Posted by: jwhiff | July 15, 2013

Fun (and fighting) in Utrecht

After a little confused wandering, we settled to enjoying Utrecht on the canals.  First pizza beside the canals, then kayaking in the canals, and finally walking along the canals. I was relieved to find such a harmonious focus. I’m not sure if it is common or quirky to need one.

imageThe kayaking was the best part of the day. As with cycling and children’s playground equipment, the Dutch are very relaxed when it comes to safety in the water:  no pfd’s…no signing any waivers protecting anyone from litigation…no “how to kayak” manual.  Just a quick warning to stay to the right and a friendly push into the canal!

Landon and I zigzagged from one side of the canal to the other in an earnest attempt to follow the one piece of safety advice they had offered.  Luckily the canals weren’t very busy and no locals were very interested in watching us repeatedly crash into the canal walls. Landon was desperate to prove himself and was paddling like a madman the whole time…I tried (in vain) to steer the stupid thing and to heed Stephen’s friendly advice (don’t crash into the walls…you’re not supposed to use your paddle that way!) but ended up letting Landon paddle us all over the place until he was too exhausted to go on.  Quentin enjoyed his smooth ride and resulting feelings of superiority.  These feeling would come at a cost later on, however.

Landon stewed on Quentin’s success and found multiple ways to frustrate him enough that eventually Quentin felt he needed to “punish” Landon by punching him in the stomach.  Landon’s favourite alpha male strategy is to say really irritating things and Quentin’s favourite response is to punch him in the stomach.  Then mom and dad roll imagetheir eyes, huff and puff, and half-heartedly try to doll out punishments and change the subject.  We are relatively good at this and thus ensured we were remembering the good times of the day and setting the stage for more.

Man!  But it was an awesome day and somehow we always end up giggling about something and everybody’s happy again, enjoying yummy treats and chasing around that new soccer ball (the one we said they couldn’t have) after all.


  1. While camping with Susan & Fred both Dad and I had an opportunity to go kayaking! My first time in a single one, last time it was a double. I paddled along with Susan, we had a pleasant chat oh so peaceful, loved it! Guess what’s on Dad’s want list now? Wish we were with you…Love, Mom

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