Summer camp at Soka University

This week Roos and Alex are going to Summer  Sports Camp at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. During the entire week they will be practicing and getting instruction in all kinds of sports. From freestyle frisbee to rock wall climbing. It is a very nice campus with a lot of facilities and they can walk home. This means a little vacation for dad as well 🙂 



Unpacking the suitcase … for a long time..

Yesterday we got home after a long flight and it felt good to finally unpack the suitcases. All in all we were on the road for more than 3 weeks and living from a suitcase does make you long for home.

For me it is the first time in almost a year that I’ve fully unpacked my suitcase. I’m leaving Mars as of the end of next week and will be starting a job with a hospital. For the last year with Mars, I’ve traveled all across the world and have had time to look around in some really nice places. Istanbul, Beijing, Jinan, São Paulo, Almaty, Warsaw, Barcelona, Querétaro, Hong Kong etc. The snow globe collection that Roos and Alex have, has grown substantially.  After 17 years with Mars, however I didn’t want to forego the opportunity to work in healthcare. The job is in Los Angeles and while I might have to travel sometimes, it will not be like my current job. So instead of keeping my suitcase largely ready to fly to Cairo in two weeks, I’m unpacking. I won’t miss the jetlag and the airline peanuts. Luckily I collected so many airmiles that we’ll be set with flights for family visits for the near future.

Flying home..

Just boarding the plane. We got lucky and are on a new A380. Few more hours and we’ll be home from a great trip with lots of family and friends.   


Almost on our way home…

Alex and I decided to stretch our legs a little bit today. We had a big drive ahead of us to Frankfurt and tomorrow most of the day is going to be spent in the airplane. Since we were staying the last night at Dennenheuvel we went for a 7km walk this morning. The weather was really cooperative: sunny but not hot. 


At noon we had our last lunch in The Netherlands: McDonalds. Alex probably ordered the last happy meal in her life because she didn’t even unwrap the toy. The drive to Frankfurt was incredibly smooth. There was hardly any traffic and barely 4 hours later we arrived in Frankfurt at our hotel. Tonight we’ll try to catch some German food before we fly back stateside tomorrow am. 

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

I remember the Rijksmuseum from when I went there first on a school excursion. It was my first time seeing some of the famous art in real life. They were so different and so much more vibrant than what I had seen in books. Especially the Nachtwacht was very impressive. Our time in The Netherlands would have not been complete without taking Aled there as well. Opa Wapenveld and Mienie joined us as well. 

 We took the train from Zwolle and arrived in Amsterdam around noon. We had to take the tram to the Leidseplein and had lunch first before walking over to the museum. The Rijksmuseum has a gallery with several of the most famous paintings, so we started there. It has the “Melkmeisje” by Vermeer which is one of my personal favorites. 


 Alex really liked a painting of flowers by Hans Bollongier from the 17th Century. It shows some of the beautiful and rare tulips that were responsible for the “tulip mania” in the Netherlands around 1637.   


 In the afternoon we took the train back home and had dinner together in Hattem. Tomorrow Alex and I will start our trip towards Frankfurt as our more than 3 week stay in the Netherlands is slowly coming to an end. 

Ijhorst flea market

Alex and I got up early today to go to the Ijhorst flea market. It’s only once a month, every first Saturday, so it worked out with this trip. Opa Wapenveld was there as well selling some things from his garage. There were a lot of Donald Ducks and we bought a few for Roos-Marijn. They were 0.20 cents each. I used to buy them here as well, many years ago as I came here as a kid. 

 Alex also ate her first “Frikadel speciaal” here as a lunch snack. Despite the fact that it had raw onions, the Frikadel stood no change and was eaten in minutes. 

  Looking at the last photo, it looks like my dad is trying to sell one of the floaties we might have left at his house many years ago.