“Gezelligheid kent geen tijd”

This Dutch phrase, directly translated as ‘coziness knows no time’, means that when you feel coziness and comfort, time doesn’t exist. Gezelligheid is a great word to describe our time with family in Holland. Our wonderful time in Holland has flown by too quickly. Our bonds with our Dutch family have been strengthened. It’s difficult to leave. To add an English phrase…”Time flies when you’re having fun”.

Our kids have had a great time getting to know their second cousins. They spent countless hours laughing, playing, and talking with each other. They’ve gained close friends through their time together. I can easily foresee our kids coming back to visit family here in Holland in the future. And, who knows, maybe some of the Dutch family will come again to visit us in Canada. Thankfully, through the use of the online communication these kids are so used to, they can all keep in touch with each other in the meantime.

Throughout our time in Holland, I’ve been reminded of the strength and importance of family. This Aaldijk family has demonstrated that spending time together is important, that caring for each other is important, and that loyalty to each other is important. I deeply appreciate their love, their generousity, and their hospitality. They have embraced us with open arms (and the typical Dutch three cheek-to-cheek kisses) and have welcomed us into their homes and into their lives. We look forward to our next time together.

Bedankt!

Dutch Blitz

The Netherlands, land of tulips, canals, windmills, and…family! 

Family is family no matter the length of time between visits.  Our time with the Aaldijk family in Holland has reinforced this fact.  Mary-Anna’s Uncle Dick and Aunt Ellie, their children and families have been wonderful to see again. Holland feels like a second home.

We spent the first days in Vlaardingen where Dick and Ellie live.  We met the extended family over the next days.  We went to Madurodam, an open-air museum of miniature versions of famous Dutch buildings.  It includes interactive activities.  Aaron loved it!

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On Friday, the whole family, a total of 20 people plus several crew members, boarded the Vlaardingen Zeekadetkorps ship Assam II.  After sailing through a series of locks and canals and through a portion of the port of Rotterdam, we weighed anchor in a lake where we spent the weekend.  The temperature averaged 35 degrees each day, the hottest weekend in Holland in 18 years!  The time aboard this big ship was fantastic.  What a great way to spend time with family!  There was opportunity to sail a small sailboat, to go waterskiing, to dive off the ship’s three-metre-high deck, play games, etc., etc.  We had the most amazing time together!

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