Kids on the loose at the gardens of Soestdijk Palace

Flowers for you...

Flowers for you…

Happiness is oftentimes just right before our very eyes, ready to be grabbed with both hands and very much willing to be shared and spread around. We never need to look far and wide nor travel to the ends of the world to find it. All we need to do is to open our hearts and embrace the opportunity to be a blessing to others just as our lives have been blessed by the One above. I live by this tenet on a daily basis, choosing to be happy when I wake up each morning, thankful for the many blessings of good health, my loving family, loyal friends and the career that fulfills me professionally.

I can never be happier waking up yesterday to the bright sunny day. After enjoying the leisurely breakfast that we normally have on a Sunday, I was busy again preparing our picnic basket. It was destination Soestdijk Palace which is a 10-minute drive away for a family outing. Timing-wise, yesterday was just perfect because the decades-old rhododendrons were in full bloom. Because happiness is best experienced when shared with others, my daughter invited her best friend to come along. Oh, what a day!

Soestdijk Palace was home to the late Queen Juliana (grandmother of present King Willem-Alexander) and her husband Prince Bernard until their deaths in 2004. The palace was opened to the public since the spring of 2006.

Soestdijk Palace from across the lake

Soestdijk Palace from across the lake

Tree climbing

Tree climbing

Running around

Running around

Hanging on trees like monkeys

Hanging on trees like monkeys

Hiding under the huge rhododendrons

Hiding under the huge rhododendrons

Jumping from sheer joy

Jumping from sheer joy

Chasing each other

Chasing each other

Playing hide-and-seek

Playing hide-and-seek

Picking flowers...

Picking flowers…

Enjoying the picnic in such a stunning location

Enjoying the picnic in such a stunning location

Quiet moments ...

Quiet moments …

More chasing game

More chasing game

Checking out how tall the tree was...

Checking out how tall the tree was…

Best friends

Best friends

Rhododendrons in full bloom

Rhododendrons in full bloom

My little girl with her bouquet of spring blooms

My little girl with her bouquet of spring blooms

Just so much beauty all over...

Just so much beauty all over…

My little girl

My little girl

Our view from under the shade of the apple tree...

Our view from under the shade of the apple tree…

Soestdijk Palace from the white bridge

Soestdijk Palace from the white bridge

Reflections on the lake

Reflections on the lake

Our family

Our family

Best friends...

Best friends…

Bouquet of spring blooms

Bouquet of spring blooms

Our family

Our family

Father and daughter

Father and daughter

Decades-old rhododendrons in full bloom

Decades-old rhododendrons in full bloom

Orange rhododendrons

Orange rhododendrons

Pink rhododendrons

Pink rhododendrons

Red rhododendrons

Red rhododendrons

Yellow rhododendrons

Yellow rhododendrons

Peach-colored rhododendrons

Peach-colored rhododendrons

White rhododendrons

White rhododendrons

Red leaves against the blue sky

Red leaves against the blue sky

Fountain in the middle of the lake

Fountain in the middle of the lake

Dragonfly on rhododendron

Dragonfly on rhododendron

Soestdijk Palace

Soestdijk Palace

Palace grounds

Palace grounds

Fountain in the middle of the lake

Fountain in the middle of the lake

The best friends

The best friends

Against the sun...

Against the sun…

Lotus leaves on the lake...

Lotus leaves on the lake…

Reflections...

Reflections…

The Orangerie...

The Orangerie…

Clouds...

Clouds…

Best friends

Best friends

Light pink rhododendrons

Light pink rhododendrons

Red and green

Red and green

Huge trees and decades-old rhododendrons in the park

Huge trees and decades-old rhododendrons in the park

Reflections...

Reflections…

Pink rhododendrons and the palace in the background

Pink rhododendrons and the palace in the background

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

Hubby

Hubby

Me

Me

Our family

Our family

Bird in the air

Bird in the air

Orange rhododendrons

Orange rhododendrons

Reflections...

Reflections…

My little girl

My little girl

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

79 Responses to Kids on the loose at the gardens of Soestdijk Palace

  1. snowgood says:

    There’s some great family shots here, and I’m a sucker for dragonfly pics as well.

  2. Kitty says:

    What a glorious adventure: looks so relaxing, so peaceful…and what a visual treat the rhododendrons provided! Thank you for sharing this lovely “getaway!” As always, your family and guest look wonderful!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Kitty. The place is pretty close to us, just about 10 minutes away and we love visiting every spring for this lovely visual treat. ;-)

  3. avian101 says:

    Simply wonderful Malou! :)

  4. John says:

    Such awesome photos Malou, and your daughter is so adorable!

  5. Gorgeous scenery and looks like the perfect way to have a picnic and enjoy a Sunday afternoon!

  6. Always love your photographs.

  7. A gorgeous setting to show the joy of life!

  8. Rusha Sams says:

    You have the clearest, most charming photos! Thanks for showing them to us! http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

  9. ksbeth says:

    what a lovely day and an even lovelier family )

  10. The little girl gets more beautiful each time your photograph her!

  11. RoSy says:

    Nice pictures! The ones with the kids are so sweet :)

  12. lucindalines says:

    Beautiful flower pictures, but even more beautiful is the daughter and I love the shots of the friends. Precious!!

  13. Your little girl has grown up a lot. These are beautiful pictures; thanks for sharing them.

  14. Lovely family…
    you are great mom and great wife

  15. ShimonZ says:

    beautiful pictures… and the best friends look beautiful too.

  16. Lovely photos, Malou. Beautiful flower shots and it is so obvious you have a loving family. But what you really captured was the joy of children as they explore the world around them. –Curt

  17. Gorgeous, as always. I remember the TV broascasts of long lines of people passing by Juliana and her family standing on the steps to accept the defile of her admirers, the Dutch who loved her.

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Johanna. This palace is a clear expression of Juliana’s simplicity as a person and as a queen. I always love it here especially in spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. ;-)

  18. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What a lovely day in a special place. The childrens friendship is so touching.

  19. restlessjo says:

    She is just gorgeous, Malou. You must be so proud!
    Gorgeous rhodies too. ( :) )

  20. msuzanneb says:

    Thank you Malou for your great post. I love your adventures and traveling with you! Many blessings to you and your wonderful family. Namaste, mary

  21. TBM says:

    What a wonderful day and your daughter is a beauty. Thanks for sharing your happiness–it put a smile on my face.

  22. sillyliss says:

    I hope those best friends keep those memories for the rest of their days.

  23. cmbanerjee says:

    What a beautiful place! Love the candid pictures of the BFFs. Beautiful pictures as always. Nice shot of red dragonfly. I tried to take a photo of one elusive red dragonfly in SF Japanese tea garden but no such luck as yours. Great pics!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you. I was also charmed by the beauty of unadulterated childhood friendship. In the world we live now where there is so much conflict and bullying, seeing something beautiful like this is a breath of fresh air. ;-)

  24. Fabulous images, Malou!!! The castle is stunning, the grounds quite glorious–but the two, dear little friends are a treasure forever!

    Love the capture when Francesca looks to be trying to kiss him, and he, in typical boy-fashion, seems to be questioning whether or not it will be okay!

    By virtue of the number of images, I’d say you ‘went crazy’ at the palace…and so would I!

    Thanks so for this most beautiful tour!

    • Malou says:

      Boys at this stage do not want to be kissed but when they finally want the kisses from girls, then the girls are not interested anymore. ;-)

      This palace is not very stunning architecturally but its gardens are just a pleasure to explore. The tall trees and the decades-old rhododendrons are just amazing and the lake also gives out a special charm. Last year, an opera was played out in the open here. ;-)

      • Not stunning, but very interesting, Malou…it must be sumptuous inside! What a pleasurable tour you gave…that means so much to me!

        Give those two ten more years, and I guarantee you’ll be photographing their kisses!

  25. ventisqueras says:

    children and flowers scented the joys of life, I wish you always be so beautiful courses and happy
    the photos are amazing
    Thanks for sharing them
    happy night

  26. what a beautiful place!

  27. meryscarsa says:

    Malou, what a lovely place!! Amazing gardens and flowers, as always Francesca the best model in the world!! She is so funny!!
    Warmest regards

  28. Lovely, Malou!! Your fabulous little girl is getting tall. I love her dress with the butterflies and the daisies. I now want one! Also, what was in the picnic basket?! T.

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Theadora. Indeed she’s getting taller and taller and will eventually eclipse me in not so long time from now. ;-)

      Our picnic basket was not as fabulous as what we had in France, just soft buns with cheese and ham, dried sausages, home-baked M&M cookies, hot coffee in the thermo and some fruit juices for the kids.

  29. lolawi says:

    what a beautiful post, Malou. thank you for sharing your wonderful world and the many blessings that come with it! Francesca is simply gorgeous!

  30. Malou – I am requesting a love button on your site :-)
    The kids are adorable!!!

  31. lucceli says:

    tres jolies photos super reportage

  32. What a beautiful setting, Malou! The colors are absolutely stunning and you all look like you’re having a blast.

    • Malou says:

      Thank you. Can’t complain that for a very little entrance fee, we are having fun in the place which used to be exclusively for the Dutch royals. ;-)

  33. So beautiful and the pictures of the kids are adorable!!

  34. What happy and joyful pictures! You seem like a wonderful family. Thank you for stopping by and following me!

  35. blogsteric says:

    Incredibly nice photographs
    Thanks.

  36. You always get out to find some of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit. These are such special memories which your entire family will always look back on and treasure. So much beauty around you.

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Diane. We have quite a few interesting places which are just within easy reach so on weekends, we try to go out. Good for all of us rather than spending the time in front of the TV or PC. ;-)

  37. What stunning photos!

  38. How lovely to see young children enjoying being outside and playing together instead of passively sitting at a computer or on a digital game. It looks like they had a wonderful day together. May their friendship continue forever.

  39. What a stunning palace and a beautiful setting. That looks like a terrific day for a picnic. Is this not a very much visited palace – like a hidden gem? It’s so lovely, yet I don’t see anyone else walking around the grounds.

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