I work in education and I always thought I would have such a lot of free time, due to the holidays you get. I couldn't have been more wrong. I do have these holidays, But mostly because al the teachers look like the walking dead, and people give us a holiday because it seems to rub off on the kids.
So we use these weeks to work a little without the pressure of time, and try to rest our ears from the torment little children's voices put them through.
And then you do something that screws this plan up. You have kids of you're own... Well. My ears hate me for it. That's why I plan to go out and do stuff. A forest has the great ability to make your kids voices seem less loud and sharp. But the Dutch autumn is quite rainy, so you got to have a back-up plan. Here's how I survived our autumn break.
1. Go outside whenever the sun is shining!
Near Utrecht there's some nice forests, but it's always a little drive. One place we love is 'the veldkeuken.' It has a museum, a little cafe with awesome bread and coffee and a very nice small forest with little bridges over creeks. We looked for leafs and acorns. We also went to the botanical gardens, one of our other favourite places in Utrecht. The glass houses are warm, and the colors outside are wonderful. It feels like a day in a different part of the world.
2. Plan a day of crafting and mess.
Be prepared to take the mess. One of those things I find very hard to do, but I'm also a little addicted to crafting, especially once I start. The kids don't want to ask me for help, because I take over and finish their crafts and drawings. I'm a Montessori teacher. We 'teach kids to do it themselves'. Yeah, well not on my holiday.
3. Plan a day or 2 in a city.
It's tiring and inspiring at the same time!
We went to Antwerp. We slept there for one night. One day we went to the aquarium, the other day we went shopping.
We promised the kids a present if they would just walk along. Yes. we bribe our kids. And we do it with books, sweets and toys. A couple of thing I love too, so this bribe works on more than 1 level.
We had lunch at this lovely place, called 'the wasbar'. It's a laundrenette and bar in one. And right around the corner of a good bookshop and kidsstore.
4. So there's one more thing you can do to survive a week of snotnoses, hysteria and mayhem. If you have people around that like having your kids over, drop them off. Say you're sick, you have to work, or your grandma is in hospital and you have to visit. Then run home and stay in bed all day.
I'm so sorry I don't have the right connections. But hey, I survived!