Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Week in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Several weeks ago, my daughter Kim, who is a flight attendant for United Airlines, asked me if I would be interested in going with her to Amsterdam, while she worked the trip. Of course I said yes, and thought it may be a good thing to spend Thanksgiving in a different setting, since this was the first year without Kevin. So last Monday we had a 3:30 take off.  I didn’t manage to get a business first seat, but I did get three seats to myself, which was great with me. The flight was almost 10 hrs but honestly it didn’t seem that long. I had a selection of many movies to watch, and I watched five of them. I was lavished with wine and had an okay dinner. When we arrived it was 8am Tuesday morning.  We got to the hotel and had a nice nap.

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Late afternoon, we headed out to walk around a bit, bought ourselves a trolley pass at Central Station

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and rode to the other side of town to a fabulous restaurant that Kim has been to before. They specialize in the filet steak covered in butter sauce and the fries in Amsterdam are terrific..

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When we were done, we hopped back on the trolley and headed back.  We strolled around looking at the sights, which if you don’t know about Amsterdam are VERY interesting.  The streets are lined up with coffee houses, with menus for every kind of marijuana.. It is legal!  And shops that sell every kind of drug paraphernalia. Just walking the streets you get the aroma, drifting through the air. 

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And then there is the Red Light district with girls posing in the windows looking for you know what, clad in underwear or longerie. I could not take pictures of that.  Very interesting!!!  We headed back to the hotel and got a good night sleep.

Wednesday morning, we were up and out. We walked several blocks to the Ann Frank House. We had time for breakfast next door before taking the tour. 

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We chose the tickets with the half hour introduction before heading into the house.  As you can see the front is an office building ,and the annex where they hid, is attached and cannot be seen from the front. This was an amazing tour. For those that aren’t familiar with the story, you really should read The Diary of Ann Frank. It has been many years for me, but it is something that made an impact on me and it was very special to experience this.

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We did some more walking…

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We ended up in the flower market….

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Sure wish it were tulip season… It must be beautiful…

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I wanted to see St Nicholas Catholic Church, so we hopped back on a trolley. Unfortunately the gates where closed, as they were doing work inside. It is a beautiful structure and I have read the inside is as well.

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We were getting thirsty so we went into a pub, where Kim had a beer and I had the best hot chocolate..DSC_0019

Then on to a canal cruise….

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where we passed some different looking structures..

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the architecture is just beautiful…

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looking through here you can see through seven bridges…

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and the bike garage, that has parking for 5000 bicycles…

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even houseboats…

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and decorated buildings…

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As you can see the main mode of transportation is bikes…. You really have to be careful where you walk, as they come from all directions…

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Back at the hotel and after a short rest, we met some of the crew in the bar downstairs..we all made our plans for dinner, all going in different directions..we opted for ribs with another crew member. We took a cab to the restaurant and had the best feast on ribs. Sorry I didn’t get a picture. After dinner we went to a bar/club to listen to some live music…We never thought to look at the time until we got back to the hotel and it was 5am!!!!  Imagine an all niter for me?!

That did us in for the rest of the day. I took a short walk late afternoon as it was getting dark.

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Back at the hotel we had plans to meet a few of Kim’s friends for dinner in the hotel restaurant. They had prepared a turkey dinner in honor of the Americans in house. It was tasty but not exactly like our turkey day dinner at home.  We made this an early night.

We had an early departure Friday morning.  I lucked out and got business first for the 11.5 hr trip home. So comfortable and roomy.  They fed us quite well. Started out with drinks and nuts, followed by 2 appetizers, tenderloin of beef dinner, cheese and crackers, ice cream sundae’s. A bit later  cookie and milk, and before landing a sandwich….Whew, that took up a bit of time, lol…

We arrived home Friday afternoon…..What a great trip and such a beautiful city!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Have I Been Up To

 

It has been eight months since I lost Kevin…If I had been asked before it all happened, how I would go on, I would have said I wouldn’t. You really do go through many different stages, and at first I thought I would never go anywhere or do anything. Then reality sets in..You must go on..I didn’t think I would ever want to go on facebook again or my RV Dreams chatroom. It didn’t take me long to get back into it and now I don’t know what I would do without it..It is my connection to everyone. I don’t feel alone,there is always someone to chat with.

So this is what has kept me busy…

I have had an overnight trip to Dallas with my daughter Kim to see my niece from Ma play in a hockey tournament.

Let’s see..I have been to Florida to visit with old friends…..Myself Patti and Susan

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And RV friends… Anna,myself, Bridget and John

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Boston to see family (and a weekend trip to Maine with sister in laws)

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My son Kevin and family

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Sister in laws in Maine

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A weekend drive  to Lufkin, Tx to visit with more RV friends Donna & Keith at their beautiful home. Good friends Bob and Barb where there also. Forgot to take pictures.

Penny and I met and  had lunch with a new RV chatroom friend traveling through Houston. Trix was driving her new RV from Florida back to Washington. 

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Had a visit (2 weeks) with close RV friends, Mac and Nette. They helped me get settled and drove my RV to Houston to sell. We had time to visit with Penny.

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And also a lunch with Nette, Molly and Donna.DSC_0008

 

Got to meet Debra and Rob at an RV park nearby…along with Penny

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And a drive to Kemah, Tx to visit RVing friends Barb and Roger over a nice lunch. Sorry no pictures…

 

Vacation at Cape Cod and quality time with family

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Bought a new to me car…

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Friends Dee & Jim came through this area to visit. We had a great day out with Penny…IMG_0006 (800x600)

and a drive to Livingston and a meetup with Charlie & Peggy…

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Took a neat Disney cruise with my daughter Kim and her family. We had a great time.

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I am so lucky to have the friends and family that I do. My kids and grandkids are the highlight of my life. Thank you God for giving them all to me.

Kim has a 5 day trip to Amsterdam next week and I am going with her. We will be spending Thanksgiving there. I have never been, and look forward to exploring.

So, as you can see I have kept busy. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard, very hard. In fact, it actually gets harder as time goes on.  I miss Kevin every moment of every day. I talk to him frequently and I feel his presence with me all the time!!