Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | July 3, 2012

“Have a nice trip! Have a nice life!”

We left Haarlem, lugging six suitcases and five backpacks. Haarlem to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Weesp, Weesp to Amersfoort, and Amersfoort to Steenwijk. The highlight of this somewhat arduous trip was our conversation with three nutty Dutch women who asked us about our trip and kids. One of them demanded John’s yoyo and tried to replicate the feats of her lost youth. They told Elizabeth she was really lucky to have older sisters and a brother and parents who would take her around the world. As we all got off the train in Amersfoort, they called, “Goodbye, Family! Have a nice trip! Have a nice life!”

We boarded a “silent” train car to Steenwijk, not realizing what it was. What a relaxing treat! This was topped off by free wifi. Bliss.

In Steenwijk we transferred to the bus. The “bus” turned out to be a van with five people already in it. They quickly called for a backup van. Clearly, larger families don’t suddenly decide to travel to Ossenzijl on a weekend very often. We got off at the Weeribben nature center stop, and the owner of the house came to get us. He made two trips in his small car. I’m sure we could have found the house on our own, but it was a tremendous help not to have to walk a mile along the bike paths with our luggage. On the way back we’ll know where to go.

Both Remmelt and Saskia were incredibly gracious and showed us all over the house and grounds. Saskia offered butter cake and coffee and we chatted for awhile before they drove back to their home near Amsterdam. I think they wanted to check us out before trusting their vacation house to us. Apparently we’re the first Americans to rent from them and he was a little concerned that American children would miss the bright lights and excitement of home. Instead, they were dying to get on the boats. There’s a rowboat and two kayaks. Boats are a new experience for all of us, and fortunately, this little backwater is an ideal place to learn as there’s no real traffic along this canal.

The house is better than we thought it would be except that we expected internet and there isn’t any. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, although connection with the outside world is going to be challenging over the next three weeks. But I have no doubt it’s going to be better for the family in the long run. Good thing we enjoyed the high-speed wireless on the train. We probably aren’t going to see that again for awhile.

Hopefully this method of posting to the blog will work, though they may not go up in order.



  1. Darling! Your make-shift posting method may also be why I’m just now seeing all these in my blog roll. 🙂

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