Thursday, April 28, 2011

Slow and Sweet

The lifestyle in our town is a bit slower than that of our larger neighbor, Den Haag. Our main shopping district, which is a quick walk away, is a mix of the old and new. The shops all sit along a walking path made of cobblestone and brick which you can see below. The shops range from high end clothing stores down to fruit markets and "dollar stores".

Just off this path you will find a windmill (built in 1688 and still milling flour) as well as several biking paths, which sometimes become horse paths.

And if you venture just a few more blocks you will find backyard chicken coops.

Although this post may lead you to believe we live in a small little town out in the countryside somewhere, this is not the case. Our quaint little town is a suburb of the third largest city in The Netherlands and is home to the Prince, Princess and their 3 daughters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jack Daniels is my best friend

After trying a few less than desirable BBQ sauces over here, I came across this very American BBQ sauce at the local grocery store.  It was a great day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter at Keukenhof

If you like flowers, and let's be honest who doesn't like flowers, you will love this post.

We spent the day at Keukenhof, which is the largest flower garden in the world.  They also claim it is the most photographed place in the world (no sources were cited, and I think my Uncle Don might call bull-shit).  Some true facts include:

*  Has won prizes as Europe’s most valued attraction

*  It is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands and has clocked up more than 44 million visitors in the last 60 years

*  It covers an area of 32 hectares 4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties

*  There are 15 kilometers of footpaths

*  It is the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands

*  The bulbs are supplied by 91 Royal Warrant Holders

*  7 million flower bulbs planted by hand

*  More than 2,500 trees in 87 varieties

Keukenhof is only open for two months each spring

Lost amongst the flowers
Somewhere Tiny Tim is smiling...... and playing a mean ukulele

The "Love it, or Leave it" arrangement


A river of flowers
Lily Pads

Van Gogh self portrait
The shortest distance between two points is a sine wave bridge

I think I know what they are growing in this patch

This flower is overly sub-serviant to other flowers

We had to go to the Netherlands to see a Cow
More petting zoo
We found Rik Smits shoe

The walk of fame! (click for larger versions)


Donald Duck

Pink Floyd

Willem van Oranje
Albert Heijn (the Sam Walton of the Netherlands)




Tulip Fields

Close ups

The Ferrari

The Hawkeye
The Armani


Friday, April 22, 2011

You're never far from Cedar Rapids

Waiting for my wife to use the restroom, my daughter and I stood with our luggage in the atrium of the Schiphol Airport after just arriving in the Netherlands.  A man came up to us with an inquisitive look on his face and I figured he would be asking for directions and I would reply with a quick "I'm not from here."

When I travel I typically wear some sort of Hawkeye paraphrenelia and this day was no different.  The man asked if I was from Iowa.  After answering I asked him where he was from and he said Cedar Rapids.  He has been living here for 15 or so years and is still a big Hawk fan.


My company has an expat get together each month and we attended for the first time this week.  We found it kind of nice that one of the guys and his family live about 1 block from us here in the Netherlands.  As we spoke further we realized that we only lived about 2 blocks from each other in Cedar Rapids and had never crossed paths before.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Smallest YMCA

I am wondering what can even be inside this tiny building!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've a feeling were not in Iowa anymore...

This video/audio actually pinpoints the second I knew we weren't in Iowa anymore.

Gnip Gnop

For the first week we took a different route to the store each time as there are plenty of bike paths, walking paths, alleys, and streets.  I don't believe George Dantzig could solve a traveling salesman problem of this magnitude.  On one fantastic journey we found this hidden gem.

While it is a beautiful concept in theory, in practice I don't think it translates well.

The First Supper

With little sleep and little time to shop, we picked up an easy to prepare dish at the store.

Not sure if this is a dig at Americans, but it was very delicious.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week One

So far we are all adjusting well to our new home and our little peanut only took three days to adjust to the time difference! The town we live in is very cute and everything is so convenient. There is a bakery and fruit market around the corner, which is about a two minute walk. The area with all of the shops is about five minutes, with the grocery store just a few more blocks. Once we have a bike it will be even easier to make a quick trip to the store.
The grocery store has been a bit of a challenge, but nothing we can’t handle. To be safe we have mostly stuck with things that we either know the Dutch word for or things that have labels written in English (like “Big American Pizza”).

Week two may bring some new grocery choices!
Packed and ready to go...

"I think I will take the big seat, mom."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We made it

Unfortunately they forgot to set up our internet, so we won't have a lot of updates for the next week or two.