I have not been updating this blog at all since beginning my travels- why?
Well, I will ponder that and maybe get back to it, but for now let’s just dive into the Zeeland/Holland/The Netherlands adventures! I am here with the family I Au Pair for on a two week Easter vacation trip. Last year when they came it was warm, sunny, and as Elsa (the 7yo) said “we went outside with naked legs!” Now this year we are half way through the three hour drive when we hit the beginning of a snowstorm and by the time we arrive in Domburg it is below freezing, with snow on the ground and gusting winds and cut across the flat seaside land.
After unpaccking, a “traditional Holland lunch” (say the German kid’s I’m with) of pomme frites with mayo, onion, and some other sauce, and a quiet mittagspause, we get our warmest clothes on and venture out. The winds were biting at our faces as we made our way to the beach where the kids are hoping to find Spikey the dutch dog friend they see every time they come. We don’t see Spikey and we aren’t going to stop and look in the cold (3yo Valentine has started crying at this point) so we push on through the cute little town which is mostly filled with restaurants and touristy shopping spots.
Now we head back by the house we are staying in, and then on to see the pool- Elsa and I are standing outside in the cold, faces pressed against the window looking in on kids in bathing suits playing in this spectacular waterland set up. The most prominent features being: a slide that has a 6ft drop into a pool at the end, and the “black hole” tube slide that is mostly outside. We are going swimming this afternoon!
On we walk to this Jokers/Chuck-E-Cheese-esque place with a big indoor play structure, story time, and giant Koos the rabbit who will dance with you during the kid’s “mini-disco”(http://www.kooskonijn.nl/). Here we ate some apple-bacon pancakes (which made me feel yucky) and I sipped a beer while watching the kids swarm all over the play structure.
That was all yesterday, and today we had our first breakfast with Hagelslag. This blog has summarized this dietary phenomenon well and with a similar attitude to mine: http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/2011/03/06/hagelslag/ . Here in Zeeland I have been given the position of “The Mistress of Hagelslag”, or as the 5yo says “The Mystery of Hagelslag”. I enjoy both titles. Basically I get to decide who has behaved well enough to have their morning breads graced with the chocolaty sprinkles.
For me this German/Dutch diet of sugar and flour-based (sugar) foods is not for me, and is something I am struggling with. I have severe brain fog and a lack of core energy whenever I have some traditional or typical meal (which is almost every day). Since, as an Au Pair, I don’t buy my own food, this is challenge for me to fix. I will probably have to have a chat with the mom I work for soon… NO MORE BREAD PLEASE! Oh I am so sick of bread!
Whew, ok, I will figure that out! And in the meantime off I go to meditate and do yoga. I have the goal of being more disciplined in these areas (and writing!) for the two weeks we are in Zeeland. Wish me luck!