Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Walibi Holland

Today I went to Walibi Holland with Kris and Justyna.  It was a better park than I thought it was going to be.  It was a bit small, but the rides were good and there was not too many people there at all!  The weather was perfect, sun all day and warm.  The only bad thing was the park closed at 5 PM!  WTF?  This is pretty much a normal closing time for them.  I just could not believe that.  It would have been a little bit nicer to take our time and have a nice leisurely day, but I was not about to slow down what I paid almost €30 to get in.  So we got to ride most of the roller coaters at least twice and road some of the other rides as well.  The food was disappointing.  I don't think any amusement park will ever have as good of food as Kennywood.  Eating is 1/2 the fun there...

All in all, it was a good day and I'm glad we got the chance to go this year.

At Walibi Holland

Monday, April 25, 2011

The First and Second Day of Easter

Yesterday  had Easter at my house.  It ended up being a BBQ since the weather has been so nice here.  There were seven people here including myself.  We had a lot of food and some good conversation.  I made key lime pie and potato casserole with some make shift ingredients and also some from an expats grocery store.  As I was sitting there with my friends eating and having a good time, I can't help but think how far I've came from last Easter when I had dinner by myself at McDonald's!

Today was yet again another great day.  Started out at the gym with Kris, had a quick lunch, and hopped the train to the beach.  Today was my first day at the beach for the year, and it felt great!

Tomorrow is Walibi Holland!

Everyone is coming to the Beach.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flowers in Holland

Today I went with Alena and Sammy to bike through all the tulips.  It is really not all that far from Haarlem in Hillegom.  We went by bike of course.  It was really amazing to see, there were just flowers everywhere and then you went a little bit further and saw even more.  Flowers in all colors and the smell was also really nice.

Here is just a sample of the range of flowers that there were, of course there is a windmill in the background!  After we got tired of biking through the flowers, we stopped and had some beers and then continued on.  Later we came across this little village called De Zilk.  They were having a street festival so we stopped had some beer with cotton candy and listened to some people sing.  After that back on the bikes and we made it back into Haarlem just in time for... more flowers!  It was the end of the flower parade and I was able to get a few pictures of some of the floats.

Here is one of the floats that we saw.  After this, we went to the Botermarkt to drink some more beer, but it was too crowded so we decided to go to StadStrand de Oerkap.  I see this all the time on the train and always wanted to go last summer.  It is a little makeshift beach along the river in Haarlem where you can sit in the sand, drink beer, watch the water and the trains, and just relax.  I think this might be a great place to go after work in the summer.  I will have to organize something later.

I ended up taking a lot of pictures so if you want to check them out, I created an album on Picasa.  Check them out here:

Flowers in Holland

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Camera

My new camera came today and I went out to take some picture.  I found out that a lot of the stores in the new Raaks development are open so I checked that out.  There are some nice places and some good looking restaurants I would like to try there.  Here is a picture:

Also, here is some coffee I had at Douwe Egberts today:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm 27!

So somehow I turned 27 today!  Does that officially put me in my late 20s or does that start at 28?  Hmmm, I think 28, right?  Seriously though, I don't mind turning 27, I'm happy with life and healthy so that's all that should matter, right?

Last night I went out with some friends to a few bars in Haarlem and had a pretty good time.  Today was a beautiful day and I spent a good amount of it outside.  I got some reading done on my Kindle and washed my car for the first time since I bought it in October.  I also went to the gym.  I am pretty psyched because I have a workout partner again for the first time since Shawn and I used to workout together at Trees.  Kris joined clubsportive for 50 days as a trail and so far he has been really good about coming almost every day with me.  It is nice to have someone to go with again and to put myself more that I usually do.  Hope he ends up staying past those 50 days.

Today I also made my favorite cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with chopped peanuts and cinnamon.  In Holland you have to bring in food for people on your birthday, not the other way around.  So I am not bringing cake like most people end up bringing, I am bringing in real chocolate chip cookies to show these Dutch people what a real cookie is all about. :-)  I am looking forward to seeing what they have to say.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Figured, why not grow some tulips this year like everyone else around here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Skyping with Nate

Yesterday, my little cousin Nate downloaded Skype and I got to talk to him and my aunt and uncle.  It was the first time I've "seen" them in over a year.  It was cool and I was really glad they decided to download it finally.

Nate is an avid reader of my blog and he requested that one of my posts be dedicated to him, so Nate, this one is for you.

While I was talking to them I got to hear a song that Nate came up with all on his own and that he played for me on his keyboard.  I was pretty impressed.  He was also very interested in where I live and work now.  I even taught him two Dutch words, hoi (hi) and doei (bye.)

Well Nate, now you've been on my blog and because of that, you are now pretty famous. ;-)

One Year

Since Thursday, I have officially been in Holland for one year!  It's strange because I think, "wow, I can't believe I've been here for that long!"  But at the same time, I feel like it could have been longer.  For the most part, I still really love living here.  Work is interesting, life is fun, and I'm pretty happy for the most part.  Over this past year, I've made more friends than I would have ever expected and I am very thankful for that, they are the ones that really make being here awesome. The only thing that I still can't get over is that I can't speak Dutch yet, but I am still working on it each day and hopefully sooner than later it will come.

I was going to make this a long post and kind of reflect on everything from the past year, but now that I'm looking at what I wrote, this kinda sums it up nicely.  That and it is 1:42!  :-)  Good night and thank you Holland.