We now break from our regularly scheduled review of our trip to Paris to bring you a report of what we did this weekend…
We spent the weekend in Belgium at a place called Centerparcs. (I’m stuck on what to call it exactly – “resort” conjures up images of palm trees and cocktails with umbrellas in it which this did not have; “campground” isn’t correct because there were no tents or RVs; “hotel” doesn’t give the full picture.) The occasion was a retreat for the chapel leadership and their families. It was a great combination of learning, fellowship, and recreation. Centerparcs is a holiday destination (as the Europeans might call it) with loads of activities, almost like an all-inclusive.
Once we saw the exterior of the villas (their term, not mine) I understood why all the photos on the website were of the interior. Admittedly, the cinder-block construction would hardly be called charming. I’d also venture to say that the first weekend in March is not peak season for beauty of the natural landscape. However, the parc was nearly full – approximately 3,000 people were staying there!
But the interior was quite nice! Our villa had 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen (less an oven), a living room, a patio (sometimes visited by mallards, peacocks and sheep), a fireplace and even heated floors.
Right across from our villa was a soccer field, a playground, and a petting zoo.
It had chickens, pigs, goats, a cow, a donkey, geese, ducks and a tractor. It was like Old McDonald’s farm, including a rooster waking us in the morning.
There were many playgrounds throughout the property, in addition to tennis courts, a lake for boating, a zipline, bike trails…are you getting the idea?
In the main building they had a bowling alley, a game room, shops and several restaurants. We ate at the Pannekoeken Huis (pancake house) and one of the teens taught us to play tabletop basketball while waiting for our food. On my first turn I spun the coin, grabbed it with my thumbs and tossed it toward the makeshift basket. It went over my opponent’s head and hit this glass at the next table…and broke it! Oops.
We spent most of Saturday afternoon at Aqua Mondo, a huge indoor water park. There was a big pool, a kiddy pool, several waterslides, a lazy river, several jacuzzis, an outdoor pool, and a wave pool. I didn’t bring the camera for obvious reasons. My fingers were all raisiny by the time we were done.
Our second favorite activity was Discovery Bay. It is an indoor pirate-themed playground. It has places to climb, slide, and play in the water. This raft was great fun – the boys had to pull themselves across with a rope.
This suspension bridge was quite high, so I opted to stay on the ground to take photos. A high ropes activity was happening at the same time.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Centerparcs! They have locations throughout Europe so we look forward to visiting another “parc” - maybe in France or England next time.
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