17 and 18 July, the erpeltjes+entourage spent a weekend in La Roche en Ardenne. The occasion was that a certain someone did not want to throw a big party for her big 5-0, but instead wanted to have a nice weekend with her family, and I think we succeeded in that. On the morning of July 16, I travelled down to the South to try on my wedding dress, which (thank god) fit this time, although some adjustments still needed to be made (another few cms smaller around my waist for example :)). In the afternoon Paul also arrived in Etten-Leur with our rental car for the weekend, a yellow Opel Corsa 🙂
After dinner, the caravan went on its way. We would stay in Frank’s work place: a house near La Roche with a huge patch of grass, delimited by the Ourthe. Since his company is not using it during the summer, we didn’t have to camp out in tents, which was nice. Anyway, we got there around 22:00 pm, and after moving our stuff from the car and making our beds we sat down for some drinks and music.
On Saturday morning Dad, Frank, Hans, Peter and I went out mountainbiking. Peter only did the bit uphill because his hand was still in a plaster cast, so he couldn’t really do the downhill bit (which, unfortunately for him, is the most fun bit). Frank and Hans had done it before so they kind of raced down, dad is a lot more used to race bikes so was quite fast too, and then they all had to wait for me all the time but they were nice about it :). It was my first time mountain biking and I loved it, although it does take quite some getting used to sitting bent forward when you’re used to a regular Dutch bike…
After the mountain biking we had lunch and hung around the house a bit, reading magazines and relaxing. Sara got her first guitar lessons from Frank, Peter and me, so she was busy trying to switch fluently between the Em, C, D and G chords.
Later on in the afternoon mum, dad, Hans, Paul and I went to the La Roche to get some bread. Turns out, I’d been there before (several times already actually) but I’d forgotten. So we walked around for a bit (as tourists do), admired the shops (kijken, kijken, niet kopen) and laughed at someone rather unsuccessfully undertaking a watersports activity that revolved around this person being locked into a big plastic ball and trying to walk on water.
When we got back, the whole family tried out the zipline on the premises after which we set Frank and Hans to work to find wood for the camp fire we planned that night (OK, other people were doing other tasks, such as making salad, putting up the barbecue etc but they did the hard work). We had a truly splendid barbecue in the sun that evening.
Followed by a big campfire that lasted until well into the night 🙂
On Sunday we all got up a bit late, and were a bit slow to get going. We had intended to go for a hike, but the weather was so great that it was just nicer to hang out around the river (building dams, as you’re supposed to do as a Dutch person) and sit in the grass. At some point Frank did bring out a crossbow and a handbow and some targets, so we had a go at those.
The afternoon went by way to fast, so after we had tidied up the bows and targets it was time for (an early) dinner before the drive back. We got back to Etten-Leur around 20:00, where Paul and I had a quick drink, after which we drove on to Amsterdam. Because we didn’t want the holiday feeling to end yet we decided to stay in town for another while after we returned the car, enjoying some drinks on a terrace near the Leidseplein. On to the next holiday! 🙂
P.S. More photos on my flickr page.