Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Search of Water

As I've said before, one of the most difficult facts about living in Frankfurt is the lack of a big clean beautiful body of water specifically Lake Michigan.  So last week we found ourselves two weeks deprived of the lake, checking the weekend weather forecast and booking a hotel near the North Sea.

Finally we narrowed it down to Belgium or The Netherlands, but the reviews of places in the Netherlands won our interest. We finally decided on Vlissingen, Zeeland very near Belgium and not too long of a drive....4 1/2 hours for two nights and one full day by the water - some might think we are crazy, but the added feel of a time crunch to see as much as possible in Europe trumps staying home regardless of the weather.

There is something magical about being by water.  Fresh delicious fish and Belgian beer were other factors in determining our destination.  The friendliness of the Dutch that we've experienced in the past is always a welcomed change.  Everyone speaks English which makes a vacation that much more relaxing and after all that isn't that the point.

Hannah loved playing at the beach which provided endless entertainment if only the weather could have been a little better.  The afternoon was great.  Luckily, she didn't want to play in the water which seemed to have a thriving jellyfish population.

Vlissingen is lovely little seaport.  The people are friendly and we found a great little hotel.  We ate delicious food.  Walked all over the little town and along the beach.  Perfect little weekend getaway.

Thanks for reading :)
Be Well!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Home and Back Again

Nearly two weeks have past since my feet last touched the shores of Lake Michigan and the gypsy life has been rolled up stowed away for another year.  Six weeks of vacation back home has me filled up with all that I miss so much; family, friends, the lake, Mexican food and the confidence that comes with being in your comfort zone of all that is familiar.

After weeks of traveling back and forth between South Haven and Traverse City, visiting with as many loved ones as possible, a wedding, a 60th birthday celebration for my awesome Dad, canoe trip, two great concerts and generally eating too much our life is throttled back to a slower gear here in Frankfurt.  We've returned to a predictable routine anyway - sprinkled with what are starting to become regular tantrums - Hello Toddlerhood!

As hard as it is to say good-bye (and only continues to get more difficult as Hannah grows) it is nice to return once again to our own space.  Living out of a suitcase can be a drag.  Our scenario has its ups and downs, but I must admit that watching my baby point to the phone and say "More!" after talking to my parents or pointing to the computer after Skyping with Nana & Bumpa and saying "Bumpa, more" is a bit heartbreaking.  At least she is learning and talking!

Life is back to park and playground hopping, bike rides, playgroups, trip planning and watching Hannah discover her world.  Her latest "new thing" is mocking us as we walk up six flights of stairs carrying her, as we start breathing heavy she starts blowing air out imitating her out of breath parents - I guess if we can't laugh at that we are really in for it, eh!  She also wants to go up and down the stairs by herself....  Generally, we don't have to be anywhere at a certain time which is good because 84 stairs for 17 month old can be time consuming.  Not to mention every landing has something new to marvel at even on the third pass of the day.

Lilly pad pond at the Palmengarten
The parks are awesome here in Germany.  I hope to go around and take pictures of all and post them.  We have tons of options as far as playgrounds and parks go.

There are also several Floh Markts (flea markets) coming up soon.  My two favorites are the KinderKram in G├╝nthersburg Park on August 24 from 10am-4pm and the Mother's Corner Bazaar September 14 from 11am-1pm at the B├╝rgerhaus Kirdorf, Stedter Weg 40, 61350 Bad Homburg-Kirdorf.  

We look forward to visitors and trips and all that this next year holds for us.  Still greatly enjoying the adventures of being an expat in Europe and life as parents navigating toddlerhood.