Holy HOT batman!!!

31 07 2008

It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.  Ok.. I can deal with that, after all I come from Windsor Ontario.  Humid Central.  BUT and a HUGE BUT in Windsor I had A/C.  Air conditioning, Airco, cold breeze, however you want to say it, my mom’s house was a little icebox.  I also had an air conditioning window unit at the apartment in Mississauga.  So going outside in the heat and coming inside there was a difference.  Here the only difference is the ground.  Carpet… grass….carpet….grass….

Alright… I shouldn’t complain about the weather, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, there isn’t a cloud in the sky,  but as I’m typing this right at this moment… right this very second… I’m sticking to the leather couch.  I can see a slight, and I do mean slight breeze outside but it’s not blowing in the right direction.  Oh and another wonderful thing is that here in the Netherlands, window screens really aren’t a huge thing.  So leaving my windows open usually means I have flies in the house.  Which I hate and go ballistic about.  But I noticed window screens aren’t a big thing anywhere in Europe.  I know we can get them and we just might, since I love having the windows open, especially the huge patio door.  But right now the number of mosquito bites I have is enough to drive me batty.

Ok.. enough with the complaining and whining, I’m going to go outside, slather on some oil and work on my tan with a good book!

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Baarn on the Eem (seeing double?)

26 07 2008

Friday was a great day here in Amersfoort, the sun was shining, the wind was at a light breeze, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.  Well at least for a little bit.  So Frank, Stoney and myself went for a little bike ride out to Baarn.   Baarn is a smaller city about 15 minutes from Amersfoort by train.  Baarn is a sleeper city since it is conveniently located near Amersfoort and Hilversum.  As well being on the main line for Amsterdam.  We started off in Amersfoort and then through Hoogland which is part of Amersfoort like Kattenbroek.   We then went down a country road towards Baarn, and country it was!  The aroma of the cows was just a bouquet of roses.  Of course we were downwind most of the time.  We finally got off the main road and when down a fietspad that took us right to the Eem River.   I guess the part of the path we were on was newly build because I can’t find it on the satellite image on “Google Maps”.  But I did get a few pictures of the bridge and on the bridge.  Note: Frank’s new snazzy glasses 😉 and the unimpressed look on Stoney’s face.  We then cycled along the railway tracks until we got to Baarn.  Once in Baarn there really isn’t much to do on the outskirts of it so we followed the shoreline and had a little stop for Stoney to do his business and Frank could dip his toes in the Eem.  I was going to, but changed my mind quickly after taking a peek at the water.. yuck.  We thought we should head back, since it looked like rain was on the horizon.  And being in the Netherlands, the horizon can be quite far off, but rain travels fast.  But to get on the other side of the water without backtracking we had to go a bit out of our way to Eembrugge and then cut across.   We were in sheep and cow country again, our noses pointed that out quickly.  I did get some pictures of the fields and a few with Baarn in the far distance.   Stoney was get anxious to get home and becoming very whinny especially when Frank had to take my bike (which is broken AGAIN) for a quick ride to see what was making the noise.  he would whine and try to get out of the basket.  A couple times passing the sheep he would sit up and try to see over the small hills to get a better look.  I think he wanted to play, not sure they really wanted to play with him though.  After a little jaunt through cow/sheep/smelly animal country we ended up on the outskirts of Amersfoort again and back tracked our way home.  For more pictures go to the flickr site I have, link to the right.  There are more pictures there that I took during the bike ride, and of course more pictures in general that I took that I can fit on my blog.





Doggy in a basket

25 07 2008

Stoney can now join the ranks of the Dutch by being able to enjoy a nice bike ride!  The other day we bought him a basket that attaches to the front of my bike.  I have him harnessed inside with a towel down for a little comfort.  The basket is big enough for him to sit up, but because it get narrow at the bottom he can’t quite lay down all the way.  I’m going to put another blanket around the sides of the basket to make it a bit more cushier for him.   He’s taking the whole ride thing in stride, and I think he realizes that now he gets to come with us instead of staying home with the mean hissy pissy cat!  I like that I can take him pretty much anywhere we go now, and the weather has finally started to warm up and the sun is out.  So I think tonight we can go for another bike ride to Hoogland, and out a bit ways near Soest or Baarn.  Hopefully tomorrow will be another nice day so we can go out again, maybe pack a picnic and let the dog run around some fresh land.  Just pray the rain holds off for another 2 days.  Otherwise he will be subjected to riding in the basket again WITH the orange rain coat, like down below.





Amsterdam

23 07 2008

On the weekend Frank and I went into Amsterdam for the day, we met up with some new and old friends from a travel website I belong to.  Virtual Tourist is a website where you can go on and do some investigating for a trip anywhere in the world.  You get great tips from other members who have been there and will give their honest opinion about it.  Plus, if you like you can meet up with other members that live in the area and either go out for drinks or at times get a free tour of where they live.  I was lucky enough to have friends from the site take me around areas of the Netherlands that I may not have been able to see on my own.  Plus I was great when they came to Canada we were able to see each other again for supper.  Ok.. now for the trip to Amsterdam…

Let me remind you that it has been raining for 3 weeks now, so we knew it was going to rain, we just didn’t realize  how much it was going to rain.   We took the train to Amsterdam with a few friends and since we got there early we went to the library.  I was able to get a few pictures of the city from the top floor.  But since we didn’t have much time, I wasn’t able to go and look around the whole building.  We then headed over to a koffiehuis near the train station to meet up with the rest of the group.  After a quick koffie, we then took the tram up to the museumsplein to go to the IAMSTERDAM sign, which… wasn’t there.  So we then started walking…and ended up being hit with a torrential downpour!  So in our mad frenzy to find a place to sit and have some lunch (this after we wandering around long enough to get drenched), we went to this tiny place and basically filled it with the 16 of us.  We waited it out for as long as we could then decided to just make a break for it. 

Finally deciding on what we were going to do, some went to the Botanical Garden, while others when to the Hermitage.  I chose the garden.  Even though it was raining, I wasn’t in the mood to go and look at photographs from Russia.  At the gardens they had a few smaller greenhouses and one large one.  The smaller ones that we could get into had a display of plants from Southwestern US and Mexico and the other greenhouse had butterflies in it.  Then the largest of the greenhouses that we saw had a huge rain forest like exhibit in it.  My favourite would probably be the butterfly one of course.  There were some really interesting butterflies, including one that had see through wings.  Then there was also a really big blue one, that sat with it’s wings open long enough for me to get a few good pictures.

After leaving the garden we wandered into the market area where, yes of course I bought (well Frank bought it for me) another purse.  Then we headed back  towards the station so that we could go and grab dinner at a restaurant called Humphreys.  It was a nice place to eat and it had a huge table to fit all of us at one.  The menu was one where you got to choose an appetizer, a main course and a dessert from a list of meals that they change monthly.  Drinks of course are extra.  But the meal was worth the 22, 95 per person.  I had the escargot for the appetizer and the salmon for dinner.  The crepe Suzette was delicious too! 

After spending nearly 3 hours in the restaurant it was time to head home.  The rain can be tiring.  We walked back to the station…in the rain….and missed the one train by seconds.  Finally getting on the next train out we were heading back to Amersfoort, and the back to the bicycles.  I never thought that riding a bike back a short distance could be so tiring after a day like that.  We had a great time that day, it was nice getting out and being able to take more pictures of the city.  I’ve been to Amsterdam a number of times, and at this point if I go back or don’t it doesn’t really matter to me.  But it seems that no matter how many times I go, I can always find something that catches my eye and I need to snap a picture.  But I think I’m going to have to get another camera for Frank 😉 we seem to be fighting over this one. 

If you go on my flickr account (link to the right), you can see more pictures of Amsterdam and the Botanical Garden.  Hopefully next time we have a meet it will be in another city in the Netherlands, maybe Utrecht or in Zeeland 🙂





I gave in…

21 07 2008

Ok… I gave in and spent some money on Flickr.  So now I have the Pro account and I can upload more pictures without having a monthly limit. 

So this morning was spent uploading… take a look to the right and click the pictures to get you to my Flickr account.  There are some recent ones on there from Amsterdam.





Day 30

18 07 2008

Melissa’s log:  The rain hasn’t stopped; it has been raining now for 2 weeks.  The sun no longer shines.  The grass may be green, the plants growing, the streets washed clean but the dog now stinks, the cat won’t go outside. 

The rain comes in sheets, in drizzle, in spurts. 

Everything is wet.  Cold.  Grey. 

I can’t dry the clothes outside, I can’t get to the vegetables in the garden, I can’t cut the grass.  

Mind going….dog whining….must get sunshine.

 

UPDATE: Thanks to my mom, who may be retired as a teacher, but still corrects my grammar 🙂 – UPDATE: I’ve added the comma.





Thanks!

18 07 2008

I had a record day yesterday for visitors on my blog, I noticed that most of the readers coming through were from Tammy, who linked me from her site the other day on one of her blogs.  It was great to see my little stat bar rise through out the day.  So thanks again Tammy for the link!  And we still need to plan a day.