|Hook of Holland strand, looking toward the ship channel and haven|
Right before leaving the Netherlands, we had an unseasonably warm week. I had wanted to check out the beach at the Hook of Holland before leaving, and we picked the nicest day we could find- with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees and sunny. This was such a contrast from the 40s and rainy that we had endured for many weeks at the beginning of our trip! Austin had plans to go with us, but ended up being called into work. Landon and I took the train to the end of the line, and then walked another mile or so to the beach proper.
|Wading in the FREEZING water|
It was the first nice day of the season, so some shops were not open yet, but there were a fair number of people around. Unfortunately for me, and all the parents there, shops lined the entrance to the beach. There were tons of those stupid ride-on toys that you put money in and they move and play music. I refuse to put money in them because Landon has a great imagination and does not need them to move and play loud music to enjoy himself. We got an overpriced little pizza to share for lunch, and Landon played on the toys instead of actually enjoying the beach. I had to drag him away kicking and screaming, but once we got to the beach everything was better. We had the stroller, and the beach had a genius cement strip that went quite a ways towards the water so that I did not have to drag the stroller through the sand for quite as long as usual.
|Running in the FREEZING waves!|
|Landon and the little girl playing ball|
Landon LOVES the sand and played quite awhile with just cars and sand (no beach toys were packed for this assignment) and was having a marvelous time. A little later, some other families came onto the beach and he made some friends. What actually happened was he saw the toys the other kids were playing with, and then he wanted to play with them to. We talk about sharing and being nice to others, but some instances are more successful than others. This cute family came right after us and set up in front of us, but fairly close. They had a daughter about Landon’s size, but probably much older. She had a pink ball. Landon wanted to play with said ball. He went over and took it, and then I told him to pass it back to the girl. What ensued was an adorable game of catch/chase/crashing on the sand. They would attempt to throw or kick the ball to each other, invariably miss, and then both run after the ball. When they got to it, they would both slide for it in the sand and end up in a heap. They ran up and down the beach with that ball. One time, it got too close to the freezing cold water and Landon went to go get it. The girl was not going to mess with that!
|Landon and Austin made a track and then Landon
played that he was a train, scooting along the track
Landon eventually wanted to wade in the freezing water, and insisted that I wade as well. We had lost the little girl at this point. I was not really that interested in wading- it was very, very cold. Like putting my feet in the water made them immediately start hurting. So, he got me in a few times, but he got in up to his waist! This kid is impervious to cold if it comes in the form of the North Sea! There were many varieties of shells that I had never seen before, including large, rectangular clam type shells that covered the beach. Landon used these later as scoops for sand and projectiles!
|This lone, sad palm tree on the white sand beach|
While they were hard at work on their sand castle, I got to sit back on my towel and relax and enjoy the beautiful view. Hook of Holland is the very tip of Holland and is closest to England. There are ferries that depart often from the ferry terminal there that take goods, people and cars to England. That was on the list of things for us to maybe do, but that never happened. The beach ran right next to the channel, so every so often we could see a huge ferry coming or going. With the waves and the sunshine and the white sand, it was a wonderful day! While Landon and friends were building their castle, a family came with a big, scary pit bull type dog. This dog was not on a leash most of the time, and did not really listen to its owners. The family had a young toddler as well, so mom was busy with the toddler and dad was in charge of wrangling the dog. The big, scary dog broke away from the owners and ran straight for the sand castle the toddlers were working on. Thankfully, he did not go for any of the kids, but instead squished it, sat on top of it, and peed on it. Yeah, that was the end of the sand castle. The owner caught up with him and threw some new sand on it, but still, I didn’t want Landon playing in dog pee.
|The tide left this channel of water that warmed up in the sun- perfect for
Austin eventually met up with us and wanted to stay longer because it was such a nice day. Landon and I had been there for hours and hours already, but we held on for another hour or so for Austin, so he could enjoy the relaxation that always comes with beach going. We capped off the day with a trip to the fine eating establishment of McDonald’s, which is now Landon’s favorite mostly because of Happy Meal toys.
Hook of Holland beach was beautiful, relatively clean, and safe. Because it was early spring, we did not find it crowded but I have been told that it gets fairly crowded in the height of summer. It was a wonderful way to spend a day with the waves, wind and sand