Haarlem

Molen De Eenhoorn

Molen De Eenhoorn – Haarlem

We…and when I say “we” I mean “I” went and picked up the rental car today. ¬†Fortunately, I got a ride to the airport with my cousin Ferlin on his way to work (after he made us breakfast). ūüôā

We decided to go to Haarlem to go see the place where I was born…Uyt Den Bosch (Out of the Forest) for a quick trip before our dinner plans later in the day. It was kind of weird walking around for me. The place is now an advertising agency building…a far change from the 17th century inn it used to be. It was converted into a maternity hospital in 1957, then a school for nurses in 1984. There are a few shots below.

Next, I decided it was time for Pamela to see a true Dutch windmill , so I took her to the “Molen De Eenhoorn” in Haarlem just cause it was close. It is a smaller one, but she need not worry; she will definitely see a few more. It was a nice little stroll along the canal to get to it and the scenery way fantastic with the old homes and boats sailing up and down. There are some amazing homes in the Haarlem area.

We also stopped for a quick snack and drink in this quaint little part of town. Of course with all the shops there, Pamela jumped out of the car and did some shopping first. Bitterballen and beer were on the menu at “Bij Bomans Eten & Drinken” and were damn good. Time to head back to Aalsmeer to get ready for the BBQ.

We were invited to my cousin Evelien & Roberts for a BBQ. We got to visit some more with them, Farah & Frens, Uncle Cor & Aunt Sicilia, Marlon, Ferlin, and all the kids. We had a great time and Pamela loved finally getting to know some of my family here. (FYI – I’m getting the spelling of some of the names from Ferlin now, so if they are wrong, blame him…haha). Tomorrow we are off to Hedel.

Uyt Den Bosch

Uyt Den Bosch

Uyt Den Bosch

Uyt Den Bosch

Pamela

Pamela in Haarlem

Evelien

Evelien, Robert, and family.

 

 

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History and Heineken

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Today’s main feature was the Anne Frank House. (Unfortunately there is absolutely no photography, so we cannot show you more.) This is a must see if you ever go to Amsterdam, but expect to wait in line. ¬†After our 2 hours, we finally got in. So worth it. We took the time to watch the movie as a refresher before coming which was a good idea. Once seeing the story and then seeing the actual place and writings the emotions you can feel are amazing. I cannot say enough about this place. And remember…this is the history of only one person…of millions¬†of people.

Just a quick note on the Anne Frank House compared to my dads home. His place is literally right across the canal from where the Frank family was in hiding. I personally find that amazing.

Once we were done with the¬†Anne Frank¬†tour we were starving so we¬†got hot panini’s and coffee to get a kick start. Off to the next attraction on our (more my) list…the Heineken Brewery!

On the way there, we stopped in one of the many churches to take few pictures….De Krijtberg Church.

Once we made it over the to brewery, Pamela decided she did not to go through and ended up waiting a cafe on the corner. Jokingly I said “See you in an hour!” ¬†Well…after and hour-and-a-half, made my way out finding her waiting outside of the doors. I was doing pretty good¬†after the beers and earning my “Heineken Draught Certificate”, and Pamela was also fine after her snack and glasses of wine while waiting. By now we were both wiped. We decided to cut the day short and catch the bus back to Aalsmeer, have a cup of tea, and relax for the evening.

De Krijtberg Church

De Krijtberg Church

Heineken Brewery

Heineken Brewery

Heineken Brewery

Heineken Brewery

 

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Beer, wine, and culture.

Dads House

Dad’s

So after a great much needed 12 hour sleep session we got a late start to the third day. I think we are all caught up on the time change now….feeling rested. We began our day as many of the locals…catching the bus to downtown Amsterdam. We had a plan to spend the day people watching and checking out the pubs and sampling a few spirits and some food. Our first stop was Heineken Hoek for a beer for Ray and an espresso for me. We also had a snack of french fries and maynonnaise. We sat outside on the sidewalk and watched the people pass by. All kinds of people. it’s amazing with all the people there and all the traffic with bikes, scooters, cars, buses there is a an amazing flow that goes on with everyone. No accidents and no honking. Just a tinkle of a bicycle bell to let you know they are coming.

Next we found our way to Ray’s fathers old house that he used to live in about 65 years ago. It is just down the street from the Anne Frank House……really a walk of about 4 minutes or less. You can see her house from his front door. We took a lot of pictures as it was really in a beautiful spot. Another very famous landmark is the Westerkerk Church where the queen was married. The Dutch queen….:) We weren’t allowed inside to see because of a wedding taking place at that time. The Anne Frank House was also very busy. There was about a 2 hour wait outside to get in. We are going back tomorrow to look at that. All that made us very thirsty again so we went across the street to de Oude Wester restaurant and had a cheese sandwich and another beer for Ray and a wine for me. Rays dad always talks about the cheese sandwiches.

Then we headed for the center of it all…..on to Dam Square. About a 20 minute walk through the wonderful cobble stone streets, shops and canals. It was a bustling center for sure. So many people and so many pigeons. We had been looking on the internet at the central via web cam and kept seeing the Euro Pub, so that was a spot we wanted to go. Sooo we headed for the pub… ūüôā …another beer for Ray and another wine for me. Heading back to where we got off the bus was a bit of a walk so we headed out….not before we stopped to take additional pictures of Sofie for Haydens album.

Walking the streets can be a bit dangerous. Keeping an eye on the bicycles, scooters, buses and cars requires some skill. Knowing which lane is for walking can sometimes be tricky. I guess it made Ray hungry because before I knew it he had ducked into a coffee shop for a piece of Dutch Apple Pie. It was called the Luna Cafe and it had free Wi fi which is what Ray was looking for. We continued walking and found ourselves in the red light district. Wrong direction completely. Another stop at the Cafe Heuvel. Beer for Ray and another wine for me. This time we had a tappa for a snack. Meatball and peanut sauce. YUM!! Very cool little spot.

We finally found our way back to the original first stop of the day so we were happy as we knew the bus home wasn’t far away. Our last stop was at the Sports Cafe for dinner. It was 8pm by now and we were actually hungry. Can you believe it?? This time it was water for both of us. We did have a very nice waitress names Nella. She was from Africa and from the moment I saw here I thought she was a model….so I asked. Yes, a runway model working in the restaurant part time. Time to catch the bus back to Rays cousins place. Its a 40 minute bus ride.

What a great day. The beer and wine was good too!

Canal

Canal

Tiny Car

The Tiny Car

Cheese

Cheese Please!!

Koninklijk Palace

Koninklijk Palace

Ugly Duck

Ugly Duckling

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A quick Amsterdam trip….7 hours later.

I amsterdam

I AMsterdam

After Pamela fried my power converter with her flat iron, we decided to do a quick run to Amsterdam to Media Market to pick up a new one. (Technically it was my fault for not reading the wattage). Low and behold, it’s right beside Amsterdam ArenA, home of AFC Ajax. SWEET, time for me¬†to do some shopping!

Once I¬†had my¬†fun (an hour later), we actually got the power adapters needed plus a new battery for the camera Pamela left in Vancouver. Time for a snack; Febo kroket…mmmmmm. From this point on it was Pamelas time to shop. The “mall” we went to a basically dedicated to furniture; very expensive furniture. The cool part of this trip is we actually met a father & daughter for Kamloops! She now lives in Holland and her dad has since moved to Victoria.

Next…AMSTERDAM! This is Pamelas first encounter with the great city. We first off went for dinner at Roopram Roti Restaurant. I think it was a little spicier than Pamela thought it would be. Next we had a quick little tour of one of the main streets in the centre, had a coffee, and got to experience Ferlins interesting parking technique. We will be going back there tomorrow.

We finally got to meet up with Uncle Cor & Aunt Sicilia. We went right to their home, which is in a gorgeous little spot with a canal in the back with duck and all. We ended up looking through old photos of when they were in Canada in 1982 and pictures of their home in Suriname. It was great to see them again and look forward to our next visit on Wednesday at the BBQ.

I think that was the longest possible route for a power converter; but it only took 7 hours.

 

Tomorrow will just be Pamela, myself, and Amsterdam.

Amsterdam ArenA

Amsterdam ArenA

 

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Jet Lagged

Ferlins' home.

Ferlins’ home.

We arrived yesterday…tired as can be. My cousin Ferlin picked us up at the airport in the “Ferlin FixIt” mobile and brought us back to his place where we will be staying for the next 5 days. We got to visit a few more of my cousins, Farah & Evelien with¬†their daughters, over a few cups of coffee and peanut butter cheese¬†poofs. A definite nap was required though.

Later, another cousin Marlon stopped by and we along with him & Giovanni went for a stroll down to the local market and picked up the essentials….wine and beer. Being jet lagged, we manage to stay awake until around 9 pm then called it a night. Oh….the Netherlands beat Brazil to take 3rd place in the World Cup. ūüôā

Street

Ferlins’ Street

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On our way!!

Just a few short hours until our flight…sitting at YVR…..waiting. First flub of the trip: Pamela plugged in her camera battery in at the hotel to charge it up. Guess where it is still. Well at least it wasn’t her passport. ¬†I have sent her off to get me a sandwich or something (and a¬†little something for herself too). I know that sounds¬†chauvinistic but hey….I’m hungry. ūüėČ

Next post will be from the other side of the pond.

 

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2 WEEKS!!!

In 2 weeks, at this time, we will be on a plane headed to Amsterdam, Netherlands. It’s been 20+ years since Ramon has been “home”, and Pamela; well she has been waiting 50 years for this trip. ūüėČ

So starting July 11, 2014, keep checking back here to see what we are up to.

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