Friday, December 11, 2009


On Tuesday, we took off on a plane to Holland. Our preparations had been haphazard at best. Which, for me, means that there were only two incomplete packing lists and I left most of the actual packing to the two days before departure, instead of getting a head start a week earlier. In any case, we felt a little rushed and kept feeling like we had overlooked something major. (We recently (re)watched Home Alone – so we made sure that we had actually brought Joris.)

When we arrived at SeaTac it was validated once again, that I am usually right. Really, everyone should realize that they’d all be much better off if they would just listen to me. First, my negotiations in favor of bringing the stroller proved to be absolutely worthwhile since we could stash and hang a variety of bags on it while still being able to drag the car seat around and have hands available to whip out passports and boarding passes. Secondly, when we entered the doors under the Northwest Airlines sign, there was no Northwest airlines to be found. I suggested that since it merged with Delta and – hey – Delta was right there! – we probably had to check in there. Jacob went off to track down the phantom NW Airlines desk, but, of course, I was right. And lastly, when we had checked the one bag we were going to check it turned out that, indeed, there is no $20 per bag fee on international flights and we might as well have packed more than the frugal 3 pairs of underwear per person. So there. Ha… I guess.

Anyway, we had a half hour delay but an otherwise uneventful flight. Joris demonstrated his special hero ability of being able to stay awake for much longer than any two year old should legally be able to. Between (Seattle times) 7:00am Tuesday and 2:00am Wednesday he managed to nap for a grand total of 35 minutes. But, was totally cheerful for the waking hours, turning into rather insane giddiness the hour or so before he actually made it down for a nap (it was 11am in Holland then) so it wasn’t as you might imagine it to be. In fact, there was considerable less whining and contrary-ness compared to a normal day at home, so what do you know, maybe I should pack him pack on an intercontinental flight more often…
Oh, and I watched three movies! Finally got to see “Up” which made me seriously ponder my impending old age, “500 days of Summer” which managed to both question and confirm my belief in the meant-to-be and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” of which I sincerely hope that the book more thoroughly explained the holes in the story line.

My dad picked us up at the airport and drove us over to the rental house we are staying at. It is situated in a park outside a small town called Roelofarendsveen and is quite possibly the most quintessential Dutch setting. It’s in the middle of a polder, a pumped dry piece of grassland on which either sheep or cows graze, bordered by about 2 yard wide canals, occasionally lined by a single row of perfectly spaced and lined up trees. Also, there is a windmill. It looks hauntingly beautiful in the misty air; eerie and desolate, yet comfortingly familiar and serene.

We took a 3.5 hour nap and then went to visit Oma, my grandma, in Sassenheim in the afternoon. I was surprised and relieved to see her in as good a shape she is in for her 92 years; with some physical ailments, hard of hearing, yet with most of her wits still in tact. She loved seeing Joris (she had last seen him when he was 3 months old) and Joris warmed up to her pretty quickly as well.

Yesterday, we went to the market and grocery store in Sassenheim and took Oma out for coffee and gebak (pastries – the good kind, with lots of cream!). We’d had a bit of a rough night. Joris had been up from 12:45 – 4:00am and Jacob and I both weren’t able to get back to sleep until after 6:00am.

Random bits:
* Joris “I am so lucky to see so much mud!”
* “I want to go home to our green house”.
* You have to pay one Euro to dispose of your trash bag, yet recycling is free: brilliant!
* I got a cell phone to use here. I’ll put my number on my FaceBook in case you need to get in touch with me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to look so carefully at the sign and others feel your pain.
(pulled from the internet, but the same across the country)