Briana’s birthday was a very exciting time for the both of us. Between hot springs and all the amazing food Italy has to offer, we have been indulgent to say the least but we always treat ourselves to something extra special for our birthdays. This year we decided to travel to the Kuekenhoff in the Netherlands to celebrate.
The Kuekenhoff is a huge attraction because every spring thousands of beautiful tulips are cultivated there. Google the Netherlands and chances are images will pop up of the myriad of colorful tulips. There is a small window in which everything is in full bloom and it happened to coincide with Briana’s birthday.
Our plans hit a few bumps at the beginning of our trip. The day of our flight, delays kept pushing the flight time further and further back. We were slightly annoyed but it wasn’t a huge deal, it comes with traveling. We were however not happy when the flight was cancelled all together. The airport erupted in shouting and shoving from all the passengers waiting to board this flight. It was full on mayhem, so we left the boarding area and headed to a kiosk to find out more details.
Apparently there was some kind of mechanical failure and the plane was deemed unsafe to fly. There were no more flights out that day and we were offered a hotel voucher. Since we live in the city we were flying out of, the hotel voucher was not necessary so we left. We were upset about the day we were losing off our trip but it wasn’t going to ruin all of our plans. Other passengers were from all over the world and this cancellation set off a chain reaction, upsetting their travel itineraries. I felt more bad for them than for us as we would still be in the Netherlands the day of Briana’s birthday.
Once we got home, we were not as blasé about the circumstances once we pulled up the new flight information. What originally was supposed to be a 2 hour flight was now a 13 hour travel day according to the email update we received. That was not acceptable in our eyes, because ultimately it would mean loosing 2 days of our trip, so we started figuring out our options. We found that we could catch a connecting flight from our layover in Barcelona and cut our travel time in less than half. This meant purchasing a separate ticket from another airline in Barcelona in order to make it work. It was more money out of pocket but with our claim for flight cancellation, we figured the cost would be covered.
Everything worked out and we arrived refreshed and ready to enjoy the city. We had a delicious dinner at a traditional Dutch restaurant and were thoroughly stuffed. The following morning, we made it to the Kuekenhoff for Briana’s birthday and had the most wonderful day. Tulips every color of the rainbow covered fields all around us. Neither words nor photos can capture just how magical it is to visit, you’ll just have to go check it out yourself. Our travel woes were a long distant memory as we lost ourselves amongst the flowers.
The next day we headed to Rotterdam, which was a first for both of us. Amsterdam is beautiful but we had already been there and wanted to explore something new. Unlike Amsterdam, Rotterdam was nearly all destroyed in WWII so it is a new city. There are markers around town signifying where the city was rebuilt after the various bombings. Rotterdam is hip and vibrant with some of the most delicious food we’ve had in the Netherlands. My personal favorite was a ramen place that has the best Tonkotsu I’ve ever eaten.
The locals are so friendly and helpful in every city/town we’ve visited in the Netherlands. We love Holland and it was the perfect setting to celebrate Briana’s birthday. Getting there took some effort but you have to be flexible with the circumstances presented to you.
My mother-in-law Cathy will be visiting us soon and bringing our cat with her. We are excited to see Cathy and share some adventures with her in this beautiful part of the world that we are fortunate enough to call home.