Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vacation...Day 6

Yesterday was a lot of fun. We slept in a bit and then drove to Voorburg to meet up with Myrna. She then took us to Den Haag (the political seat of Holland) to see the Queen's working palace, the working area for the government (the Benninhof and building where the Queen gives her speeches and the government officials are installed) and then to Delft to explore this OLD town that the founder of Holland once lived in. This included the church that the Dutch artist Vermeer is buried in. It was amazing to see and touch these old buildings that predate any thought of our own country.

We had pannenkoeken and the great puffed treats (poffertjes) with ice cream, whipped cream, powdered sugar and strawberries at a nice cafe in the square of Delft. I had BACON pancakes and Christie had mushroom and chesse pancakes. Yep, the bacon, mushrooms and cheese are baked right in!

After touring Delft Christie and I drove to Scheveningen (the beach) for a late dinner and just to enjoy the beach breezes. We needed a fix of American junk food so we stopped in at the local McDonald's for a burger and fries. The seagulls apparently like McDonald's too. We had a great laugh watching the gulls attack the boxes and cups of leftover McDonald's. A guy behind us in line was doing his best southern accent when deciding what to order. We also learned that it seems like all McDonald's employees, worldwide, must be trained at the McDonald's in Clarksville, VA because they were just as slow and confused by our orders. I wanted a cheeseburger with just ketchup and chesse, and nearly got one without meat...because all I wanted was cheese and ketchup!

We have now successfully navigated the roads 3 times without getting lost!

Today through Thursday we will probably stay close to home just to read and relax before heading off to Germany for a few days on Friday!

Everyone please pray for Athan Mae as she is sick with a fever and vomitting. The doctor's think it may be a bladder infection, which is not unusual at the end of the month, and have strenghtened her antibiotic. Pray for us as we decide what steps to take when we get home to fully remedy the problems she is having. Also pray for our opportunities to proclaim Christ with Christie's family the rest of the time we are here!

We love you all!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vacation...Day 4

Yesterday was spent in celebration...from about noon until 1 AM. The ceremony was in the old part of Rotterdam next door to the Pilgrim Church. This church is where the families who crossed on the Mayflower started their journey. It was a great piece of history to see. I always wanted to see Rotterdam and was not disappointed yesterday. It is a beautiful city! We then went back to the farm we are staying at for a barbecue and dancing (with a great live band) until we couldn't move! A beautiful moment of the night was when we released 60 balloons with sparklers tied to them. They also have a card to send back to Jeroen and Hilda if you find the balloon and the card somewhere around the world. We had a blast...trying to take it easy today...

Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacation...Day 3

Day 2 was pretty much a lot of reading, relaxing and eating...so on to day 3!

Christie and I decided to take a drive through the countryside to see what we could see. We drove off in an awesome car

...no, not the 1968 Mercedes...but in the 1978 VW Golf...

We ended up in Gouda (a day too late for the cheese market, but we may try to catch that next Thursday). and made our way to the city center. As we started walking we looked at each other and said "it's so quiet". Not because there were no people, but because there were no cars! It was wonderful (so many bikes). We saw the elegant Gothic Stahuis from 1450 in the middle of the city (and two weddings going on). We made our way to St. John the Baptist's Church and toured through this church where Erasmus was ordained.

We decided we wanted some junk food, especially dutch french fries (and the frietsaus that comes with it) and saw "Best burger" right there in the city. Ironically it was the worst burger I had ever had, but the fries were great.

We drove more on the dijks through the countryside before heading to Rotterdam that evening for shopping and Pizza. Here are a few sights along the way!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacation...Day One

Well, the first day was an interesting one (I promise I won't be sending blogs every day of our vacation...just from time to time...but I have to tell you about the first day!)

Our flights were good. They were smooth and quick. Christie and I both slept for a couple of hours on the flight from Detroit to Amsterdam. (the picture of the plane's shadow is our landing in Amsterdam)

We arrived in Amsterdam at 9:00 AM local time (3:00 AM Eastern Time) but God graciously gave us the energy to make it through all of Wednesday...We then drove an hour and a half to Krimpen, the town we are staying in (see picture of the front of the house...we'll show you more of the house and grounds later). We enjoyed a morning of relaxing and visiting with Gerard and Hilda (his son's fiance) as they prepared for the wedding this weekend.

During the afternoon we decided to freshen up and get ready for a nice dinner that evening. As Christie was drying her hair, our converter blew a fuse and (possibly) destroyed the hairdryer. The converter doesn't work either anymore. Christie stood up to get something from across the room and as she came back she stepped on her glasses and cracked them right in the middle. It was still early enough in the day that Hilda took us to a local eye doctor to try and fix them, but Christie just ended up getting re-fitted for contacts. She's been looking for an excuse to go back to contacts, and here it was! The doctor was quick and they had exactly what she needed (praise God!)

Lunch was a good hard bread, cheese (the cheese's are stronger here...and better!) and salami with Water (without bubbles...or "gas" as some people say...for me).

We spent the afternoon outside (the weather is beautiful) helping here and there with odds and ends and then sat down for appetizers before going to the Windmill Restaurant down the street for supper. We both had Beef Carpaccio (topped with bacon, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and more) Christie had fish and chips (in a gourmet way) and I had a steak with Gorgonzola cheese "spaghetti" and fried blue potato chips on top with a side of beans on some sort of spinach tart. Not to mention God presented us with our first opportunity to share the Truth of Christ with Sandra (Gerard's girlfriend). God is faithful...pray that we too will be faithful and for Gerard's family and their response to the Gospel!

Back to the house and lots and LOTS of sleep last night. Ready for today...we'll see what happens!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009