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Bruges with Kids

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We left super early so we would arrive early.

We spent two nights in Bruges.

We spent the whole afternoon and evening at de Haan BEACH!

It was just a short drive to de Haan and it was such a lovely beach.

The water was quite cold, even though it was a very warm day. No one was really in the water.

We walked along the strand, collecting shells, for about 3 mi, then back.

We got gelato. Of course.

There was a fun beach playground.

We had dinner on the boardwalk.

Goregous Trappist beer and moules frites. Fish and steak. Everyone was happy.

The next day, we walked around Bruges.

We ate breakfast at our apartment.

I used the walking tours in Rick Steves Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent.

We went straight to the Basilica of the Holy Blood. There’s a lovely chapel on the ground level.

We got to view the relic up close. It was just amazingly perfect timing. The annual festival was later that week too.

We paid to see the Michelangelo sculpture at the Church of Our Lady.

The whole city is just lovely with the canals and old houses.

We ate lunch at De Halve Maan. It was delicious.

Then we did the brewery tour. The kids loved it.

We learned about barley and hops and methods.

We got to taste more beer. The blonde beer tasting is included with the tour. We prefer the Dubbel or Tripel Zot and the Straffe Henrik.

We got chocolates at The Chocolate Line and Leonidas.

We saw lots of fun historical sites.

We bought dinner at Carrefour and cooked it in the apartment. Alex was thrilled with the wild asparagus!

Our last day, we toured the Flanders WWI sites.

We ate breakfast in our apartment and packed up.

We saw “The Brooding Soldier” statue at St. Julien Memorial. Our favorite was the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. We had a picnic lunch by the pond. We drove to Ypres to see The Menin Gate. We saw the Essex Farm cemetery and memorials.

We got takeout for dinner.

We got home pretty late, but it was worth it. It was a lovely trip.

Linking up: B Loved Boston, Mini Travellers, A Fresh Start, JEmbellish, Marilyns Treats, Lori SchumacherInspiration for Moms, Holley Gerth, Blessed But Stressed, Embracing Everyday, God-Sized Dreams, Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth, Modest Mom, Donna Reidland, Curly Crafty Mom, Squishable Baby, Life of Faith, Our Mini Family, Coffee with Us 3, Teaching What is Good, April J Harris, Lou Lou Girls, Jaime Wiebel, Purposeful Faith, Mumma Scribbles, Live Randomly Simple, MaryAndering Creatively, Our Three Peas, Adventures of Mel, Gingersnap Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, Ducks N a Row, Raggedy Bits, Jessi’s Design, Wise Woman, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Pat and Candy, Classical Homemaking, Soaring with Him, Joyful Homemaking, What a Wanderful World, My Learning Table, Katherine’s Corner, Happily Ever After Etc., Crystal Waddell, Debbie Kitterman, Sincerely Paula, Lyli Dunbar, T Suzanne Eller, Journeys in Grace, Becoming press, Life with Lorelai, Creative K Kids, Life Beyond the Kitchen, Brenda Bradford Dottinger, Organized 31, A Bountiful Love, Being a Wordsmith, Happy and Blessed Home,

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American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg

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The American Military Cemetery Luxembourg is the resting place of 5,076 American service members.

American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg

We enjoyed studying these relief maps of Military Ops in Western Europe and the Ardennes Rhineland Campaign

Relief Maps of Western Europe and Ardennes

The Remembrance Chapel

Remembrance Chapel

The Altar and Stained Glass Window inside the Chapel

Chapel Altar

The Chapel Ceiling Mosaic

Chapel Ceiling Mosaic

There are 118 servicemen buried here of the Jewish faith, whose headstones are in the shape of a Star of David.

Jewish Grave

American Military Cemetery Luxembourg-Hamm

Four fountains represent the apostles and dolphins and turtles symbolize resurrection and everlasting life.


General Patton was buried here on Christmas Eve, 1945, three days after he died in Heidelberg, Germany.

General Patton Grave

Kate wanted to find the grave of the Army nurse, the only female in the cemetery.

Army Nurse

Visiting Hours

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed December 25 and January 1.


About 1.5 hours from Ramstein and 45 minutes from Spangdahlem

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Netherlands with Kids

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We drove to the Netherlands for a long weekend.

It wasn’t that long of a drive from the KMC. It was about 4 hours for us.

Our Trip to the Netherlands

We stayed at this absolutely darling farm in VreelandDe Willigen Logies. It was only about 30 minutes from downtown Amsterdam.
on the Vecht
Swans, storks, ducks, geese, sheep, cows, and a farm cat greeted us. It was magical.

We got to hold 5-day-old lambs, watch cows being milked, and pet the calves. They were all so adorable!


The storks were building a nest on a platform in a tree right next door.

Stork Building a Nest

We got the Holland Pass and it was worth it for the fast pass entrances, though we didn’t use all our tickets.

We ate breakfasts and dinners at our apartment. It was well-furnished and comfortable. We brought a grill pan and rice cooker with us, along with some basics. The village had an amazing grocery store where we stocked up a couple times.

Day 1: Downtown Amsterdam

We planned to drive to a train station, park the van, and take the train or Metro to downtown Amsterdam. We arrived quickly and easily to the parking area. When we found the train station, we learned that the electricity for the entire grid was down and might be hours before repair.

I had no intention of standing in the wind and cold in a train station, waiting for who knows how long, so we hiked back to the car, paid €3 for the parking that didn’t work out. Our train tickets were useless.

Driving downtown was an adventure with narrow roads, construction, cyclists everywhere, and no electricity. Trolleys were stranded and no traffic lights worked. We circled the museum district three times before we got the right configuration of one-way roads and constructions detours to pull into the parking garage.

The electricity came back on. Yay!

Then we rushed to the van Gogh Museum for the highlight of our trip. Photos are not allowed.

Shhh…we snapped a few of our favorites with our smartphone.

van Gogh Museum Favorites

We were starving and bought some hot dogs at a stand to hold us over.

Since it was right across the street from the van Gogh Museum, we rushed over to see some of the Rijksmuseum before walking to the Anne Frank House for our evening appointment.

iconic canal picture

On the way to the Anne Frank House, we stopped at Sara’s Pancake House. I got the chicken and onions and the waitress suggested caramel syrup since that’s her favorite. I never would have thought but it yum.

We had a few minutes until our ticket time, so we walked around the block and just enjoyed the scenery.

The view of the Westerkerk from the canal bridge was beautiful.


We saw a few of these wheelbarrow benches in front of shops and had to try it out. Liz and Alex caught Tori unawares.

wheelbarrow bench

The statue of Anne Frank.

Anne Frank Statue

I highly recommend getting tickets online in advance to the Anne Frank House so you don’t have to wait in line. We rang the bell at a side door a few minutes before our appointment. They scanned our printed tickets and we walked on in. Perfect.

Alex did great all the through the house. He understood a lot more than I thought he would for a 5 year old! It really concerned him about the blacked-out windows. The museum-y part at the end was boring for him and he was tired. He just did awesome. No pictures allowed inside.

The canal boats docked early due to the wind and Alex was devastated. He cried the whole way back to the car. We had promised him a boat ride. We had boat tickets included with the Amsterdam Card.

I was upset too.

I wanted to cry and be carried to the car, but I’m a mom.

Day 2: Windmills and The Beach

We didn’t feel like going back downtown and figured we would explore Zaanse Schans. It was really close by.

I was worried it would be a tourist trap, but it was really quite delightful.

Zaanse Schans windmills

Each building has an educational demo or presentation.

Big Yellow Klompen

The kids loved the shoe building with klompen demo, the clock museum, and the chocolate history presentation.

Klompen Demonstration

We ate pancakes at the café at Zaanse Schans. I love cafés in Europe. Pancakes, soup, beer.

We were getting cold and wet and it was still too early to head back to our apartment, so we drove over to the beach at Zandvoort.

Alex was born in Hawaii, but we moved when he was still a baby so he doesn’t remember the ocean.

Big Ocean

We loved all the shells and sea stars!


We fell in love with Haarlem. The houses were gorgeous!

This would have been the logical time to see the Corrie ten Boom house, but I didn’t plan on that so we were probably like a block away and missed it.

Day 3: The Hague

We drove to the Maurtishuis for family day. The kids were ecstatic to do an art workshop and Aaron and I had a lovely lunch date in the museum cafe!

The last Sunday of every month is family day and kids workshops. I think it was €7 per child and well worth it! The workshop was in English and you can reserve a spot online but we just registered at the door for that afternoon (lucky!). They went on a tour looking for cloudy skies and then got to paint their own!

Kate the Great

We saw The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. It really is that beautiful.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring

They also had a special exhibit from the Frick Collection.

The kids checked out the educational backpack and loved looking for the musical instruments in one room and food items in another room.

We ate at a darling little pizza place across the plaza. It was pouring rain. We drove around and looked at the pretty architecture. There was no one out on a Sunday.

Day 4: Keukenhof

We went to see flowers at Keukenhof!

It was amazing.

I wondered if it would compare to Callaway Gardens but it was so much lovelier.

Blossoming Trees

We first visited the building with the history of the tulip business. We loved reading about that. The word “tulip” comes from a Persian word, meaning “turban.” Carolus Clusius brought the first tulips to Holland in 1593.

I think we got there a tad early. Daffodils and crocuses were in bloom but not many tulips yet.

Pretty as Flowers

Luckily, there are several buildings with spectacular flower exhibits and we got our fill of tulips!

The floral love displays were fun for the kids!

My Loves


The kids wanted to cross the pond on these platforms
Stepping Stones in the Pond

Inside the main flower hall, there were these amazing flower walls that were perfect for photo backgrounds. There must have been every kind of tulip in there imaginable.

And daffodils, hyacinths, hydrangeas, begonias, and lots of other spring flowers.

Flower Walls

We spent too much money on a rather nice lunch. But we were starving.

Alex finally got to see a windmill up close and inside.


We really like the insect gardens with beehives and houses for bugs and flowers to attract bees and butterflies. 
Insect Garden

The best part was the van Gogh flower exhibit!

There were stages and displays set up with flowers for many of his famous paintings.

We stood around and noticed all these other people climbing in for pictures.

And in Europe, there are no lines. People don’t know how to queue. They just jump in, shove past, and it seems rude to us.

van Gogh Cafe

The kids really loved looking at all the flowers. We spent the whole day at Keukenhof!

We really loved everything about the Netherlands. It was one of our favorite trips so far. We hope to go back to see more!

We loved the food, people, scenery, museums…maybe not so much the windy, cold weather.

Linking up: Makeovers and Motherhood, Chestnut Grove Academy, HSBAPost,

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