|One of the rides
There were a few things I noticed when I got back home on Monday. Number one was that Oswin had not been hungry during my time away from home. At all! Which is a good thing. In fact, she desperately needed some excercise other than walking to her food bowl. So, she was let out for a few hours and every day since.
|Eating in the bath? Only in the Efteling!
A novelty bin
Number two was that my lovely green suitcase is in desperate need of replacement. It really has been through the wars it seems. Over the years it has been everywhere with me, mostly on the coach, but in the last few years on planes as well. And especially the latter has done some real damage to the suitcase. A hole, a rip and the latest: the wheels. So, before my next trip I will have to go suitcase shopping. A good thing my next trip will not be before next year, so I can save up a bit.
|Scene from Sleeping Beauty
Number three was the grass in my garden: it was long! It would need some severe trimming before it would be too long again. Yesterday I tackled that and now it looks lovely and short again. I hope to get in at least one more trim before winter really sets in, but I remember last year: rain every day (it seemed like) or work that interfered with my grass trimming.
But of course you didn't want to know about all the things that happened after my return. You want to know about my weekend away. As you may remember my mother reached retirement age last week and we usually decide to give them a present from all of us for those benchmark days. This time we had given her a weekend away in the biggest amusement park in the Netherlands. It originally started as a fairy tale park drawn by Dutch artist Anton Pieck. But soon the first merry-go-rounds and rollercoasters started appearing. And then a few years ago the hotel was built as well.
|Long Neck. The most famous inhabitant
I wasn't completely convinced that the present would be right. I just knew it was going to be busy (it was, although not as busy as I had feared, 45 minutes was the longest wait I saw/was in). And with our luck, of course it would rain. Which it did. A lot. On Saturday anyway. Sunday was a beautiful day.
|Scene from Little Red Riding Hood
When my sister and I finally joined the rest of the party, they had already been cooked (the cauldrons, a bit like the teacups), been in a rollercoaster in the dark (scary according to the two eldest children) and several other rides. We saw some of the fairy tale woods, had some lunch, went on a sedate ride called the Fata Morgana and of course went on rollercoasters. The wooden 'George and the Dragon' was a scary one. It didn't do a loop, but it changed direction so much, you were just jolted about a lot.
|Toothache anyone? (Fata Morgana)
After a day walking around in the rain (and a really bad night the night before), I was completely pooped. So, we spent a lovely dinner 'en famille' with a lot of gifts, since not only my mother was celebrating her birthday, two of the children had their birthdays as well and needed gifts.
|The room/bed my sister and I shared.
If you watch closely you might see the mouse...
Because neither my sister or myself will be going home again this year, we thought it would be best if we bought gifts for number three as well. Which she didn't mind getting. We asked. After dinner most of them went back to the park again to enjoy some more rides and some night shows. I stayed in the hotel with my sister and my mother.
|Game of the Goose. Great midnight game.
Especially if neither can sleep
On Sunday the weather had cleared up and since we were staying in the hotel, we got into the park earlier and had some quiet rides and some quick lines. More rollercoasters, including one with two loop-de-loops and two corkscrews, but nowhere near as scary as the one on the first day. A large show featuring horses, a bobsled ride and some of the rides we did the day before, like the wild water one. I got soaked! By the end of the weekend we were all done for, but it had been a great weekend.
|Perennial favourite. Hours of fun!
And now I am back home. Again. With a thinning Oswin, short grass and a suitcase that needs replacing. And on Monday it will be back to normal: work. After two wonderful weeks.