Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sat. June 28 ~ Traveling Home

Today was a plane day.  We left Hotel Mosaic at 5am by taxi for an 8am flight out of Schipol.  It was a seven and half hour flight to Toronto.  We watched three movies- fun!  We arrived in Toronto at 10am and then dashed off to catch our flight to Chicago.  Our 12:30 left Toronto on time and an hour and a half later we arrived in Chicago.  Then we had a three hour lay over till our flight left for Grand Rapids.  This last half hour flight was quick and uneventful.  We arrived at the GR airport at 7pm to a warm welcome!  It is good to be home!

Fri. June 27 Last day in Amsterdam

Today was our last full day in Amsterdam and we made the most of it!  We walked to the VanGogh Museum, then around the corner to the Rijksmuseum.  Our third stop was the Hermitage and then on to tour Rembrandts House - really cool!  Our last stop was the Amsterdam Historical Museum, which had a really great display on the overall history of Amsterdam and its current people.  Shopping, dinner and packing rounded out the day.

Thurs. June 26 ~ Delft

Today Micah and I bought another train ticket and traveled to the city of Delft.  What a quiet, lovely, beautiful town!  Our fist stop was the Old Church which resembled the leaning Tower of Pisa - yes, it was built crooked.  Then we toured the New Church- both very large and beautiful.  It was market day so we did a bit of browsing in the market place.  We then took a canal boat tour around town to the Royal Delft factory and  took a tour of the Delft factory, learning all about pottery.  Once off the boat we went to the Vermeer Museum and the Het Prinsehof Museum, both interesting.  We ended our day in Delft with a pannekoeken dinner by the canal.

Wed. June 25 ~ Apeldorn

Today was 67 years in the making.
67 years ago my grandmother -Gerri Nieuwenhuis Pipping- left Apeldorn, Netherlands and immigrated to Grand Rapids, Mi with her family.  Today Micah and I traveled by train to Apeldorn.  First, we visited the queen's palace there - The Palace Het Loo.  A beautiful palace and gardens that the royal family lived in till after WWII.  They Micah and I went on an adventure and found the house the house that my grandmother lived in, the pharmacy where she worked and the bakery that my grandfather worked in - it was a dream come true!  It was a fabulous day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tues. June 24 ~ Haarlem

This morning we took the Tram #1 to central station and then took a train to the city of Haarlem.  We walked to Corrie TenBoom's house - by far the best tour yet! This family has an amazing story.  Then we spent time at St. Bavos a beautiful old church.  We also went to the Historical Museum of Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum.  This town was so beautiful, laid back and relaxed- a real charmer!

Mon. June 23 ~ Adventures in Amsterdam

Today began with a boat tour of the canals of Amsterdam.  It was a great way to start the day- we learned a lot about the history and architecture of the city all while leisurely floating around town.  Then we walked to the VanLoon and Willet-Holthuysen canal houses.  These museums were beautiful old homes with wonderful art and fabulous gardens.  We spent time at the Jewish Historical Museum- an old synagogue and then went  on to Our Lord In The Attic - a Catholic church hidden in a canal house for 200 years - both had very touching stories.  Lastly we visited Amsterdam's Old Church.

Sun. June 22 ~ New Adventures

Saturday after the wedding we drove to Gatwick Airport to check into our airport hotel for the night.  John and his mom returned the cars and we went out for a very late dinner.  Sunday morning we ate breakfast all together for one last time.  Then John, Ethan and Kendal went one way - flying off to Toronto while Micah, John's parents and I flew to Amsterdam.  It was a tearful good-bye.  Once in Amsterdam we toured the Royal Palace and the Anne Frank House.  Let me just say that Amsterdam is a very dangerous city to walk around in- in order to cross the street you must watch out for the bikes in the bike lane, then the tram, then the cars in the road, and then the other bike lane- just to get to the other side...crazy!