We chose The Netherlands as our summer destination primarily to visit family. It had been a while since I saw my uncle, aunt and cousins who live there. Plus Rahul and the kids had never been to what Rahul teasingly refers to as uncle-land! As soon as we landed, we were enveloped in the warmth of family, but the highlight and the most amazing demonstration of family love was the way Udai’s tenth birthday was celebrated; in his own words, “the best birthday ever!” The large share of the credit, of course, goes to Liduine who the kids call Oma, Dutch for Grandma. But everyone chipped in. Follow the fantastic day in this photo essay of the “best birthday ever”!
Udai woke up to a decorated home. Oma had taken care to do this the previous night. I think we tend to forget he is a kid….he was so excited!
A little joy jig!
Oma is the best!
Post breakfast, we took a trip down to the market nearby to choose our own gifts as well as cake! Udai took ages to finally choose two Lego Technic boxes and a delicious apple cake
Doesn’t this pic say it all?
Next in line was a visit to the cousins, the ‘little people’! Olivier (5) and Berend (3) are delightful kids and Aadyaa had been asking to meet them for years. Her dream came true…
The kids spent an hour or two jumping and playing sand in the backyard plus general shouting, running and laughing around. Much pandemonium! And cake cutting too…Thomas (my cousin) and Coleta (his wife) have a beautiful house on a canal. Typically Dutch, with lots of place for the kids to play
Udai and Rahul are full of cake by this time!
Next destination: Zandvoort! It’s not very far from Haarlem, this beautiful Dutch beach. It’s a fixture on most of our visits to the Dutch family, but the 11th of June was a beautiful, windy but warm day to be at the beachside…
The van you see in the background is driven by a tractor and sells delicious seafood preparations. We ate calamari (a favourite with the kids since the 2011 Barcelone trip!), a mixed seafood platter and the quintessential summer Dutch delicacy- new herring which is eaten raw or smoked and served with chopped onion!
…and running away from the numerous jellyfish in the waters (here, some kids have made an artwork of the helpless jellyfish!) were the beach highlights!
Some horsing around too!
Oma had been chilling out at a beach restaurant nearby, sipping a cool drink, while we were at the beach. We joined her for a drink and then realised…
..that the rest of the family was driving down to Zandvoort as well! We were going to have a beachside birthday party!
A party in which you got gifts (check out his new watch!), ate some delicious food and…
…ran back to sea for a quick dip in the cold waters
Raising a toast for Udai here before heading back. It’s late and the deceptive European summer light invites us to linger, but the children are tired and we must go now…
Oma has another trick up her sleeve, however! A quick pit stop for Italian ice cream on our way home. She clicked this picture and sent it to us. It sort of says it all, doesn’t it?