We have been home now for one month as of this past week. I originally wanted to give myself a few days to observe our transition and take note, and post in that first week, but then distraction and brain fog took over and, well, I’m finally taking some time to get out my thoughts.
We’ve done a LOT of amazing travels with the kids. And we’ve enjoyed the majority of it. But I should be transparent on how some of our travel days go. On all our trips we have many highs and many lows when it comes to family “moments”. The lows are mostly due to long days, and the ever present conflict of adults wanting to see things that kids are less interested in. Or, the food being “different”. Or, the walk too long. Or, there not being any downtime. And, while I try to be patient, I sometimes lose my cool.
Josh and our friend Greg took the kids on a last minute ski trip just before the ski season ended. It was a lot of driving, a lot of skiing, and a memory these kids will have for a long time.
Efteling is ingrained in Dutch childhoods. Generally speaking, any Dutch person you meet has been at least once in their life. We decided Mason’s birthday was the perfect time to go check it out.
We chose Gothenburg because we have Swedish friends there, the Hagman’s and the Löfgren’s, who used to live in Charleston (working with the new Volvo plant), and who have since returned to Sweden. The kids of these friends were in school with our boys for a few years – that’s how we met – and we were excited to finally get a chance to visit them in their home country! I really liked this trip because, while we did get to see the city of Gothenburg, we also got to see some places we would not have known about (Kullavik and Marstrand) – an insider’s tour of the Southwest coast, if you will. Plus, the friends we saw are just wonderful people and we had a great time together.
We took advantage of a two week long school break to finally see my cousin in Munich and then some friends in Sweden. Here’s part 1 of that vacation.
Getting to visit a new city and country is always exciting. Getting to do it with friends is even better. Getting to have built in local tour guides is as good as it gets and we had all of these things built into this experience.Cover photo in B&W by Florian Henning
It has been a while since a Hays family life update. We’re getting so very close to the end of
Mason had his own bucket list item for Europe and that was to take the Chunnel to England. We did visit London nearly 7 years ago as a family (with both sets of grandparents as well) but the boys have little to no memory of that trip. Once Mason mentioned he wanted this one thing, we tacked it on to a trip to see friends in Scotland and a plan was born.
early November, we had Melissa over for dinner and started listing some fun things to try/visit/do in the Netherlands. One of those things was staying in a windmill! Melissa had seen a listing on Airbnb and we went ahead and booked it for the spring.