Saturday, July 7, 2012

Parades and bike rides!

Today was "Pink Day". There was a Gay Pride parade that went through town. Before the parade, Andrew and I walked around town and saw:

Haarlem Fire Department had a booth:

As well as the Police Department:
A place to have your photo taken should you choose to...the sign says "Come out of the closet"

And the parade:

And the people watching the parade!

After the parade we headed to Zandvoort to go take a look at a kennel we're considering using for the dog and cat when we want to take trips. We rode our bikes through the dunes:

After we saw the kennel (which looks like a very nice place to take the pets!), we went back through the dunes and stopped at the Kraantje Lek Restaurant for dinner!  The tree in front of the restaurant has been "bronzed".....parents tell their children that it is where babies come from!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dutch Lessons-Oh myyyy!

Happy 4th of July to those in the U.S.!  We're going to miss the festivities and fireworks.......Maybe we'll put our hotdogs in a can on the grill tonight!?!?!  Hmmmmm...I'll have to think about that!

Well, I am finding that learning to speak Dutch is very difficult!  Ha! Whoever said it would be easy?!?!?  My next door neighbor is a teacher and she is giving a Dutch class to three of us. Yesterday was our first lesson. Class is 2.5 hours twice a week for 5 weeks. By the time we were done yesterday my head was spinning...literally!  Since my brain injury I find that stress affects me and being overwhelmed with new information is very taxing. Sooooo, when we were done with class I took a nap for an hour and a half, then went right into doing my homework. If I take a break from it every few hours it isn't as bad, and it gives me time to absorb what I'm learning. I'm already finding that I'm dreaming about the words and phrases I've learned. Yiiiiikes!

This evening Andrew and I went on a nice walk with Sammy through the Haarlemmerhout (Haarlem Woods). On our way we saw:
"Man in front of a firing squad", memorial by Mari Andriessen to commemorate 15 innocent victims chosen at random who were shot there by German occupational forces on March 7, 1945, Dreef, Haarlem
We don't know why there were so many flowers around the memorial today......

We saw this in the woods! A snowman carved from the tree!

A couple of days ago we went for a bike ride around's such a beautiful place to live!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hotdogs in a Can and Air Raid Sirens!

Look what we found!!!!  If you look the bottom of the can it says American recipe!

Yesterday we had the neighborhood took place in front of our house. Andrew hooked up the stereo and brought it outside and he turned on some good ole' American Country music. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!  We served up my chili, which I heard several people say was "lekker" (delicious!) and put some bottles of beer in a bucket of ice. I had also made deviled eggs to share with everyone. Other people had brought some nice salads, sandwiches, breads and one of the neighbors (thankfully) made a yummy cake for dessert!

They aren't big on ice here....soooooo, I had brought a couple of ice trays from the U.S. (thank you Target!) and we prepared made a bunch ahead of time for the party!  Here are just a few pictures from our first Haarlem BBQ!

The street was blocked off, so we were able to put tables and chairs out, the BBQ's and just enjoy without having to move every time a car came down the street.

We never did open the can of hotdogs.......we will try them another time!


Soooooooo, at noon the 1st Monday of the month there is always a test of their air raid sirens! I completely forgot about scared the heck out of me!  I found this Youtube clip of what it sounds like...I guess the sirens are all over the country.

I found this explanation on someone else's blog:

once a year every Dutch household gets (or should get) a sheet of instructions what to do when those sirens go off for real. You’re supposed to tune in to the local radio or tv station, or check the internet. (The latter, however, quickly gets an overload of visitors and shuts down.) And – depending on the emergency – you’re to close windows and doors.
Two years ago they accidently pushed the button for all the sirens in Friesland to go off in stead of just the ‘affected’ area when there was a fire in a cheese factory and one of the big gas tanks on the premises threatened to blow sky high.