We've gone from house (Attleboro) to apartments (Barcelona) and back to being in a house again. Though it's more of a duplex style type of house - the entire street is lined with them. Very traditional style housing here in the Netherlands. Our street only has houses on one side which is really nice. So we've got views both in the front and in the back of the house.
To the front there is a field where Liam can watch for bunnies. To the back is our small garden and shed, behind which is a smaller field and some woods. Not far behind is the highway which we don't love but the house is soundproofed enough that we don't hear much (at least now while there are still leaves on the trees, we'll see come winter). The kids are not allowed to go beyond the first bike path (there are 2 behind our house) since it will bring them too close to the highway. But it's incredibly peaceful and quiet overall and the kids love walking along the nature trail.
Just 1/4 mile to the left of our house along the bike path is the water. This inlet / pond actually leads out to the Baltic Sea. You can see sailboats on it regularly, many of which likely come from our neighborhood which has it's own marina. Even coming from the Cape, this is the closest Josh (or I) have lived to the water. It's absolutely beautiful.
In the other direction there is another bike path that takes us into the Vesting (you saw more about that in another entry about our town), the town center. Along this path we must ride by fields of sheep. Not too bad. And we are definitely not in Barcelona any more! I run along this path most mornings as the loop around the Vesting and back gives me an almost exact 4 mile run.
And in yet another direction you can walk by the marina and down to our beach. A 5 minute bike ride away. The beach is nothing to write home about (and yet here I write) but it's still a beach within 5 minutes of our house. Not too bad.
I'm digressing from the house though. It's small, it's cute, it's modern and overall it's comfortable and is starting to feel like home. For the first time, Josh and I are on a separate floor from the kids as there are only 2 bedrooms upstairs. The room we are using for our bedroom was the family room for the previous family (but they only had one small child) but given it has a door, etc, it works as a bedroom as well. So the kids and the main bathroom are upstairs (a very steep staircase, very Dutch). And the modern kitchen, living room, our bedroom and half bath are downstairs.
As with in Barcelona, we are without a dryer. But we're used to that. Only it was sunny there 300 days a year. So we'll see how that goes long term. But so far it's ok. And we've got a whole laundry/storage type of room off the entry for shoes, jackets, cleaning supplies and the washing machine.
The kitchen is my favorite room I think. I actually can't stand the granite as no matter how much I clean it with the appropriate cleaner, it streaks and it's hard to keep clean. But I love having the island with the breakfast bar. As do the kids. When I'm making meals, they are hanging out chatting with me and I love having that time with them. And we're eating together more often as a result. New house, new rules. No more eating in front of the tv no matter how much easier it is to succumb after a long day. And so far, we're sticking with that rule.
My other favorite thing is the amazing amount of natural light this house gets. There are skylights where you don't expect them (ask Josh about trying to turn off the lights in the hall his first night) and tons of big windows letting in the light even when the weather is bad. Actually in not one of these photos was there a light on in the house.
So without further ado... here is our new house! (still minus pictures on the walls but we'll get there in time).
Aidan on his first morning in the new house before getting ready for school
Master bedroom with a door out to the back yard
The room is quite large with room for all our furniture from the US plus my desk and the former owner's expedit bookcase (which doesn't match but functions nicely for an office bookcase)
Slightly different angle - there are two doors to this room - this one leads towards the stairs and main entrance to the house
And this one goes into the kitchen
Really no cabinets but making do with the space we have (plus our "American" cabinet) but very sleek and modern
That bookcase in the background - yup, that's all our American hoarding ;)
Our small but functional backyard and by Dutch standards, I'm finding, quite decent sized.
View from outside thru the kitchen and into the living room - nice big open space
Living room - we didn't bring our American sofas since we already had this one (a la IKEA)
Our non working (but hopefully will be soon if they ever get back to me) fireplace - excited to have a fireplace after 5 years, even if it is gas.
Kids homework table and more bookcases
View from living room to kitchen and outside
Laundry room with my "dryer"
Very steep staircase
(imagine the EMTs having to carry Josh down those stairs when he dislocated his knee!)
Aidan's room complete with his big American bed - he's sooooo happy!
Another view with all his legos on display
Other side of his room - 2 sets of windows in his bedroom and Liam's
Desk and budda bag chair
View out Aidan's window to the back yard
Hallway to Liam's room - door on the left is the bathroom, door on the right is the hot water heater, door next to that is the toilet (yes, separate from shower, very typical Dutch).
Liam's room, again 2 sets of windows to make it very light
We need to get rid of the sofa in Liam's room but haven't found any takers and he doesn't seem to mind it so it's there for now...
Liam was so excited to have his US furniture and new Star Wars (and Captain America) sheets!
Liam has the only closet upstairs so all of Aidan's shirts also live here - not so convenient but we've dealt with worse in our time in Europe.
View out Liam's window
I took a step outside for some better shots of the area - this is the same view from Liam's room - there are no houses on the opposite side of the street, just a field.
Front of our house - we only have one side (the left), deliniated by the rooftop.
So that's it... our house. Anyone who wants to come to visit is always welcome!! Hope to see you soon in Naarden, the Netherlands!