Okay, this jet lag thing was no problem for me back in 2006. In fact, I never even suffered jet lag on the trip to Holland. On the other hand, it kicked my butt on the way home. But this time, it is kicking me now. I thought I was fine seeing how I slept 7.5 hours straight through the night on Monday night. Last night however, just about did me in. I went to bed at midnight but awoke at 4 a.m., as did my husband. I tried going back to sleep, but was wide awake. So I turned my laptop on and spent some time online and had planned to try and get back to sleep since we had to be up early to meet everyone at 9:30. But by then, Bill had fallen asleep again and was snoring horribly. I tried to go back to sleep, but who could sleep through that racket? I kicked him several times but he didn’t quit. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep but only for about 2 hours before my alarm went off at 8 a.m. Needless to say, I started the day out pretty grumpy. My brother Ed and his wife Joy picked Bill and I up at my cousin Wendy’s house and then we were off to go meet up with our brother Andy and his wife, who are staying at our aunt’s house in a nearby town. Once we were all together, we then headed to the town of Zwolle, where our cousin Shirley lives. We made plans to meet up with her and do some shopping and have lunch together.
My niece Carrie and I at lunch
We did all of that and then headed to the town of Hardewijk where our other cousin Donna lives. I had been to Hardewijk before, three years ago, and loved the little town. It’s near the water and it has a very touristy feel to it with all of the shops and restaurants, but there is just something about it you can’t help but love. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s so old and charming. My cousin Donna’s house is over 300 years old and is smack in the middle of all these shops. In fact, there is a bakery directly across the street from her house, and when I say directly across the street, I mean just a few steps out of her front door and into the bakery! Next door to her on one side is the freezer for this bakery and on the other are the large ovens where they do all the baking. Now imagine waking up to the smell of bread baking every single morning and being able to have the freshest bread whenever you want! And to have everything you need within walking distance. There is every type of store imaginable there, plus a movie theater, ice cream shop, lots of restaurants even an aquarium! It’s an amazing place to live. I did a little shopping there myself, picking up a new, warmer scarf and mittens and some yummy food from one of the other bakeries.
Yes, I was walking around in that 30 degree weather but let me tell you, it doesn’t seem cold to me at all. Let’s just say I am very thankful for the Columbia snow boots I bought that are rated for -32 degrees, the long underwear I bought to wear under my jeans to keep the wind from going through them, and the great down/feather ski jacket I bought online from Burlington Coat Factory! I can’t even feel the cold through these things!
After our shopping and visiting with Donna and her family, we all headed to a restaurant to meet up with about 20 other members of the family for dinner. This restaurant is a “Pannekoek” restaurant, which literally translates to “pancake.” But these pancakes are not like IHOP pancakes or the pancakes you normally would find in the U.S. They are more like a very heavy crepe and you can order it with different toppings, like cheese, ham, or whatever other meat you might want, or you can have it like a dessert pancake, with fruit topping or chocolate. They set up this pancake buffet for us that was quite tasty. We were stuffed beyond belief after leaving there. I had to roll myself out to the car!
Tomorrow we have our morning free to pack up our stuff for a 4 day, 3 night stay in a part of Holland called Friesland (also called “the middle of nowhere” by my cousins) where we will have about 35 of our family members staying to spend Christmas. The place my cousins have rented is this huge place that is used for corporate retreats and private parties. It has a lot of rooms, a huge kitchen/dining area, a bar that apparently has beer on tap at our disposal (I can only imagine what that’s going to be like!) and even a sauna! If you want to see what it’s like, here is the website. It’s in Dutch, so you’ll only be able to see the pictures to get an idea of what it’s like! http://www.schaopedobbe.nl/
Anyway, that is the latest update and when I get these photos downloaded and resized, I will send them along. Until then, goodbye!