Travelogues: London

November 2019

Tom and I traveled to London by airplane, which was about a 45 minute plane ride from Amsterdam.  It still amazes me that Amsterdam is so centrally located to all of the places that we have visited or will visit.  We arrived Friday evening and had an idea of things that we wanted to do.  The only planned event was the Texans football game, which was the whole reason we went to London.

We stayed at an Airbnb that was in a quaint neighborhood.  One of the first things that I noticed was an orange on top of the refrigerator.  (The orange fruit was fake.)  According to Orange Magical Properties, “Oranges carry an uplifting and energizing energy, and can generate happiness and joy. They are linked to success and prosperity.”  I thought that it was a nice gesture.

On Saturday, the weather was rainy and cold.  We saw the London Eye from land and from River Thames.

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Also, we saw Big Ben, which is being worked on.

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I also had a fun time going in and out of various phone booths.  Some are very dirty, so I avoided those ones!

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Below are pictures of the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge  The photo below shows the Tower Bridge during the day and at night with bright lights.  The Tower Bridge is often thought to be the London Bridge in movies.  The London Bridge is actually the bridge on the bottom right hand side of this photo.

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On Sunday, we went to the Texans vs the Jaguars football game at Wembley Stadium.  We were glad that the Texans won!  We enjoyed a few pieces of candy from the candy bar…  

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On Monday, Tom and I had high tea at Fortnum and Mason.  This by far, was my favorite part of the trip!

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We also went to the British Museum, Buckingham Palace and rode on the Double Decker Bus and the Underground.  Cell phone service is not available on the Underground and when you exit the Underground, you hear “Mind the Gap.” on repeat…  

I really enjoyed London, but had to go back to Amsterdam earlier than expected because Macy was sick.  Tom and I definitely will be visiting London again! 

 

Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 11: Winter Fun!

December 18, 2019

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that you all are doing well and that the holiday season is not causing too much stress!

Tom and I enjoyed eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal together, although we did miss seeing our families and I missed eating Tom’s friend turkey.  The food was delicious at  Seasons and the chef offered gluten free options.

Continue reading “Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 11: Winter Fun!”

Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 10: Who is Sinterklaas?

December 4, 2019

Dear Friends and Family, 

I hope that everyone is doing well!  I have not written in a VERY long time and really miss sharing my adventures and everyday life in Amsterdam. 

The holiday season is upon us and the city is filled with beautiful lights all around!  The weather is chilly, but there is magic in the air!  The ice rinks are open and the European Christmas Markets are bustling.  Sinterklaas (the Netherland’s version of Santa Clause) has made his appearance!

Continue reading “Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 10: Who is Sinterklaas?”

American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA): A New Member’s Perspective

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I had been living in Amsterdam as an expat for about two months when my husband and I were talking about meeting new people and being more social.  As my husband was searching the internet, he came across the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA).  He highly encouraged me to join the club.  I read about AWCA and how active they were.  I agreed with my husband about joining AWCA and completed the application.

My husband was out of town for almost two weeks and I guess you could say it was a true experience of what living abroad is like without your spouse, family, and friends nearby.  Several times while living in Texas, my husband was out of town on business, but I was in my “comfort zone” and was busy working.  While my husband was out of town, instead of sitting at home alone with the dogs, I actually did the opposite and found myself becoming more social and meeting new people.  I consider myself an introvert, so for me to talk to people I do not know can be very overwhelming for me.

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The first event that I attended for AWCA was Coffee Chat.  We met mid-morning to socialize and drink coffee.  Coffee Chat was very informal and we sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and talked about how long we had been in Amsterdam, etc.  As the introductions continued, more and more women continued to arrive.  The group of ladies were very welcoming and came from all over the United States (U.S.).  A few ladies were not from the U.S., but had U.S. connections.  I met a few ladies that lived in De Pijp, which is where I live, and we walked home together.

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The second event I attended was a “Pop-Up” Lunch in De Pijp.  I was glad it was in De Pijp because I could walk to the restaurant and not worry about getting lost.  (My sense of direction is not the best. 😬) We enjoyed lunch and each other’s company.  There were about 10 of us that attended.  I recognized some familiar faces and was also introduced to other members.

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The third event I attended was an excursion to a vineyard called No Chateau Amsterdam.  No Chateau Amsterdam is a cooperative vineyard located in an area where several sustainable companies are based.  I would say “the event” for me was riding my bicycle to the vineyard!  I met two AWCA members and we started our bicycle ride to Central Station where the ferry is located.  The bike ride was enjoyable and I was following the other AWCA members just fine until two people rode their bikes in front of me, which put me right next to the sidewalk.  I lost my momentum, but started pedaling again.  As I continued to pedal, I no longer saw the AWCA members that I was “following”.  I called one of them and told her that I had no idea where she was.  I don’t know how, but she found me!  I was one street over from where I should have been.  We made it to Central Station to ride the ferry and met up with other AWCA members.  When we got off of the ferry, we had more bicycling to do.  It was much easier riding since there were not many bike riders or people around.

We made it to our destination!

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The Amsterdam city vineyard No Chateau is a non-profit foundation and was established to bring people together in a green and inspiring environment.  No Chateau also has found like-minded sustainable urban farmers, in a green, quiet, and clean environment.

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Our vinologist for the day was El.  El is a wine expert and organizes wine tastings and guided tours.  El gave us a tour of the vineyards and taught us about the wine-making process in Holland.

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The wine tasting took place at Proost & Stroop (Cheers & Syrup).

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El taught us to use our senses of sight, smell, and taste in the wine workshop called “Tasting with all your Senses”.  We sampled three white wines and three red wines.  It was the first time that I ever tasted Dutch wine.  The wine we sampled is not sold in stores. It is always interesting to hear what adjectives others use to describe the wines they are tasting.  We also sampled two different types of cheese with our wine.  A delicious surprise at the end of the wine tasting was homemade tiramisu!

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The bike ride home from the vineyard was much more enjoyable!

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Our first General Meeting was held in September.  New members wore a red, white, and blue ribbon on their name tag, so it was nice for me to know who was a new member and who was not.  Either way, I talked to several members before the meeting started.  The meeting consisted of introductions and reviewing the calendar of events.  There are PLENTY of events to attend!  😀

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One of the AWCA members joked and said that the bicycle ride to the vineyard was my INITIATION into the group and I COULD NOT AGREE MORE – HA, HA!

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Meet the Blogger:

“FOLLOW” Jen’s blog called www.anchoredinhope.blog as she writes about more excursions and adventures with AWCA.

Post-Surgery Recommended Items: Quick List-After Breast Cancer Surgery

Post-Surgery Recommended Items List

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Travelogues – Neuschwanstein Castle

October 29, 2019

Saturday, September 28th

Today was a very long, but magical day.  Tom and I met our friends bright and early and started our journey to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.  Our first mode of transportation was by train.  The train ride took two hours to Fussen.  When we reached Fussen, our second mode of transportation was a bus.  We rode the bus for 20 minutes to Bavaria.  We arrived in Bavaria and stood in line to receive our tickets for the 12:05 tour.  I recommend arriving in Bavaria early and booking your tickets in advance like we did because the tours do sell out.  Our last mode of transportation was horse and carriage.  We had the option of walking up the large hill to the Neuschwanstein Castle, but we opted to ride the horse and carriage for something different.

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