Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer's Here

No, this isn't someone's overzealous interpretation of lawn ornaments. Those are real storks. And only just a few of the ones we saw in the response to my late whinging. I'll explain....

I've been whinging for about a week or two now. Mainly because the weather has been fabulous (a rarity in these parts), school was winding up and is now done and you could just feel summer all around. Except at our house. In our house, besides sweltering in overheated bedrooms and trying to calm over-excited children, it was business as usual. I so wanted to be living summer, but felt like it was just one big continuation of the winter and spring despite the warmer, sunny days.

And so I whinged. Until I finally got my way. I didn't want anything fancy mind you, just a barbeque and Pimms in the garden, a long, laid-back summer feeling evening is all. But instead, I got a wonderful weekend.

It started with a trip to Ghent for shopping. It's the summer sales after all. And Ghent is such a lovely city with a fabulous feel to it, it's always a pleasure to go. Especially when it's not below freezing winter temperatures. The shopping trip was followed by dinner out just the two of us at a bistro in Ypres (Belgium again). It was just what I needed. Not too fancy. Not pretentious. Just very nice. We sat outside on the terrace overlooking the water and enjoyed the summer air.








Sunday was meant to be a laid-back day at home getting things done, but the unusually fabulous weather got the best of us again and so we packed a picnic and headed off to the coast, Knokke to be exact, the pre-eminent resort on the North Sea coast in Belgium. We'd heard lots about it, but had yet to go. I'll admit we were slightly turned off. Not because it's not gorgeous. It is. The architecture is beautiful and if you want shopping, this is the place. It's the hot spot to see and be seen. But since this isn't among my life priorities, it wasn't exactly the spot we were looking to spend the day with our family picnic.








Fortunately we didn't give up and instead continued a couple of kilometers further north and found Het Zwin or 't Zwin, a nature reserve on the coast just on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. It was heaven. I think I could have moved in. That's if, in fact it wasn't a nature reserve and there were houses there. But there aren't. Simply dunes and sand, ocean and lots and lots of storks. Lots!

The kids had a blast in the tide water and we had a blast sitting in the sun watching them. We'll definitely be heading back soon.

6 comments:

Kreativlink said...

This looks indeed wonderful! Lovely scenery!

Swiedebie said...

Ghent is a great place for shopping, I agree. Great photos, Gretchen. Thanks for sharing.

Rita from alatvian.etsy.com said...

It makes me so happy to hear you had a wonderful weekend!

Kala said...

looks fabulous, so pleased you got your wish!

gretchenmist said...

great that you found the right spot afterall! looks relaxing ~ actually am jealous, it'd be so great to hop in the car and head to another country :)

Annette Piper said...

What a wonderful weekend away! I think you do get into a bit of funk doing the same old thing day in and day out, and you need a refresh so you can look at things with a new perspective!