Monday, November 19, 2007


Poor Amerigo. I'm glad the horse was not injured and the celebration went on, even though there may have been a few bruised ego's. LOL I hope to part of that celebration soon.

Our next holiday, Thanksgiving, is this Thursday. It is a day set aside that we are to gather as family and/or friends and be thankful for the good things in life that we have. It originates from the earliest settlers that came to America and survived their first very harsh year. They held a feast celebrating their good fortune.

This year I have two Thanksgiving dinners to go to. My stepson invited me to his house in the early afternoon and my neighbors invited me for a feast in the evening. Traditional food is turkey and a bunch of other things that will only make me feel fat in the morning. LOL

Saturday, November 17, 2007

While Jack is praying for snow...

the Netherlands is preparing for one of our best holidays.
It is one Jack will miss unfortunately, but on the 5th of December Sinterklaas celebrates his birthday.
It is a festivity mostly for the kids. From what I understand the American way of celebrating Christmas is based on it.
Anyway, today Sinterklaas arrived in many places all over the Netherlands. If possible he arrives on a boat, and after that he travels on horseback.
As all kids know, on a white horse with the beautiful name Amerigo.
That it not always goes as planned is something we could see in Alkmaar.
Amerigo couldn't handle the stress and went into strike.

Oh, Amerigo was fine after this episode, he is getting the much needed rest and wasn't hurt.
Something we can't say about Sinterklaas, his ego was bruised.

(Can already tell that since Jack behaved (he wasn't too bad) he will be getting a small gift from Sinterklaas which will be waiting for him when he arrives.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm Trying Petra

I swear I saw snowflakes in the rain on the way home from work today. LOL I'm trying real hard to make sure we have snow for you in February.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Go For 200.

The last 5 months since Petra and I started this blog has been really exciting. I'm sure the next 5 will be even more so.
This past July, I made the trip over to The Netherlands to visit Petra and it was one of the best times of my life. I will always remember that first trip. Especially how nervous we both were at the beginning. And then it was great fun for the 3 of us to experience Disney World. Not a true picture of life in the US but another memory that we will keep with us forever.
Now we are starting the rest of this journey and more trips planned with the goal of making this a permanent situation. It sure will be nice to plan all of these trips from the same place. LOL We have lots of places to see and lots of things to do with our time together. Whether it will be sitting quietly at home or traveling the far reaches of the world, I know that the best part of it will be sharing it with Petra.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The 100th post

It isn't 5 months ago yet that Jack started writing the first post in our blog.

A lot happened in those months, Jack visited the Netherlands, my son and I crossed the big pond for the first time to spend a vacation with Jack in Florida. And we have more plans to see each other as often as we can.

Maybe it is time to change the title of our blog into: 'on our way '
Because if there is one thing that became clear over those last 5 months, than it is that the two of us want to be together.
For good.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Welcome to Pennsylvania

Before I start on this topic I want to comment on Petra's posts. Yes indeed, the Cirque was the most incredible event for me on our trip to Disney. From the very beginning until the lights went out on the stage it was non stop amazing theatre and circus combined. We both at one point said to each other how wonderful the music was. It was hard to believe that the live musicians there were putting out that sound. All I can say is that even the most stubborn of people about going to such things would be left with their jaw open and sorry that it ended.

As for the water here. It is different in other parts of the country but overall, you are right, it is loaded with so called good chemicals (LOL) and generally tastes terrible. Almost every office or job location offers bottled water and many people do use purifiers on their water at home. As far as food portions go, it is pretty much the same everywhere here. Doggy bags are very common and it is right that we think nothing of reheating up leftovers later.

Now my post today. I am going to have visitors in February and I am really excited about that. Petra will see everyday life in America and where I live and work. I hope you are not bored to death by the second day. LOL

I also have been given a very big order from Petra for their visit. I am to make sure that we have snow here to play in. Hmmm, can't promise that we will but there is a good chance. And if we don't have any on the ground here at the house we can always drive 10-15 minutes to the ski slope and they will surely have some. I don't think I will get on ski's but I sure do want to try those tubes. LOL

The view from my bedroom window. This was taken last year but it looks the same right now.

Tubing at the ski slope.
The snow at my house last March.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Impressions part 3

This will probably my last impressions post for now, but our visit in February will have a totally different character so than there maybe more.
Yup, that is right, in February my son and I will go for another visit to the US.
This time we will bring a real visit, short, but more in touch with real life than Disney world.
And I am really looking forward to see where Jack lives, works and writes his blog entries from.

Anyway, there is little difference between Europe and the US when you go for a short vacation in a place like Disney.
But one thing that really stood out was the food, not the kind of food, we have all kind of foreign influences also, but the amounts.
Even my almost 13 year old son couldn't deal with the amounts.
There was always too much. Starting with the drinks. You can drown in them.
I know, half of them is ice cubes, but still...
Hot dogs are twice as big as over here.
And how much it hurt us, we had to leave some on our plates at times.
Which is so against how I was brought up.
I mean, my Mom used to say that the little kids in Africa would love to have half of what I had. And than my grandmother, who had to raise a family during the second world war, she would have been shocked about the fact that I couldn't eat everything on my plate.
But honestly...half a piece of ribs was more meat than I ever ate.
Can't imagine people ordering a full one. tasted good.

If you start traveling as a Dutchman, you start realizing how lucky we are.
In all honesty I can say that we have the best water in the world.
Traveling to the US showed that again.
With our tap water you could make a bottle of baby food without any trouble, the water is extreme clean and has no weird taste.
Thinking the water would be the same over there (never heard about bad quality in the US) I thought to be smart and refilled my water bottle at the water fountains in Disney. Boy, did I regret that. It tasted like chloride and upset my stomach for the rest of the day.
I right away understood why my son didn't like the Koolaid that we made in the apartment the first day. At home he loves it.
Guess that means bottled water for us when we are over there.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cirque du Soleil

Something that I have to mention about our vacation in Disney is the Cirque du Soleil.
For me that was the absolute highpoint in what we have done and seen.
The combination of music, acrobats and all the rest made for a night I will never forget.
It had been a very long time since I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks but when I looked next to me, I saw I wasn't the only one.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Boo To You

Every year my dear neighbors invite friends over for a pumpkin carving afternoon before Halloween arrives. There is always lots of food and drink and this year there were 8 adults and 2 children so I think you can figure out that it is not just for the kids. LOL

Then on Halloween night the kids in the area go out Trick or Treating in the neighborhoods. I always go to the neighbors house to help them hand out goodies. This year we had just about 150 kids stop by all dressed up. Candles were put in the carved pumpkins and it is a fun evening.

The last picture is one of my "masterpiece" LOL A wolf howling at the moon.