Monday, April 30, 2018

Getting Ready to Head Back

April 5 - April 26

When I left off it was April 4 and we were heading back to Oregon to continue getting ready to come back to start the 2 year stint in the Netherlands.  Cheryl and I both had "an idea" of what we were getting into but we under estimated by, well...... a factor of 10!  We ended making it home safely though I required a special security search by an "all to friendly" security professional.

Next on the agenda was taking care of all the little things you don't want to have to worry about while away.  You know, hair cut, cutting your toe nails and of course getting your teeth cleaned.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but while there,the dentist reminded me that I had a tooth that's been ready to crack for about a year and needed a crown.  Since I was just over a week from take off, he offered to do me a favor and stay late to install the crown.  Geez I hate getting my teeth worked on.  Extra novocaine please!!

Cheryl has been doing an amazing job clearing the house of unwanted "stuff" and we have been hauling other items to the kids for their use or selling on Craigslist.  One of my golden rules is "don't love something that can't love you back."  By following that rule you would think it would be easy to sell the motor home and my motorcycle.  Well, it was hard!  We had the Intruder for 7 years and we keep a log of every time we use it.  There were 140 entries!  You math geniuses out there can quickly deduce that we take the Intruder out 20 times a year.  That's one hellava lot of Walmarts!  I hope the new owner has as much fun with it as we did.  Safe travels.

Next on the list was the motorcycle.  Though I didn't ride it much, there aren't many things better than riding a motorcycle in the country on a sunny summer day.  OK, there are probably a lot of things better, but still, it was fun.  The Yamaha V-Star 650 was my first motorcycle after I got my endorsement and the person who bought it just got his also.  That explains why he asked me to drive but back to his house after he bought it.  I was happy to do it as it gave me one more time to ride it.

The last items on our list were the good byes.  Crowns, selling the Intruder and motorcycle were bad enough, but visiting our many wonderful friends that we will not see nearly so often was tough.  Sure we will be back on occasion, but it s not the same as the routine "pop-ins" or an impromptu dinner out or a Sunday BBQ.  I must say that my heart hurt as the last couple weeks past but my liver was really feeling the pain.  Lots of farewell toasts but they were moments I will always remember.  We are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends.  We love you all so much. 

We Have an Amsterdam Address!

April 3

It was a huge day for us today.  We are going to decide on our apartment for the next 2 years.  It’s down to two but we discussed it all weekend and we are pretty sure which one we will take.  But first we need some breakfast and we’ve found there are not a lot of bacon and egg places around but there are a ton of bakeries.  We hit the “Ice Bakery” (a chain here in Amsterdam) and not wanting anything too sweet Cheryl decided on a waffle.  “What would you like on that?” she was asked.  “Strawberries, whipped cream, Oreo cookies, Nutella, sprinkles, bananas, sour patch kids…….” At that point Cheryl declined and settled on an apple turnover.  I also didn’t want anything too sweet either so I decided on a white frosted doughnut.  To my surprise, as I bit into it I realized it was filled with Nutella.  Sheesh, the Dutch like their sweets!

Off we went to check out the two apartments.  We were pretty sure we wanted the one with a gated entry on street level because the layout was very practical and it has a very large deck, however, we needed to look at them both again.  Though we loved the beautiful main floor of the 3rd/4th floor unit, the stairs were a killer, even for Amsterdam.  Believe it or not, this was only the first flight of stairs!  So we decide against this one.

The apartment we settled on is a 2 bedroom with a very unique lay out for Amsterdam.  There is a gated front all to ourselves, a large entry way and the stairs are broken up.  The guest room has some privacy and there is a huge deck off the living room.  I can only show pictures from the outside because it is currently occupied and current renter doesn't appear to know what clutter is.  The bottom line is that we have a place with a real Amsterdam address!  Are you ready for it??? Alexander Boersstraat 54 II.

 Time to head home bright and early in the morning.  We'll catch up on a few things then, I'm back over at the end of April to stay here permanently (well 2 years feels pretty permanent)  So until then.........

Monday, April 2, 2018

Tulips in The Netherlands?

April 2

Another day of exploring the Netherlands!  We want to take advantage of the rental car so we decided to again flip a coin and today that coin said to go to see the Tulips!  The Netherlands is known for their flowers.  In fact, says that the Netherlands accounts for 70% of the worlds commercial flower output.  So off we went to Keukenhof flower garden in Lisse.  Probably not the best day to make this adventure as it was raining and we were a little early in the season and there were very few tulips at the tulip garden (as noted below) but we always go where the coin tells us.  


Sunday, April 1, 2018


With all of the activity happening this week we decided to take it easy and sleep in.  The big accomplishment today was to head outside the city center to FoodHallen food court on public transportation.  They really have it dialed in here.  Even I can figure it out.  Thank goodness everything is visual because if I had to rely on street names I would NEVER get anywhere.  In this picture, the street monitor is blurry, but that doesn’t matter because as the names show up in the picture is how they show up in my mind…..blurry.