We made it!
After several delays and a pretty uneventful flight, we made it to Brussels, and then...a little later, to the Netherlands and Oma and Opa's house.
Our plane ended up leaving almost 2 hours later than planned. Daniel was not super patient with the delay, but we can't really blame him because he was all ready for bedtime. As you can see in an earlier post, Daniel made friends with some Belgian children in their makeshift play area. Once we boarded, he quickly fell asleep in Daddy's arms. Niels and I passed some time watching The Time Traveler's Wife. Interesting movie, but our ear buds were horrible. I'd like to see it again. Niels enjoyed following the flight plan and I passed most of the time reading a book. Neither of us were able to sleep very well. Hard to do with a baby spread across your lap! We did think of my mom as we watched the sun rise over Ireland.
We arrived at the airport about 10 am local time (4am Ohio time). It took us awhile to find our luggage..Niels says the luggage rack was hiding! But soon we had all our "things about us," and we quickly found Oma and Opa waiting for us at the exit. They were SO excited to see Daniel! After about 10 minutes, they said hello to Niels and I, too! :-)
It is unseasonably cool in Holland, and there was even a little snow on the ground, which made for a pretty drive back to Helmond. Not that Daniel saw much of it...or me, for the matter. It was pretty hard to stay awake!
We found our first surprise as we drove into the driveway: a big three foot banner with the picture from our blog welcomed us! There was also an American flag waving. Someone also surprised Jan and Kitty by plastering the number 40 all over the garage and front window. Today is their 40th anniversary.
The official spoiling of the grandson began as soon as we walked in the door. Oma and Opa bought an activity table similar to the one we have at home. Only this one "speaks" Dutch and French! Daniel LOVES it. He also loves the coasters. And the cookies Oma gave him.
News that we had arrived traveled fast and soon Ingrid (Niels' sister) and Oma Toos (Kitty's mom) came over and fawned over Daniel. Daniel had a hard time going down for his nap, until Mommy laid down with him...then we both fell asleep. Niels fell asleep sitting up in a chair downstairs and had a crick in his neck when he woke up!
Ingrid--who looks adorable with her cute little preggo belly--stayed for dinner, which was typical Dutch fare: potatoes, spinach, carrots, beef, pork with gravy. Oma had fun feeding Daniel...who ate everything that was offered!
Niels and I took a walk to the neighborhood grocery store before dinner. It was good to stretch our legs. (There's no treadmill here, so I wanted to at least get a little bit of exercise. I'm afraid it's going to be hard to get going again when we get home. I've been walking/running 3-4 miles a day!) I had fun looking at all the different foods and Niels enjoyed seeing all the Christmas specialties. We forgot to bring our Dutch debit card, so we'll do our own shopping a little later. I found stroopwafel ice cream, so that's definitely on our list!
We watched TV for a little bit where Jen caught up on her Dutch celebrities. After a nice bath with Daddy, Daniel fell asleep without too much trouble. Jen followed not much later.
Berry and Xenia (Jan's younger sister) came over for a quick visit, but only got to see Niels...We'll see them again on Saturday at the big anniversary bash. Niels was a trooper and made it to 11:30.
Hopefully we'll all adjust to the six hour difference soon (as I write this on Friday, Daniel is nap striking!).
Tot Ziens (see you soon!)