Friday, April 20, 2012

Is it Groundhog Day?!?!

Do I have to keep doing this till I get it right?!?!? One moooore time!

Heading back to California tomorrow morning.......flying into SFO. Going back to a very empty house, and back to work Sunday. This is very very tiring......

Andrew and I are going out to dinner with our neighbors Bruce and Linda tonight downtown Haarlem. Looking forward to it!

Today I just spent the day cleaning, doing laundry and just preparing mentally for the trip back to CA. I'm going to be very busy when I get back......

I made an appointment with the Podiatrist at Kaiser about my foot. I had emailed him and he says he wants to put me in a cast. I asked that he write a prescription for orthotics for my shoes, so he said he would do that also. They will hopefully fit me for those at my appointment which is in about 1 1/2 weeks.

I've had a rash on my face the past few weeks also. My doctor at Kaiser prescribed a steroid cream which has made it worse. After looking on line I'm wondering if it's from either something different in my diet (some people say caffeine can cause it) or stress. I will be going back to see her also when I return to CA.

When I leave CA this time I will be stopping in Georgia to see Christopher, Denise and Arianna before I head to Europe. It'll be soooo nice to see them!

Thursday, April 19, 2012 old stomping grounds!

Today, I went to the Buitenveldert area of Amsterdam. To get there, I walked to the Haarlem train station (about a 15 minute walk) where I took the Sprinter train to Amsterdam, then took Tram #5 over to the Van Boshuizenstraat stop. All in all, it took about an hour and half to get to the mall.

On my way over to the mall I saw these beautiful flowering trees!

I went shopping at the Groot Gelderlandplein.  There I went to the bakery and got some yummy bread and rolls, bought some garlic infused olive oil, and a few other things. It was nice to be in an indoor mall!

On the way back I took the Sprinter back to Haarlem.

On my way home, walking through town, I stopped at the Blokker store and bought more hangers. So, now I've finished hanging up all of our clothes!

Andrew got home around 1800hrs. The weather had cleared up nicely, so we were able to take Sammy for a walk in the woods!

Still waiting for this tree to leaf out!!! 

On the way home we saw some buildings with some beauuuuutiful doorways!  Can you imagine walking in through a doorway like this every day?!?!?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Andrew's birthday!

Today is Andrew's birthday!

In the late morning I went out and bought him a cake for his birthday at this wonderful patisserie downtown called Michel's:

Then I walked down to the Albert Heijn store at the other end of town for groceries (much better selection there). On my way back to the house I stopped at Liquid Gold and got Andrew some nice scotch for his birthday, and the tobacco shop where I bought him one very nice Cuban cigar (they are very expensive here!).

I brought everything back to the house and had a little lunch, then went out again to the bike shop. We had gone there the other day and the salesman had said they would put a bicycle aside for me and work on lowering the seat a bit. They hadn't worked on it, so I decided I would wait and get a bicycle when I come back next time. People here are very tall, so most of the bicycles are too high for me!  He told me about another store (in a town called Bloemendal) they have that keeps in stock more bicycles with the smaller frames.  After I left the bike shop I stopped at The Phone House where I got myself a new cellphone. I will be shutting off my U.S. phone next month, so I wanted to be sure to have a new number to give people.

Andrew got home around 1900hrs. We went to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Parck. The menus were only in Dutch so the waiter was kind enough to stay at our table and help us read through it. We can kind of "wing it", but there are many things we just can't read yet! Andrew had beef (rundvlees), (looked like filet mignon) and I had the salmon (zalm). Our dinners were very good!

The other day I was reading something in a book that kind of hit me.......that could pertain to anyone in emergency services:

"Someone laughed, and he could hear the other cops join in, participating in the usual bullshit bravado that made it possible for them to do the job"

After working as a dispatcher for over 33 years you find you have to have a "thick skin" to get through some of the horrible things you deal with on a daily basis. People in emergency services tend to laugh about strange things that most "normal" people would cringe at if they heard it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pick up of shipped goods in Rotterdam!

Sunday we did more shopping at IKEA. We finished up with furnishing the house by buying a coffee table and an end table for the living room.  We bought a cast iron pot (which I have to "cure"), more hangers, a couple of lamps, etc.  We are pretty much done with furnishing the house. Now it feels like "home"!!! We have found that the furnishings we've chosen here are nothing like what we had in CA.....It's been fun choosing our furniture!

When we got back from IKEA we went for a walk in the woods with Sammy!

Rather than using rock, these shells are what cover the paths in the woods.

Today I finished hanging up the clothes we had brought with the new hangers we bought. Andrew came home from work at around 1030hrs, and we left right away for Rotterdam.  We had shipped a few things from Pleasanton, most importantly our Sleep Number bed!

First, we had to go to the shipping company's office to pay the fees:

Then, we had to drive a few miles over to where they were storing our belongings:

They came out with our belongings in a huge cardboard box on a forklift:

We had complained a few times about the car we were "forced" to drive when we first got here. But, oh my, has it been a blessing!  We've been able to buy furniture and bring it home ourselves (not having to pay for delivery), bring the pets home ourselves, and now pick up our shipped goods!

On our way home we stopped at McDonald's for lunch: