Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July from The Netherlands!

 A lot has happened since I last posted a couple of weeks ago.

My good friend, Louise, and I have been getting together once or twice a week. We go grocery shopping together at the organic markets or just have a cup of tea together at one of our homes or a coffee shop in town. It's been nice having someone to "hang out" with! She and Gary will be moving to the UK in 3-4 months. He'll be able to transfer his job there.

This past week Andrew's brother and his family (all five of them!) came to visit for a few days. They were visiting her family in Denmark and they drove down here from there. When they arrived our neighborhood BBQ was going on!  So, they dropped their things off in the house and joined the party!  Our street was blocked off so we could all sit around and chat and eat!  What a nice evening!  We are so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors!

 We were out till around midnight!

They left again Tuesday morning for Paris and will come back here Friday evening and stay till Sunday when they plan to drive back to Denmark. They will head back to California in a couple of weeks. It's been soooo fun having a house full of family!  We spent a day in Amsterdam together

 Sarah's friend, Vasco, who lives in Amsterdam, met us near the Rijksmuseum!

 The "kids" went with Vasco to Vondelpark, where he and his friends were BBQ'ing!

Jeff, Birgit, Andrew and I walked around Amsterdam some more, then headed back to Haarlem. We had given the "kids" return train tickets to Haarlem and OV Chipkaarts so that they could use the trams in Amsterdam. Vasco went with them to the train station and made sure they got on the right train to Haarlem. Andrew and Jeff picked them up in the car around 2330hrs. 

The next day we headed over to Zaanse Schans!
 We took the train.....first to Amsterdam Sloterdijk, then switched trains towards Uitgeest.

 We got off at the Koog-Zaandijk stop.....walked a couple of blocks and this is what you see as you're crossing the bridge into Zaanse Schans!

The drawbridge was up when we arrived....

 for a barge....

 Swans and their baby:

 When we got back to town we stopped at Douwe Egberts for coffee. Jeff and Birgit wanted to get some cups...they have a very nice selection there!

We headed home after our coffee. Andrew took them all on a walk in the woods with Sammy while I made dinner....homemade mac & cheese.

Birgit and Sarah made a salad and we had some yummy garlic bread to go with dinner!

Tuesday morning Andrew headed off to work, and they headed off for Paris for a few days! They will return tomorrow evening. So, today I'm shopping and cleaning and going out to enjoy the nice weather!


Andrew and I are working on a trip to Norway and Sweden. We're hoping my parents will join us!!! They will let us know this week........keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed they will come!  It's a chance of a lifetime to travel around together!