Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Prettige Kerstdagen en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Andrew and I have kept ourselves busy over the last few days. We are both feeling such an emptiness in our hearts without the kids and grandchildren around. It's awfully quiet around here! I took these pictures a few days ago in the morning when Louise and I had met for a cup of tea in the Grote Markt. She is a wonderful woman and I feel blessed to know her.

De Stadhuis (City Hall):
Saturday afternoon Andrew and I were walking around town and ran into this band playing Christmas music...what a nice little surprise!

We went to Brinkmann's Grand Cafe for lunch and watched a young man making bubbles in the plaza area!

He was selling the sticks with string for making the bubbles!
Brinkmann's Grand Cafe:

Sammy and Socrates are realllllly getting along now!  
Later on we called my parents and brother on my Dad's cellphone from Skype. It's a wonderful service....it's costing just a few cents a minute to place calls from the internet to their phone. We talked for almost an hour.


Christmas eve 2012:
We made reservations for lunch at a restaurant in Amsterdam. We like to walk around the City and thought it would be a nice way to spend the day. We had found it in the book called "1000 Places to See Before You Die". The restaurant is in the Pulitzer Hotel.

We originally ordered a glass of champagne each, but decided to just order the whole darn bottle. What the heck!  Soooooo....we had a nice lunch (fresh tuna with curried couscous and a great burger!):

We drank the whole bottle of champagne.....

 Good to the last drop!

After lunch we walked around the hotel a bit. It had previously been a series of many homes...The interior walls were taken down to create the hotel. They had an art gallery inside which was nice to see:

 An framed old map of Haarlem hung up near the entrance to the restaurant:
We went out and walked around a bit in the "Jordan" area of Amsterdam:

 We happened on this shop....where we ended up buying a reproduction of an old map of Amsterdam (dated 1742)

We headed home after that...stopped to take a picture of the tree in front of the Amsterdam Centraal Station:

At 2330hrs our neighbors/friends Bruce and Linda came by and we walked down to the Nieuwe Kerk. There was a band playing Christmas Carols...and we sang along....in Dutch!  What fun!  It was raining (of course!)....so Andrew went back to the house and brought back umbrellas!
After the concert we went over to Bruce and Linda's house for eggnog and cookies. We are truly blessed! We got home a little after 0200hrs!


Christmas Day!

We woke up laaaaaate......around 0930hrs!!! Oh myyyyyy!  What the heck.....Andrew is on vacation! I got up and made us "ontbijtspek" (bacon) and eggs and orange juice for breakfast this morning!  Yummmmm!  We still don't have a toaster...soooo no toast this morning! After breakfast, we took Sammy for a walk this morning in the woods...which he always loves.

This afternoon we went over to the recycle bins and dropped off all of our recycling. They will be closing off the bins from December 27th through January 1st. Apparently there is a problem with people putting fireworks in there during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year's...so they close them up!

Albert Heijn was closed.......sooooo....we went over to the Carlton for an early dinner. It's a nice place to eat. Very pleasant and quiet.


When we got back we Skyped with Dan, Michelle, Barbara, and the girls. Then we Skyped with Amanda and James...and then with Christopher,Denise and Arianna. We're still trying to connect with the other kids! Thank goodness for the internet....with Facebook and email we've been able to keep up with family and friends. We were also able to Skype with Jeff, Birgit, Sarah, Niko and Lars!
At around 2330hrs we were able to Skype with Jackie, Allen Kevin and Dillon!