Monday, June 6, 2016

...and just like that....

The adventure was over.....
I spent the last week in the Netherlands trying to see every little thing in Leeuwarden that I could see....even if I had seen it all before.  I wanted to remember every detail.  As I was walking around the town square looking at the cobblestones, I thought to myself..."try to remember this road so that when I am back in St. George, I can think of it while I am on the walking path by our house."
 ...and I do.

Okay, summer....come and git me!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hangin' in Haarlem

We got up around "super early" this morning to drive Janet to the airport in Amsterdam.  I'm sad to see her go, and the house will seem empty without her here!  We really only have a week left ourselves...but I enjoy her company, and we have had a great time together here.

So after we dropped Janet off, and said our "vaarwel's"....the dread pirate and I set off to go to Haarlem, to see the Corie Ten Boomhuis, and the Frans Hals Museum.  They both are right at the Grote Market which is in the center of the city.  We had such a great time!  I don't have pictures of the Ten Boom Museum, but I can tell you that it was really awesome....if you have ever read the Hiding Place, you will know what I mean.  Her story is remarkable and life changing, and all about forgiveness.  I want to meet this woman when I get to Heaven...I know that is where she landed.
After that we went out to the Grote market square...and well....this happened:

Aebleskivers!!!! Well, at least that's what I call they are called Poffertjes.  Either way they are YUMMO!
Now THAT is an aebleskiver pan!
Yes....and I'm not ashamed!
And then this happened....(I blame it on the sugar rush I just had....)
Still not ashamed.....
It was such a touristy thing to do, but it needed doing...and I am just the person to do it!
We headed over to the Frans Hals museum....very fun.  Here's a few pics...

 another go around in the market....

 Everyone rides bikes here, in every city, old and young....I mean EVERYONE!!

the Church in the market square....really cool!

We ran into the FRIETHUIS!  oh my goodness!
They serve Mayonnaise on "frits" all over Europe....I think we might be hooked on that change...
Rob was in Friethuis Heaven!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

To forgive is divine...

Ok France....I forgive you.
My phone arrived in the mail today.  Our BnB host sent it off to the Netherlands to intercept me here.  I can't even...don't get me started.  All I have to say is  "Merci"  and maybe even a "Bonjour" to France?  Okay, I may or may not be thinking of actually going back....
Bonjour petit Samsung....holder of my life!  Did you have a fun vacation in Paris?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Everything is the same...but different.

Today, I wanted to do something special for Janet, for her birthday.  We started watching this thing on youtube about Mary Berry...have you heard of her?  She is a famous baker/cook from Britain who is a lovely person....and she is the judge on The great British Bake-off, and also the The Great British baking show.  (the only difference in the shows is the bake-off one is for the UK and has been going on for like 6 seasons.  The other one is for the US and has been running on PBS for the last 2 years.)  They are fantastic to watch!  If you haven't tuned should!  Run don't walk to your computer....

Anyway....we were watching a thing about her life, and she started making the most fabulous bread pudding, and Janet said...."my favorite thing is a raspberry bread pudding they have at Kneaders....with a fantastic sauce on top."  The idea was planted in my brain, and off I went to the Albert Heijn.  Now that is a perfect example of what everything is like over here....Albert Heijn..or the heir of Albert...get it.....ALBERT'S SON.....A-L-B-E-R-T-S-O-N-S.

Like I said....everything is the same....but different.  I was trying to gather ingredients for my raspberry bread pudding.  I found a copy cat recipe for the Kneaders one...and was trying to find the ingredients that were specific....but written in Dutch.  Yikes....that's hard!   Shopping at the grocery store here is like putting a puzzle together....looking at packaging and trying to guess what is inside!  I found this.... what I thought was cream.  I asked a lady standing by me...."is this cream that is sweet, not sour"  she assured me that it was so I bought it...
 She was was cream, but it was already whipped!  I used it anyway and just hoped for the best!
 It turned out great.....yummy, custardy, with a ribbon of raspberry running through, and a yummy sauce on the top.  Sometimes....different is even better!
 Happy Birthday Janet!
Life is good, with good friends and bread pudding.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Sunny Day in Leeuwarden

We finally had the most fantastic day of sunshine today....and all the guys were off working.  So Janet and I took off and went for a bike ride.  You have to know that I havn't ridden a bike for like 40 years!  But it was just like ridin' a bike!

Janet...trying not to laugh too hard....

Come on mama!

Yay for Sunshine!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What a way to end a trip to France

To start off....I must discuss the food that I've eaten while in France. I dutifully took pictures of everything we ordered and ate.  That was Claire's request...."show me everything you are eating" she said.  I've tried....remember these lovelies?.....

Seared Tuna...fillet of Sole, and Risotto with Scallops...all seriously delicious!

And the desserts!  Oh they were Heavenly....
We had Creme brulee' many times....and the molten lava chocolate cake...
not to mention the teramisu!  

But somewhere on this parade of gastronomy....something went very...



I can't completely name what it was that sent me over the top....I have my suspicions, but let's be honest...does it really matter?

All I can say is that by the time we reached Le Mont St. Michel, I was already feeling a bit queezy.
 We did walk around the place for a bit...and it's a good thing we did it right then!

Take a good look people....this is the last picture of me before I turned into a zombie....

By midnight that night, I was in full assault from my digestive system!
Puking and pooping....pooping and puking.
At one point, I called out, "I need help"...
The DPR came to the bathroom door....opened it and said, "no."
Closed the door again.  (oh!!!  you ARE a dreadful Pirate!!!)
before we left the hotel....Rob went into the bathroom and left 5 euros on the counter for the maid.

In those moments when one is pooping one's guts out, and throwing up things that look, taste and feel like different colors of Barbie-doll shoes mixed with brown gravy and tomato juice....
That is the moment that all the romance of being at St. Michel, and I would say France in general, leave you.
At that moment, all I wanted to say was 
Au Revoir! 

It was everything I could do to make it off the island and to the airport the next day....

Back in Leeuwarden....I am resting.
I will probably forgive France some day.
But that day is not today.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

D Day

We spent last night in the city of Bayeaux.  It had some interesting buildings, but we didn't have a lot of time for exploring.  By the time we got there, we were all really tired, and didn't do much but lay around.  We woke to full on fog, and geared up for a wet one today.  We went to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.   It was quite emotional really.  These were some brave boys. 

 The fog made it quite somber.

 The view to Omaha Beach was hardly visible....disappointing.

But we drove down to the beach so that the DPR could collect some sand, and could 
see a bit better.
This was an important day for him.
We stopped to look at some old cars that were parked down by the beach....
totally made me feel like we were in a movie about WWII.