Flowers Galore – Halle, Ghent, & Leiden

My mom came to visit us in Amsterdam one last time in early May.

She wanted to see the tulips but unfortunately due to an unseasonably warm spring, most of the tulips were already picked. So we decided we would plan a weekend trip to see some other flowers so she wouldn’t be disappointed.

First though, we needed to celebrate Cindo de Mayo! We had some of our friends over and Mumushka brought her vodka and taco seasoning 😉 we had a great night and perfect start to the weekend.

Saturday, we woke up early and Cole picked up the rental car while we grabbed coffee and snacks for breakfast. We then drove to Hallerbos, Belgium to see the bluebell forest. Cole’s coworkers had recently visited the forest and raved about the gorgeous and radiant flowers. We walked through only a small portion of the forest and it was absolutely stunning. We then ate lunch at a nearby castle sitting on the lawn enjoying the beautiful weather.

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We then drove to the cute medieval town of Ghent. We checked into our airbnb and headed into town. Since it was a gorgeous day, the streets were packed with both tourists and locals. We wandered around – walking around the castle, admiring the architecture and drinking some beers at a local brewery.

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We went back to our apartment to get ready for dinner and had a nice meal in the town square. It was amazing how different the vibe of the city was after dark – we decided that tourist buses from Brussels must bring in all the people during the day and then leave that evening as it was much quieter and much more enjoyable.

Sunday we headed back to the Netherlands, but before we left, we walked over to a strawberry farm right across from our Airbnb. They had a strawberry vending machine full of freshly picked strawberries – it was incredible and Mumushka loved it!

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We stopped for coffee in Delft at an adorable restaurant recommended by a friend (thanks Hilary!). We then went to the university town of Leiden where Whitney met us for lunch! We are at this amazing restaurant right overlooking the river that Whitney had stumbled upon on her exploration of the city.

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We then headed to the tulip fields surrounding the famous Keukenhof gardens. We were fortunate to find a few fields that still had some flowers so stopped quite a few times to take photos and admire the beauty of the endless rows of tulips.

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We finished the evening eating dinner at our favorite restaurant – Cafe Piazza! It was the perfect end to a fun day and weekend!

On Monday, my mom went to Keukenhof to check out the millions of flowers and manicured gardens while I worked. She got home that evening and I had been able to make reservations at De Kas for dinner. De Kas is this incredible restaurant located in a greenhouse that used to supply a majority of Amsterdam’s food. The menu changes weekly and utilizes the herbs and food they grow on property. It was hands down the best meals we’ve ever had.

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I’m so glad my mom was able to come back to visit one more time before we moved. It was so wonderful having her around and exploring some new places while also enjoying Amsterdam.

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