February 23rd, Mommy, Papa, and I left in an airplane for Vlissingen. It
was a long ride. I slept only 1/2 hour—I like to challenge Mommy and
Papa to keep me entertained. When we got to Vlissingen (a 2 1/2-hour drive
after the plane landed), we all took a 2-hour nap, which was good, but I
had trouble sleeping and napping for the next five days. In fact, the
first night, I woke up at 2:15, and then again at 4:00, and Papa took me
for a starlit car tour of Vlissingen while Mommy slept!
the first four nights we stayed at Oma Betty's house. I was so glad to see
her [right, with Jasper]! And all my aunts, uncles, and cousins,
too. Even Opa was there from Spain! They all gave me lots of attention and
hugs and kisses, and it made me feel so comfortable that I never felt
We spent most of our 11 days in Vlissingen
sitting around and talking. Well, the grownups talked, and I played with
toys or watched DVDs. Or if my cousins were around, they played with
we took walks outside.
The sun shone every day of our visit, but it was very
cold, especially when it was windy. One
day Mommy and Papa took me to the beach, but I had to wear all my warmest
clothes, so I couldn't actually move very much [left]. Still, I liked
walking in the sand, and Mommy helped me pick up shells.
did a lot of shopping. We went grocery shopping for Dutch foods to take
home. I liked Albert Heijn the best; one day soon after we arrived
I fell asleep in the grocery cart at Aldi. We also shopped for
souvenirs, especially Dutch children's books, DVDs, and computer games for
me. Mommy also bought Jip en Janneke and Nijntje things,
like puzzles and eating utensils, because you can only find those in
days after we arrived, Mommy, Papa, and I moved to our own little home, “Apartement
Martina,” for the rest of our stay. It was only 5 minutes' drive
from Oma's house. It had two bedrooms (mine included a playpen for
sleeping), a kitchen/sitting room, a newly remodeled bathroom, and, very
important, heaters in every room. We ate breakfast there every morning,
and I napped there each afternoon, and it was very comfortable and nice.
There were many things to eat in Holland that I
refused to taste, but I did find a few that I liked. Besides my old
standbys of toast with
jam, cereal, peanut butter on crackers, chicken nuggets, and an
occasional banana, I ate a lot of patates frites (French fries), which
the Dutch seem to serve with every dinner, kaas snacks, and yummy desserts. My favorite was
chocolate vla [right], which I dubbed "choco-lala."
sitting, talking, and shopping, we did a few special activities while we
second night, there was a big party to celebrate Opa’s 75th
birthday. Everyone went to dinner at a restaurant called Landlust.
We all sat at a very long table, and Tante Greet's sister brought me a
lunchbox full of small toys to play with, which made me happy. Mommy and
Papa took me to Oma's at 7:30 so I could go to bed, and Oma's friend
Odette babysat while they returned to the party.
Tante Annemiek took me, Mommy, Papa, Maaike, Menno, Jasper, and Stijn to a
very large swimming center in Domburg. There must have been four or five
pools, some with slides and waterfalls. I liked them all except for
the biggest slide, which scared me. We even ate a snack of patates
frites in the café!
day, we drove to Venlo and met Tante Lianne and Christel at Toverland, an indoor amusement and theme park. I
met the Toverland heks [left] and went on lots of rides. I liked
the spinning teacups best, even though Mommy thought I would get too
dizzy. I was too small for some rides, but others I liked were little cars
on a track, a caterpillar train that Mommy sat in with me, a basket I sat in
with Papa that went up and down and spun around, and a huge volcano to
climb. It was very fun.
night, we all went to De Wok for
dinner, a special Asian restaurant. I didn't eat anything but
patates frites (See? they're everywhere—even
in Chinese restaurants) and ijs, but my cousins took me to a
special play area for children. That was fun.
liked walking around Vlissingen. My favorite place was the Walstraat
[right], an outdoor mall with lots of little shops and cafés. I liked to
watch and listen to all the people. In Vlissingen, everyone speaks just
like Papa, and I learned many new Dutch words to use when I got home.
last day, March 7th, was long and difficult. We got up early, said a last, quick goodbye to
Oma, and then spent 3 hours in the car driving to the airport. I was
really good in the car—truly—but
after that I was tired of sitting. I didn't like the plane ride, and I
tried to communicate that to Mommy and Papa as best I could. I slept two 45-minute naps, the second of which ended just as we landed in
Seattle. I was still tired, so I started crying—and
then I couldn't stop! I cried while we got off the plane... cried while we
went through Immigration... cried while we went through Customs... cried
all the way to our luggage.
think Mommy and Papa were very glad to get home.
This year Easter fell on April 16th. The day before,
Joseph went egg hunting at the park, but I wasn't feeling well, so I
couldn't go. I did try dyeing Easter eggs with Cameron, but when I cracked
my first egg (by rapping it against my highchair tray), Mommy asked me to
watch rather than participate.
When I woke up Easter morning, the Easter bunny had
hidden plastic eggs upstairs, and Mommy and Papa helped me search for them
in my nightgown. I found every one and filled up a pink basket. The best
part is that when I shook them, I could hear something inside [left], and
when Papa helped me open them—Oooh!—we
found small, solid chocolate eggs!
|Next, we went downstairs for breakfast, and
there on the table were an Easter basket full of toys and candy just for
me [right] and a soft white bunny as tall as I! The basket contained
bunny I Spy book, three sheets of bunny stickers, Ernie and Elmo
bath squirt toys, a frog bath toy attached to an egg filled with jelly
beans, two plastic eggs filled with other Easter candies, and a
2-inch-tall chocolate bunny. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like eating the
candy, but I liked the book a lot, and I hugged my new bunny friend and
cuddled with him on the floor.
of the day laying around watching Little Einsteins and Sesame
Street on the TV 'cause I had
a 100° fever and didn't
have much energy. Grandma Joanie was supposed to come over for Easter
lunch, but she couldn't because she had started chemotherapy and couldn't
be around sick people. So Cameron and Mommy took lunch to her while I
stayed home with Papa.
I had a good nap, Mommy, Papa, and I went to Grandpa’s house for dinner.
I wore my special yellow Easter dress with the purple flowers on the
I just wanted to stay close to Mommy or Papa, but it was sunny outside, so
I had a good time walking in Bonnie’s beautiful garden, looking at the
flowers [left] and water fountain. (If Mommy had let me, I would have
don't remember what they served for dinner, but I know I didn't eat any of
it. However, Aunt Kitty brought strawberry shortcake for dessert, and the
vanilla ice cream tasted really good.
Three days later, when my fever had subsided but I still didn't feel well,
Mommy and Papa took me to the doctor and found out that I had two
ear infections! No wonder I didn't feel good for Easter!
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