Sorry but we have been so busy and having such a great time that neither of us has updated our blog. Every evening we say that one of us needs to get on here and post but then we start doing something else and it is too late. I am in hopes that Petra will post some pictures here soon.
Where can I begin? The weather since that first full day here of rain has been really good. Some rain, but not nearly enough to ruin our plans. And not that we have had plans that would be what the typical american tourist would schedule. We both felt from the beginning that while I wanted Petra to show me this area that she lives in and the sights that would be new to me, we also felt it was very important to just let the day happen. We wanted to spend much of the day as two normal people would, doing normal everyday stuff together. In the afternoons we have done some really fun things that have given me a real flavor of the Netherlands.
We've walked through Groningen and taken a boat ride through the canals. It is a small city of about 170,000 people and a major University town so it was full of energy and history at the same time. If my feet wouldn't have worn out I would still be looking down every street and around every turn. It is a beautiful city yet very managable to see on foot and as with every other experience I have had here so far, the people are just wonderful.
There is one thing I think that the European cities and towns have that I wish we had in the US. They all have "plaza''s or square's that are usually a gathering place for people. Within the plaza's you usually will find several outdoor cafes or taverns and all other
kinds of shops that draw people into the center of town. Usually no cars or if any it is very restricted as to where. The rest of the space is for the people, either on foot or possibly on bikes. People sit and talk. Entire families can be seen out together. Couples can be holding hands and being romantic. It almost forces everyone to slow down and relax and enjoy the moment that you are there. I sure wish that was part of our culture in the US.
Sunday was an amazing day for me. We spent the morning as a normal couple would. Coffee, breakfast, walking the dogs, other normal daily routines. Then Petra said it might be nice to get on the bike and take a little ride around the area that she lives. This is mecca for anyone who likes to ride a bike. The bikepath system and the signage and maintenance of the trails are beyond anything you could imagine without seeing for yourself. It is also so flat that even if you are not an experienced cyclist, it would not be difficult to get the hang of it and feel pretty comfortable in a hurry.
I am running out of space here for tonight but just let me say that the ride was incredible. We found so many historic buildings, some dating back to the 12th century, an incredible windmill that I hope Petra can get a picture of on here and so many natural areas that were just great to park the bike and walk through containing all kinds of wildlife. I don´t think I can remember when I ever felt so relaxed as taking that bike ride. I could have gone on and on.
Going to stop for now. Having so much fun and as I said before, being together is even far beyond what I think we hoped for.
Whoever is reading our blog, thank you. Our journey has truely started and I don´t see it ever ending.