Finally it was time to meet up with my 96 year old grandmother who had been the impetus for me to travel to the Netherlands at this time. Gathered in the park with two of my aunts, three cousins (and Rogier!) and three nephews, it felt like an old fashioned family gathering and my grandmother was glowing, soaking it all up.
On the way back, Lief and I stopped by the house that my grandfather built and where they lived for at least 50 years. Right at the river 'Rijn', her rows of Hydrangeas still gloriously flowering.
My last morning was spent visiting Amersfoort to have coffee with my friend Linda with whom I studied Communication Studies in Utrecht and her partner Max. What trikes me of these visits with old friends like Judy and Linda; it doesn't seem to matter how much time passes - ten, twenty years - it still is as easy as if we had seen each other last month. It is bitter sweet though, as these visits always end up feeling too short when one lives so far away.
Lief and Kiki spent the afternoon on the boat, and we all joined them for a swim and last dinner on the boat. We have been so very lucky with the beautiful weather during our time here!
We feel so very blessed and grateful to have been so warmly welcomed in the sweet home of Judy, Gerrit Jan, Ted, Eva and Kiki. They gifted us with a chance to experience what it can be like to live a beautiful, active and joyous life in the Netherlands. This sure is an experience of a lifetime for the both of us, but especially Lief. We are both sad to leave, we have had so much fun. I literally haven't laughed so much in quite a while! Love you Judy.
A gorgeous sunset at Schiphol airport framed our last night on Dutch soil. I shall create a separate blog about our journey home, for those who might contemplate getting on a plane this summer...