Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Medieval Monasteries, Mexican Munchies, and Midsummer's Mayhem

So here we go. Lots of catching up to do! Since my last entry, we've had dinner in Rotterdam; coffee at an old Zeeuws monastery; celebrated Johannisfeuer (or the "Midsummer's Eve bonfire") in Franconia, Germany; popped into a rehearsal of the Zeeuws Orkest (the regional symphony); and visited a fantastic new playground in Goes (complete with restaurant, petting zoo & park).

Here's the "low-down":
Dinner in Rotterdam was fantastic. It's been ages since we've really enjoyed dining out, and Popocatepetl, in Rotterdam's Spaanse Poort, provides great food in a fun Mexican-themed setting. We met another Siemens couple with two children, and Lukas adored their son (who's a year older), watching him enviously as he jumped further, ran faster, and spun circles around his younger counterpart.

The grounds of the old Zeeuws monastery (the owners suspect that that is what it was) are now private gardens, open to visitors on a seasonal basis. Known as "Heuvelhof", the property encompasses 6 acres of well manicured gardens; including a labyrinth, rose garden, orchards, and more. The best way to experience Heuvelhof is with a group of 8 or more, scheduling a tour of the garden and small breakfast (for €13.50 per person) , complete with bread and preserves made right on the farm.

Friday morning, I decided to head down to Franconia, Germany (650 km - each way) for a whirlwind visit. The plan was to surprise my in-laws and spend some time with friends and family, heading back 48 hours later to finish the weekend off in Holland. What we didn't know is that the weather would be spectacular, and that we'd be there for the Midsummer Night Bonfire, known in Germany as "Johannisfeuer".

Sunday we returned to Zeeland just in time to attend a rehearsal of the Zeeuws Orkest in Middelburg, performing Tchaikovsky's Symphony Number 6 (which, incidentally, can get a bit intense for toddler ears).

Monday we just lazed around, recovering from our adventurous weekend, but Tuesday afternoon we were back on our feet, joining friends at the "De Hollandse Hoeve" in Goes, a playground, café, petting zoo, and park just outside the city center. The "Hoeve" is just behind the main swimming pool, "Sportpunt Zeeland", and is a great place for families to spend an afternoon.

And voilá, now you're up to date on the Kraft Adventures of late.
Please email us with your latest adventures... wherever they might be!

Below are some additional photos from the week...

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