Openluchtzwembad Staalbergven – Oisterwijk, Netherlands

Yesterday was April 22 and nearly 30 degrees! Being one of the last hot days in the forecast and N’s last day here for two + weeks, we wanted to find a place where we could swim and take advantage of the great weather.

I found Staalbergven on the internet which showed an outdoor pool and a lake. Of course being April it wasn’t going to be warm very water but figured a place to splash around is good enough. Turned out the big pool with diving boards was still closed – and as our kids don’t have their swim diplomas yet, they couldn’t go in without us and arm bands – so fine by us.

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The place was great – really looked like a kids summer camp you’d find in the US. There were canoes, a lake with a dock island, playgrounds, blow up soccer pitch, a baby pool, medium pool with water slide, cafe, etc.

When we arrived it was very quiet but as the day went on more came yet not too crowded.

Nils took the kids down the waterslide into the freezing cold water!

The lake area was great too. I only went in up to my knees to cool off.

A zipline which went over water (1.5 feet max) so they did that a bunch of times.

On the edge of the dock is an area with loads of frogs which were making cool sounds.

Before we left we had a popsicle to cool down but did not get anything from the restaurant. It’s a great place and we surely will be back again to use the pool – €4 for kids and €6 for adults. There is a seasonal pass but I don’t think we’re going to visit enough to justify the spend.  Living in Den Bosch city centre, we’ll probably visit the Zuiderplas more but I do love the pool and lake option.

Ibiza: Cala Llonga

It seems as if all these beaches are our favorite, but Cala Llonga is one of the best for kids.  It is a horseshoe shaped beach with two large resorts in both sides.


As for location, you can see on the map where it is exactly.

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Several restaurants and pubs in walking distance, plenty of self-catering apartments and the Sirenis Cala Llonga Resort is the all-inclusive hotel  up on the left which has a lot of great family friendly-activities including kids clubs, shows, etc  Like the Iberostar hotels we stayed at in the Dominican Republic only with the space the pool is not the amazing pools you have in the DR.  Anyway, I would LOVE to stay there with the kids.  I think the other on the opposite side is a Palladium and is an adults-only resort – it was at one time.

We probably have a connection here as this was the first location in Ibiza I stayed like 13 years ago!

Ibiza: Cala Llyena Beach Picnic

Today we had a picnic at Cala Llyena after walking around the market (car boot sale). Soren purchased sunglasses fit for a cool dude.  My guess is they will be broken before the end of our trip.  Sounds harsh, but the reality is that our kids and sunglasses don’t last long.  

Nils purchased Maebh a “homemade” hulu hoop for €8. Can you say SUCKA!!   Though she loves it – it won’t come home on the plane and well, nuff said.





I bought a turkish beach mat and a pair of earrings – both for €2 each.  (photos to come)

The beach was great, no jellyfish but again, all Dutch and we were with 11 Dutch,  two 1/2 Dutch slash American kids and me, am American. 😉 oefening, oefening, oefening!


Great beach with a chiringquito where we the kids enjoyed an ice cream later.

Portmarnock Beach & Howth Visit

Knock on wood, we’re having such good luck with the weather here.  Just a week and half ago, I phoned Nils telling him not to leave behind our winter coats as it’s so cold, but thankfully we had a warm up and very settled.  I know it won’t last long, but I never assumed we could be at the beach on the 8th of September – I’ll take it.

Of course, I realize the dominant influence of the climate her is the Atlantic Ocean. thankfully we’re on the far east coast just like Boston & North Norfolk.   So I should be prepared to expect  sunshine for 1 hour, clouds for an hour & rain for an hour all in the same day.
We were invited to visit Portmarnock Beach with a family from Maebh’s class, who has a daughter coincidentally with the same name but spelled Maeve.   From the car park, you follow a path, along side a golf course, into some small dunes (which were huge to the kids) onto a beautiful beach which overlooks Lambay Island & Ireland’s Eye in Howth.
At the cliffs, the kids found it really fun to roll down the sand hills but Maebh was more cautious the first time and didn’t roll, but rather ran down.
Soren thought it would be fun to jump off the cliffs at about 5 feet high….which ended with a face full of sand but loved it and did it a few times.

After a couple hours, they had to put their one year old down for a nap, so we too left the beach but our family went on to Howth for a visit to the playground, ice cream & watch the boats.   We both agreed, it would be nice to have a beer in the sunshine somewhere, but the pub culture here is TOTALLY different from England.   No beer gardens with picnic tables, playgrounds & bouncy castles.  It may be a North Norfolk thing not sure but we did love that option.  🙂

Anyway, back to Howth where we saw the resident seals, a dog fish in distress (per Nils), and the RNLI bringing in a motor boat.

Apart from the playground and the ice cream, the RNLI bringing in a motor boat was one of th highlights of this visit to Howth.