Tuesday 10th July 2012

At around 9am we landed in Amsterdam.   Was quite an emotional moment to realise it was all real.  We were so exhausted after 2 days of travelling.  We got through customs quite quickly then it was a short wait for the baggage before we saw Bas’ family.  Though if you’ve been to Schiphol, you know you can already see those waiting for you through the glass, so got to see our relatives from a distance at least while we were waiting.  Not sure if I like that – it takes away the big drama of first glimpse when coming through the customs gate!

schiphol baggage claim

Then the girls got to cuddle Oma and Opa and held hands on the walk to the car.

Isabella and Oma

I had to laugh and took this photo as a reminder – Isabella was super excited to see someone on a bike outside the airport and I wondered how long until that sight would no longer be a novelty!

schiphol bike

She also found it neat to be able to sit in a “big girl” seat in the car – by Australian law she had to sit in the “baby” seat until she was 4 but here she’s big enough to sit in the booster seat.

booster seat

The scenery on the drive north was very typically Dutch – flat, green and organised with a sky that seems to go on forever.  Much colder than I was expecting, seems I will need the warm clothes I bought from a Brisbane winter and not the summer ones.

dutch landscape

It’s been two years since I’ve been in The Netherlands.  My husband was back last year for a visit, and his parents came to Australia every December/January for the 4.5 years we were living there.  However I’d not seen my brothers and sisters-in-law for two years, or my nieces and nephews.  They’d done a beautiful welcome sign for the girls.  The house is where my husband was born and his father as well!

welcome sign

It was lovely to see all the kids together as they are all a similar age.  Bas has 2 brothers and 1 sister and the children are Anne (12), Jur (7), Madelief (5.5), Sophia (5), Pien (nearly 4), Hidde (3.5) and Isabella (3).  Here they are (minus Anne, Pien & Sophia) on the swing set Bas used to play with as a child!

cousins on swingset

We’re staying with family for a few weeks until we find our feet.  On arrival we had very Dutch morning tea – coffee and appeltaart!  Lunch was bread, meat & cheese.  This afternoon I went to sleep about 2pm…and didn’t wake until 1am.  (Vaguely remember Bas trying to wake me for dinner and telling him to go away!).  Awake for a few hours in the middle of the night then managed a few more hours sleep.  The girls slept through quite well from around 8pm-7am.  So we’ve made it to The Netherlands to begin our new life.

Read more in my post Day 04: Inschrijving bij de Gemeente