Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Europe - Here We ARE!!!


And we're off!!

Joe's week in Hamburg went well, his presentation wasn't until Friday (yuck) but it was well received and its over now which is the best part. After a week of nothing but technical presentations and networking, I thought my head might explode.

So then on Saturday I went with a couple friends (Jamie and Marteen) that drove me to Den Haag in the Netherlands. It was a great drive though eastern Netherlands stopping in a few small towns (Devenntar, Leiden) and finally ending up in Den Haag. Beautiful towns with beautiful
canals, markets going on everywhere. Unfortunately the camera was in the U.S.

Meanwhile in another land far far away....Myra was in the middle of the Adirondacks for Shelley and Chad's wedding. From what I hear it was amazing!!! The bride was stunning, the groom was well...he was the groom – Luv you new 'cuz. She can say though that the mosquitoes in the Adirondacks are comparable to the size of a VW bus and thank goodness for 'AfterBite'. But in the land of Dutch ... Joe was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his own beautiful bride.

Sunday in the Netherlands was relaxing, slept late, ate some traditional 'pancakes' (pannenkoek)
covered in bacon and kaas (bacon and cheese). Then we went to visit the storm surge barrier protecting the port of Rotterdam. Ok, I'm a dork but it was amazing engineering. Still...,no camera.

Then alas on Monday Joe hopped on the train to Amsterdam to meet Myra at the airport. Before I could turn around I was mauled by what only felt like a linebacker wrapped around my throat, only to find out Myra had spotted me. Wow, shes 'purty' even after flying for 9 hours!! Of course the first words she uttered as she pointed to my coffee was...”I need one of those”. Huh, nice to see you too!

We spent the day in Amsterdam walking around, visiting the house where Anne Frank was in hiding for years before she was captured and died. Lunch at a little cafe on the canal...can't beat it. Somewhat in the center of town is a small little “compound” called . When catholicism was banned in the Netherlands this group of ladies (not quite nuns but close) were secluded in this area and left alone. Inside this Begijnenhof is a small church that we went to visit and after the Pilgrims left Britain in search of religious freedom they first went to Amsterdam. It was in this church that they went and prayed before beginning their Mayflower voyage. We went by the Rijksmuseum (lots of Rembrandt stuff) and Van Gough museum (but opted not to tour due to time and Myra's fading coherency). We walked by the Heineken Brewery which made us a little thirsty so we got a beer and sat by another canal for a bit. After a bit more walking around the town we headed back to the train station, with a detour through the red light district. Honestly, a little disturbing and probably not somewhere we need to go again, but it was an experience.

Myra took a power nap on the train on the way back to Den Haag and after a minor hiccup on the directions we made it back to Jamie's a little after 8:30pm. She had a huge dinner (appetizers, drinks, pasta, dessert) waiting for us. YUM! I recommend “Hotel Jamie” if you're ever in that part of town.

Tuesday Marteen (our personal tour guide and chauffeur...he was awesome!) dropped us off in the town of Delft and we did a little touring around the square by the “New Church” (“new” because this one was built in the 1600's). We were then back on the bus to Deltares (formerly Delft Hydraulics) where they work and where Joe was shopping around for jobs with people (yes thats right....I MIGHT actually graduate soon). We heard a lunch talk from a guy at the USGS (Myra was a trooper and sat through that) and then Joe had some meetings. Then we hopped the bus back to Delft and ate some more pancakes (chocolate and cheese (separately) this time). We bought a few souvenirs and then took the tram back to Den Haag. We just walked around the square and parliament building. We met up with Jamie and Marteen and went to a yummy Thai restaurant (yes, I said Thai). They were such wonderful hosts, tour guides, direction givers, etc. Thanks guys!!! Unfortunately...we didn't take ANY pictures with or of them!

Now we're on the train on our way to Bruges, Beligium. Check back in a few days for more adventures!!

1 comment:

Trina said...

I tried Thai food for the first time in Amsterdam and it was such an amazing meal. (I also started eating sushi while living in Australia...go figure!)