The start of something truly magical.
After days of travel, we are finally here. In one of the most beautiful areas of The Netherlands, a country that has surprised by miles all of our expectations.
If you have been following my adventures via Instagram or Patreon, you will already know that we are all safe and sound in The Netherlands. We arrived late on Sunday evening, though we started the long journey a week previously.
Our travels commenced in El Paso, Texas where we picked a few things we had ordered online for this journey, and where we took a most horrid bus all the way to Denver. Please, don't take a bus. It was an adventure and we took in good stride, but we arrived much worse for wear in Denver. After trying, unsuccessfully, to book a ride via Uber we decided to go the easy way with a cab. A Somalian man in the best of spirits took us to our hotel by the airport, we had a great dinner at a nearby diner and we went to bed.
At the ungodly hour of 2 am, we rose and saddled up for the airport shuttle. Checked in and took a plane to JFK. Our daughters kept insisting on going out of the airport to visit the statue of Liberty, but were told many times leaving the airport was not an option, even during a 6-hour lay over.
We finally boarded our plane to London with Virgin Atlantic. It was a lovely flight and we landed without a pip. We then took another shuttle to our hotel in a quaint little area near the airport. We strolled for a few hours, trying to get a lay of the land. Inspected a church yard and met beautiful peonies growing in a nearby garden.
We tried to stay awake but we lost the battle to jet lag. Slept all afternoon and got up somewhere around 10 pm. Went out again, bought a few things at a convenience store and headed back to the hotel where we checked in with all the family awaiting news from our arrival. We were safe, cuddled and a bit rested.
Over the next two days we tried to sort out renting a car, which proved hard due to the schedule we had in mind. So we finally bought a used vehicle, insured it and taxed it (with the help of a local friend) and drove back to the hotel. Our intention was to have it inspected but we had run out of time. Next day we were due in Dunkerque so we had to make the best of it. Filled up the tank, braced for impact and left London. Not without a few tears and hairy situations trying to drive there. Dear lord, what a gong show that is.
We drove from London to Canterbury, where we picked up more camping gear, and then off to Dover. We boarded to ferry to Dunkerque and arrived to most stores closed. We found our AirBnb and then went out for Indian food. We were the last people at the tiny restaurant but felt so relieved to be finally in France and well on our way to The Netherlands.
The next day, we drove straight to the Pays-Bays and didn't get lost once. Which is a miracle by our standards. We seem to always take the wrong turn or go the opposite way while driving in London, but this time the Gods were on our shoulders and we arrived in Elspeet at a most magical time of the day.
The sun was peeking out behind clouds, investing everything in gold and purples. There was a fog blanket covering all the fields and the air smelled of new adventures. The ancient forest welcomed us with loud and clear bird song, as if knowing our hearts truly lie within its darker corners. It seemed as if we had been here before, as if returning but all of it being new.
We are now nestled in a campground full of people bending over backwards to help us navigate everything. Most people we've met are surprised at the fact we took the girls out of school for such an extended period, but all of them are pleasantly surprised at our naivety and courage to travel so far, drive around and just go about daily life with children in tow. I guess we are pretty silly like that.
Now, I am prepping for a big weekend full of doll making, wool, stitches and fabric. I will get to meet old friends and make new ones. I get to see a few of my dolls I have sent here in the past, as well as hand one into the arms of her mother. We are all in love with this piece of our journey and so grateful to be able to be here.
I will be back with more photos and also the report from the doll making weekend. Stay tuned for more my dear friends.