We had an uneventful morning packing up our final things and leaving the apartment.  Those last 10 minutes always seem the craziest and it's hard to leave a place and not feel like you've left something behind.   When we arrived in Paris our taxi had trouble finding our apartment so this morning we decided it was easiest to take our suitcases down to the street and sit in a sidewalk café, drink some coffee and have them call a cab for us.  That turned out really well and by the time we finished drinking our café au lait the taxi pulled up.  Parfait!  (Side note - I love how they give you a tiny square of dark chocolate with your coffee… I wish we would adopt that habit at home!)

I can't tell you how impressed I am with the Charles de Gaulle airport.  Of course I can't speak for the entire place, but departure wing F is amazing!  The roof is like a giant hull but made of windows giving it a very open, light and airy feel.  The washrooms are airportvery clean and spacious, and there is a stand with free newspapers in many different languages.  There is even a little take-out style café that serves organic fresh food (Mom, did you hear that?!).   Not only is the departure area great, but the check-in was very smooth (with an extremely nice and helpful ticket agent) and then security was a breeze.  I had to get a pat down and the girl was so peppy and friendly that I didn't mind at all!  To top it off, right after you clear security there is a happy lady handing out coloring books and pencil crayons to every child that passed by.  Crazy!

After a short and uneventful Air France flight we landed at Schipol.  (Props to Air France - they were great and had the most delicious cookies I've ever tasted.)  It was a very pleasant surprise to be greeted by Jeff's dad and uncle, and the kids were bouncing all over their Opa.  We were also approached by a cheery Dutch girl offering samples of cheese - how pleasant!  We grabbed our rental car and drove to our rental townhouse which can only be described as AMAZING!  It is absolutely huge (especially by Dutch standards) and we are beyond pleased to be calling this our home for the next 2 weeks.  Each girl has their own bedroom so the sleeping should go a bit better (one loves the dark, the other loves the light).

After procuring breakfast supplies and unpacking our stuff, we headed for Jeff's uncle and aunt's home for dinner.  It's always a pleasure to see them, and we had a great visit with many family members and ate a nice little Dutch buffet.  Marty and Jennifer park(and the kids) had just arrived back from Paris as well, and Chloe and Julia were excited to see their cousins again as well as Jasmijn and Lianne, some of their Dutch cousins that also came over for dinner.  They all played together at the park, fed the ducks, and had a great time re-uniting.  Everyone was pretty tired so we called it a night around 9 pm, and the kids quickly got ready for bed - they haven't been in bed this early since we arrived on this continent!


It always feels a little like coming home when we get back to Amsterdam and the village of Zwanenburg.  We are lucky to have so much family here, and we are always welcomed so warmly… lots of warm fuzzies!  I think we will all have peaceful dreams tonight… slaap lekker!


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