We've been to The Netherlands many times. Most people who know us know that we love it there: aged gouda, miles upon miles of bicycle paths through the countryside, quaint towns, pancakes and fields of tulips. But the tulip season had remained that one quintessential, yet elusive, trademark of Holland that we had never done in all our trips.
We remedied this with perfect timing two weeks ago. With just a cheap Lufthansa flight to Amsterdam and a short train trip to The Hague to visit friends Pia and Guy, we found ourselves right in full tulip bloom.
Guy worked with us at Seisen in Tokyo and we were honored to attend his wedding to Pia in Chiang Mai last summer. He's now teaching at a school in The Hague. They were kind enough to welcome us and our toddler into their home, something not for the faint of heart, given Woody's penchant for rearranging furniture and knickknacks. Pia was the most gracious host, whipping up mouthwatering vegetarian Thai food for us to take on our bike ride that day. We hadn't had flavors so good since last summer (the Danes don't do spice) and we couldn't stop eating. Woody even enjoyed a little green curry without so much as a face pucker!
We rented a few bikes and set off from The Hague through the sand dunes along the coast.
It was windy and slow riding, but little Felix was a trooper. When not happily riding in his little bucket seat, he slept soundly in the Ergo on James's back. He is a true traveler, that kid.
I had to stop for Vlaamse friites with a generous dollop of mayonnaise.
Just outside our favorite town of Leiden, we found our first field bursting with color.
By this point, Woody had been out with us all day and had had enough of the photo ops.
We biked on from the fields into Leiden to the Pannenkoekenhuis for delicious coffee and individual pancakes the size of a family pizza.
We can no longer "share" food with Woody. He grabs ahold and doesn't give it back. I think James got 2 licks of his ice cream cone.
The trip was so quick that we were back in our apartment by 9:45 on Sunday morning. It couldn't have been more perfect of a trip. Woody slept the whole flight home, prompting us to think that morning flights and short power weekends are definitely the way to travel with a toddler. Thanks Pia & Guy for showing us the tulips!