Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ahh… weekends in Europe; Part Twee

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a random weekend day that we’ve had in Holland. This Saturday was a wonderful day, and the weather was lovely (a.k.a. warm and sunny, which is what it should be in August, but rarely is here).

We decided to forgo the gym so that we’d have more time to relax. We had a bit of good luck to start the day off, because we needed to take our bikes in for some minor adjustments, and were able to do so quickly and easily. This may not seem like a big deal, but these types of things are big victories for us, because typically things that should be “quick and easy” here are difficult, frustrating, and take forever.

We then took a stroll around the market in the city center. We didn't buy anything, but I still like to look at all of the displays of fruit, fish, bread, and everything else you can imagine from bicycle parts to clothes to furniture.
Because the weather was so nice, it was absolutely packed. So we quickly made our way over to our favorite bagel shop (and the only one in Rotterdam), Bagels and Beans. We sat on the terrace & enjoyed our bagel with cream cheese & coffee. Chad had his favorite: multigrain bagel with honey walnut cream cheese. And, I had mine: everything bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. Lekker!

The weather was so nice, that we decided to bike out to the lake in Kralingen, on the east side of Rotterdam. We first stopped by Albert Heijn (the grocery store) to pick up a couple cold beers. We biked once around the lake and found a bench in a beautiful area near the bridges, windmills & trees. We sat and talked for a couple hours and had a couple beers. It was really relaxing.

On the way back to our place we heard the loud horn of the giant cruise ship that was parked in the river. This typically means that they are calling for everyone to get on board because the ship is leaving. So, we biked down to Veerhaven (just down the block from our apartment) and found a spot in the grass to sit and watch with the other people that had gathered. The ship is really huge in the water, and taller than most of the buildings on the shore. When it turns around it takes up the entire width of the river. We waved at the people on board, and they waved back. :)

That night we met up with Erin & Jake to watch the movie Inception. Great movie, and it provides a lot to debate about afterwards. We had some drinks at O’Sheas and then called it a night. Keep in mind, everything we did today was within walking or biking distance from our apartment.

Now that we are in our last year here, I’m starting to think about things that I am going to miss when we leave. Days like today are definitely one of those things. Simple but great.


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