When Christian was home, and it feels too long ago already, he wanted only three things:

  1. Be home
  2. Time with Dad
  3. Vlaai

Part of being home is me, the siblings, the home cooking, the noise & smells of home.  Dad time is important, especially when Dad is a soldier (I’ve been schooled, Marine’s & soldiers are NOT the same thing!).  Vlaai.  Vlaai was all me. I would move mountains to get my beautiful boy some vlaai.

But. Vlaai is almost 4 hours away, on a good day without traffic.  So I begged & pleaded in my little friend circle… who was up for a day trip to Holland? To Maastricht? To the best bakery on the planet: Bie d’r Bekker.

Quick disclaimer, this is my family. And their recipe for kruimel vlaai originated from my Opa.  I’m beyond proud of them. I’m beyond proud of their bakery.  If you are ever near Maastricht, please go visit them!  If my words don’t compel you, let my actions. I drove up & down in one day just to get vlaai for my Marine.

I had two amazing friends join me for my journey that day.  My only compromise was a quick side-trip into Maastricht for a whirlwind sight-seeing tour. I was okay with that! I love Maastricht too.  Despite being away from my beautiful boy for an entire day during his waaaaaaaaay too short post-deployment visit, I had a wonderful day. A day I really needed.  And I got what Christian really needed: his favorite treat on the planet rijstevlaai (rice pudding pie):


Christian & his rijstevlaai. It makes it all worth it.


De Basiliek van Sint Servaas


Signs help me not get too lost. I still get lost. But they help!


My beautiful partners in crime: Charlsie & Randi


A perfect Dutch bike


The Dutch can spend hours just sitting outside, babbling, drinking, enjoying each others company. It is one of my favorite parts of being Dutch.


The Visitor center in Maastricht.


Just because I love these windows.


Maastricht is beautiful in rain, sun, snow, twilight or at night. Go visit.


It was almost Easter. Of course there must be Heineken bunnies!


Whether it’s cold, rainy or snowy… the Dutch will bike everywhere.


Sint Janskerk, after John the Baptist, is a protestant church immediately next to the Basilica of Saint Servatius


I love doors.


Walking onto “Het Vrijthof” a beautiful square in the center of old town Maastricht, paved with old cobblestones, old trees and surrounded by restaurants and bars. This is the place to be, especially on a summers evening.


I love these old arches, bridges, architecture everywhere in Europe.