About three years into our marriage, G and I read a book entitled ‘Smart Couples Finish Rich’. Counter to what you may think the book is about–rather than material wealth, this book focused on ‘living a rich life’…placing your funds and efforts toward doing those things which make you happy (rather than box-checking to keep up with the Joneses). It’s filled with worksheets for couples to evaluate what’s important to them singly and together and to put plans in place to make good stuff happen. Seems simple, right? But, it’s been a great help to us…and we work through the exercises every couple years–as we were married so young with lots of growing up to do, it’s a tool which has helped us to grow together rather than apart through the years.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the Dutch Countryside? At the end of 2012, in setting goals for the next couple years, we decided that we wanted to prioritise spending quality time with our friends and family. Hence, the family and friend travel focus for 2013/14. And, aside from Hawaii, the first of the trips in this vein was my trip to visit friends in the Dutch Countryside in early August.
To allow me to travel light, G kept W for a boys weekend in London–so I traveled solo with C for his first short-haul flight. Good friends are heaven-sent and my friend Lottie was an angel. She and her husband had everything I could possibly need for a baby, picked me up at the airport (with a carseat for C!), cooked wonderful meals, allowed me healthy naps, showed me their favourite local haunts. It was exactly what I needed and wanted in a weekend with friends. As the saying goes, good friends are hard to find…and I, for one, am reminded that I’m incredibly lucky to have found a few.
Though the plan for my stay was very relaxed, we did fit in a jaunt to the gorgeous ‘Castle Gardens’–ie Kimberly-heaven–just the type of place I could happily spend an afternoon sipping lattes or wine, lunch by the Maas River (I think?) with views of horses and cows frolicking by the shore and some quiet time my the canals with quiet barges floating past. I loved it so much, I’ve now convinced G that we should venture back to the area for a cycling holiday in 2014—by then our collective babies will be old enough to cycle about. Can’t wait…
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