes to mind is, "No way. I do not like camping." But the more we looked into it, the better it sounded. No one we knew had been there but they were all planning on staying there while doing this trip.

Little did we know how amazing it would be. I seriously wish they had these on the West Coast in the states (they have quite a few but only on the East Coast) cuz the Schultz Family would be all over these for our reunions. And they were cheaper than a hotel. They have them all over Europe, like in Italy, France, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, etc., etc. I'm totally in love with this place and want everyone to experience it!

We had our own 3 bedroom cabin (mobile home) with every amenity you needed... we also loved that we had a huge fridge, kitchen and every dish we needed to cook all our meals. But wanna know the best thing? It was attached to their very own amazing amusement park and indoor water park... The girls loved it so much that they were actually annoyed we HAD to go to the Tulip Festival, Amsterdam and Belgium.

But I'll be honest, I thought it was pretty amazing too, I almost wanted to stay there instead of doing the other things. Ruth, again, did you ever think you'd hear me say I'd rather camp?

The only bummer or me was in the morning, I had a re-creation of our bird situation at our house. But I was pleasantly surprised when I walked outside to see these fun things right at my doorstep, welcoming me to the pleasant day. How could you get mad at these beautiful Mallard Ducks, even though they were honking my ears off at 6 a.m.?


So, like I said, we were within about 200 yards from the amusement park, but it was basically on the same lot. So, it was almost like we were camping at an amusement park and water park. And true to European standards, the rides were amazing! I didn't get any pictures of the water park though, which I'm bummed about. The water slides would have put Raging Waters to shame. Brian actually got flipped over inside one of the "medium" ones and said he wouldn't recommend I go on any "Turbo" ones. They were the kind that at one point you just dropped straight down. He said he lost his stomach the whole way down. They also had two that were pitch black lit up with twinkle starlight, and a toilet bowl one that pretty much flushed you out and you had no control over your head or body. I had to literally hold my head in place as I was going down...hahaha. Funny stuf. I was pretty amazed. Spencer loved the wave pool, the kiddie pool, the "family slide" and the kid slides. He did NOT want to leave.

Wait. Before I go on, I have to tell you this story. There were a few things that surprised us when we got there that no one had told us. Like they didn't tell us we were supposed to bring certain things (dishwashing soap, toilet paper, etc.). We just thought that they would have mentioned something in all the paperwork they sent us or it would be provided. Well, one of the things they didn't tell us was that we needed photos for some sort of "Passport" to get into the Amusement Park and Water Park. So, when we got there, they told us, "Oh, well there's a photo booth you can just take each of your pictures and stick it on there."

Ummm...the pictures were 4 euro each...that's $6...for each of us...coming out to be about $24 US Dollars. I refused. I was so mad. I stewed about it til the next day and finally went in and talked to the office, telling them how ridiculous it was and they should have told us before. She said, "Well you can just take a digital picture of the whole family, print it from the digital printer that is only 35 cents and then cut your heads out." Cool! I can handle that.

Well, of course the stupid thing was broken. And we ended up having to pay 4 euro per person. At first, I refused to do it and had Brian and the girls take their own. I wouldn't go to the water park that night anyway so why pay the money? Well, we saved on the girls cuz the thing gave us 4 pictures each. Why not use the same picture for the identical twins? Can you guess from the pictures below who took the picture for both of them? Oh and Brian purposely made a mad face at the camera just to be fun, but to document how unwillingly we were doing it.

And then the next day I ended up doing it too but know that I didn't do it willingly. I was so mad, which is such a funny thing to be mad about with all the other things we could have been more mad about, but I was seriously pissed. It wasn't about the money, cuz $24 isn't that big of a deal, but I just hate feeling like we're being "taken." It made me feel better when two other families walked in to look at the machine and were mad they hadn't been told either. But all in all, the campsite was very accommodating and I couldn't have asked for a better time.

They had two huge sand pits with a big old tall slide that Brian was kind of even afraid of going on.

The multi-seated teeter totter.

Of course, Spencer went straight to the sand.

I don't know the name of this thing, but it rocked back and forth and went really high. Kind of a smaller version of the Pirate Boat at all the amusement parks.

(Can you see the big tall slide in the background? It's taller than it looks in this picture.)
Girls had a good time with this pipeline. It was automatically going so they kept toppling over and falling over all the kids that climbed in.

I didn't get any good pictures of the big rides. They had some pretty amazing ones...comparable to Magic Mountain roller coasters. Some they didn't go on cuz the girls were too small, and some they didn't go on cuz they were too scared. Which is saying something about the ride cuz the girls don't get scared that easily. One ride literally went straight up, then flipped over the top and went straight down into a huge curve. No way was I going on that one.

Spencer, of course, loved this train and wanted to go on it all day. I know the following pictures all look similar but the faces are different and I love them.

See! We can prove it! We really were in Holland. These Dutch pancakes were being made everywhere. I seriously wanted some but never ordered any.
I just showed Brian this post and he said, "We definitely need to go back. And we'll just stay there at Eurocamp. The girls would love it, and then you can get some Dutch pancakes. What else would be better?" Haha. Touring Europe?


Randi said...

This is such a great post. I love all of the pictures. That place sounds like so much fun. I guess you could think of the $24.00 as admission tickets into the park. That does stink though. Those pancakes are amazing and you must go back and get some. I cant wait to see more.

PS...I am going to guess that the picture is of Xanthe...but I am not 100% sure.

amber buhrley said...

Xanthe for sure! Sounds like a great trip. I want to go! And, excuse me, you can't say you were camping. You can say you were at a home away from home. I love though that you were laughing about the traffic and the back track but you were angry about the $24! Thats amazing!

ruth said...

Thats because that's not camping. Thats Harry Schultz camping. HAha. I wish we could have our reunion there it looks fun.

Lokodi said...

sounds like a totally fun vacation, minus the traffic. Your girls are so dang cute and trendy. I love your husband's stern face in that pass. Hilarious.


pnarula said...

We loved the Eurocamp! The Amusement park was such a nice perk. The trailer was great too. We are definitely going back next year. Thanks for all of the great tips. No way we would have known to bring passports, dish soap, or toilet paper.