Friday, March 23, 2007

Our Europe Trip - Part VII

Another day, another post. The last few days have been a bit more relaxed. Here's a recap of them:

Wed 21-Mar-2007: We did the tour of me. We went to some of the places where I grew-up in and around Helmond. The hospital where I was born, the places where I lived, the places where I went to school, but also the places where mom and dad got married (he, that's part of my history as well ;-) ).

We also trekked-up to Son and Breugel where I lived for 5 years and a city that has an IKEA-store. Since Jen is an IKEA-newbie (never been to an IKEA before...) I had to show her one. Back in the States the closest one is in Pittsburgh, PA so this was a nice opportunity. We loved the storage-solutions they have and we will incorporate a few of them into our new house. Well, it should be my house until the wedding, but everybody knows that such a distinction is a technical one only... ;-)

We had to be home by 7pm since my parents had arranged a wonderful dinner at a Chinese and Japanese restaurant. Having been to China Jen actually found a few inconsistencies with the decor (e.g. the lions weren't positioned correctly), but besides that the food was AMAZING and the ice-cream was a sight to behold since it was served steaming... I think they used frozen nitrogen or some icy substance that steams. Whoever knows it, please let me know the science behind it and I'll adapt the story.

Thu 22-Mar-2007: Today we decided to do some touristy things. Plan was to go see some windmills, the 'Keukenhof' and the beach. We were able to do all three by checking out the windmill inside the 'Keukenhof'.

From Wikipedia: The Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is the world's largest flower garden. Keukenhof is open from the last week of March to mid-May. The flower garden was the idea in 1949 by the then-mayor of Lisse, a small town south of Amsterdam. The idea was to have a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrids. Keukenhof has been the world's largest flower garden that runs throughout spring for over fifty years.

We took a stroll through the park and took many a picture of beautiful flowers and just as important some cute pictures of Jen and I. We laid behind flowers, put her ring inside some flowers (amazing pictures!) and we took some funny shots in the playground. Hey, we still know where to find the kid inside when we see a cool playground... ;-) Looking forward to seeing those pictures since dad has most of them on his camera.

We had made plans to go out to dinner with my sister Ingrid and her boyfriend Bart at 7pm close to Helmond so we left the Keukenhof at 4pm and quickly checked-out the beach before we headed south again. Well, it wasn't enough. The 160 somewhat kilometers (about 100 miles) took us about 3,5 hours thanks to the Dutch traffic jams.

We did finally make it and had some amazing pancakes the size of a large Domino pizza. With all the toppings you'd think of and then some... Very good. Thanks Ingrid and Bart, it was delicious.

For Friday we have nothing planned except dinner with one of my groomsmen, Pascal Bloemers. So a nice and relaxing day we hope to use to get a CD together of all the pictures so far and maybe we can even upload a few of them ;-)

De groeten uit Nederland!

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