14 June 2012

Family Visit Recap

Just the highlights.  There are far too many pictures to post them all.  [Click the pictures to make them bigger.]

Marne, Boy and David enjoy a beer upon arriving in Brussels

Me, Boy and Marne taking the obligatory picture with Mannequin Pis
Mom kissing a carved solid-chocolate head at the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate in Brussels
The whole family in Amsterdam (we're all there, I swear)
Dad with a typical Dutch pannekoeken.  Don't judge the pannekoeken by the look on his face.  It's delicious!
Boy, Marne and David at the World Press photo exhibit at the Oude Kerk (Old Church) in Amsterdam
Dad, Marne and Mom seeing the sights of Amsterdam on a canal boat tour
Mom at the Anne Frank House
Mom in Maastricht, Netherlands
Boy, Marne and Dad in Maastricht
Hear no evil, Speak no evil, See no evil at the Aachen Cathedral in Aachen, Germany
Dad and Mom...I have no idea what they're doing!
Adding character to a fountain in Aachen
Dogs on the bed?!?!  Only when Grandma and Uncle Boy are visiting!!
Saying goodbye to Marne and Boy

Mom and Dad at the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten (see last year's post Memorial Day 2011)

Mom and Dad at the Jesuit caves in Maastricht.  I told them to dress warmly but they didn't listen to me (it's always 50 degrees inside the caves).  Dad is trying to keep Mom warm.
Dad puts Mom in the stockade at the Hoensbroek Castle.  He looks pretty happy about it, too. 
Dad looks at some tree?, vine? sculpture at Floriade 2012 in Venlo, Netherlands.  It's a giant flower expo that happens once every 10 years.
Castle ruins in Valkenburg, Netherlands
Happy 40th Anniversary Mom and Dad (at Pink Pop...a 3-day music festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands)!!
The final performer of the festival.
Bye Mom and Dad

11 June 2012

Electroshock Therapy...From the Mudder's Mouth

Official Tough Mudder video about the final course obstacle.  It's no joke! Live wires bite!!!

07 June 2012

Euro 2012 Starts Tomorrow

Football (soccer for those of you in the US) is kind of a big deal here.  And the European Football Championship is a really big deal.  The tournament finals, featuring 16 nations, start tomorrow.  I love seeing the national pride surrounding these games (it's similar to what happens in a city with a team in the Super Bowl but in this case it's the whole country).  Entire blocks will hang streamers and banners between the houses.  Cars and bikes and people are all decked out in Dutch orange and the red-white-blue of the flag.

I couldn't help getting into the spirit myself.

The dogs weren't given a choice but don't they look super cute?!?!
The Netherlands play their first game (against Denmark) on Saturday. I don't have TV so I can't watch the match but I'm sure I'll know what's happening just from the noise in the streets. Hup Holland Hup!

04 June 2012

A Few More Pics

[Click the pictures to make them bigger.]
The first icy plunge (many more would follow).  They told us we'd be wet within the first mile. They should have said within the first minute!  Some people could wade across. I had to swim.
It really was a lovely day. The sun was shining and the estate where the course was built was very nice.
The Death Waiver specifically said Tough Mudder discourages the use of alcohol after the event yet they hand you a beer when you cross the finish line.
Dave almost lost a shoe.
Liz almost lost a shoe.
Kira cut her leg but after a quick bandage job she was right back out there!
Someone lost the bottom of their shoe.
How we climbed (literally) Everest.  Our guys made a human ladder and some big strong Dutch guys helped pull us up.  It's all about teamwork!

03 June 2012

28 Obstacles

 That's 28 Official obstacles. There were plenty of natural obstacles along the way as well. Here are pictures of the known official obstacles. Sometimes it was difficult to know what was an obstacle and what was just part of the course.  Please forgive the water and mud spots...the camera got just as wet and muddy as we did.  [Click the pictures to make them bigger.]

Kiss of Mud (crawling up hill through the mud under barbed wire)

Arctic Enema (10 tons of ice in there)
Berlin Walls
Hay Bale Pyramid
Hold Your Wood (carrying a log over a muddy path)

Log Jammin
Devil's Beard

Killa Gorilla (this might have been the Quagmire...I don't remember.  Either way it was muddy and wet!).
Spiders Web
Mud Mile
Boa Constrictor (I was small enough to go through on my hands and knees!)
Fire Walker
Tired Yet
Bale Bonds (more hay bales)

Electric Eel (crawling through live electrical wires ...YES, they hurt...while some sadistic dude sprays everyone with a water hose!!)
Berlin Walls #2 (thank goodness for strong guys willing to sit on top and pull us up!)

Ball Shrinker
Greased Lightening
Twinkle Toes (They yell at you if you don't move fast enough. It gets really wobbly around the middle and by then you're cold and tired and your legs are shaking.  I sat down and scooted myself across because I didn't want to take another ice-cold swim.).
Funky Monkey (so much for not taking another swim!)
Walk the Plank (seriously...more swimming?!?!)
Everest (it's a lot more slippery and steep than it looks).  We were so wet and cold after those 3 water obstacles right in a row and standing around waiting to take a go at this was miserable!
Electroshock Therapy (running through live electrical wires).  I picked a good path through because I only remember one light flick (and that's all I remember but I know I didn't get knocked down or out) and then I was crossing the finish line.