Family reunion in the Netherlands

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April 22nd 2007
Published: August 7th 2007
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Finally the weekend had arrived where my family had travelled to Europe for a holiday and I had the privlidge of buying myself a ticket to Rotterdam to meet them so we could visit some of our distant dutch relatives. It was quite strange after travelling alone for so long to be met at an airport, and even stranger to be met by my family! Was great to see them all again, and for my first night we stayed with Arthur and Karline.

The next morning we were up for the Rotterdam International Discgolf Tournament. Despite a small turnout of only 3 players we had perfect weather and a tough tight course that proved challanging, especially for a bunch of guys that were more than a little rusty. There were still a few awesome shots all round with a couple of birdies for everyone (along with a few lost discs!). I jumped out to an early lead, with Arthur provided plenty of pressure on the back nine clawing back to within one while Dad had a couple of blowouts that took him out of the race. It came down to the final hole with Arthur parking it perfectly for an easy bird forcing me to play it cool for a must get par to take the win and the championship title!

The family then drove down to a small town near the German border called Gendringen to our cousin Marcels place where we met Auntie Ann (my grandmothers sister) and Uncle Albert who we had not seen for years. It was a quiet afternoon with a lovely bike ride around the quiet township (about 1km in diamter all up) Made for a refreshing change to the hustle and bustle of London life. The next day we went for another ride in the countryside before visiting Auntie Ann and Uncle Albert for lunch in Doetichem a slightly larger town nearby. It was great to see some of the things there I remembered from my childhood at my grandparents house. Later that night we also met up with Jan Helmink,whose father was my grandfathers brother, for dinner and a trip to Germany! Dinner was great, a kind of mini cook it yourself meal and we found out that he does plays and so did his father so now Nicola knows where she gets it from 😊

On Saturday we visited Thea and Theo who visited New Zealand a few times and were treated again to an enormous feast for lunch. The dutch certainly know how to be good hosts with tea and biscuits and cakes and chocolate preceeding and post every meal, I hadnt eaten so much so consistently in my life! They had a lovely place and Theo has a real passion for his gardens, and it shows, he even had one apple tree that he had spliced 4 different apple strains onto. That night we went to Margot's for dinner who I think is the daughter of one of my grandmothers sisters (it all gets very confusing) it was fantastic and I got some free dutch and football lessons from some of the kids. That night me and Nix were invited out with Margots daughter and friends and were treated to a pub, club and cafe tour of Doetichem and it was surprisingly pumping!

On my final day I had a unique chance to see behind the scenes at Marcels parish church and the view from the tower before briefly visiting 3 of my grandmothers sisters, one of whom was turning 90, and their families. Its funny to see the family resemblance throughout all our relatives. Me and Nix caught a train back to Rotterdam where I had to catch my flight.

It was a fantastic trip and awesome to see the family, though it didnt really worry me leaving home the first time, saying goodbye again was a lot harder - it just wasnt enough time and I knew it'd be a while before I got to hang out with them again...

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