Lifestyle Living in North Holland

5 Dutch summer things I love

Summer is finally here! We have those hot days and mild nights that had been promised to us. Now what exactly do I love about a Dutch summer? There are a number of things but a few really stick out for me.

Long days
During the Dutch summer, the sun rises early and sets around 11pm. This makes the days super long! You wake up and the sun is up. You go to bed and the sun is just setting… It reminds me of the warm summer nights back in California. We would stay out late and enjoy our youth. While I’m not as young any more, I still feel young at heart!

Gentle nights
Dutch summer nights… Blankets aren’t necessary and night time walks are dreamy. There are times when a light summer jacket is needed but the true summer nights have no need. I love walking the dogs in a warm twilight. Sometimes bats can be seen too!

Everything is green
Well mostly everything. Usually a Dutch summer means a lot of warm days followed by a lot of rainy days. We haven’t had rain in a long time so the grass is patchy. But the trees and bushes are thick and luscious! It’s a wonderful time to go biking through parks because everything is so lush. There are so many animals out and about too! But, alas, with lots of warm weather comes lots of bugs.

Everyone is celebrating
During a Dutch summer, everyone is in their garden having a BBQ. The scent of smoky treats is always present around dinner time. My mouth is always watering but that doesn’t mean we don’t have delicious dinners! Since we’re more active during the summer months, we get to have ice cream every day! There are so many types of ice creams! It’s hard to choose which one to eat, but you’ll have to trust me when I say that I stick to the low calorie frozen treats.

Cycling every day
And speaking of low calorie treats, we get to bike every day! Dutch summers are perfect for going out and embracing the sunshine. Sander and I usually bike about an hours worth around town. That means around 550 calories burned! I’ve never been so excited about biking! I’m trying to get back into shape and biking everyday is a healthy way to do that. We usually head out after dinner time so that we don’t get the full force of the sun. It might be The Netherlands, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get sunburnt!

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  • Reply
    July 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    OK…I have to disagree on your outlook to the current summer situation here! It is HOT and Sticky! The grass is BROWN and not the normal green. The government has issued a water conservation guidelines in order to conserve water in this record long patch without water. This is a DUTCH Drought! Unlike California where the water reservoir will run out we are lucky enough to have most of the major rivers running into The Netherlands so we may still have food to eat if this long heat wave continues. I like your piece but the picture is not rosy it is bleak and scary. Next week they are calling of even hotter temps and that may seem wonderful for biking but I would suggest to bring lots of water with you to drink.
    I am praying for rain and lots of it so my garden turns green again. I like biking in the Dutch wind and rain as that is the normal here. I love this country for what it is, not what everyone thinks it should be. It is not Spain, this is the Netherlands and I pray for the return of normal DUTCH weather. Just my opinion. Likker weer.

    • Reply
      July 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

      I completely understand what you’re saying! Although it makes me laugh when I think about a Dutch drought… We’re surrounded by water! I honestly had no idea the situation was so bad. I don’t read the news (my Dutch isn’t so proficient yet) and the boyfriend doesn’t fill me in. We do take precautions when we go biking so don’t worry! Most of the time we head out when the air is cooler. We often come home wishing we had taken at least a sweater with us. To me this weather is so mild. In Southern California I was used to the heat and with no A/C, we’d spend the summer drenched in sweat. Here, this is a little uncomfortable but so much nicer. Honestly it’s all about what makes you happy, right? I don’t feel like we share the same concerns (like your poor garden! We have none!) To me, this weather is perfect and I’m so sorry that it’s not the same experience for you. Then again, I’m sure you’ve lived her much longer than I have and I’m still in that rose colored glasses phase! Thank you for your insight though, it’s appreciated!

      • Reply
        July 17, 2018 at 9:31 am

        Thanks for being understanding to my view point. I felt maybe I was a bit harsh and this morning I wanted to reach out and retract my statement. I have lived here for a longer time and the rose colored glasses and all the newness that you find is refreshing and yet, I find it sad as there is so much to Holland you have not experienced. You will get there. I have a different view point of the weather as I come from the upper Midwest- this is HOT to me. Comfortable is 60 degrees with moisture. It must suck living in an apartment. I would hate that living here and being cooped up all day in a very small space (not that our place is big) but you are living in the best part of the polder. NV has lots to do and now that bus 397 goes straight to AMS there are plenty of things for young people like you to do. Again, I apologize for being so blunt. Enjoy the weather.😬

        • Reply
          July 17, 2018 at 11:57 am

          I completely understand! You were not harsh at all! This is my 2nd year in Holland so I do hope I get the entire experience someday. Where I used to live it was 114 nearly every day in the summer so when it’s mid 80s here, I find it a relief! I also came from one of those huge California houses so living in an flat is a dream come true. Cleaning is only 30 mins of my day and I can dedicate the rest to reading or writing. To each their own! I love hearing different viewpoints so please don’t hesitate to share more!

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