Week Twenty-three

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For the kids fourth birthday (FOUR!!!??) we took them to Efteling located in The Netherlands. It is an amusement park based on Fairy Tales (mainly Brothers Grimm) but they have all sorts. Jason and I were beyond impressed, it was clean, friendly, easy to navigate, get in get out, and SO much fun. This place makes Six Flags and Disney Land look like a dump. I never saw a piece of trash on the floor and the bathrooms were cleaner than the ones in my own house.
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I knew this was going to be a good day when I walked in and the first thing I see is a barista happy to make some fresh coffee for me.
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We made our way around the Fairy Tale forest but really it was just a short cut to hurry up and get to the choo-choo. Zane was pulling Dad along obsessed with the mission to GET TO THE CHOOCHOO!
The Fairy Tale forest had little houses and replicas of about 15 Fairy Tales. Most of which Disney has ripped off. Here is Rupunzel.
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For some reason I remember The Little Mermaid having a seashell bikini.
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This is Lily’s “I’m uncomfortable” stance.
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Hansel and Gretel, complete with a fountain of blood from previously eaten children!

HAPPINESS
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Zane found the choo-choo (a real steam engine train)
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As well as lots of pidgeons, birds and ducks to chase after.
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And Dad and I found beer. Can I just restate how happy I am that beer is served at all children’s activities over here.

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After finishing our beers we needed someone to drive us around. Zane and Lily were extremely excited to drive these cars. The steering really works and while Lily took her time driving as well as she could with her Daddy, Zane was out to kill me. He laughed as we banged from side to side, all the while he zoomed around with race car noises.

On to the rides! (aka Mom tries not to lose her frites)
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The round and round up and down pirate ships
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Faster! Mom’s not green yet!
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The Spinning Teacups! Twice in a row.
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The swings!
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The whatever the hell else goes around and around at high speeds
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The carousel had a real working calliope, really cool.
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Finally, let’s take a relaxing boat ride. Oh wait, can’t relax yet, these are real boats, in real water and no lifejackets! Note the beltloop death grip. She kept stepping up on the step and leaning over to the water to try and pet the ducks.
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BLACK SWAN!
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This is the bobsled ride. In the US, NO CHILD under the age of 7 or 8 would be allowed on this thing. I assumed that because the kids were allowed it would be no big deal, easy ride. This thing MOVES and whips you around at speeds you are not too comfortable with. Both of them were terrified the first time we rode it, and half a second after we got off, they demanded AGAIN!!!!! We went on this thing 10+ times. I completely lost count. This picture was taken on our final ride. We knew the camera so well that we could have made a whole photo album out of our pictures.
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Sorry guys, no more bobsled.

We should have gone home. We should have ended our trip on the high note of the final bobsled ride. BUT NO. We had to go on one more thing before we left. MOM AND DAD FAIL.
This was an animatronic ride based off of 1001 Nights. I was thinking, “It’s a Small World” or something. We were dead wrong (I say we but really this was Dad’s idea. The ride said “FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!).
Fun for the whole of Tim Burton’s family maybe!!
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We should have turned back when we saw the boats coming out of the ride. Children clutching to their parents, tears, screaming, these are all signs to turn around and don’t look back.
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This is what the kids looked like by the end of the ride. Hell even I was freaked out. Creepy, scary and nightmare making material here.
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I mean if this doesn’t scream family fun, I don’t know what does!

Jason and I tried our best to keep happy cheerful tones as we went through it. “Look kids a friendly snake trying to eat us! Oh look at that silly man trying to murder that guy! Oh hey if that giant ax slices that girl in half, how many pieces will she be in! GUNSHOTS, yay!!! Just like Miami, remember?!? No, that is a silly tiger trying to eat that man! That evil devil with glowing red eyes and smoke is a FRIENDLY devil with glowing red eyes and smoke!”.
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Poor tough guy was trying to hold it in, but broke down after we got off the boat.
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We tried to make it all better with ice cream. Lily was still not in a mood to forgive. (You guys suck , I’m calling CPS after I finish this cone)

Despite the way it ended we all had a great time and we hope the kids had a great birthday.

Presents
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Even though tomorrow is their actual birthday, we did let them go to the toy store and pick out their own presents on Sunday. Zane got this fantastic marble run set, we spent most of Saturday afternoon engineering it to perfection.
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Lily had more of a grab bag of smaller presents. She rates her birthday in quantity terms. We painted, played tea with her new tea set and filled her jewellery box.

We had a great birthday/Fathers Day weekend in Brussels and The Netherlands seems like a cool place. We will be going back soon to explore more of the coast region this summer. I can’t wait.
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Oh, and WHAT THE HECK is this bug? It is like a cross between an ant, a wasp, a bee and a dragon fly.

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4 Responses to Week Twenty-three

  1. Stacy says:

    What a fun adventure! I hope Zane and Lily had a wonderful birthday!

  2. Your “cheerful” narration of that last ride cracked me up!

  3. tjebran35 says:

    Wow, I’m glad I wasn’t on that last ride. Happy, happy birthday Lily and Zane. I cannot believe 4 years-old. They are so precious and you guys are doing such a good job as parents. Love you all!

  4. Karen Bourque says:

    Happy birthday Lily and Zane. It looks like you all had a fabulous time (if you exclude the last ride). Val, your comments are so fun – I can’t wait for Monday’s to see what Laura’s grandbabies are up to!

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