Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Rijks

Today...yet another trip back to Amsterdam!  It's ok though because once again, I get to ride through miles of color!  Sorry....just had to add a few more shots of the tulips!

***Notice:  BEWARE!! Overload of Selfies ahead.....

We headed to the Rijks museum of my all time bucket list places to go!  I was so excited!  I have wanted to see this place...these artists....well it was just better than I ever expected!

So happy that I got to share this with my favorite DPR......

Friday, April 29, 2016


Today, the whole gang jumped in the car for another trip to Amsterdam....this time without train craziness!  Rob, Janet and Keith had an appointment there, and afterward we stopped in the city of Harlingen for lunch and to look around.  Such a beautiful city!  I was really taken by all the espalier trees that are all over the city.  They use them as hedges to line yards with and in a few weeks they will be glorious.   They are full of buds just waiting to pop! 

The canals all over the Netherlands are magnificent, with the most charming bridges, and walkways...

More Espalier borders....

We had lunch in a cute little restaurant with the nicest waiters!  They were laughing and joking with us the whole time...and really wanted to talk to the "Americans".  One waiting came and stood at our table and asked where we were from inside the states...he just talked...and asked a lot of questions about the states, and wasn't really even our waiter.  He was just curious....a very nice fellow.
This is a picture of our starter....the bread is hearty and delicious here, and they served it with all kinds of toppings.  Some are sweet others savory.  The dutch really like pickled things, and luckily so do I!  Others in our party did not like it much.

Traveling along the highway, you can see fields just filled with blooming tulips!  Absolutely stunning!  Seriously......

The Dutch countryside is vast and makes so much sense why the old dutch masters were taken with pastoral landscapes.  The clouds alone could be a lifetime study in painting, but add in the house architecture and farm life...and WOW!  It's breathtaking! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Adventure on the train to van gogh

Cheryl and I decided that we would get out of the other's hair for awhile while they we headed off on an adventure together on the train to Amsterdam. We had a few instructions from Janet, and the rest was faith that someone would point us in the right direction if we got too lost.
We walked to the train station...somehow bought two tickets to Amsterdam and found ourselves on the platform not having a clue which train or what direction to go!  Some friendly strangers saw our dismay and stepped in to point the way....I have learned that most people here speak English, and the ones that don't will still try to help.  These are good people here.
So as we were traveling along, Cheryl needed to go to the bathroom. She asked some girls where the bathroom was and they pointed to the end of the train....oh, it is a two level train and we were on the top level.  So when they pointed to the end, there was a little sign there that said"WC" with an arrow pointing down the stairs.  Right beside that was the emergency brake. know where I'm going with this don't you....
Cheryl felt around the wall looking for a door handle and not finding one, pulled the only handle she could find. Oi.
The train was almost at the next stop, so it didn't come to a screeching stop, but after the stop it didn't start up.  Pretty soon the train engineer came up and is going down the isle asking who pulled it.  At this pointing I'm beet red. He comes over to us and I have no clue what to say or do.  I gestured to Cheryl who just said "I had to go to the bathroom". He stood there....rolled his eyes and walked away. One guy said a curse word because we made the train late. It was kind of awkward after that in our cabin. Stupid Americans.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kings Day

The DPR and I woke early today.  Everyone else was sleeping in and we went for a walk in the town square.  When we got there, there were tons of people setting up for what seemed like one giant yard sale!  What Janet told me was that they are not allowed to have personal yard sales anytime they want, like in the states....but on King's day, they can sell their junk in one giant sale....I think I might be in Heaven....a never ending eternal yard sale!
wall to wall people

carousel for the kiddies
and for their dads.....

Someone brought 2 of the largest dogs I have ever seen....St Bernards!  they even had casks around their necks!

There us such a sense of history here, every where you go.  

It was a fantastic day in Leeuwarden!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The House at Leeuwarden

After our long flight to Amsterdam, and then another two hour drive, I was starting to feel like over-cooked noodles. But as we reached Leeuwarden and the house, my anticipation began to gather again. We slipped in the back door by the kitchen and then down the long hall and Ito the main living area. Beautiful.  I could definitely get used to this.

The Plane

I  woke up today,  lifted the window covering,  and flooded the dark airplane cabin with bright white light.  I quickly shut it again because the rest of the passengers were still sleeping or at least trying to. I didnt want to disturb. ....waiting. ...waiting. ....I  couldn't stand it!  I counted the seconds going by knowing that on the other side of the window, I would get my first look at the Netherlands.  Finally,  the stewards started rolling their carts by and began serving a "snack" (their official naming....I call it pretend breakfast.)..... groggy, blurry eyed passengers started stretching. I flooded the cabin again, and didn't close it, drinking in the light for my breakfast.
Nice to meet you Holland.