Family Life Monday Happy List

Summer Holidays Edit {Week 253}

girl on Wassenaar beach

I love to start the week by writing Five Happy Things. It’s a chance for me to sit down and reflect on the things that made me happy in the previous week, as well as to record some of our family adventures – it’s a post I always enjoy writing. We spent last week exploring the Netherlands and Belgium. The weather was amazing and we packed so much into our holiday. Now we’re back home and I have piles of washing and bags to unpack!

Five Happy Things {Week 253}

We spent Monday exploring Rotterdam which was only 45 minutes from where we were staying at Duinrell. It was destroyed by the Germans in the Second World War and instead of re-building they city they embraced re-building it in a modern style. It’s a pretty stage city if you are expecting canals and beautiful old Dutch buildings. However we loved seeing all the new architecture Rotterdam is famous for, including the Cube Houses, the Swan bridge, Euromast and Markthal.

Cube Houses of Rotterdam

As we had booked our holiday direct with Duinrell we had 2 hours at the Tikibad pool every day. It’s a great pool and had been extended since our visit last year. The kids were so happy to play at the pool and we visited 5 times, including the outside pool too. We barely had time to visit Wassenaar beach, which is within cycling distance of Duinrell, but we went there once. I was barely able to get our swimming things dry as they were used so much!

As well as spending plenty of time at Duinrell we had another day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk. Kinderdijk is famous for its iconic 18th-century windmills. Its water-management network features 19 mills and 3 pumping stations, plus dikes and reservoirs that control flooding in the low-lying land. We took a boat ride along pat of the canal and this was a great way to see them.

UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk

You can’t visit the Netherlands without enjoying the delicious stroopwafel. We visited Gouda (sadly not on Thursday when the famous cheese market takes place) and it’s a lovely little Dutch city with canals and historic buildings. Of course we bought some cheese to bring home but also took a tour of the Kamphuisen Stroopwafel factory in the centre of Gouda. The Kamphuisen family of Gouda bakes stroopwafels (siroopwafels) following their authentic family recipe from 1810 and they are shipped all over the world.

After our amazing week at Duinrell we came home via the beautiful city of Ghent in Belgium. I had visited this city with my husband over 10 years ago so was excited to go back with the children. We stayed in the Novotel Gent Centrum which was really central and the perfect base for exploring with the kids. We re-visited all our favourite spots (and Belgian waffle eateries!) and took a boat tour too.

girl standing in front of buildings in Ghent

I am really looking forward to a few days at home before our next adventure. Have a great week!


  • Reply
    Rebecca Smith
    August 12, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful week! I’m so jealous you visited a Stroopwafel factory!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    That sounds like so much fun. I’d love to see the windmills and you’d probably have to drag me out of a Stoopwafel factory.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    It looks like a wonderful place to visit – I adore windmills, but never been inside one

  • Reply
    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too
    August 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Sounds like you have had a great exploring Rotterdam – so many wonderful places to visit

  • Reply
    August 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    It looks like you’ve had a lovely trip! Those cube houses are so intriguing! I’ll have to visit just to see them for myself!

  • Reply
    Becca Talbot
    August 13, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Those cube houses are something else aren’t they?! I’ve seen them on INstagram, but would love to see them in real life LoL! X

  • Reply
    Mellissa Williams
    August 13, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    You’ve managed such a lot of exploring this week! Those cube houses are such a sight to behold!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Merry
    August 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Rotterdam seems like such a great place to visit – the cube houses look amazing! x

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    This sounds like an amazing holiday, and you packed an incredible amount of adventuring in.

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