i’m back! surprise surprise, i’ve been super busy just as i expected.
this last weekend, i went camping with my family and some friends, thursday through sunday. while relaxing and having a great time, i realized those four days were the first days since we got back from europe that i haven’t been at our pool.
so yes, i realized that since the beginning of the summer, i’ve been to the pool every. single. day. for one reason or another. i’m back home now though, and the weather is kind of gross, so i have at least today off to catch up on posting :)
as you can tell from the title, i’m here for the part two of my trip to europe! i have more pictures than the first post i believe. at least a lot from our second day in paris. i did go through and delete a lot a little while back though to save space on my phone. but i hope you all enjoy seeing what i still have :D
may 20/ PARIS DAY 2: we woke up fairly early again this morning and headed straight into the city. thankfully today we had a somewhat easier time finding subway stations so we did less walking than we would have.
my sister brought her friend’s polaroid camera with her on the trip and got some really good pictures. this is one she took me me on one of the trains :)
our first stop that morning was notre dame, and can i just say…wow. this church was absolutely huge and gorgeous. the architecture blew me away.
pictures can’t do it justice. (this picture was taken near the end of the day when we went back. the sun had been behind it and it was difficult to take pictures. i’m glad i could get this one though :D )
it took a hot minute to find a bathroom around this place with all the tourists. i think we ended up just going to a starbucks (not sponsored) or something. then we walked past lots of street market carts as we went around the building.
(still notre dame)
we walked ages and ages after this to see THE LOUVRE. other than the eiffel tower, the louvre was one of the main things in paris i was looking forward to. sadly, we didn’t go on a tour inside, but the outside was just as stunning.
it’s a little hard to explain the layout of the building, but i’ll try my best. first, we entered into the HUGE courtyard. the building was all around us in a square shape with a fountain in the middle. we looked around for a while and took some pictures.
thankfully, we went the the front pretty fast. i could see the pyramid through the archway at the other end of the courtyard and couldn’t wait to get out there.
through the archway, the pyramid was right in front of us with little pyramids surrounding it. the building came out on either side of it, but there was no far wall if that makes sense. i have pictures now so hopefully that’ll help it make more sense XD
(i walked too far for this picture).
my sister and i did the super cool splits right in front of the pyramids. i was gonna add in the picture, but i don’t have a way to put an emoji over her face right now. that’s alright though.
the louvre didn’t disappoint me one bit, and i can’t wait to go back someday.
at this point, i remember we all had to pee and pay for a bathroom, and our feet were reeeeally starting to hurt. yet we had one more stop that day that included even more walking and LOTS of stairs.
that’s riiiight we headed up to sacre coeur. once our legs were at the point of falling off from exhaustion, we made it to the top, and i can’t say it was a waste of energy. the view was absolutely breath taking, and the church itself was stunning.
it was pretty hot in the sun, and there was barely any shade, but we found a decent spot to rest for a while and eat some snacks while looking over paris. definitely a moment i won’t forget easily.
on the way back down, there was lots of cool graffiti and art on walls and the ground.
i like this picture, but at this point and time looking at it, it makes me laugh because WOW I’M SO PALE HAHAHA. i’ve gotten MUUUUCH darker. anyways…
once we got back to the bottom, we walked the streets for some time. on one side were little shops and restaurants, and lining the other were tons of painters and artists with their pieces hanging and sitting everywhere. it was incredible looking at them and watching them make art.
i felt the need to add this picture in because GUYS THIS IS A PAINTING. TAKE A MOMENT JUST TO STARE AT THIS AND BASK IN ITS GLORY LIKE WOW.
we walked more and more until we finally found a place to eat. walking through the streets past all the restaurants was pretty funny. the owners were all very competitive for business and were all throwing deals and free things at you to try and get you to come to their place.
once we finally decided on one, we had a neighboring owner pouting very obviously for quite a bit. my sister was very excited once we got our meals, because she met the drinking age in europe and was able to have wine with her meal.
we FINALLY made it back to the hotel after taking a train. i have never been more relieved to wash my feet and put on pajamas in my entire life. i joined a live stream with one of my friends back home and hit the hay.
i will share this screenshot from our second day though:
and this wasn’t including the trains we took.
may 21: we left paris this morning and headed to belgium without our cousins. we rented a small but very nice apartment/house thing for one night and rode around on the bikes provided for two days. the first day i didn’t really take pictures, but we went shopping a lot.
the first day there was a huge concert type celebration for the belgium football team that had just won a game and made it into the world cup i think? it was loud and there were lots of drunk people, but it was fun to watch everyone being so happy. the team ended up driving through the streets on a big bus, so that was really fun. sadly, they got beat in the world cup, but it was cool to see them.
that night i stayed up late watching one of my friends live stream, and i remember hearing a very friendly cat outside my window on the roof somewhere meowing at me for quite sometime.
may 22: we got up early and headed into town for some breakfast. we bought legitimate belgium waffles and wow.
i’ve tried to describe to my friends how good these actually were, but i haven’t been able to. they were actually the best tasting thing i’ve ever had in my life, and that’s saying something.
we went on a boat tour that day as well, and that was pretty fun. here’s the single picture i have from that:
we did a lot more shopping that day…it was pretty boring and i was ready to go back to the house. that afternoon, we drove back to holland for our last few days in europe.
we went to the amusement park efteling at some point. i can’t figure out which day exactly because i didn’t take any pictures.
may 23-25: these days were spent back in holland. we had a huge family reunion with my mom’s side of the family. most everyone only spoke dutch, so it was interesting, but not impossible to get to know everyone.
may 26: my cousins youth group was going to a concert while we were in europe, so me and my brother got to tag along. it was several american christian artists and we were super excited for it.
other than one band that sang in both dutch and english, the other artists there were matt redman, britt nicole, and for king and country. the concert wasn’t as hype as other ones i’ve been to, but mainly because nobody really knew the songs in english.
at one point, for king and country mentioned being from america, and several people throughout the crowd cheered really loud. it was really cool thinking that there were other people from the US in the crowd somewhere.
overall, it was an amazing night of worship, and we had a lot of fun :)
may 27/28: i’m not sure what we did these days. i have no pictures in my phone, which means we probably just hung out some more in holland.
may 29: we didn’t get to go to amsterdam sadly, but our family did get to go to harlem for the day. while we were there, we went on a tour in corrie ten boom’s house.
most people don’t know who she is, so i’m going to take a brief moment to explain, because this woman lived a truly incredible life.
corrie worked with the underground railroad during the Holocaust, meaning she and her family hid jews in their house from the nazis so they wouldn’t be taken to concentration camps. they had a secret hiding place in their house, and an alarm system in order to keep the families staying with them safe.
upstairs in corrie’s room was a small cabinet. in the bottom was a small secret door that led to a small area behind the wall. when soldiers would come to their house, they could sound an alarm for the family to rush upstairs and hide in the secret room.
my siblings and a few other kids on the tour did a test to see if we could make it from downstairs and into the room in the amount of time the family would have been required to. we made it, but that didn’t include hiding evidence and picking up like they would have needed to.
the space behind the wall was incredibly small and cramped.
at one point, soldiers did come to corrie and her family’s house, and the jews staying with them had to rush into the hiding place. corrie at the time was sick in bed and sat watching the family rush into her room and into the small hiding place.
the nazis searched their house, found nothing, and in the end took corrie and her family away to concentration camps. her sister and other family ended up dying in the camps. because of a small mistake, corrie ended up being released from the concentration camps, and living on to tell her story.
she wrote several books, one of them being ‘the hiding place.’ i highly suggest reading this book. it’s an amazing story written by an amazing woman.
the reason this woman is so amazing and special to me is because my grandma actually worked for her. she became one of her secretaries years ago and even still worked for her when my mom was born. corrie ended up marrying my grandparents, and was very close friends with my grandmother before she died.
it was amazing learning about her story more in harlem.
may 29-30: these days were spent back in holland relaxing.
may 31: this was the day we finally went home. after lots of crying from my mom and cousin, we headed to the airport, and flew home.
seeing my dog again was pretty nice even though she’s a turd, and my cat missed me like crazy and vice versa. the jet lag was insane for the next few days, but soon enough we started swim team, and got into the flow of summer.
that concludes my trip to europe! i hope you guys enjoyed reading this! (if you even read it all. sorry it was so long). i was gonna fill you all in on some life updates, but i think this post has been long enough.
i will say though, my sister’s wrist ended up not being broken, and my mom is out of her sling and almost completely better :) also musical is starting for me again and i couldn’t be more excited.
that’s all i have for now! summer is getting closer to ending, so hopefully i’ll be able to get back into a good flow for posting here.
i hope you all have a lovely week. keep being amazing!