Sunday, July 31, 2011

More photos

Should you want to see more of us, check out Caro's blog.  Her photo album has lots and lots of us.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

We did get to Kinderdijk

So, after our musical interlude, we caught the boat to take us to Kinderdijk (about an hour away)
The Maas river is very busy and it would be fascinating to live along its banks with a great pair of binoculars - to see what's going past

The boat moves into the River Lek
This is the site of one of the Netherlands incredible examples of how to deal with too much water.  And by lining the windmills up, each one in turn could lower the water level a bit more and pump that water into the river.  See the website.  Now that job is done by are the augers,

and behind the augers stand the mills themselves.  It just makes you smile - so typische Nederlands,

You can go inside a couple of the mills, but we didn't do that (as we have done it before) - we just enjoyed the site.

We returned on the same boat,
with Caro's parents
and a couple of entertainers.  We returned to the old harbor and decided to have some Mexican food.  Unfortunately there weren't any places indoors, so we got to sit outside for our dinner,
Actually, blankets over your lap do help a lot.  We managed just fine and had a very nice evening.  And again, thanks to Elaine my skilled photographer.

An Unplanned Diversion

Saturday morning was our trip to Kinderdink.  We began with meeting Caro and Rob on the train to Rotterdam.  At Rotterdam Blaak we stopped to look at the cube houses.  These were designed by Piet Blom and built in 1977 with the intention of being high density housing, "living as an urban roof" creating free space underneath.  39 houses were built in Rotterdam and one has been opened as a "museum" which you can see. (see more photos on the internet).  We decided that for us, this would not be considered "gezellig" (Dutch expression meaning something like cozy, homey, comfortable).  Your art would have to be something that could sit on a shelf as there are virtually no walls for hanging.  We came "out of the sky" to find some lunch
in a quiet pub.  We wandered along the old harbor,
on our way to the dock to catch the boat for Kinderdink.  [As an aside, you must remember that almost all of Rotterdam was leveled during the second world war and it is a very new and modern city]
As we walked we first heard and then saw the "Summer Carnival" parade just getting started.  Oh my.  The biggest speakers that I have seen (goes with the VERY loud music - the sort that beats in your chest) and colorful, incredible costumes. And so, a sampling, as we were at the staging area rather than on the parade route proper

 I am told that Rotterdam has a large Dutch Carribean population and thus this event.  [The grey skies did mean a lot of goosebumps.]

Friday, July 29, 2011

What's goin' on around here

Of course, we did have to do a bit of baby shopping yesterday - how's this for a cute name for a baby store,
pronounced: Peek-a-Boo.

I have finished up (as far as I can get from here) a couple of little stitcheries,
[name, birthdate, etc. go in the barn]

Yesterday, when out on an errand, look at what we found - oh, I think every quilter needs one,
I asked the shopowner and it isn't patchwork - but a lovely (expensive) Italian fabric.  Isn't it terrific?

Later today we are off to Kinderdijk.  More to come.

Hello World

I am the newest "grand" to call her Nana.  I arrived last night, in Seattle, at 6 1/2 lbs, 19+ inches long.  Rumor is that I'm pretty cute.  Nana and Oakie will be home next week so we can visit in person.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

In the 'hood

Lots of photos from our afternoon stroll,

How'd ya like to live here?

We discovered, today, a hofje just around the corner.  These are very small apartments, in this case only available to singles.  The grounds are open to the public during limited hours, but with a sign saying that you are requested to be silent when you go inside - so as not to disturb the residents.  These date from

At one time these hofjes were built exclusively for women or the poor or lay-workers of the church.  They are always so special,
Little hidden children's playgrouond

Elaine managed some good shots,

Oosteindegracht with the Nieuw Kerk


And then, simply because we have talked about it AND it manages to take quite a bit of our time, we need to commemorate our favorite drying rack,
I will never take my clothes dryer for granted!

A little of this and a little of that

Last evening we had a little pre-departure party.  Because Dieuwke and family were leaving today on holiday, we had to gather last night.  Wouldn't you know, I forgot to take pictures of dinner, itself, but we had a "real" American summer meal: cheeseburgers with all the fixins', potato salad and baked beans.  [I do give myself a pat on the back for managing the last two with quite different ingredients available - but they were tasty.]  We finished up with strawberry shortcake

  Dieuwke, bless her heart, even brought us gifts - aren't we lucky?  I got one of the Stophorst "vests" that is hand painted on black satin,

Elaine, the elephant lover, got some terrific new dish towels for our kitchen at home,
and for the both of us, to remember our holiday, a lovely picture book from the Staphorst community. These are folks who are VERY camera shy and so it's nigh onto impossible to get photos of them in their attire.  A wonderful collector's item,

Today, Thursday, is market day and it was quite pleasant out.  Certainly one of the big things we will miss is sitting in the square, drinking coffee and taking in all that is going on.

We had to laugh at one point, the caliope was playing, the fellow selling CD's had those blaring and the church carillon was pealing.  Cacophony!  We followed up our market shopping, with a trip to our ever popular,
we're there almost everyday for groceries.  We will miss a.h., too.  As it is nice, we did a little neighborhood walk - we often do each dry afternoon.  next blog.