Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Well, all intentions to write weekly went out the door as soon as the camera's battery was empty and I could not fill it up again and because, I thought', what is a blog without photo's! Then, after one week of not writing followed another and suddenly  a few months  went by and now I am finally going to try again to remember what we have done which is going to be an impossible task because we have been mighty busy! After getting our car in Germany, we went to Groningen, and that  went by too quickly, and that was a real shame, we would have loved to spend more time there we even missed out on seeing some people that are very special to us because of poor planning on my part, and I hope to make that up to them soon.
this was the windmill in Uithuizen, Gronigen, we did not get a chance to look inside it, maybe next time.
 the kids in groningen at the apenkooi, they had tons of fun
                                  And yay! they got their bikes, now the dutch in them can really come out, kai is a speed demon and anouk prefers to go slow and if she does fall, which happens sometimes, even with side wheels she trows herself off like that is going to help anything, it is quite amusing actually.

We decided on a tent in the end instead of a caravan, and yes it is a lot more work, but we got the creme de la creme of the tent world, and we are quite happy with it and we can drive the speed limit which in the end works out a lot faster and we have been driving lots!!  we thought it would be good to test the tent in Holland, in case there would be anything wrong with it, so we set up tent in Het StrandBad in Edam and we had rain most of the time but we got lucky with putting up the tent, my sister watched the kids in her house and the sun came out just long enough for us to set up the tent, and it was quite comfy, a rainbow even came out to greet us 

we had a little heater that served us well that first week, then after packing everything in the car which is a huge puzzle that if you do not do it right, half will not fit in the car, the heater broke because we packed things on top or probably sat on it to be able to stuff more stuff in... thankfully our next stop was France, and it was warm there, very warm so we had no need for a heater anyway.

We arrived at http://www.lesalicourts.com/  at midnight and the reception was closed, we assumed there would be motels around the area but we were very wrong about that, it was quite remote, so we drove an hour and a half back to Orleans to find a hotel, and after hotel nr 5 we finally found one, but they had some kind of weird rule that they could not allow more than 3 people in the room so we smuggled anouk in and that was quite exciting at 2:30 at night, boy what a night that was, the next day when we arrived at the resort, it was really nice, and for the next week we swam a lot in the pools, and played at the playground 

They had a kids club there and the "disco" that they enjoyed.

We met some lovely people from Ireland and the kids really got along with their kids, and  it is so nice when that happens, unfortunately they were at the end of their stay when we arrived so we only got to hang out with them for a few days,  they made an awesome sand "village" though,. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

              It is freezing in Essen, Germany!

                                                          all right it is not as cold as this, but it feels like it!

Holy cow it is cold! 2 days ago we left Edam to go to Essen, Germany by train, it was the ICE train, fast and very comfy, withing 2.5 hours we were here, just enough time to do homework with the kids, we got to enjoy the scenery an in patches it was really nice.
Yesterday was 8 degrees......... it is spring for cryin' out loud! I checked the weather report for Waiheke, it was 10 degrees, in the Night! and it is freakin fall/winter there!!!!!   well we all know you do not go to Holland or Germany for the weather, I was already joking I needed to get us some long underwear, it would be funny if it was not true.

 Enough complaining though, we are enjoying Essen, we are staying at a friends house, and he has a daughter and he made her a great play room, so the kids are enjoying that lots, we went into the center of Essen yesterday and the underground metro system works really well and at 2.5 euro per ticket, not too expensive, we were not too blown away by the town, granted, we did not see everything, just the shopping streets and they seem the same almost everywhere.

Today we went for a walk in a lovely forest, just behind our home, called the Krupp-Wald we just went to the play area but it was absolutely beautiful and the kids got to run around

Tomorrow Colin will go and try to find us a car, he has 2 he wants to go and look at, the first car he had laid his eyes on was 4 hours away and when he called the car dealer, he got told that it sold, our friend called for us as well, and spoke German and then it was still available, maybe the dealer did not want to deal with English speaking people or something but we'd rather take our money elsewhere, so lets hope tomorrow works out.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

           We are in Holland!!!!

It has taken us a week to get over our jetlag, Our first nights we all seemed to wake at around 3 or 4 am and that would be that, so we would have breakfast at 4:30 am and the kids got really tired during the day but could not sleep but we are all good now, waking at around 8 am , that is better then in NZ! Anouk usually managed to wake up around 6:30 there, so you could say that this is a nice improvement.  here is Anouk, in Edam on our first walk, very early in the morning, the boys were still sleeping.
It has been so lovely to see all the family, and for the kids to see that they have family, and quite a lot of them too! 
It is nice for me to be a tourist in my own country, We all know that children can show you a new way of looking at things and it is no different now when they are showing me how cute and beautiful Holland is and can be! They really notice the small things, Kai got really excited when he saw a lily pad in the water the other day because he had read about them in fairy tales like the princess and the frog, but had not actually seen them. Waiheke has no lily pads, or frogs! 
It is also great that kids are so eager to learn, so when we are walking through the old and cute village of Edam we can show them the old homes that are leaning forward or how the tired houses have sunk into the ground a bit and off course we are all learning about the cheeses in Edam, how can you not when you are here:-)

The kids are loving it here, and they are really trying to speak dutch, especially Kai, at the playground they make friends while running back and forth to us to ask us how you say this and that in Dutch, very cute.

We also went to Hoorn, which is a City about 20 minutes drive from Edam, and it is beautiful with lots of history we enjoyed walking around and taking pictures, on the way back we decided to take a detour and go around "the dijk"  unfortunately we got stuck behind a truck that picked up the fences from the marathon that had been there a few hour earlier and the guys from the truck refused to let us and about  7 or 8 other cars behind u, through, so we had to drive behind them for about 20 minutes or more while they could have let us pass, they just decided they did not feel like it, all the while singing a dutch song that basically mocked us and said, "and we are not going home, not for a long time) they seemed to take pleasure out of it, I got pretty angry, not only because it was insanely rude but also dangerous, what if there would have been someone ill in one of the other cars and in need of a hospital, or something else..... I am pretty sure it is illegal as well,  it showed dutch rudeness through and through and that was shitty especially after such a lovely day, but my sister did say that was probably one of the rudest things she has come across in a very long time. here are some pictures of beautiful Hoorn.

Monday, 6 May 2013

                     Hong Kong

The last few days were manic, we tried to do as much as we could before hand but as always it is the last 2 days that are hell, no matter if you are a pro at moving or not. I still have to meet a person who likes those last few days. 
There was a storm brewing and we feared that if we would take the 6:45 ferry, it might be delayed or something like that because of the wind and we did not want to chance that so we took the 4 pm ferry, because of that we lost 2 hour of clean up time, and had to cram in a bit more, so in the end I forgot a load of laundry in the dryer and the oven did not get cleaned,..... we did get someone to clean the house but apparently she forgot the oven as well and the person that was going to pick up our laundry ... somehow forgot to do that,.....  well, I guess that is not the end of the world, the weather was fine in the end, the kids were angels on the first flight,
Anouk even managed to get about 6 hours of sleep in, now we are in Hong Kong and it is humid and lovely, the snails are the size of small rats  here (see photo) and from our hotel room we can see the fish jumping out of the water, pretty cool. 

Conversion of 1 NZ is about 6 Hong Kong dollar and when we arrived at the airport a taxi driver greeted us at the exit and asked us where we were going, he told us that to the gold coast hotel was 500 HK dollar, but thankfully the kids were hungry and we decided to eat first, then we went to the taxi pick up and  the taxi's are colour coded for designated areas, how cool is that!  ours was green and it was "only" 250 HK dollars, around $ 37 NZ   so I was very happy we had a few hungry kids to slow us down and therefore make the right decision. 

The hotel is beautiful, it is the gold coast hotel, about 35 min from the airport and has beautifully landscaped gardens, the rooms are quite deluxe and the pool has 2 slides and is lovely, water is a bit cold but then again  we are a bunch of wimps     http://www.sino-hotels.com/Hong_Kong_Gold_Coast_Hotel/en/default.aspx
this picture was taken in the lobby of the hotel just when we arrived, those poor kids and their pale faces from long travel, after that was taken we all had a great soak in the bath tub in the room, today we are taking it easy, we wanted to see more of Hong Kong but Anouk has decided she is exhausted and since we are flying at 12:15 at night again today, sleeping might just be the smartest thing to so we are just staying around the hotel today.
                                        here they are, all happy and tired at the playground of the hotel.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

           The last weeks.......

The Birthday party was a blast, lots of friends, lots of food and good fun, we had a face painter come and we are so happy that we did, she was amazing!   We do not know if the kids understand that they will not see their friends for a long time and we thought this would be a really nice way to leave, with good memories and photo's

We will miss our island and our lovely friends  but especially after today, when we learned about the horrific Boston bombing, it made me realize yet again how fragile life is and how much we want to be with our children and experience life together, learn together and live our dreams, even though it might be more dangerous to be on the road then in the garden of our home but we will live in the way that we want to live and not in the way society tells us we should live especially since that is not our thing and has never been our thing, it feels scary yet empowering to finally design the life we want and actually live it and there is a chance that it might blow up in our faces and it will be a massive Fail! The kids might beg us to go home after a  few months, Colin might lose his job and that will force us to go home .................Or We will have the time of our lives and we will become way better versions of ourselves and we might actually contribute to society in a     
positive way... we will just have to find out.
Three more weeks now and we still do not know if we will get a camper van or a caravan, caravan is cheaper yet way harder to drive but since we will not use it the whole time and do not have bundles of cash lying around I think it will be a caravan. packing is still a major issue, I think we are going to bring way to much stuff, oh well, live and learn I say 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

              Only four more weeks to go!

Ok, so now, I have painted the two bedrooms, threw/gave away a ton of stuff we had accumulated, found great homes for our animals, and even though it hurt to see them go, I am content with the fact that they will be looked after well. We had a a few people look at the house to rent and tomorrow we will hear if we have a renter, I hope so, that will take a huge weight off my shoulders (and our bank account!) 
The kids are asking us every day when we will leave, especially Kai is excited, Anouk really wants to see her cousins in Holland but that is about it. I am waking up at night with panic attacks and can not go back to sleep until I research the how and what's of our trip but in the end I know we will be fine, we always thrive on change and even though it seems stress full right now, in a month and some we will be laughing about it.

Kai has decided he wants to learn 2 languages, french and dutch while we are away, and also "space" he said he wants to find out more about space, well that is fantastic so that is what we are going to focus on, I'd like to learn to speak German  and I am sure Kai will speak German and french and dutch before I get even close, kids are such sponges and I know I am definitely not anymore. I am learning more and more how my children are showing me new things, not the other way around and I am loving it.

packing for our trip is an issue, not so much the clothes, that will be ok, it is the toys and books that will take up most space in the suitcases, Anouk's ,my little pony collection and kai's lego, all the books I want to bring  for them and us as well, I am sure we will pack too much but only time will tell.   

We will fly the 5th of may  to Hong Kong from Auckland stay there for two days and then we will arrive in Amsterdam on may 8th, My sister will generously give up her new apartment to us for a few weeks??? days??, we are not sure yet, in Edam  and in the mean time we will try and buy a motor home that will be our base for the next months to come.    in those weeks we will also see my family  and I can not wait, I have missed them a lot.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

why would you leave this place!

Why would you leave this place? Yes! fair enough question. We live on one of the most beautiful islands in New Zealand, have bought our home just over a year ago and, the kids are happy and we are very content  so why leave.... Well lets call it wanderlust, we love to travel, see new things, meet new people and would love for our kids to experience different cultures, excite their brains with the magic that the world has to offer and while you can do that by telling them about it and showing them a picture on google, we know that to actually experience it will make them grow into even more beautiful human beings, so we did it! we bought our tickets, we are going to rent out our house and we are going to travel for a YEAR!! In 7 weeks! aaaaaaaaah! So suddenly there is a lot to take care of like paint the two bedrooms sort our our stuff keep half, pack our stuff unpack and take half, somewhere in between that we will have to throw a double birthday/good bye party and fly!

Kai is 7 and has a lot of experience traveling, he has already lived in 4 different places in 2 countries, been on lots of trips within that time as well and loves it. he can not wait to go to Holland and meet all his family there ( I am dutch) and is even more excited to go to France and visit castles.
Kai has the important job of taking the pictures for this blog, which he is really proud of and will be writing here about the way he is experiencing our adventures as well so this will be a joint effort between me and him.

Anouk is almost 4 and is the happiest girl, most happy when she is with her brother who she looks up to very much and as long as she can be with us and play we could go to the moon and back and she'd be thrilled. she is also very excited that she will finally meet her family, in particular her little cousin of the same age which she has been in contact with on skype and by mail. and although she does not understand the full extend of what it means to travel for a long period, we think she will be a trooper.

At this point we are racing around like chickens with their heads cut of, so much to do so little time but as always it will work somehow and we will laugh about it later.... I hope.