Four Days In Den Haag With Kids

by farrah on July 24, 2015 · 1 comment

While my husband was away the first week the boys were out of school, I worked out a deal with my friend in Den Haag. She was going to Greece, and needed someone to look after her cat. We needed some serious distractions. I knew there was loads of stuff to do up there, so we packed up the car and drove the hour and a half north for a mini ‘vacation’.

scheveningenBoys by the iconic Kurhaus Hotel [click to continue…]

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I can’t believe it was nine years ago we got married. It still feels like maybe three? four? years tops. I know many of you feel the same about your own marriages. Nine years already? For the first few anniversaries I was hell-bent on making sure we had ‘our time’ and did something special. Then kids happened, and we were lucky to acknowledge it at all. The past few years we have been damn fortunate to be able to escape for a few days, but unfortunately, not this year. And that’s ok.  Our first year I bought a journal for us to take turns writing in on each anniversary. I read the first few entries last week- oh! To be an oblivious newlywed again! [click to continue…]

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I decided once again to combine two months’ worth of books for my recap. I am going to prepare you now and say that yes, I know I am predictable and yes, I realize it is not a requirement of a series to read ALL of the books in that series. But I do. I can’t help it. And the only thing that has stopped me is that Kindle Unlimited finally pissed me off enough to quit.

houseWinner of the month [click to continue…]

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Unlike many of my US friends, we’re still in school. That is, until tomorrow when it’s the last day of the year! You can probably imagine then, that the past couple of weeks have been busy- and this week in particular. Monday I had a super-fun trip to the hospital (just a check up, nothing is amiss but still interesting when it’s not in your native country), the carnival is in town (Kermis), and we’ve got the end-of-year celebrationS. Add to that my husband is heading to the States and we’re about to embark on three weeks of holiday… and yes. I am a bit overwhelmed.

napWe will always find time to nap though.

I have been trying not to stress over the details or the things to do and things to get done- but I can’t help it. All I want to do is fast forward another week or so and be heading to Austria. Instead, I am stressing about packing and the little annoying details you have to cover before you go anywhere or do anything. The looming thought that my partner will be absent from the majority of my planning time is also a wee bit daunting. I’ve almost forgotten that our 9th wedding anniversary is tucked in there too.

Friends of ours are going to take over the Ritter life in our house while we’re away and I am thrilled that it worked out this way. It’s awesome but at the same time I have been stressing that I get all of the questions covered and details taken care of for them too. Sadly we’re going to miss them as the day we get back they will be leaving! We have two days to regroup and my sister and her family arrive after that. We’ve been looking forward to a visit from her family since we moved over.

My nieces, brother-in-law and sister will be here for the remainder of August and then before I know it we’re back in school. I can’t believe summer will already be over!

So at this time, the next few weeks look like this:

Den Haag–> Austria–> Italy–>NL–>Sidetrips with the fam (Paris? Germany?). That’s a whole lotta travel in just a few short weeks. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing- enjoy the rest of summer and happy travels! I’ll be around but in what capacity is unclear :)

 

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End of the Bucket Bike: We Five Ride

by farrah on July 8, 2015 · 2 comments

I never did an update with what happened with our beloved Madsen cycles bucket bike. I wasn’t going to at first, but then I realized that yes, I really did need to  write about it since these expat posts are important to log and remember. In the moment sometimes I just don’t feel like writing them down- but, as so many of you know- when you have the chance to look back on something- with your own words and pictures, you appreciate it that much more. So… here’s the end of our story with the bakfiets…

Madsen Bucket BikeNot only boys, but the bucket carried bikes, too. [click to continue…]

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A Melting Pot in Palma

by farrah on July 3, 2015 · 2 comments

One of the things I do before I go somewhere new is check my American privilege and open my mind to the fact that things ARE going to be different. I don’t belittle, prejudge or otherwise come up with ways to insult the new place that I’m visiting. I know people who do that and it speaks volumes about them rather than who they’re criticizing. One of the reasons why is that we’re all ambassadors when we travel. Whether we like it or not we represent the people and the place where we’re coming from.

spainArrow pointing to Mallorca [click to continue…]

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Last Minute Breaks in Europe: GO!

by farrah on June 25, 2015 · 2 comments

“Well, if you were to find something, say between now and when school gets out- you should take it.”

That’s all he needed to say. We were sitting on the couch talking about who knows what and this sentence popped out of my husband’s mouth. I latched onto it like remoras to a shark and shoved it into my ‘must research’ bank for evening-post-kids.

paris clockThe ‘Oldest Clock in Paris‘ I saw on my last solo excursion. [click to continue…]

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Happy Father’s Day & More

by farrah on June 21, 2015 · 4 comments

Unfortunately the weather here isn’t quite as awesome as it was for Mother’s Day. In fact, I’m in dire need of taking a nap after placing that grocery order (whew!). So while we spoil dad today- I have just a few minutes to jot down some cool stuff around the inter webs that you might find of interest.

father's day netherlands [click to continue…]

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Looking Through the Expat Window, Again

by farrah on June 20, 2015 · 2 comments

This week I saw a meme on Facebook that had to do with how racism is learned by our children. It was simple enough, and old- I had seen it before but for some reason it didn’t really strike me as so painfully obvious as it did this time around. Maybe that’s because my kids are at an age where they’re asking questions. All the questions.

Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. – Dennis Leary

In the back of my mind I have always known this to be true- but until parenthood came along it didn’t register. And maybe the fact that we live away from where we’re from and the people we know and the safety and security of all that is predictable and familiar- that I’ve been given to take a step back and look at my little expat kids and feel this is true. [click to continue…]

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I am getting so antsy to pull up our stakes and get on vacation. It’s not the numerous envy-inducing FB posts (no really, it’s not) of friends’ going on holiday- but instead it’s the weather. The glorious, glorious weather that has finally come to town and has me thinking of nothing but running around all day in no make-up and wild ragamuffin hair.

oisterwijk poolMy boys in the pool at Strand- en Recreatiebad Staalbergven [click to continue…]

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