June 3 - June 10
Well it's now been 5 weeks living apart from Cheryl. It's been a team effort getting ready to begin our new experience in another country. I came to the Netherlands first, settling in with my new position at Nike and Cheryl hanging back tying up all the loose ends in Oregon. Though I always enjoyed our phone conversations, they typically were less about "fun stuff" (if you know what I mean) and more about selling our cars, listing the house, immigration paperwork or expense reports. But that is all a distant memory now as CHERYL IS IN AMSTERDAM!!!. She arrived this morning (June 9) at 8:30 AM. It has been so long since we had seen each other I wanted to make sure Cheryl could find me so I made a sign and hung out with the Viking tour directors. Worked out pretty well. Turns out we recognized each other so that's good.
The house felt full as did my heart as Cheryl entered the front door. There is so much to do but it was fun to just relax on the deck with a glass of wine (we waited until 12:01 pm) and enjoy each others company and our first day together in 5 weeks. We walked the neighborhood and ate lunch at Cafe Gruter a local place near our apartment. I also introduced Cheryl to Barry the florist next door. He helped me out with the welcome bouquets in the apartment. I'm sure we will get to know Barry very well the next two years as he has beautiful flowers.
We finally decided that we needed to start getting the new residence in order. Where to start...... Well over the past month, I have been collecting food and other staples that we will need in order to at least have a foundation when Cheryl arrived (I am good for some things!) So we decided to unpack all of that and start organizing it in our downstairs storage closet. I had a little surprise for Cheryl as she opened one of the boxes..... Smirnoff Ice. Yep iced her big time. It was a good and bad situation. Good in that the bottles are much smaller over here, bad in that it was warm. But she downed it like the champ that she is.
Cheryl's arrival was certainly the big news this past week, but there have definitely been other things going on. Most notably I have a parking permit for the car. Though it may not seem like much, its a big deal, trust me on this. A parking spot is like gold over here and when you pay by the day you'd better have a lot of the shiny stuff. So getting the permit is big. As you can imagine, it is super easy and convenient to get one. Here is all you need: 1) Residence permit, 2) application form, 3) vehicle registration card, 4) drivers declaration of ownership, and of course 5) a debit card to pay. So I grabbed a wheel borrow and loaded all of my documentation and headed down to Stadsloket Zuid to get my permit. I nervously waited as the attendant reviewed my pile of documentation and typed it into the computer. Then the dreaded pause as she looked over her glasses "I'm sorry Mr Winkler, but the previous tenant has not canceled her permit. Only one per residence" Are you freakin' kidding me? Fortunately there is one more form to fill out. The "I give up my first born if the tenant is still living there" form. Essentially I guarantee that they are gone and we have time to get it canceled. Whew!
It was a very good week this week. With Cheryl here we can now look forward to all the adventures that lay before us. I can't wait!
Oh by the way, one more thing.... Since I am very unpredictable in when I update the blog (imagine that), I think you can add your email and you get notified when an update is made. I think, but no guarantees.
Until next time.............