It is tremendously cute. I mean, you would not believe. There is a duck pond. You can ride your bicycle a very short way and be cycling through the woods. There are ice cream shops and farm houses and a lovely Coop to get your groceries at. The Etos is tiny, but present. What with the Shakespeare festival, the spiritual/rock shop/gift shop, you would swear you were in Ashland, OR.
I do not know of a cuter place that I have ever been, altho generally speaking I prefer less relentlessly flat terrain. We rented a farmhouse.
The family which rents it is very nice and always helpful and everything worked -- we even got to do all our laundry before we left for Efteling. Even with the exchange rate less favorable than in the past, the rate was extremely reasonable.
We only ate out once, and the name of the restaurant escapes me at the moment, but it was good. The beer selection was limited but tasty. When the kids wanted take-out kip-nuggy and frites, there was a fry shop in town that was extremely inexpensive and made _really_ good chicken nuggets.
Honestly, even if I hadn't been going to visit family, this is a worthwhile place to hang out. There's camping in the area. I'm not sure why someone from the United States would go all that way to what is, realistically, a regional destination, but wow, it was really, really pleasant there. Miniature farm animals. Carefully groomed lines of oak trees. The Hoofdvaart if you want a canal boat ride for pleasure. Adorable bridges. Tiled and thatched roofs. If it rains, you can take the kiddies to Oranje Speelstad, which is a covered playground with trampolines, pedal rides (including pedal monorails), powered rides (including kiddie coasters), boat rides, table tennis and who knows what else on the floors we didn't visit. There's an amazing zoo in Emmen (which we didn't get to this time but have visited previously) and a smaller zoo in Leeuwarden (Aquazoo Friesland) where the enclosures ... aren't, so if you're lucky, the little monkeys or lemurs or whatever might actually come jump on you. We did visit that one. Weird seeing wasbeeren (raccoons) as an exhibit.
There's a million things to do, if you need stuff to do, but Diever is a really amazing place to just hang out and relax.
Oranje Speelstad: http://www.speelstadoranje.nl/
Aquazoo Friesland: http://www.aquazoofriesland.nl/
23 June: departed Logan on Delta (locked post for flight report)
24 June: arrived Schiphol, rented a Ford C-max from http://www.bblcarrental.com/
We liked the Ford C-max. I wouldn't put an adult in the third row seating, but T. really liked it and this car, while very small, allowed us to have two adults in front, one adult in the middle along with a kid in a car seat, and a third kid in a car seat in the way back. BB&L has someone meet you in the airport and walk you out to a car where you do the inspect and sign the contract. The return is done in the departures lane. So no shuttle to another lot -- very fast, very friendly. Car seats are an expected part of the process and that worked smoothly and was not expensive. I highly recommend this company and will use them again on future trips.
Drove to Diever. Settled in. Called my cousin and arranged to meet the following morning.
25 June: met my cousin for an enjoyable morning visit.
26 June: Went to Aquazoo Friesland in the afternoon with kids and cousin.
27 June: Oranje Speelstad
28 June: late morning visit with cousins! A.'s son and grandson were there so we met more family. Wonderful! Packed up and drove to Kaatsheuvel. Checked in to Efteling Bosrijk (more in later post)