Last Saturday Alex and myself, together with Alex’s friend Juliet and her dad, went to Knotts Berry farm. This is a small theme park ( compared to Disney ) in Buena Park. I had never been there before but it seemed like fun. There are a few impressive roller coasters and thrill rides and with the fast pass we were able to do them several times. There was Ghost Rider, a wooden rollercoaster, but also Hang Time, where you hang underneath the tracks. Very spectacular was Pedal to the Medal. This one takes you from 0-82 mph in 2.3 seconds and then vertically up. It was a fun day and Juliette stayed over for dinner afterwards.
Tonight Alexandra graduated from Middle School and will go to high school after a long, and deserved, summer break. Last week she already attended the 8th grade dance and the 8th grade trip to Disney Land but today is the formal end of her middle school. Lexie has spend 7 years at Vista Verde, only missing one year where she attended Middle School in Aliso Viejo.
The graduation was in the Hilton in Irvine.
It’s the long Memorial Day weekend. Typically this is when the pools are opened and the BBQ is moved from the garage. That’s on the east coast as here in SoCal we can do use them year round. In order to stick with tradition we did have a BBQ tonight to celebrate the beginning of the summer season.
Roos has been working hard at her new job at the Vons Grocery store. However the taste of the first paycheck is sweet !
Alexandra turned 14 today ! Mom had gotten a cake and we had dinner together with Gary and his parents at a Chinese restaurant. Some of Lexi’s friends were there too. The big present was a new iPhone but we had tricked Lexi a little. The phone store is next to the grocery store and we pretended we were going for groceries. Alex might have had a suspicion but wasn’t sure until we made a 90 degree turn right in front of the store.
Today Roos started her first job. She’s working in the Von’s supermarket in Aliso Viejo. She’s making about as much per hour as I made per day when I had my first job at the Berghuizer Papierfabriek : fl 29 versus $11 !
Tomorrow Roos will also have her first of four Saturdays of drivers school. This allows her to get her permit and with that she can start to practice driving a car. From there she can get her regular license.
Marco arrived on Friday evening from the UK and Saskia, Sylvie and Benjamin had made a jar for Opa containing 80 candies as well as some notes and drawings they had made. That should last Opa a while. I had slept at Opa’s house for the last two weeks but with Marco’s arrival I was banished to a hotel on Friday night. Not that I minded. Room service breakfast on Saturday morning was very welcome.
On Saturday March 17th we celebrated Opa Jansie’s 80th birthday at Restaurant de Spikke in Heerde. Marco had invited most people online a few weeks ago and I had invited some others we hadn’t reached online earlier this week in person.
Almost everyone who was invited came to the party and I was glad I had ordered as much cake as I did. People had a really good time. Opa Jansie’s two brothers: Herman and Jan were both there. It was a very long time ago since they were together and we’ve been able to take a few photos.
On Sunday morning it was departure time for me. Home with KL601 from Amsterdam to LA.
Today is Jansie’s birthday. He’s turning 80. Last night we celebrated with a pre-birthday dinner at a restaurant near Epe. We drank a few glasses of wine at home afterwards. Today there were some early neighbors bearing small gifts and best wishes. The cleaning lady also found his wallet that he had been missing for a week. He has developed the habit of hiding things and forgetting where they are.
Earlier this week we also started to invite people for his birthday party this Saturday. For the first time in many years he spoke to his brother Herman who is coming as well.
Already a week has gone by since I arrived in The Netherlands. I’ve taken my Dad for a day in Germany and Deventer. At my favorite men’s store we got him a few nice shirts and jacket for his birthday.
Later this week I went to visit the Kröller-Müller museum in Otterloo. It has the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings.
On Friday night I spent the night in The Hague and visited the Escher Museum. Next week is my dad’s birthday and there’s still a bit of preparation needed.