Christmas dinner with Jans

This morning we departed from Cologne. We stayed here just for the night on our way to Wapenveld / Zwolle. We went to visit Opa Jans first in his new apartment in Rehobot. He was happy to see us. When we were there for about 30 minutes, Ina Zwerus, her husband and son also came to visit my dad.

Since Roos was craving some “kroketten” we decided to go to a local snackbar for lunch. This wasn’t easy as it was “tweede Kerstdag” (second Christmas Day) and many stores are closed. We did however find a place in Hattem where they even had a Fristi. Roos’ favorite Dutch drink.

In the evening I went back to my dad. We had Christmas dinner together at Rehobot which consisted of “brood met kaas” en there was also “warme ragout”.

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. 




From Thursday to Saturday I had the best time with my fiends Olivia and Tobias. It was amazing. I even went to a Dutch school! It was so great and I thought the school schedule was awesome. I made many new friends and I love being there. I wish I can do it again. 🌺🌸🌷🎈💕


Nederlandse zomer

Rain is the most quintessential part of the Dutch weather …and today was no exception. The temperature was quite nice with 24 degrees and we had planned to go to Giethoorn. My dad, Mientje ( my dad’s friend ) and myself went on a boat tour. Luckily the boat had a cover and we toured the tiny canals for a few hours. In the afternoon the rain stopped and we had coffee outside.


Travel with no luck

Yesterday I left for travel to Europe; normally this is a pretty cheery event. Normally on a Sunday there is no traffic to LAX but this time there had been 4 accidents in total on the freeway. I was on time but it was a big rush. The turbulence on the flight was pretty bad. I’m used to a lot but when the flight attendants start running to their chairs without checking passenger seat belts, you know it is something special. It lasted only 15 minutes or so.
The worst thing however was yet to come. I already was feeling uncomfortable the last few days with a painful feeling under my top left molars. During the flight it got progressively worse and I couldn’t really close my mouth anymore. Luckily the Frankfurt airport has a dentist office so I went there right away. I was very lucky to arrive on regular office hours ( Monday morning at 10am ) so they helped me. Turns out I had a part if my upper jaw infected. They had to cut it open and clean it. Once done I drove to the meeting place for work : Abbaye de la Rammee

It was not a fun drive and tonight I am seeing a Belgian dentist ( French speaking ) to check up on the wound. Not a good way to start practicing French again…