Back in October, Nolan and I came across some crazy deal for tickets to Amsterdam. Twenty minutes after hearing about it, we had purchased tickets for a trip to the Netherlands in February, to arrive on February 4th, my mom's 65th birthday. We decided not to tell anyone, and kept that up until my dad came up with the same idea. We told him about our little plan, and he thought it was a great idea. In the end we included my brother as well, just to make logistics a bit easier. It turned out to be a good thing, since he was able to pick us up at the airport. We were going to take the train, but due to some snowfall on Friday, the trains were off schedule until later this week (more about that later...).
The trip over was good but long. We had a six hour wait in Frankfurt, which I spent partly sleeping :) By the time we arrived in Amsterdam, we were pretty tired, but also excited to find out my mom's response!
When we got to Amerongen, my mom was upstairs, and when my dad said there were visitors for her birthday, and she saw us downstairs, she was speechless for a bit! Definitely a great surprise, that went over really well. I'm glad we were able to surprise her like that!
They had their annual party Saturday evening (it's my dad's birthday two days before, and they always celebrate it on the nearest Saturday), with relatives coming on Sunday. So within a couple of days, we were able to see some of the people we wanted to see.
The rest of the week we wanted to keep it pretty easy. We went on a great run Monday morning in the fresh snow, and quiet woods. This week has been very cold for Dutch standards, but since we're used to it, the shock wasn't that big. The people, however, found a common topic of discussion: the cold, snow and Elfstedentocht (for the non-Dutch, google it :) ).
On Tuesday we were hoping to head to Amsterdam to visit some relatives, a museum and have dinner with Gijsbert. However, due to the cold and snowy weather (there was snow 5 days ago...), the trains were still not running on a regular schedule. Add a broken train to the mix, and Amsterdam all of a sudden became a difficult place to get. We decided to turn around and just head home. Just as well! We met up with Renée that afternoon, for a nice walk and cup of tea, and then went out for dinner together afterwards. A little treat :)
Wednesday we took it easy, slept in and had pancakes for lunch!! Today we saw Anja and Sjoerd, which was really nice and so good to catch up.
Tomorrow we'll see the relatives from Amsterdam, before a visit from our nan. And then Saturday we're heading back home! So fast already, time always flies! Luckily, this time we only have an hour and a half lay-over in Frankfurt, so hopefully that trip will go a bit faster! But, first one full day to enjoy with the folks!