Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Back in the U.S.A!

We got up at 0515 this morning (Netherlands time) to catch our flight out of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. We drove the car to Andrew's work so we could park it there, and took a cab from there.
It's a 10 hour direct flight to CA, which isn't too bad!

When we got back we took public transportation (BART) home from the airport. You know, the only problem with public transportation is all the people! We noticed quite a difference in "clientele" between here and Europe. Ah, the joys of traveling!

I probably won't be posting much in the next few weeks as we will be celebrating the holidays and I will be going back to work and getting the house ready to put on the market, so I'll be busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day spent waiting for furniture delivery!

This morning Andrew and I drove over to the house at Haarlem. There we met with the Cartus representative, Emily (Natasha had another appointment today), our realtor Olivier, the landlords and their realtor. Together we went through the contract and signed paperwork. Then we walked through the house and the landlords told us everything they thought we'd need to know about the house. They asked if they could keep a few items of furniture in the house, and we said we didn't mind.

We left the house and went with Emily to the Town Hall to get our ID's. The contract we signed for the house is dated to begin January 2nd, so we couldn't get our ID's. So, we went to the UPC store and got everything we need for cable t.v., internet and a landline!

When we were done there, we left some things at the house. Andrew left for work and I stayed at the house to wait on a furniture delivery from IKEA which was due between 1400 and 1700hrs.  Since it was only about noon, I walked downtown to get something for lunch, where I had a yummy "warm vlees" (pork) sandwich with spicy peanut sauce:

After lunch, I walked back to the house and thought I'd put the hamper together.  I got everything out and discovered that the one tool I left at home (the hammer!) I needed!

I did discover that the oven in the house is larger than most Dutch ovens!  Yipppeee!

The furniture delivery guys showed up at around 1730hrs.  After they left, I headed back to the apartment. I walked to the Haarlem Central train station, then took the train to Amsterdam Central, then went out and got on Tram #5. All that took about a hour and 15 minutes.

When I got back, Andrew and I had to pack up the apartment and bring our last load of belongings over to the house.  While we were running back and forth from the apartment to the car we locked ourselves out of the apartment!  So, we called security and they had to come and let us back in. While we were sitting there waiting we decided to drink a small bottle of Genever which happened to be in one of the boxes we had brought down! Genever is a Dutch liquor.  We finally got back to the apartment around 2230hrs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Busy busy busy!!!

By the end of the day yesterday we were both exhausted, so I didn't get around to posting....

We spent a good part of the day shopping yesterday. We started by going downtown Haarlem. Andrew needed a nice warm coat. The coats we could get in California are just not conducive to this weather!!! He found a nice down coat that is water repellent.   Andrew had bought me a nice warm down coat the day before, so I was toasty warm shopping!  It started hailing several times yesterday...nice to have warm coats!  Boy, I had forgotten what it's like walking in and out of stores wearing all those clothes though!  It's hot inside and cold outside, so you're constantly taking off and putting on layers!

I forgot to bring my camera, so I took pictures from my phone. However, I'm unable to transfer them to my computer for some reason, so I will try when I get back to the U.S.-back  in Verizon's system.

(was able to transfer pictures from my phone to laptop-so here they are!)

Next we went to the Media Markt (which remind me of Best Buy in the U.S.). We bought an iron, a pot for heating water, a hair/beard trimmer (for Andrew!), a sound system for the IPAD/IPOD, and a phone. 


The time difference here: Amsterdam is nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard time (California). We found that it's getting more difficult to adjust the older we get (LOL!).

Tomorrow morning we get the keys to the house, so we're bringing some of our belongings over there. We're having a bed and table delivered tomorrow, so we'll be working into the evening putting the bed together.

Today, I am taking a jaunt downtown Amsterdam to finish up my Christmas shopping, so I will post more later!


I took Tram #5 to Museumplein and just walked around for a while. The sidewalks were covered in ice, so I had to take it slow!  I saw The Van Gogh Museum:

This park is next to the museum:

There is an ice rink next to the Rijkmuseum!

Chess anyone?!?!?

Back to the flower stand area!  I asked Natasha the other day about all the graffiti I've seen. She told me that they do not have a "gang"'s kids doing it.....

This is on top of a building!

Albert Heijn is a chain grocery store, we've done quite a bit of shopping at them:

Inside the Magna Plaza shopping center, close to Amsterdam Central:

Leaning buildings!!!

Another bike!

Fruit stands are all over the city!

Central Station!

A parking garage just for bicycles!

I took the Tram back to the apartment, dropped off the few things I had bought then set back out to the Albert Heijn by the apartment to buy dinner and marzipan custard filled dessert (Saint Nicholas cake)!