Hook of Holland to Harwich

Rather than return the car to Paris, we decided to keep the car for another two weeks and cross the English Channel on a ferry.  The limitation of carrying two bags per person on the Chunnel influenced the decision. We opted for a 5-person cabin on the ferry. The kids felt they were at the Ritz.  It was a cut above the ferry from Bari to Patras. Our ship was the Stena Hollandica.

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The tractor trailers are parked on the deck.  Our car was parked on the level below the trucks.
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One last look at Holland.

Rather than drive to London and arrive in the evening, we stayed in the port city of Harwich.  Our car GPS lead us to the correct address but we did not see the sign for The Good Life Guest House.

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We saw the Family Shopper and the bar on the corner.  About the third time we passed the location, Marcia saw the sign on the second story for the Guest House.  Notice the Union Jack on the left, the EU flag at half mast and the French flag on the right.  We assumed half mast EU flag was a comment about the referendum of the UK to leave the EU. Brexit is getting a lot of play in the newspapers.
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To celebrate our first day in England we walked down the street from the Guest House and had a traditional British breakfast; bacon, bangers, tomatoes, and eggs.  When we sent the picture as a text message to Mark, he commented on the absence of beans. Next time…

Oostappen Vacation Park Elfenmeer

IMG_1256We had a 6-person bungalow at the park.  There were hundreds of spaces for tents, travel trailers, and small mobile homes.  There are twelve of the Oostappen Parks across the Netherlands and Belgium.  The Oostappen Parks are like KOA’s in the US, except much larger than KOA’s.  The bungalow was ideal for a bit of roughing it.  Before we left for our trip, Marcia had coordinated with Petra, the mom of Sarah’s friend, Maya.  Pitra grew up near the park and was back in the Netherlands to visit family.

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Marcia at the door to our bungalow.
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The white birch trees behind our bungalow reminded me of camping with my parents and sister at Hickory Run State Park in the Poconos.

Marcia and I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Petra and David. Petra introduced us to a Dutch pastry that sounded like fly, but was spelled with a v. Petra and David went to town and brought back two, an apple and strawberry fly.  David asked which was our favorite.  I went back and forth in mind over a few days.  In the end, I decided the one I prefered was the one that I was eating at the time. The pictures tell the story.  They are about 14-15 inches in diameter.

We had a fair amount of rain for the last month, but there were intervals where the sun came out.  We had our first warm day where the temperature hit 80.  However the water was cold.

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Ella’s expression tells all about the pool temperature.

It was fun for the Sarah, Rachel and Ella to have Maya to play with during the week. Adding one to the mix after four months of just sibling interaction was healthy.

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David and Petra kindly watched the girls while Marcia and I went out for dinner at at the Castle in Herkenbosch (Kasteel Daelenbroeck).  We had one of the best meals of the trip.  We began eating before thinking about taking a picture.  In order to remember an excellent meal, we took pictures of descriptions in the menu.  (Liverham is ham from the local area.) The Limburger Spargel was Marcia’s selection.
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I went with the Rotbarsch and Langoustine choice.  It was the best fish of the trip.