Thursday, June 14, 2012

AWCA Luncheon today, Paris tomorrow!

Trying to "put myself out there" to meet people and get I went to the American Women's Club of Amsterdam Luncheon at de Veranda Restaurant in Amsterdam Zuid.

One of the Haarlem ladies was kind enough to show me how to use the bus system. I met her at her house, just a few blocks away, and we took the bus together to the luncheon!  There were 60 women at the Luncheon. When we first arrived, a drink called "Hugo" was being served....very yummy!  It's made with elderberry syrup, prosecco, club soda, a little lime juice and some mint leaves. De Veranda  was a very nice venue with good food (I had fish!), and dessert was delicious!  During dessert the raffle took place and I won a painting, done by a local artist!  I think it looks very cheerful! You can't tell on the picture, but there are pieces of material sewn into the's very different.

It was nice to meet some of the other women that live in the same area as me. Another Haarlem woman, Beverly, came back on the bus with us. We got back to town around 1500hrs.

Tomorrow, we are heading to Paris (Parijs in Dutch). We're going to meet Dan there--should be fun!  We plan on leaving early in the takes about 5 hours to drive there. We could take the train in 3 hrs, but it's much more expensive. We plan on going to Versailles while we're there too!

Sooooo, it's time to pack and get everything ready. I just finished cleaning the house and I need to write a note for the neighbors who will be taking care of the pets while we're gone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Yesterday our neighbor, Bruce, came over after he got off work and helped me go on-line to a website that is like E-Bay to look for a bicycle. It's all in Dutch, so he helped me by interpreting and showing me how to get around on the website. We found a couple of bikes under 200 Euro, so I emailed about one and called the owner of the other one.

When Andrew got home tonight we drove to the Vijfhuisen area of Harlemmermeer, which is about a 10 minute drive away to look at the bicycle. It's perfect for me!  It has several speeds (not sure how many...but more than I'll ever need I'm sure!) and it's the perfect height!  The guy we bought it from said he had bought it for his 75 year old mother and she never rode it. We got it for 150 Euro....which is a great deal for a used bike! It has a lock on the back of it and I'll have to buy another chain lock for it tomorrow. I'm going to take it to the bike shop to have them check the front brake and put a basket on the front so I can use it for hauling groceries.  I rode it in a straight line home.....but I'm quite nervous riding right now. I'm going to force myself to "get over it" and get's reallllllly the only way to get around here!

Earlier today I was sitting in the dining area having a cup of tea thinking about my life and how much has changed over the last several months. I guess I was feeling "homesick".......our house has been sold, I've stopped working and we moved away from all our children and friends. It's definitely going to take some adjusting.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Delft, etc!

Friday morning Andrew drove me to the Haarlem train station where I caught the train to Amsterdam Centraal. From there I took the Tram down to the Museumplein stop where I met some of the AWCA (American Women's Club of Amsterdam) women in front of the Van Gogh Museum to go to Delft. While I was waiting I took a walk around....

When we arrived in Delft, the first thing we saw as we were crossing the bridge was this!

The Netherlands prepares for the Netherlands vs. Denmark game!

If you look closely, you can see that this building is the same one in the painting done on the poster in the window.

We walked around a bit, then got on a canal cruise:

Did you know the swan on top of a church means it's a Lutheran church?!?

I cannot imagine trying to get out of my car when parking next to a canal!

Our guide said this church is leaning about 2 meters....

This is the Oude Kerk:

This is the Neuwe Kerk:

Cute little shop we saw on our way out:

Lisa dropped DeeDee and I off at the Zuid Station, where I caught the #51 train back to Centraal Station then caught the Intercity train to Haarlem:

I arrived home around 1830hrs. At around 2000hrs. our neighbors, Hetty, Michel and Bruce came over to visit. They were here till around midnight.  It's nice getting to know our neighbors!

Saturday morning Bruce, Andrew and I went shopping in Haarlem for groceries. From what I've heard Bruce is quite the cook!  He said he would show me where to shop for different types of food....sooooo, off we went at 0830hrs!  We went to at least 10 different shops, annnnd we went to the Grote Markt where there is an open market every Saturday with all kinds of different venders!  We bought some wonderful things!!!  Next week, I'm going to an AWCA Luncheon, so Andrew said he'd go with me to look for something to wear!

Sunday morning we slept in a bit.......kind of a lazy start to the day. We did some yard work...trimmed all the ivy and bamboo back and just cleaned up the garden. Then we did some walking downtown. We stopped and had a snack near the canal and watched all the boats go by!

As we were walking through town we saw this shop where they apparently make violins:

Later this afternoon Hans and Angela came over. Hans showed us how to fill the radiator system so that we will continue to have hot water and heat!  It needs to be done about every 9-10 months. He showed us how to read the pressure gauge on the heater so we'll know when it needs to be filled.  We took them out for a nice dinner at the Parck Restaurant.  The food was delicious!  I didn't think about taking pictures till dessert came--it was so pretty (and yummy!)

What a wonderful weekend! After dinner Hans and Angela went home and we decided to take Sammy for a short walk. The weather was so nice today we didn't want to waste one second of it! It also stays light till around 2230hrs!