Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trip to Delft in Andrew's new car!

Today Andrew and I went to the BMW dealership to pick up his new leased car!

After we picked up the car we decided to take a trip down to Delft. When we got off the elevator from the parking garage we saw:
....heading towards the Grote Markt area!

We crossed a bridge over this canal full of lily pads on our way to the Delft Blue shop:

They used to manufacture tiles used in homes....till the 1980's:

Here's our new vase!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kraantje Lek (The Leaking Tap!)

Today after Andrew got home we had a quick dinner and decided to go for a bike ride. When the weather is nice, as it was today, you have to grab it!  We rode our bikes to the dunes near the town of Overveen. I didn't realize how beautiful it was going to be, I didn't even think about bringing my camera!

We started our ride at 2000hrs (8:00 p.m.), and headed west. Thankfully, in the Netherlands, there are dedicated bike lanes everywhere. There were a few areas I had to stop and take a breath because I was getting a little scared, but most of the time I was okay. There weren't many people riding tonight, so it was quite peaceful. When we reached the dunes, the bike path (fietspad) is off the road entirely. It is so beautiful. There are flowers blooming everywhere and birds singing. People were out walking their dogs in the area.

After we left the dunes, we got to the bottom of a hill and stopped at a little restaurant called "Kraantje Lek" translated it means The Leaking Tap. The restaurant is nestled at the bottom of a hill surrounded by trees. We sat outside and listened to the birds singing. It was soooo peaceful. We sat there for about a half hour and had a nice glass of wine.  The story behind the name of the restaurant is that the men in the village would go there to drink and go home with empty pockets. Their wives would always say they must have found the Leaking Tap!

The ride home was nice and quiet. We reached the house at around 2230hrs. (10:30 p.m.), and it was just getting dark!  Our bicycles have front and back lights that are generated by pedaling.

Next time....I will definitely bring my camera!  Rain again forecast for tomorrow......


 A couple of days ago I decided to try to make the chili I used to make back in CA. I usually make it in a crockpot, but I have yet to find one here. What I did buy recently was a large cast iron pot, so I decided to use that. I'm also still not used to cooking on a gas that was a little different. I had brought a lot of my spices from CA and a couple of cans of chipotle chiles. All of the other ingredients I was able to find at the stores here (had to go to a couple of different stores).

While I was cooking I noticed there were pigeons in the trees eating the berries!  The pigeons here are huuuuuge!

This coming Sunday our street will be blocked off from traffic and everyone on the street will be having a street party!  We're planning on bringing out barbecue out there to cook some chicken and veggies. I'm going to make chili for everyone....hopefully it's not too spicy for them!  I'm planning on toning it down a tad!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I K E A, I K E A, I K E A!

Saturday morning (yesterday) we went for a walk downtown and bought some nice cheese, bread, produce and sat and enjoyed a snack of "kibbeling" (a fried fish dish served with garlic sauce)! I think this is going to be one of my favorite Saturday things to do! Notice everyone is still wearing winter jackets!!!  Not much of a hint of summer here yet.......

We walked by some very festive music:

In the afternoon we decided to brave another trip over to IKEA where we saw these signs all over the parking lot......

Today at Ikea it’s Plundra, to make room for our new collection. That’s why this Frostig fridge is only € 299. But be quick, cause gone does mean gone. Ikea, every day is different.” The word ‘Plundra’ sounds Swedish – just like all the Swedish-named products at Ikea – but it is actually a pun derived from the Dutch word ‘plunderen’, meaning to loot and referring to the big Sales Ikea has once a year. Agency Lemz created a different Tetris game for every bargain, slowly emptying Ikea’s warehouse. Simple and smart.

Today we (actually Andrew did most of the work!) put the table that we had bought yesterday together. We have found their furniture to be pretty darn sturdy and innovative...and perfect for our needs here!  

Then set up  the sewing machine on the new now I'm ready to go!  

Because I had purchased the sewing machine in the U.S. I need to use a transformer. I bought that before leaving CA from Dublin Sewing Supply.........sooooooo, hopefully I won't blow up the machine!

After getting the sewing machine set up we decided to take a short bike ride. It had been raining all day and it appeared there was a break in the storm.  We got just a few blocks away and it started pouring down rain!  Sooooo, we rode our bikes home!  It was all in a straight line, so I haven't made any turns, but I did get on the bike and ride a little!  
After our bike ride we headed to the movies (on foot)  at the Cinema Pathe. On the way up town we walked by what we think is a school. Over the front entry is the Haarlem Crest:

We saw Snow White and the Huntsman.  Afterwards we went to Woodstone Restaurant for pizza. While waiting for a table we walked over to the Jopen Kerk and had a beer (made here in Haarlem!). Andrew had the "Jopen Ongelovige Thomas" or "Doubting Thomas" in English! and I had the Jopen Jacobus. Both were good!  We wanted to have dinner there, but discovered that the only meal they serve there is lunch. In the evening they only have appetizers and beer or wine.