Thursday, October 24, 2013

At Home in The Netherlands

Well, home sweet home!  For now, this is home. We plan to be here till around next September. Then we will move back to the U.S. We aren't sure where we will be going when we go back. We have a storage locker full of our belongings in no matter where we go we've decided we will be taking all of our things out of storage.

It has been quite an adventure living in Europe. It's been eye opening in many respects. I found after this last trip back that everything in the U.S. is biggggg!  The first time I stepped foot into a Target (my first "big box" store to go in when I got there!), I had to walk back out and breathe for a minute before I could take it all in. There is soooo much . So many choices......for everything!  There is no country like the United States.

We have made due with a small house here and it's been nice. But, at times I do miss the conveniences of having a larger home and especially a washer annnd dryer! LOL!  Hanging clothes to dry is not fun! I have to plan days ahead to get the laundry done because it takes 3 hours to wash, then the better part of a day to dry on the rack! Well, I don't think I will ever take life in the U.S. for granted again.......

The best part about living in Europe for me has been the people!  We have met some very sweet people here. We've been particularly blessed to find the house we did in the neighborhood we are in. We have wonderful supportive neighbors and the house is in a convenient location (close to the buses, train, beach, shopping, etc).

Andrew took Monday, October 7th off from work!  We decided to take a drive to the CentrO Mall in Oberhausen, Germany. People had told us about it and we had talked about going for a year....we decided to just go check it out!  It took about 2 hours to get there. It's a beautiful mall with lots of restaurants. 

Andrew was able to find a leather jacket there! He has trouble finding anything that fits him here in The he was a happy man to find clothing that fit!

During the week I caught up with housework and tried to get my body back on schedule. I had trouble sleeping all week! Seems the older I get the more difficult it is to adjust to the jet lag!

The following weekend, Andrew and I went for a walk with Sammy in the Haarlemeerhout. Fall has arrived, but the weather is still pretty mild!

Work is still in progress with the Government building next to the woods...

Saturday, October 12th, we had our neighbors Roel and Mildred over for drinks. It was nice to have a chance to chat with them. They are such sweet people!

Sunday we went for a walk around town....had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants-Woodstone in the Raaks.

Fall is here!

Saturday, October 19th we decided to go to the beach in Zandvoort.

We got on the bus with Sammy and rode to the train station in Haarlem. There we found out the train to Zandvoort was "kaput"!!! Sooooo, we took the bus back home, got in the car, and drove to the beach.

On our way to the car we noticed a bunch of our neighbor's outside. One of the neighbor's was having a tree cut down from in front of their house.

What a lovely day we had at the beach! We tried to have lunch at De Haven, but never got served! Andrew went in and bought a we just sat and drank our beer and left.
 It was a little windy and chilly.......but it wasn't raining!!!
 Sammy just went crazy running, running, running like a puppy! He was sooo happy!  

We ended up eating lunch at a stand down the Strand where we got kibbeling and patats-yummmmm!

 A little visitor at our table!

I have been taking care of my friends' cat for the past week. They live about a mile and a half away. I've been taking the bus up there once a day and walking there once a day. I've started sleeping better since I've been walking more.......hmmmm....guess I need more exercise?!!??
This is a sign next to the train station! Cute, huh!??!

 On the way to their house there is a canal. There are always lots of birds there....and cute bikes parked along the bridge over the canal.

 This guy appeared to be posing for me....he was very very still while I took my pictures. When I was done, he swam away! Very cute! in The Netherlands goes on!  Andrew goes to work every day...and I am home taking care of the house. I'm starting to research different places to live so when we go back to the States we at least have a few places to check out. We are trying to find a place where we won't get taxed to death (is there such a place?!?!?) and the weather isn't too severe (winter orrrr summer!)!!  We shall see!  We still have several months to do some research. In the meantime we are enjoying our life here. The change in seasons is so nice. It doesn't get tooooo cold in the winter and there's enough snow to make it pretty, but not so much we have to shovel our way out the door!