Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday, 30 April

Today is a very special day in the Netherlands.

This morning Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of her son who now becomes King. Willem Alexander, married to Maxima, with three daughters, is the first King in several generations. (They have all been women!). His daughter, Crown Princess Amalia, will be the next monarch. It is very exciting, with much national celebrating. (Check the Internet for photos of Dam Square)

Dressed in our orange shirts we went to join Caro and Rob for breakfast. It was a rather typical week-end breakfast: hard boiled eggs, bread with cheese or lunch meat, peanut butter, jam, cream cheese, cheese and onion rolls, and an orange sweet bread. of course There was coffee and tea. We watched the televised signing of the declaration of abdication and the balcony waving. Later this afternoon will be the ceremonial "crowning".

We are joining other friends for tea and Kings cake this afternoon and then a round (or 13) of Five Crowns, followed by a cheese fondue dinner. Isn't it lucky that we are walking enough to keep the pounds about even! (Phew)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lovely, sunny Sunday

Another lovely, blue-sky morning. BUT it was also only about 37 degrees. We wandered along to Rob and Caro's for French toast, bacon and fruit salad. And then after something out a couple of sewing projects I can help with, we headed to the bus stop on our way to Clingendael. A lovely municipal park that at one time was a private home. We visitedthe Japanese gardens, although there was not much in bloom yet. Such a very pleasant walk in an arboretum like setting. Then was the requisite stop for coffee/tea. (Such a 'civilized' approach.)

Caro headed home to do some homework. She is taking a multi-year management course, and we caught the bus to Scheveningen. It was such a really lovely day to wander along the seaside (that's the North Sea). You will likely notice in the photos that two or three other folks thought the same thing. We wandered, did a bit of shopping and lots of gawking. A great time. Then as has been our tradition for several years, we had panenkoeken - actually we shared one. Met spek en kaas en ananas and uien. (Bacon, cheese, pineapple and onion.). Oh yeah!

Got THE bus back richt across the street from the "cultural center". (We thought of some of you - you know who you are). And now we are doing some catch up and laundry. Life is good!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week End reporting

Friday dawned quite grey and cloudy and rainy. And Caroline ended up having to go to work. So we just hung out at home - doing some of those wonderful holiday activities like reading and writing emails, etc. We joined Caro and Rob for a cup of tea and a rousing game of Five Crowns. Yup, for all our RV friends, we brought them a game and are having a great time with it. Caro made a very tasty lasagna for supper and we headed home.

Saturday morning we were at the tram at 8.30 to head toward Delft. We hadn't visited there yet and were told that the "art" market would be happening. (We were on an earring hunt.). No such luck. They were setting up for all the big doings on Tuesday when the Queen will abdicate And her son, Willem Alexander, will become King. A very BIG DEAL! So a quick tram trip back to The Hague to meet friend Joke and her daughter. They came down from Groningen - a 3 plus hour train ride. There was some kafuffle about which track and meeting up, but with some help from Caro managed to hook up. We had some lunch and a long "natter" through most of the afternoon. Joke's daughter, Karin, is coming to stay with us for a visit in August. Joke brought us a very well known Groninger's Koek. very sweet of her and oh so tasty.

being oh so lazy by then, we had dinner from the take-out snack bar next door. Ah the things you get to do while on vacation. This is Sunday morning, now, and we are taking brunch over to Caro and Robs. And as it is lovely (but chilly) we may have a bike ride later. I'll let you know.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More from Haarlem on Thursday

Alrighty now that I may have this right, I will continue this "roll"

The Great Church of St. Bavo. The church, in parts dates back to the early 15th century, although there are sarcophagi that date to the 12 and 13 century. (It's hard to wrap your head around those dates.). The very front of the church is called the Choir and is surrounded with a brass screen (from 1517). The ship models were gifts to the church from the shipbuilders guild ... Copies of ships made in Haarlem. The Holy Spirit Bench (bread bench) was where bread was handed out to the poor - dating from 1470.

I made a mistake about the organ playing --- it was Mozart and Handel. Want to be sure I'm giving you good information.

Getting the hang of this

So, since I seem to be understanding how this works, I will try sending a few more photos from some of our adventures.

The start of the dutch flower season is a bit late due to a cold spring. I've seen photos from LaConner and they are way ahead.

More of the charming flower parade.

The rijksmuseum museum has just reopened after a 10 year update. Imagine. We have tickets for next week.

Friday morning (here)

Report on Thursday...the day dawned lovely and warmish. Got the postcards mailed to the grandkids, added some money to our tram cards (the system here is like our ORCA cards) and bought train tickets to Haarlem, one of our favorite cities. They were having a carnival in the center square.

We next had some lunch at an outdoor cafe and then wandered around and then inside St. Bavo Cathedral. FABULOUS. Among other interesting facts, that organ has been played by Motzart and Hayden.

We noticed some bicycles from the bike and barge company we had traveled with before, but couldn't find their barge despite a long wander through the town. We finally returned to their lovely train station for our journey home. We did notice that some of the tulips are beginning to show color. So that visit we will schedule for our last week here. Today despite the predicted rain we are heading to Duivenvoorde castle. Who knows what we will find. Having fun!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday morning try

Everyone is sick of me saying this isn't working (I'm sick of it too). Hello, thought I'd give you a taste of our life here in The Hague. We have enjoyed pretty lazy mornings. Most everyone has a keurig-type of coffee maker. (Single cup brew). Tis house doesn't have or we haven't found a toaster, so it's bread for breakfast. Maybe with cheese or peanut butter. They also have some delightful pastries, should we wish. Sowers and dressed and head out the door. We don't have a car, so it's a pleasant walk about 6-8 blocks to a little newspaper shop that also sells stamps, only to discover that we forgot the envelopes. YIKES! Then on to Engelhardts for coffee and perhaps a pastry.

Then it is time to head to the grocery store. I had made a list but, of course, it did include some American items (for the diner party in the evening). So shopping took a while but managed to find what we wanted or some near equivalents. Walked back to our place and started to get ready. No graham cracker crusts here, so I made something close with British digestive biscuits, sugar and butter and made a butterscotch pie. I had to make my own Catalina dressing for the chicken, but that seemed to work. So, all in all, I'd say that dinner was a big success, with Rob, Caro,Dieuwke and Willem. NO left overs.

Lesson 673

Who knows about the other 672? It seems that I may only have one photo to a blog post. Here's our dining room with friends rob and Caro.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Still trying to work with photos but seemingly no success. So try this (again). Sorry.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Report for Monday (morning)

Our adventures continue, of course.  Friday evening we joined four other gals for dinner at a local Tapas bar.  Yummy and so nicely presented.  Well I'm trying to just use the tablet this time and I can't find the photos I have downloaded.   GRRRRRR

For now suffice to say, six of us went to Tabasco Tapas Bar and had a great supper.  Elaine had first a dish that was something like a stew meat on a tortilla and I had Mustard soup (yes, mustard).  Really tasty.  Others had quiche and fondue.  Round two included spare ribs, and three more fondues.  Sme so the group (not moi) had a flour less chocolate cake for dessert.  Of course this included all the appropriate beverages.  :-). Saturday dawned very bright and cold.  We headed to the tram to get to the train station and head north to Sassenheim.  There we met and visited with Piet Nicola and his family (and about 40 guests).  Coffee,snacks and visiting.  Then rolls with cheese or ham, cups of warm mushroom soup and beverages.  Then it was time for the Bloemencorso, aka the flower parade.  Very fun indeed.  The floats were close enough to touch.  Because the weather has been cold here the flowers are late and most had to be imported from France.  (Think e Rose parade here, just on a smaller scale). After the parade we were invited to hop into a 1934 Packard in which we drove through the flower fields (think LaConner) and ended up in Noordwijk, on the North Sea.  All the vintage cars were parked there for folks to ooh and aaah.  We eventually made our way back to The Hague.  Of course a girl needs to figure out dinner plans. . . .  So we joined Caro and Rob and her parents for dinner at one of our favorite places, De Mouce.   Yummy pork sate.  We walked to our home (about 10 blocks) and FELL into bed.  A busy, busy day.

Sunday was again lovely and cold.  We enjoyed a light Dutch lunch with Caro, Rob, and parents Simon and Reina and with aa fair amount of kafuffle left for a bicycle ride.  We headed through the Haagse Bo's and west to the coast.  We stopped (per tradition) about half way at Meyendell for coffee/tea and Appel gebaakt (dutch apple cake).  We cycled back to The Hague and all had dinner together.  Yummy, yummy Gourmetten.  Simon and Reina left for home and C & R and Mies walked us home.  What a fun day, but bed was calling to these out of practice cyclists.

Rob is my technical advisor, so I will ask him about the photo issues.  Sorry.  Today it is a train journey to Utrecht and probably Amsterdam on the way home.  Ain't we so lucky!

Friday, April 19, 2013

photos (at last)

Caro has let me use her computer which is easier to upload photos.  So here we go:

Just before our departure we had one last visit with our newest grand,

Caro and Rob picked us up from the airport and we spent our first night at their place.  Here you can see a bit of their place (a very comfortable home)\

 On Thursday, we moved to our new home for the next couple of weeks (1.1 km away)
(obviously, this was before Jose left for our house)  note the lovely art deco leaded glass. 

Caro and Rob joined us for supper
Friday included a requisite stop at the coffee shop
and a trip to the Haagse markt (farmer's market).  Photos to follow.

\photos from Elaine's camera:

(now it's not so warm at the markt)

Have a few olives.

Holy mackerel!

Fish and chips from the nearby take-out for lunch and a visit with Miss Mies
More adventures await us.  :-)

Friday notes

Haven't quite mastered photo transferring, but if you are checking here, we a. Have arrived, b. have moved into our apartment in The Hague, c. Had our first dinner guests last night and d. Are headed to The Hague. Public market this morning.  Life is good .  I will keep trying with the photos.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Test blog

Testing that I can blog using my tablet.

Well it appears that it works.  

I forgot to say that we know superfluity raised more than $35000.   More to come from things taken to the auction.  Woo hoo!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Being a Tourist in your own Town

Karen Meyer is here visiting from Holland, Michigan.  So when you have out of town visitors, what do you do?  You visit the things you might not go to see or have not seen before.  Despite some less than stellar weather, we ventured to the Seattle Center and visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, after a stop in the Collections Cafe for some lunch.

We can attest to tasty food and fun, funky decor.  The ceiling is filled with accordions:

Inset in each table is a glass topped box, each filled with a different collection:

Dale Chihuly (click this name for the website) is a northwest glass artist.  He is a glass blower and loves to experiment with color and lighting.  The collection is displayed 9 rooms, a 40' tall glasshouse and a garden exhibition.  Really, really impressive:

And then the weather gods smiled on us and the sun came out,

I was quite impressed and really enjoyed our adventure.

And, of course, being a fabric kind of gal, this was most appealing in his native northwest room:

Don't miss this.