Our "hometown"- Schiedam, Netherlands

After spending most of our time sightseeing in other cities, I finally decided to venture out and explore the town we were staying in- Schiedam. Schiedam is another old city that is now a suburb of Rotterdam. It is riddled with canals and was spared in WWII, so many historic structures are intact. Our first adventure, though, was to a park close to our hotel. I hate to admit that it took us several weeks to make it there, but those first few weeks were so cold that we did not want to be outside for too long!
Pirate boat!
This park was awesome! It had biking and walking paths coursing through it, lakes and canals, and the play structures were imaginative and engaging for all ages. Landon’s favorite thing in the whole park were the sand diggers. Unfortunately, he could not operate the digger independently so that was fun for mommy to help him dig dirt for most of our time at the park. 
Daffodil median
McDonald’s in Vlaardingen

Other awesome parts of Schiedam included medians full of bulb flowers. While we were there, it was mostly daffodils and other early flowers, but I think later on in the season tulips also come up. We also visited the exotic environs of McDonald’s. It was actually a new experience because it was a brand new restaurant with touch screen ordering and balloons for the kids! The first time we went, they were getting ready for a kid’s birthday party so there was a bunny mascot walking around that Landon had fun chasing around the restaurant. The food was similar to the U.S. McDonald’s, with a few different options that I didn’t feel adventurous enough to try. Landon learned the magic of the Happy Meal.

Tallest windmill in the world!

Back in downtown Schiedam, we learned that the windmills there are the tallest windmills in the world! They were built extra tall so that they could catch the wind over the preexisting buildings. Landon loves spotting and watching windmills, since it is windy most of the time so they are moving and catching wind constantly. These windmills were used in the production of jenever, a type of alcohol. The windmills here were used for grinding grain for use in the alcohol. 
Square church spire
Back of old church with garden
Interesting Masonic building alongside Schiedam canal
 Because everything is so flat here, I could see several church towers and spires from the Schiedam Centrum station. We finally found them in real life. The old church had a big square clock tower that rang on the hour. The inside of the church wasn’t open when we walked around it, but it was neat to walk around the entire outside. Although it is not an iconic tourist site, I love to appreciate the workmanship that went into each church!

The tops of these buildings!

On our Schiedam wandering day, I had decided I wanted to get some pizza for dinner to share with Austin and Landon. There is a New York Pizza chain here in the Netherlands, so I was planning on going there. While on our wanderings through Schiedam, we found a Dominoes Pizza! I had no idea there were even Dominoes in the Netherlands. Even though I rarely eat their pizza in the U.S., anyone who has been overseas can appreciate a small taste of home every now and then. While we waited for our pizza, Landon and I found The Plantage, a giant green belt park in the middle of Schiedam. Landon had a blast racing down the pebble lanes of the park.

The Plantage


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