I’ve become one of them…

4 09 2008

I thought this would never happen, I blame having too much time on my hands being unemployed…


I actually went to three different places today to get groceries.  Three!  Trois! Tres! Drie! (see I am learning Dutch).  First to the markt that is held here in Emiclaer.  But I love my chicken guy, his breasts are plump and juicy,  his legs are to die for,  and when I want the whole of it, it’s lean with very little fat.  Delicious.  Don’t worry dear, I am talking about the chicken.   And today he had pre-cooked ribs, no biggie, I still froze them and we can re-heat on the bbq when I want them.  Also the cheese was on sale in the market and the eggs were cheaper so I picked up a few of those.  Then I headed over to the Aldi in Hoogland, I’m beginning to know the area well enough I can go alone.  Aldi is like the Candian version of No Frills, only German.  Some things are a lot cheaper then at the C1000 (Dutch version of Dominion).  Then I headed over to the C1000 to finish my shopping adventure. 

I never understood people that would go from shop to shop to save a few pennies, I used to laugh at them, mock them,  roll my eyes when I saw the different bags in their cars…now…I am one. I can see my mother shaking her head as she reads this.


More then just fish

20 08 2008

A few days ago (yes I know I’m behind in the blogging), we headed back to Spakenburg.  This time around we took Stoney with us.  I think he’s starting to really enjoy the rides now since he isn’t as tense in the basket, also he moves a little more when he sees things that he likes; which doesn’t make it easy for me since when he moves I have to adjust to the shifting of the front handle bars.  Although, he does start to whine whenever he sees sheep for reason, I don’t know if he wants to go play or if he thinks they are going to come after us. 

When we arrived at Spakenburg the market was going.  So we took a stroll around the square and I saw a sign that said “Quilts”.  Since I can’t sit still long enough to sew a button on, making a quilt is out of the question.  So I have to rely on the talent and patience of others to make pretty crafty things.  I would love to be able to do all the artsy stuff like my friend Tammy.  But back to the blog… I went to go see what the “Quilts” thing was and it turned out to be a museum the Klederdracht en Visserij.  The museum is run by the ladies of Spakenburg and it was a display of the traditional dress that they used to wear, some still do, in the town.  The women that work the museum still wear the dress, some daily while others only on Sunday.   The tour lasted about 30 minutes and from what I could tell our guide was very informative… the tour was in Dutch, but they did give me a sheet of paper with the translation for the stations of the tour.  For the price of 6, 50 for all of us plus the dog, it was worth it. 

I was able to take some pictures of the museum showing the dress and the boats that they used for fishing.  They had displays on how they would use the netting to catch the fish.  They also had quilts up on the walls, and the tour guide said that this was a skill that they learned from the US and Canada.  All the dresses and accessories are handmade by the ladies of the town, the stiff shoulder looking vest are starched beyond belief and literally feel like cardboard.  The small cap that they where are crocheted and are so delicate. 

They had a small store in the museum and the all the items there are made by the ladies of the church.  The small crotched caps they wear were also for sale and really at a reasonable price.   We picked one up for the cabinet along with the pipe from Gouda

I know we are going to head back to Spakenburg before the summer is up, and who knows maybe I’ll go back to the museum and take another walk around or buy a new cap.  I want to wander a bit more through the city and hit all the small little side streets.

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.

Before and After

23 06 2008

Before I went to Ikea…

After I went to Ikea…

And for those of you wondering, yes that is my bike and yes those are saddle bags on my bike.  And yes I rode my bike to the store and back.  Ikea is about a 15 minute bike ride from where I live.  The smooshed thing is another bed for Stoney, he has his nice one upstairs in the bedroom and this one stays downstairs so that he has someplace to go other then the cat’s bed.  Who by the way isn’t taking it too kindly to having a dog around.

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.

18 05 2008

Well it’s offical… I’ve been Dutchisized (yes I know that’s not a word).  But yesterday I bought my bike, so today we broke it in and went to a town called Spakenburg located south on the Ijsselmeer river.  It is part of another town called Bunschoten, so the offical name I guess would be Bunschoten-Spakenburg.  Kind of like Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario. It used to be two seperate villages but then back in 1965 they came together to form the current town.  The town is known for it’s boats and traditional clothing that is on of the few areas in the Netherlands where it is still worn. So this is the path we took to get to the pier in Spakenburg.  It took us about 45 minutes or so to get there, thanks to the wind and one pit stop for ice cream.   The road Zevenhuiserstraat is a straight road and takes you through farm land and some really beautiful houses.  Expensive houses.  It’s a great road to bike on, minus the cars that zip passed at mach one and the smell of freshly sprayed manure.  We stopped at a very cute little country cafe and had ice cream and enjoyed the little farm they had with some goats and chickens.  The ice cream here in the Netherlands is like the Italian gelato, so that means that I can get my lemon ice!!  I love that stuff.  After we finished up with the treat we continued up the street until we got to Spakenburg and ended up basically in the center of town from what it looked like.  But it takes you right to the harbour where we saw some of the old Dutch Paddle Boats also called “Botters” with the big paddle on the side of the boat.  Plus a statue of a traditionally dressed lady, and apparently it is mainly  on Sundays the older women will still dress in traditional garb.  I did see one lady but only her back and I wasn’t going to run over and ask for a picture since she was having trouble navigating the cobblestones with her walker.  We then headed up and went to the pier the looks over the river, along the shore of the river on the north side you can see all the windmills (modern ones).  But it was interesting to see since that is a familiar site when you are traveling along the highway to Amsterdam.  The wind was really kicking up, so the water was super choppy. We still saw a lot of boats out on the water or coming in to dock.  But at least the sun was out even if it was a tad (please note sarcasm) windy.  We would have liked to stop and get a coffee or something to warm ourselves up, but since it was Sunday, nothing was open.  It would have been nice to sit by the harbour and have a drink, but I guess we are going to have to wait until tourist season kicks in and we can bike back up for the day and go to the beach that was also nearby.






So we headed up the dijk that is next to the river back to Zevenhuiserstraat so that we could head home.  The Ijsselmeer is the name of the body of water,  and a dijk runs the perimeter of it.  From up top it just looks like a hill that has a path on it, but it does come up fairly high and and the path on it is quite narrow, so a bit nerve wracking when you have people coming in the opposite direction on their bikes and you have to figure out where you are going to go.  Especially if you aren’t as experienced on a bike like me!  Well it only took us about 20 minutes or so to hit Amersfoort again, and to be very honest my legs are doing fine… my butt on the other hand needs to get use to the seat!  We had a great day with the kids on our little jaunt out to the water, and we’ll probably do it again very soon.  It really isn’t that far to go as long as you aren’t going into the wind. I’m glad I got my bike when I did, now I’ll have the summer to get use to riding it and enjoying going places.  I would like to get at least one saddle bag so that I can put my camera in there and a bottle of water.  I might do that when I come back in June.