The exhaustion from almost 4 weeks on the road hit me yesterday and I slept in until 11am today – something I haven’t done in years! So delicious! Since it gets dark so late and the summer evenings are so warm and blissful, we’ve turned into quite the night owls! Today and yesterday were absolutely magical days, I feel so incredibly blessed. The Van Kesteren’s continue to be such dreamy hosts, and they hooked us up with their scooter so I’ve been hopping on the back and Erol’s been vrooming us all over Voorhaut and the roads to Noordwijk, which is a small beach town just 4 km away that has the nicest beach in Holland, Wit Sands (you can guess what that means).

Erol teaching the 6 boys frisbee = magical

We fit right in among the hundreds of bikes and scooters that ebb and flow with the minimal car traffic through bike lanes and bike lights. We have it all backwards in the states, it’s quite amazing how public transport and biking have revolutionized the transport system here! We really have it all wrong in the US with no trains, massive SUVs and all the rest of it. The way towns are laid out here, with gorgeous canals and boats leading everywhere, no stop signs or stop lights but rather round abouts and yield signs, speedy trains with great access, etc. it makes for such wonderful efficiency! And the tiny cars, tiny houses, tiny sinks, and such efficient use of space, I love it.

Today was our last Monday of vacation! Sad! Can’t imagine going home…today we spent the afternoon exploring Delft, the quaint very Dutch town where Erol’s grandfather grew up before settling here in Voorhaut.

Delft City Hall - most beautiful building in the world

It was incredibly sweltering hot (Holland heat wave = score!) so we wandered, enjoyed some Alpha Blondie in a coffee shop and then were swept off our feet in a magestic, ancient church with such powerful energy held within the stone flooring, stain glass window art masterpieces, and organ music.

breath taking church stained glass

Erol walked on his ancestors & we dreamed about all the stories preceding us in that church – prayers, people, faces, challenges, families, wars….so awesome. We ended up outside up in the church tower, some 300 ft. in the air after walking up 476 narrow winding steps!!

476 stairs or so up on tower! insert massive clock above head!

The view was incredible and just above our head, the HUGE church clock sang every 15 minutes. It was massive, a force to behold. My entire life flashed before my eyes up on that tower with the church bells rining. After getting swept up in the glory of the church, we realized what time it was and rushed to Noorwijk to catch the second half of the Netherlands world cup game with over a hundred people dressed in orange on the beach. Horns, flags, beer, yelling children and the warm breeze with the ocean steps away made for a super exciting winning match! Now Netherland plays Brazil on Friday, going to be an exciting experience in Amterdam!!

Yesterday was a rough start – I was electrocuted making a smoothie, but at least it was hella lekker.  Then later at the beach I was stung by a gnarly huge ass bee on the under arm and it’s still red, hot, swollen and itchy. And I stepped on a shell playing frisbee and bloodied my toe! Too much fun!

beach with the van kesteren's

But all day yesterday, Sunday, we played in the hot sun on the white sand beach with 7 of the most beautiful children in the world (the van kesteren grand kids) ages 2-10. 6 boys (Flo, Boat, Storm, Peer, Tis) and a little girl, Pepper.

Fleur's daughter Pepper!

We played frisbee, soccer, on sand and in the water. They are all so beautiful, watching them play and laugh and talk Dutch just melts my heart.

Flow, cutest ever youngest of 4 boys to Mirel

These kids carry a special kind of magic in them, so much calm, innocense, purity and love, it fills me with so much happines. I so want babies!!!

After hours on the beach, we drove into Amsterdam and met up with one of Erol’s old best friends, Floris, his brother Martin and his girlfriend Climmy (Clementine). Loved them all! We drove out to Floris and Martin’s mama’s house (Erol’s mom Henny’s best friend) about 45 min. into the country from Amsterdam, and had an amazing evening. We ate, drank, enjoyed the gorgeous summer night in the garden, and laughed. Such LOVELY people. Every single person here I’ve met, all family or family friends of Erol, is wonderful. Erol and I have been receiving the royal treatment. I truly love Dutch people, but epecially these kind souls, feeding us meals, drinks, housing us, giving us house keys and scooters, and Wed. and Thursday we go on two different canal boat rides with family members!

I am so happy and grateful for all these experiences, especially touched by the lives and new friendships of all these new people! I’m more and more in love with Erol every day and everything feels so right. Each day is an empty slate that we take one step at a time, and how it all unfolds is like a fairy tale dream over which we have no control.

When I return home next weekend I promise to put up way more photos – they’re all on a memory card now. love and kisses!

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