The Surprise Birthday Weekend: Center Parc Bostalsee, Germany

by farrah on October 10, 2013 · 18 comments

I am SO proud of my husband and I for finally learning our lesson and not telling the kids when we’re going on a trip just for them. Just a year ago, we were on a family birthday/last US blast trip to Disney World in Orlando. We made the epic parenting ‘oops’Β and actually TOLD them (like a pair of idiots) a month in advance about our trip. I don’t think I have to tell you how that went.

disney1Halloween time at Disney is awesome. But this is no secret (obviously).

So we learned. We told ourselves that the next time we went on a ‘big kid trip’ we wouldn’t tell them about it, and instead share the details right before we pulled into the destination. Well, here we are folks. That weekend has arrived and we are about to reveal to the boys that we are taking them to their favorite place in the world: The Jungle.

To let me clarify: this won’t be the same ‘jungle’ we visited in France. This is a ‘jungle’ in Germany at another Center Parc. If you’ve read my blog before you’ve heard me gush on and on about Center Parcs- and why I think they’re the greatest thing ever. We booked and paid for our reservation a while ago- the earlier you book, the better your discount (traveler’s tip).

So, we’re driving just a few hours to Saarland, Germany and hanging out in a cottage along Lake Bostalsee. Is it going to be cold? Rainy? You bet it is! But the beauty of the Center Parcs is that the really cool things to do are on the INSIDE. Specifically the indoor pool/water slide area ‘Aqua Mundo‘:

BT058827-1The pool at CP Bostalsee: pic from their website

And just in case it doesn’t rain we’re bringing their bikes so they can scoot around wherever they want. I’m excited. I really wish that these were in the US so you guys could experience them.

So wish us luck on yet another road trip into Germany. It’s a crap shoot as to how it’s all going to go down: the kids have a messed up school schedule tomorrow and I’m skipping naps. Also we’re going to try a friend’s US car DVD player that we HOPE will work with the same voltage. The boys will flip their lids to see some of their favorite US dvds again (European dvd players do not play US dvds). It’s been a year since they’ve seen these movies. If they work this might make this the quietest road trip in the history of road trips with little kids.

Β Hope you have a great weekend and when I come back the Fritlets will officially be THREE. I can’t believe it.

Ps- Nothing to disclose, I just really love Center Parcs. And our neighbors are house sitting in case you’re plotting to break in while we’re gone πŸ™‚

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica October 10, 2013 at 7:07 am

Have fun! Wish we were going too. Going to be a washout here. πŸ™

Oh, and US DVDs work in European DVD players….but European DVDs do not play in US players. Trust me, we learned this when I took 2 of Addison’s princess movies purchased in Germany back home this spring only to learn they didn’t work. We’d be lost if it was the other way around since we stock piled US DVDs to bring over with us….they play on our European player.

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2 farrah October 10, 2013 at 7:09 am

I wish you guys were going too. But, bright side- we can check it out for you!

Nope- ours do NOT play. We must not have gotten a very good one. We used them for about a week on a laptop until that died- so it’s been a year. They are going to be thrilled!

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3 Christie October 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I have never envied your life as much as now. Maybe because I am staring down a cold, harsh winter and your life looks so adventurous and fun. So awesome. And I’ve yet to learn that lesson about not telling kids before an event. I’ve got to get on that.

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4 farrah October 11, 2013 at 7:09 am

Well, you know every ‘fun’ side has a not so fun side when traveling with kids! But yes, I’d say that for sure keeping the surprise under wraps has been pretty fantastic πŸ™‚

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5 Ace October 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Have an awesome time with those almost 3 year olds! I’m sure they’re going to have an absolute blast. =)
I second keeping it a surprise – sometimes I remember to keep my mouth shut about those things. They will be so psyched once you arrive!

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6 farrah October 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

Thanks! Looking forward to celebrating with you guys when we get back!

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7 Theresa October 11, 2013 at 6:07 am

Enjoy! I’m looking forward to Ryan being “of age” for these types of places. He’s just turned two, at what age do you think he’d get the most fun out of it?

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8 farrah October 11, 2013 at 7:11 am

We went to our first one when the twins were just over 2- and they still talk about it all the time. At 4 though, B is really into it- but the beauty of these parks is that they’re for all ages, and usually have something for the littlest of friends as well πŸ™‚

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9 ExpatC October 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

I don’t know about the Netherlands but if you buy a DVD player in Germany sometimes the shop will ‘unlock’ it for you for a small fee (10 EUR or so). We bought ours in Germany a few years ago at one of the big stores (Saturn or Media Markt, cant remember) and they were able to do it for us so we can watch all my American DVDs and my husband’s European ones on the same machine. Though the element of surprise with ‘new’ movies probably cannot be beat!

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10 farrah October 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

Interesting! I’ll have to ask my husband. We bought ours at Saturn, so….?

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11 CK October 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Forget a DVD player… if you have an iPad or Apple computer, download movies via iTunes. If you want a big screen for viewing, hook the iPad/computer to the TV via an HDMI cable (works on nearly all newer TVs) and voila!!!’

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12 farrah October 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

We do use the Apple TV at home, it’s great- and the BIG news is that NL recently got Netflix over here. Yay for BusyTown πŸ™‚

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13 Erin October 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Thank you so much for your blog! We find out if (our very likely move) from Houston to Groningen will be happening for sure or not in just a couple of weeks. Your blog has been INCREDIBLY helpful. Sure, there are lots of blogs out there about life in the Netherlands, but not life with little kids and all the ‘need to know’ things. I have 4 children, (8,7,5,2), and so I’m thinking about transportation , schooling, weather, COOKING (seriously, no cream of chicken?!?), things to do, electronics, parenting (no worries, we are about to take the cake on volume level of children) and just LIFE when you have several kids. So, thank you!!! If we are a go, I’m sure you will hear from me again!

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14 farrah October 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

Erin! This is so exciting and awesome!
I’m sending you an email.

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15 Robbie October 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm

That looks amazing! Glad ya’ll learned from your parenting fail last time around! Are birthday trips a family tradition??

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16 farrah October 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

So far for the twins- yes. Seems like a pretty good deal- but until they get older and decide if they want to change it, they can. The exchange is that I only do a teeny-tiny party for them (this year there are 3 other expat families’ coming) so there will be a total of 7 kids (including 3 of mine). Works for us so far!

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