Crazy Year – Part 2

1 11 2010

After returning from Canada, we were going to have a slew of visitors in the next few months.  Starting with my brother and his now fiancée Mary.  They came over to stay with us for a weekend before heading out to explore Europe.  We went to Maastricht, on I swear the most humid day possible.  I was drenched after walking for 5 minutes, it was Windsor in Holland.   We also spent time in Amersfoort taking a boat ride on the canal, unfortunately Isabella wasn’t into it and started to fuss.  Luckily she did hold out until near the end of the ride.  It was a nice ride and a different view of the city.  I wish they could have stayed longer, but they were on a schedule and my brother had a plan.  He proposed to Mary in Paris (let’s all say it together now… awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww).   They did however return back to NL for a quick visit before leaving to go home to Canada.  So we headed down to Amsterdam and did the “must-see-tourist-traps”.   Oh and of course the Red Light District.  Granted it was during the day but they got the idea of what goes on at night.   It was a good day and it was nice to spend it with the two of them.  Plus they also got to spend time with Isabella before leaving. 

The day my brother and Mary left,  Frank’s parents and Aunt arrived from the U.S.  It has been a few years since they were over to visit.  Frank hadn’t seen his father in nearly 10 years before they came this summer.  Of course this was the first time they met Isabella and at first she was a bit… “Um and you would be??”  but quickly warmed up when she realized, “HEY!!!  I’m getting MORE attention!!”   It was nice for them to see all the grandkids and one great-grandchild on this side of the ocean at one time.  With day trips around the Netherlands, it was a busy few weeks.    His aunt was with us for about a week and a bit, she then left for Italy for a tour and returned the day before they left to go back to the States. 

Now, just before Frank’s parents and aunt leave to go back to the US, my dad and his girlfriend  Leigh Ann, show up for a visit!  They ended up staying here in NL for about a week before heading out on the road to drive to Croatia to visit my grandmother and grandfather.  

We headed out to some places in NL, like Giethoorn, Blokzijl, Zandvoort, and Haarlem.  We didn’t have much time to do a lot of touring, so we just picked a few “touristy” places to visit.  But before they left to go back to Canada, Isabella and I headed over to Croatia and Italy for 2 weeks.  I was able to see my grandparents again, it has been over 10 years since I saw them last. 

Isabella and I flew to Zagreb and then it was an hour and a bit drive to Gospic (for an English site click here).  We stayed with my grandmother and grandfather in their house and had a great time.  It was so nice to have Isabella meet both her great grandparents.  Especially since we never knew if she would get the chance to meet the ones in Croatia.   My grandmother’s house is small and only two bedrooms so we tried to spend as much time as we could touring the area and my dad showing me some of his old stomping grounds.  Unfortunately because of the war, there are a ton of blown out houses and areas that are unsafe because of landmines.  So there was no way we could just “go for a walk” out in the land by the mountains.  Two of the villiages my dad once lived in are completely abandoned and all around the area are the landmine signs.  The street my grandmother lives on still has houses that have been blown up and the former owners have not claimed them so they can’t be “touched” according to the government.  So everyday you wake up the a sick reminder of what happened.   Some of these houses were huge and they looked to be quite grand, now they are just a pile of rubble.   The city shows scars also of the war, bullet riddled buildings, destroyed churches, empty pieces of land where something once stood.   Regardless of what the reason was for this war and I’m not going to argue who was right or wrong (and don’t make a comment on here either about it – this isn’t a debate), people suffered, they died and they lost years of their life.   I just wish they’d clean up the houses that have been destroyed so people can get on with it and not have to look at it all the time. 

Since I was on that side of Europe my dad drove Isabella and I to Italy.  We took the seaside drive up to Italy, it was a beautiful day and the Adriatic had a gorgeous blue hue to it.  The drive along the coast of Croatia is just amazing, the seaside towns, the landscape, the water, the sun, really it was just amazing to see it all.  Isabella only got a few glimpses since she slept most of the way.  You just want to jump out of the car and run into the water.  That is of course until you feel the temperature of the water!   Talk about chilly!!  Isabella and I braved it for a short period when we took her to the beach for her first dip in the Adriatic.   Once we arrived in Slovania, the landscape changed drastically.  I felt like we were driving up north, rolling hills, lush forests and grasslands.  It was still beautiful.  

Soon we were arriving at the Italian/Slovanian border and only an hour or so until I reached my mom’s hometown Morsano al Tagliamento.  The last time I was in Morsano, I was 17!   We were only going to be here for a week, but it was going to be a busy one!

More to come in Part 3 of this crazy busy year!

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: