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.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My big 3-0!

It was not hard for me to celebrate my 30th birthday. I didn’t feel ‘old’ or ‘sad’ or anything. It does seem strange to say it though, ‘I’m thirty.”

On my birthday, Chad & I and a group of friends had dinner at Hotel New York. Erin and I took the water taxi over from work, which was my first time. It was cool, and a fast trip to the other side of the river.

For part of my gift, Chad wanted to take me to visit a castle, because that is something that I’ve been talking about wanting to do while we are here. We found a great one in Schwerin, Germany, which is about an hour outside of Hamburg. We took advantage of a four day weekend, took the train to Hamburg, and there for two nights, visiting the castle during the day of Friday. The best part about our hotel was the free spa! We spent a couple hours going between the sauna & steam room, and the lounge chairs in the relaxation area. We even watched the sun set out on the (cold) balcony. Romantic. ;)

Schwerin Castle is very unique because it sits on an island in a lake, accessible by two bridges. So, you can walk all around it, and admire its beautifully landscaped gardens. The castle itself is stunning to look at, as it has many details, towers & turrets. There is even an Orangerie (greenhouse) in the back.

This castle was also nice, because it had quite a few rooms inside that were completely renovated & restored to period based décor. I really enjoyed walking through the rooms and looking at all of the art, furniture, details on the walls and ceilings, etc. My favorite rooms were the round ones in the corner towers. Whenever I tour a place like this, I like to picture what it would be to live during that time. For women, walking around in a big dress, greeting guests, & hosting dinner parties. And for men, going hunting, having business meetings, & sitting with the other men in the smoking room drinking Scotch.

Saturday morning, we left Hamburg to head to Arnhem, in The Netherlands. What took us to this small remote Dutch town? Lady Gaga! Chad had bought tickets for my birthday. The concert was a blast! She had crazy costumes, elaborate sets, and great choreography. It sort of felt as if we were watching Madonna in her early years. Even Chad had fun. ;)

It was a great birthday/week. Things just seem to get better and better each year, so, bring on the 30’s.


- Check out the rest of our pics from Schwerin Castle here:

- Check out the rest of our pics from Hamburg here:

- Check out the rest of our pics from Arnhem & the Lady Gaga concert here:

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