To Europe in the snow

Nora made the trip of her lifetime. We went back to the homelands: Christmas in Sweden and New Year in Holland. And what a great experience it was. Europe was covered in snow. Not just for a couple of days, but for the complete duration of our trip we were looking at the most beautiful white winter scenery you could imagine. And despite the cold, the entire trip felt like one big warm bath of cheerful reunions, with our little queen at centre-point of attention.

A 32-hour trip via Singapore and Amsterdam dropped us from +36°C in Adelaide to -8°C in Borås, Sweden. Fortunately Mikaela’s best friend Susan was waiting on the airport with warm clothes for all of us, including a ski-suit for Nora that turned her into a little snowman. We stayed at Susan's mother’s place, where we spent the first nights waking up with Nora, who was coping with a major jet-lag. Main mission in Sweden was celebrating Christmas, which we did no less than three times, all with traditional dinner and presents: once with aunt Anita and family (including 2 years old little Wilma), once with aunt Ellinor and family, and finally with our Finish hosts Linnea and Torsti. You can imagine who got most presents from Santa Claus … we are still unpacking toys ;-) Thanks heaps to all Santa’s!
Then of course we met many old friends, too many to mention. Strange enough it felt as if we’d only been away a couple of weeks, instead of the 2.5 years we’ve been in Aussie. We take that a sign that true friendship will last, despite the distance.

After Christmas we left for Holland, where Jan’s entire family welcomed us at Schiphol airport. First in line was Pake Bijlsma (grandpa), who proudly took care of Nora’s introduction to the family. It was his 80th birthday coming up, which we celebrated all together in Friesland. With no less than 8 grandchildren this was a party to remember (see video). Happy Birthday Pake!
From our home base at Jan’s sister Aukje, we had a very busy schedule meeting our friends. Again like in Sweden it felt like we’d never been away. We just picked it up where we left it. New Year we celebrated in with the ‘gang’ in IJsselstein, where a winter BBQ was put up to make us Aussies feel at home. Amazingly Nora slept right through the loud fireworks, only to wake up most of all other nights, just to share the excitement with her tired parents.

Way too soon we had to pack our many bags again. Traveling long distance with a baby is a challenge, especially when she doesn’t want to miss any of the action. Yesterday we arrived back in warm Adelaide. But despite being totally worn out, we feel energized by this wonderful trip. We left Europe with knowing that that we are still very close to all of you guys. And you know what? There’s more planes flying this way, so if you ever feel the urge, you are most welcome to visit us. See you soon!!!

Look here for the photo slide shows of our trip to Sweden and Holland


Susan said…
Ooooh miss you all! It was so great to have you here!
Many hugs
Anonymous said…
Het is zeker wel lekker om na die kou weer je korte broek aan te trekken ;-)
Ik vond het super jullie weer te zien, voelde zo vertrouwd en jullie hebben een geweldige dochter. x jes Bianca
Anna said…
Looks like you had a great time! Sorry we didn´t get a chance to see you! Lots of love!! Anna

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