Public Boat Docks in Seeley's Bay

Friday, September 30, 2011

Overnight in Beautiful Voorthuizen

The days are quickly passing by and there are so many events I may miss posting about. One clear day we just finally packed up the car and headed towards Voorthuizen, a small town where there are many, many vacation homes, hotels, and of course camping terrains and it is here just outside of Voorthuizen that Paul and Anneke have chosen to place their caravan.  It is the spot where they long to be at when not having to remain in Almere Haven and not working. 
Before we were to leave Almere, we planned on drving to their grandsons school, Dustiano is barley 2 years old and quite the character and from all he can say and for all that he does he is going to be quite intelligent.  Already his parents and grandparents are teaching him English words and on any given day they can coax him to repeat  some and as his memory is beginning to show itself those words are repeated with a wonderful grin to accompany his accomplishment.  He has a mischievous grin, wouldn't you agree! 
Playing peek with me in the back seat!

After collecting him from school which he attends twice weekly, we left for the caravan, the place where Anneke and Paul enjoy their free time. 
Seeing as Mother Nature has graced us with beautiful summer like weaather it seemed like the best place to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Voorthuizen as I said in the beginning is where their caravan is located, it is also the destination where many people spend their summers. Like most trailer sites this one has permanent trailers which look more like permanent summer homes, alot just rent the lots but others own the homes that are set on them and these are very luxurious.  I didn't take my camera along while on the grand tour of the site and just really didn't feel up to doing it over again with a camera.
Anneke gets no end of pleasure out of spending her time here.  You see that little jut out on the right hand side of the tent there is where I slept for the night.
The building at the right of the kitchen tent is a four-plex washroom - it houses a toilet, a shower, a sink complete with very practical shelving and the unit closest to the trailer is the one Anneke and Paul rent.  The camp grounds are very well cared for and what grass there is which isn't a Lot has been well manicured, and the playground for the children is nicely located and well maintained too.
Unfortunately Paul had to return to work on Saturday morning and we only had he overnight stay, but a great journey home to Almere in a round about way and on that journey home I managed to photograph another windmill!
The forests here are soft and leave lots of room for the sun to filter through.  I took just a few pictures to share with you while we drove back home.
 I have been resting since then and haven't done too much travelling just relaxing under the wonderful sun in the back yard, while Anneke enjoys the little linguist Dustiano with those mischievous eyes. 
Licquorice faced Dustiano with G'ma Anneke!
 I am so looking forward to attending the sonogram to be taken of Paul and Annekes expected 4th grandchild, a granddaughter by the way where as an outsider and not immediate family member I will be privileged to be a participant.
So once again I thank you for stopping by to see just what it is I have been up to this week and wish for you a super sunny day.  I'll be back in awhile.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet Mall

Batavia Stad is the name of Hollands' Fashion Outlet, situated along the  IJselmeerdijk not too far from where it is I am staying in Almere Haven.  This is a new type of Mall for Holland and the names of those high on the current fashion list all have stores in this Outlet mall.  The mall is open for business 365 days each and every year and hopefully business is brisk.  I can say from seeing it myself yesterday, Saturday, it was brisk, but just how many had come to spend some hours visiting the sights or shopping I couldn't say.  I can attest to its distinctness, in that while I come from a country where malls are a regular place for shopping, not all the malls are Fashion Outlets, nor are all as well designed or seemingly as well run as this Mall is.  The brochure states there are over 100 stores which regularly give 30 to 70% discounts on their collections!  The very set up of this mall is fantastic and even a Red Carpet is laid at the front entrance as if giving you the Royal welcome treatment. 
The uniqueness of the storefronts is in and of itself very interesting, and colourful to say the least.  Around each corner the visitor will come across something unique and of interest, like the Whale with a pod of tiny whales in a square with bench seating for those who are waiting for someone inside a shop, or, just needing a rest from walking or shopping. 
The huge whale taking center stage spouts water and the children clambering over it thought this a wonderful feature.  I myself thought it a very interesting feature and thoroughly enjoyed my rest on the bench waiting for my friends.
This is a part of the square where the Whale family pod is located.
The face sculpture on the long "mall" impressed me to no end, actually it captivated my attention and I kept returning to it time and again just to see it once again before my friends pulled the plug on this sightseeing trip.  Try as I may I haven't found much information on this  piece so my picture will have to suffice.
Striking, isn't it? I was impressed to no end and simply could not get enough of just looking at it and watching the people with their children getting pictures taken in as many parts of the face as they could manage.
Days gave flown by where I have been just sitting out in the back yard working on hexagons, or, shopping with Anneke for the days' meals.  I am developing the most gorgeous of sun tans as the weather here has been premium, hot and sunny.  I only wish the day we went to Zandvoort was as nice as these past several days.
More on the past several days in my next post.
THANK you for your patience in the sporadic posting but my vacation is very interesting and busy in the funniest of ways!
Have a very wonderful and exciting day no matter where it is you live.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Wide and Beautiful North Sea at Zandvoort

I realize I have not been posting on a regular basis as I had hoped before beginning this wonderful trip, but in all honesty here I am enjoying each and every day and before I realize it the day is over and I find myself so sleepy I just cannot wait to inspect my bed.  Nonetheless, here the weather is sunny then rain then the sun comes out again and we are off doing something else.  I have been to shopping malls that are no way the same as our so called shopping malls and I am seeing many different items that we simply do not have in Canada.  I am controlling my "just have to haves" until I see what it really is that I must take home with me!  The gadgets for kitchen and bathrooms are simply marvelous but when I see the kitchen and bathrooms at home well, I just cannot find space in my minds eye to take these things back with me cause there simply isn' the space to put them up.  The living here certainly is different and all of the space they have is put to practical use and the gadgets have been invented for this type of space.  
Yesterday I was given the gift of a visit to the North Sea, Zandvoort, where the sand dunes and the wind make contact with the wild and beautiful North Sea.  On a good day I wonder if you see the White Cliffs of Dover?
This fellow was patient but made sure he could s\keep his eye on those fries!
The wind was wild and strong and lots of men were in the water with their huge wind kites at least that is what I thought them to be and with the wind they were certainly enjoying the sport, high jumping over the huge rolling waves.  What a beautiful part of Holland this is and also a place I had never been too. 
The seagulls patiently sat and waited for us to share our lunch with them, and then too there were smaller black birds I admit to never having seen before.  Once again I began clicking away with my camera and when I return to Canada I will have work cut out for me attempting to choose just which pictures to print and keep in my photo album. 
Along the beach you can see hundreds of tiny beach houses placed there like in winter where the fisherman place ice huts, well these are similar in that these are placed there for the duration of the summer.  I saw a lady struggling to get to one of those little houses yesterday and when I say struggling I mean she had a difficult time climbing through the sand piles which were swept into piles by the fierce winds that were blowing. 
The town of Zandvoort itself was busy but I was assured by my friends Paul and Anneke that it would be much more hectic and filled during the summer months when the children were out of school, which stands to reason.  Now that mid September approaches, all of the children and higher school children are now back at school and the older set have the opportunity to have this place more or less to themselves.  I still have problems not being nervous in he car because of those tiny roads which my eyes do not believe are wide enough for two cars to pass, but somehow they do!  Some times I get the bejimminees scared out of me when Paul has to pass a truck or manouvre around a huge truck or piece of equipment working on the street, or in traffic in town to wend his way around and I see another car approaching, then I can feel my toes touching the seat in front as if attempting to put on the brakes!
Again I took lots of pictures and would like to share some with you. I also snapped  few pictures of a working windmill which masts were being turned by the strong winds yesterday, and to which Paul so very kindly drove towards so that I could take these pictures.  Today they are taking me to an open market - there are many open markets here and of course the good ole camera will accompany me.  I will be hoping to see fabrics - but one can never tell what ou will find there.
Thanks for stopping by and I wish you an absolutely perfect day today. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Bit of This and a Little of That

Sunday and here I sit with friends in Almere Haven, very close to Amsterdam, and my best friend has been given a rest from my company for awhile.  She and I have laughed till our sides hurt and the tears of fun have rolled over our cheeks.  Sometimes the laughter bubbles up over the silliest of triggered memories from our youth.
Yesterday we left Westendorp and made our way towards Amsterdam, actually Almere Haven, where I will spend 20 glorious and memorable days with childhood friend Paul and his wife, my dear friend Anneke who is the sister I never had until she married my Aunts oldest son Paul.  Pauls' mother and my mother were childhood friends for 75 years until her passing several years ago.  In my lifetime I have always called my mothers' best friend and her husband my aunt and uncle and her three sons were my cousins and remains this same way today.    
TODAY I am at Paul and Anneke's and am here for the next 20 days of my stay here in Holland until I return to Westendorp and Els.  
Almere Haven is very close to my hometown, Amsterdam and soon I will make the trip into the city and renew my acquaintance with my old stomping grounds.  Much of the old city is changing as a city does when it progresses into each new century with its need to change to accomodate growth and continuance.
I have taken hundreds of pictures and am thinking I might share some with you now. 
Last week Els and I went to stay with her youngest daughter Femke in Wormer, situated in a section of Holland named Permerende where migrating birds love to visit and animals such as sheep and cattle graze in expansive pastures of luscious green grasses, it is also where the famous Zaanse Schans (Zaans Windmills) are located.
We took hundreds of pictures and some I am sharing with you is the countryside and also the tiny little house neatly outfitted with a tiny kitchen and living quarters and a Murphy Bed - I spent two glorious nights in this little house and have given it my own addres which is # 1 Garden Pathway, Wormer, The Netherlands. 
So you can see it, I took pictures to share and sincerely hope you enjoy seeing as much as I enjoyed my actual stay.

The following pictures are of the surrounding area which is so very beautiful with traditional little dutch houses and dutch farms.
This is a Dutch Bed  & Breakfast on the outskirts of the town of Wormer. , and with pears growing along the front of the house, which I could not resist taking a picture of.   Look closely and you can see the pears actually trained to grow on the facade of the house.

One more thing, make certain when and if you are visiting Europe that you double check if the vendors take VISA or MASTERCARD as I can tell you from personal experience most vendors do not accept credit cards and take only cash, of course those in major centers such as Amsterdam they will accept major credit cards but the small town vendor stores do not, so be prepared and beware that you have cash sufficient enough for the length of your stay.

Off to see a soccer game as my dear friend/cousins are dutch football (soccer) fans....
Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share my stay here in Holland with you and remember no matter where in this wonderful world you are take care and enjoy your day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Relaxing In The Kitchen Garden

 Fun is what my vacation is all about just taking it a day at a time and enjoying each and every moment of my stay here in Gelderland, a corner of Holland which bids you relax and be calm.  That is exactly what I am doing this morning and have moved myself from the back garden to the kitchen garden in order to be closer to the laundry room and the clothes lines out of doors.  
Since, according to the weatherman today will be one of the last few sunny days with warm temperatures for awhile, I decided hanging the washing out side would be so very good. No travels away from home today, just puttering around and doing whatever I feel like doing. 
My friend Els is in bed with a terrible head cold.  She's been doctored and told by the head nurse (me) to stay put in her bed and rest, I will be her nurse for the moment and see that she adheres to my orders (really a lot of fun ordering her about as this event doesn't often present itself)!
We were out the other evening for dinner at the local pancake house and the pancakes were as large as a large pizza at home, topped with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes and oh so delicious.  Sadly I didn't take a photograph of the pancake but I did manage a picture of my beautiful friend.
After dinner we decided toforego dessert until later and take a road trip to see a part of Holland neither one of us has ever been too!  MONTFERLAND, a place close to the German border where all of a sudden there are hills in the distance and the land is more rolling than flat.  We discovered some beautiful scenery and I managed to click away with my camera, some shots of course went into the trash bin but some others are good enough to share with you.
A windmill actually sitting on a hillside with the cows in their pasture below it and horses grazing on the other side, beautiful homes and gardens, everything altogether different than the rest of Holland. 
I know these are not horses
I missed getting snap of the grazing horses because of a few cars waiting on the teeny tiny road we happened to be on were waiting for us to give way so that they could continue on to where ever it is they were driving to. 
The gardens in Holland are always so captivating, with dahlias blooming still at this time of the year and some gardens even lend themselves to deer, small goats and even sheep.  Such a difference to our more manicured gardens minus the wildlife or even domesticated goats, rabbits, sheep or chickens and roosters.  I am always intrigued by what you might find in someones garden here and no two are ever alike, always a surprise to behold.

Leaving the pretty town behind I just had to snap a photo of it in the distance and make an effort to catch the sunset with that very old tower in the background.  We have promised ourselves a trip back the next good weather day and do the real tour so that I might capture some of its interesting architecture and beauty.  Today unfortunately will be spent here while Els nurses that terrible head cold she happens to have caught from someone or somehow.
As the sun was setting and we began making our way back home I just had to take one more picture of this wonderful old windmill.  We decided that dessert would be a McDonalds' ice cream cone and Els asked did I want to eat it inside or, did I want to go through the McDrive?  McDrive, I said no, it is a drive through, and she said NO! Here it is called a McDrive!!!   I had to see this name for the drive through for myself and rearrange my thinking, so for my information and as proof that it actually is called "McDrive"  I snapped a picture of the sign and sure enough it says McDrive!  What a difference there is in thinking in another language, always something similar by today's language standards with the help of the internet,  such as a McDonalds drive through, yet I find I have to turn things around in dutch to convey the appropriate meaning.  So much fun and with my old fashioned dutch language skills it is quite the adventure in conversational dutch.
There, can you see it?  McDrive - on that note I think I have waxed on enough for today and hope you enjoyed our day out as well.  Stop by tomorrow and cross your fingers I can tell you my dear friend is feeling more herself and that cold bug is leaving her.
Thanks for stopping by to share my trip with me and remember, no matter what your doing today make it the best ever, life is short so enjoy each and every moment given to you.