Mother’s Birthday

Undercover Birthday

Hip-hip hooray! My lovely mother turned 70 years old last Saturday! Thank You Lord for blessing my mother to reach this age, without looking a day older than 50!

Only a few people who actually knew it was her birthday last weekend. Mother prefers it that way. Still, I couldn’t help but want to do something fun for her.

The Sunday after it was my grandmother’s 95th birthday. My mother went to church like always. People in church congratulated my mother because of grandmother’s birthday. Hardly any of them knew that my mother had her own birthday, too.

My mother is the kind of person who doesn’t want all the attention and prefers to stay in the background.

None-the-less; It was my goal for mom to have special time. Because 70 is quite an age already and worth to celebrate! And so I tried to ask my mother what she’d like for her fun for this special occasion. But her answer was always: “Nothing special. It’s ok.” or “Please, no expensive things or anything!”

Still, I wanted to surprise my mom in some way for her birthday. That Saturday, my little brother came over and we had our own little party with just the 3 of us. The night before, I had made a homemade cheesecake with cherries and strawberries. My mother really loves homemade cheesecake.

Vietnamese Soup

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At first I wanted to take mom out to dinner, but she wasn’t up for it. Instead, we tried to order Vietnamese food for a change. Mother said how she had once eaten a very nice Vietnamese soup and she really was looking forward to having that soup again sometime. What would be a better time than on her birthday?

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese food wasn’t what we expected. I placed my order early on the day and gave them a 2 hour head start. Yet still the food got delivered 30 minutes later than I asked for. When I answered the door, the delivery boy (who hardly spoke English or Dutch) kept apologizing and even brought 2 free drinks. He seemed too ashamed to accept the money I still owed for the Vietnamese food he delivered.

Once we sat down to enjoy our Vietnamese dinner for my mother’s birthday, we discovered what made the delivery boy more ashamed than the delivery time. The soup smelled weird, but we assumed that maybe it was supposed to smell like that. Once we took a bite, we figured it tasted worse than it smelled. That’s when we noticed the chicken; The chicken was so raw, it could still lay eggs!

I tried contacting the Vietnamese restaurant but they kept hanging up the phone on me. They didn’t respond to emails either.  How dare they!? They deliver the food too late and still manage to serve us raw chicken! Of course I filed a complaint about the restaurant. What was supposed to be a nice birthday dinner for my mother turned out to be a food poisoning. Thank you so much, Pho’s Restaurant; You really pulled a number on us!


Mother & Daughter Birthday Trip

But I had another surprise for my mother: A little vacation in the south of the country. Escaping the busy life of the city for some peace and quiet.

From Monday until yesterday, mother and I spent our days in a lovely little village named Arcen. The village is located on the river Maas, with historical Medieval buildings such as the Schanstoren and Castle Arcen.

My mother and I really enjoyed the village. The people are friendly and it was just so nice and peaceful there. We spent our nights at Arcen Hotel Restaurant. The hotel is 100 years old and it shows. But, our room with bathroom was quite modern and the friendly hotel staff made us feel right at home.

Included in the package was a 3 course meal for dinner and breakfast at the hotel restaurant, plus free tickets to access the Castle. For dinner, they served a surprisingly tasty soup, Dutch pork-chops with veggies and homemade ice cream for dessert. My mother really loved the soup. She enjoyed it so much that she tried to ask for the recipe, but the chef wouldn’t reveal all his secrets unfortunately.

We spend our days with nice walks along the river Maas, exploring the Arcen village, its castle and the castle gardens. It felt like walking through a fairy tale village. There was also a very enjoyable Ice Cream Saloon there. Mother loved their ice cream so much that we had ice cream there every day.

On our way back home, mom said she would really like to visit the village again sometime. Perhaps even with some friends. It was so much fun and my mother had a wonderful time.


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