Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On my way to Europe again!

I'm preparing to leave for The Netherlands on Friday, March 26th!  First time in a little over two years.  What will be different?  What will be the same?  The shadow knows! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trip to Brugge

Hey there -
This weekend I went to Brugge, Belgium! It is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been in in my entire life. It's a very old city that managed to not be bombed out during World War II - many of the buildings are 500 or more years old! We arrived Saturday morning and checked into the Hotel Navarro - a beautiful old hotel on a cobblestone street.
Our rooms were on the top floor and they were built into an old building built in the late 1600s, so there was a big old wooden beam going through my room. I kept thinking of how many people must have touched that beam over the last 450 years! And who will be touching it in the future...The window opened upwards and the view of the rooftops was beautiful. There is a picture of my below looking out the window taken by Aubrey in the next room.
We walked and walked and walked because just walking anywhere in the city took us to some new beautiful view. There are lots and lots of chocolate shops since Belgium is famous for chocolate. There are lots of cafes where people sit outside which they were doing a lot because the sun was shining so bright.
Most buildings are made of brick - the primary material used to make houses back in the day. The brick is in all tones from white to pink and red and black. The streets are narrow and are paved with cobblestones. There are lots of horses and carriages which carry tourists around the town.
I shopped and bought some presents - as well as a fun surprise for Daddy and the house. We went back to the hotel and rested, then Aubrey and I went out to eat as Mitesh was tired. We walked around a lot and I took a lovely picture of the sunset over the canal. We ate Flemish Beef Bourginon at a little cafe that was delightful. Then we went back to the hotel.
I put all the pictures below - it's too hard to embed them into the blog. Put any questions in the comments!
I love you and miss you terribly!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marcy Drives a DAF Truck

Hey Sweetie - I got to drive a big truck today at DAF's secret test track - way up in the north of Holland. So much fun and so easy!

I got to drive a BIG tractor trailer - a big truck! And a smaller utility truck and go up and down hills. My friends Aubrey, Mitesh and I took turns driving the trucks and had a great time. Totally lovely fun. In the meantime, I've been working very hard and am looking forward to a weekend in Belgium.
For homework I want you to look up Belgium in the atlas and email me three things you learn about Belgium.
Here are the photos. I love you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Tree Grows in Rotterdam

Dear Penelope,
When you're a little older, we will watch the movie "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and you will understand this reference.

On Sunday, Mitesh and Aubrey dragged me to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a city about an hour from Eindhoven - one of the biggest in The Netherlands. Like Eindhoven, much of it was bombed out during World War II. One of the attractions is the crazy architecture all over the city - buildings unlike any I have ever seen anywhere in the world. The building above integrated a tree painting into bushes growing out of the walls.
I keep talking about Aubrey and Mitesh - here's a picture of them. Aubrey is the redhead and Mutesh is the darker one. Mitesh was born in Zambia, on the continent of Africa to parents originally of Indian descent. When he was a baby, they moved to Texas. He is married to a woman he met through an arranged marriage (ask Daddy to explain) and they have two boys, Eesh and Ayoo. They are both very nice, funny men who are good friends.
When Aubrey leaves Eindhoven, he's going to Rome to meet his wife, Dawn for a vacation in Italy. Lucky.
When we first arrived, we ate lunch at the Cafe Dudok. A very cool tall restaurant near the shopping area. I had pumpkin soup and a salad. Mitesh is a Hindu, which means he's a vegetarian, so he had tomato soup and a cheese panini.
I shopped a little, but we mostly just walked around looking at the buildings, seeing one in the distance then walking closer to get a better look. This was one of my favorite - can you believe people live in these little squares!
There was all kinds of interesting public art around. This giant painting of a baby was on the side of a falafel stand. How beautiful is this?
The shops here seemed to have much of the same stuff we already have in the United States, but I thought you would like this picture. What do you think is in this picture? Tiny corns and tomatoes? Lots of healthy vegetables?
And it's candy made of marzipan - which I thought I hated, but discovered I loved when Marit put it on Bjorn's birthday cake.
It's been gray and cold here - not so different from the Pacific Northwest, so I don't mind it. It didn't rain on us at all while we were in Rotterdam. The worst part of the day was when we came back to Eindhoven to get take-out at a Chinese restaurant and I twisted my ankle on the cobblestones and fell to the ground, scraping my knee AGAIN. Then my food spilled.

The next day I got back to the apartment to find my power out. I had to move apartments.
Luckily, it's been a very good business trip. I have learned a lot from my co-workers and will use it to continue good communication going forward on the Program. Still a lot to do! Here's how it feels some days - like I am sticking my hand into the mouth of a lion!
Now I must go to bed.
I love you I love you I love you

Sunday, October 09, 2011

First day - Amsterdam!

Well, first off, after actually SLEEPING on the plane, I arrived in Amsterdam at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October. 8th. Due to construction at Amsterdam Centraal station, I had to take TWO trains from the airport to get to the center of Amsterdam. On the way, I saw this funky building. They really have interesting architecture in Amsterdam:
The Dutch have a great sense of the interesting in their new buildings - far more whimsical than our stoic buildings in the US.
Then I arrived at the station and had to wait and wait and wait for Aubrey and Mitesh to find me. But I got to look at the inside of one of the oldest train stations in Europe. There was lots of construction, but this gives you an idea of the brickwork.
After I found them, we wandered the streets of the total beauty that is Amsterdam. During World War II, much of The Netherlands was bombed, but somehow much of Amsterdam was spared and there are all kinds of beautiful old buildings up against each other, leaning all directions, where people still live and work and play and eat. So many buildings are tipping and seem like they're about to fall into each other, but they don't. They make it. An apt metaphor for life. If you just keep standing there, you'll survive.
Here are some shots:
One thing I like about the Dutch culture is how everyone is outside all the time, despite the weather. People love to have long meals, eat outdoors and talk and just enjoy life. Everywhere you go there are people sitting outside cafes and restaurants:
Then we had a lovely dinner at a restaurant called Thijs before driving to Eindhoven. For my final picture, I will show you the quintessential Amsterdam with me included:
I love you! I love you! I love you!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Just a Test Ma'am