07 October 2012

A Sister, A Cousin and Gay Pride

While Noreen was visiting I scheduled a weekend in Amsterdam.  Then I contacted my little sister from 21 years go and we arranged to meet for coffee.  A couple days before going to Amsterdam I found out my cousin Daniel would be there for a skateboard competition.  So I resolved to find him.  And I did!!  Also, it was Gay Pride weekend in Amsterdam.  In typical Dutch fashion, the parade was on the canal!  I had to check it out.  I only stayed for about 30 min because I wanted to see Daniel compete. 

Me and Risten...after 21 years.  She grew up. I didn't :)
Downtown Showdown
Me and Daniel
Daniel during the competition
Because of all the houseboats it wasn't easy to find a place where you could see unless you stood on a bridge.  It was very crowded and at first the only way I could see was to crouch down and look between people's legs! 
After several tries a nice person took pity on me and let me in front of him.  Then it started pouring rain.

Dutch military pride float
The rain eventually cleared
People living along the canal had the best views from their windows
It poured rain again later in the day as I was headed to meet Noreen for dinner.

Noreen, by the way, did her own thing...visiting the Van Gogh museum, the tulip museum and the museum of bags and purses (I can honestly say I'm not sorry to have missed that last one and I've been to Van Gogh several times already.).

Finding Balance - and a day trip to Brussels

I live in Europe. I work in Europe (and I often work 10-11 hours/day).  By the time I get home, feed and walk dogs, feed myself, pack lunch and gym bags...well, there's not much time left over. I live and work in Europe. That's not the same as being on vacation in Europe.  Some people find it hard to believe that I don't travel every weekend.  I know people who do that and more power to them.  They also don't have dogs.  I don't think it's fair to them for me to leave every weekend/holiday and it's expensive to board them so...

It's sometimes difficult to find the balance between my NEED to rest and relax, my NEED to do regular household things like laundry and grocery shopping and weekly food prep (which takes several hours since I cook all my own food from scratch using real, whole foods...nothing packaged or prepared) and my NEED to go and see and do.

That said, I did take a day-trip to Brussels a few weeks ago.  Brussels is a wonderful city. It's relatively close and easy to reach and there are so many different things to see and do there. I've been there several times and will likely go several more.  So here's a look at what I saw this time.

I'd been wanting to check out the Summer of Photography exhibit for a while. Had I known that it changed every couple weeks I probably would have gone more than once. 
You can't go to Brussels without seeing chocolate everywhere! 
This Dali exhibit was no where near as good as the one I saw in Prague last year!
Grand Palace Square on a rare sunny, warm day.

People watching in the square

And in the subway.

I'm Not a Blogger - Sunday in My City

I have this little blog here so that my family and friends can see what I'm up to here.  I'm not a "blogger."  I don't have ads on the side of my page. I don't schedule blog posts.  I don't know all the lingo of blogging.  I just occasionally post things that I think people who know me might find interesting.  But I saw this "Sundays in My City" on a couple other blogs and thought I'd try it.  I'm not sure how it works or if I'm going to do it right but there goes...

Every other month or so they set up a little carnival downtown.  Yesterday the dogs and I walked around and took some pictures.  The rain that dampened the day earlier had stopped but there still weren't very many people there.

Given the recent invasion of spiders I've been experiencing (finding them in my shoes and clothes) this was not something I needed to add to my nightmares!

Porn fries?

That's a LOT of candy!
If you could win (or, more likely, lose) money here the name might make sense but the prizes were just little stuffed animals and such.

This little guy's eyes lit up when he saw the dogs but when one moved towards him his look turned to one of fear.
"Always a Prize"

So, that's it...Sunday in my city (where I live is in no way a city...here it's called a village...but it's where I live and I love it here!).  If it worked I might try it again. 

Unknown Mami

05 October 2012

Dutch Orange Rubber Boots

This is how we roll here in the NL during the Rainy season (as opposed to the rainy season)!