One of our favourite rides is still the cycle through the Madestein park on our way to visit Oma in Wateringen. We've tried to visit whenever we can and spend time with her, talking walks, cooking lots of fresh tasty veggies (keeping up our regular visit to the organic market in The Hague) and playing our favourite game, Triominos, together. We've also tried to offer help where we can, picking up a few bits from the shops, Esther travelling with her for a hospital appointment, collecting supplies from the hospital and taking her to visit Opa's grave for the 4th anniversary of the day he passed away.
We even got to enjoy a trip down memory lane as we passed close to Oude Rijswijk, on route between collecting something from the hospital in Voorburg and dropping it off with Oma in Wateringen. Esther's grandparents lived here for more than 30 years and many of Esther's happy childhood memories involve this area, their flat on Steenlaan, the main street, Herenstraat, and the local animal park in particular. It was a very happy and surprisingly emotional event to take some time out just to revisit these places and remember old times as we were already passing so nearby.
Also, we've taken different bikes this year. Our trusty cheap hybrids, which carried us up so many Tour de France climbs have been sadly left behind and we're carrying our old road bikes with us instead. However, having not ridden them for years we've started to get them set up again and adjust them where we can. Testing them out with several peaceful evening rides through the sandy dunes within sight of the sea between Kijkduin and Hoek van Holland.
So, all in all this past week or so has started to become more full of activities and we're keeping a definite eye on when we might think about heading onwards. Our priority at the moment is still making sure that Esther is well enough to tour. Although there have been a few worrying episodes this week, on the whole we are feeling optimistic that things will continue to improve. Monitoring the re-introduction of foods closely and keeping a food diary has really helped. We don't want to take unnecessary risks by rushing off too soon and besides, the Hague really is a lovely place to be at this time of year.