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.
A week has flown by… It feels like I picked up Jans and Mientje from LAX only yesterday but early this afternoon they already boarded KL602 back to Amsterdam. We did in total drive almost 1200 kilometers in the time they were here with the main trip going to Las Vegas last weekend. However we’ve also explored quite a bit of the local area. On Monday they went with Mascha to Huntington Beach and they bought the famous Strikland’s Icecream in Irvine. Yesterday we went to see a little town nearby called San Juan Capistrano. It is an old Spanish missionary town, founded in 1776.
San Juan Capistrano has a few notable attractions that we explored yesterday. First of all, it is home to a few wineries and we started out by tasting a flight of wines. We picked a full bottle of the favorite, a very buttery Chardonnay, and enjoyed that with some cheese and other small dishes. From here we went to visit one of the many antique stores in town. Jans regretted that his suitcase was so small, although prices here are very high so little can be sold with a profit. After walking off the buzz from the wine in the antique stores, we sat down in a nearby cocktail bar for another drink before going home. At night we had dinner with Roos and Alex at our favorite Japanese restaurant: Bistro Anju.
In the morning we had a quick breakfast and Bruegger’s Bagels. Here they bake bagels fresh every morning and make a great breakfast. After that we zipped up the suitcases and were off the LAX.
Tonight we went to see a show and what better to do than a show about Frank Sinatra when you’re in Vegas. The show was in the Venetian Hotel. Most of his famous songs came by and it was a very enjoyable experience.
After dinner but before the show started we had some time to kill. We went to explore the various shops in the hotel. Jansie tried on some hats in the hat shop
It’s been a long time since I have picked up someone from the airport instead of being picked up myself. However today was the day as I picked up my dad and Mientje for their family visit to LA. It’s probably been a long flight as they were delayed by almost 30 minutes. It will be a fast and furious time as we plan to go to Las Vegas already tomorrow. I hope Jansie brought enough cash.
The timing worked well because Roos and Alex have fall vacation and will be able to spend some time with Opa Jansie.