Back from vacation!

Hurray! It’s already Monday morning and I got back Friday afternoon, but I’ve been in recovery and haven’t had the energy to blog about it yet. To summarize the 5 days we spent in Zeeland:

Wow.

I had an amazingly awesome time with my friends from group! Everyone got along so well and it was so much fun to hang out together. Everyone’s been very emotional at one point or another about going home, but that’s not really surprising. We’re all dealing with some condition or another, and going home meant going back to all our issues. It didn’t really hit me until I was already home, finally alone with just my cats. I bawled my eyes out and I’m still not sure why exactly I’ve been in such an emotional turmoil. I’m going to guess it has to do with my mental health, my difficulties with change and feeling alone though.

I’m really, really glad our counselors from group came along. Despite all the fun we had, it’s been amazing having someone we trust help us get through the hard bits and give us the space we needed. I guess in a sense this was really more of a therapeutic vacation than just ‘a vacation’! Next week we all have time off from group so that the counselors can recover as well – for them it was 5 days of work, not 5 days of vacation.

We did lots of fun things. We spent the first night having pancakes for dinner (apple pancakes, banana pancakes, pancakes with cheese and pancakes with bacon and cheese) and walked down to the beach to catch some evening sun. The water was very cold (which makes sense with it being early summer) and there were tons and tons of jellyfish that washed ashore. We also drove around a bit to explore the area and figure out what to do the following days and witnessed a gorgeous sunset.

Tuesday we took a trip to Zoutelande to visit the market. We ended up eating oysters and had lunch at this adorable little bakery with coffee and cake. Wednesday we went to this tiny village called Veere. It has a beautiful lake with a ferry, there was a gorgeous traditional Dutch windmill and a very pretty church, although we didn’t visit it because of the steep entry fees for the tour. There’s also a little candy shop that sells traditional, old Dutch candy, which we visited as well! I got my Dad a tin of Zeeuwse Babbelaars, which is similar to butterscotch.

It was too hard to resist this little soap store as well. (I’m not sure if that’s what you’d call it, but we went inside because we smelled these wonderful soap smells!) I ended up purchasing a bar of this soap from them. There’s something about its scent that triggers memories for me, but I couldn’t tell you what it reminds me of if my life depended on it. All I know is I’ve showered with it and I love it so much!

Wednesday evening was karaoke night, but I was fighting a bad toothache and feeling overwhelmed from all the input around me. (Loud noises, lots of excited people etc.) so I retreated into my room and laid down for a while to let the painkillers kick in. Somehow I managed to fall asleep despite the noisy karaoke singing downstairs lol. So I ended up missing out on karaoke night, but I think I needed the rest more than anything else.

Thursday, we spent the morning getting a makeup makeover from one of our friends. She does makeup as a hobby. I feel sad I turned down her offer to put makeup on me, but I know her efforts would have gone wasted due to my dry patchy skin problems. (It really shows up horribly, especially on my eyelids, ruining the makeup even before you’re done putting it on…) Everyone else looked absolutely stunning though! It was so much fun watching them transform before our eyes. That afternoon we drove to the city of Middelburg. It’s very old, dating from the middle ages, which around 1,200 buildings being so old they’re declared monuments. We walked around quite a bit, window shopping and having apple pie with coffee, even visiting the big market and eating fried fish. Four of us took a little boat tour in the canals, which was both hilarious and fun. We learned a lot about the city and I’m very impressed with the clear preservation efforts that went into this place. If you want some real, genuine Dutch culture, that’s where you should be!

We did tons more little things. I ended up getting an actual tan, and I still manage to be milk bottle white compared to everyone else. We had facials and so many laughs it made our tummies hurt! I would love to share more photos, but they all have our faces and I’d rather not put those online.

Naturally not a lot of knitting happened, but I’ve been working on my two projects on and off this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have pictures of that soon!

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