Monday, January 31, 2011

YAY! Back online!


I'm just getting my computer(s) up and running, but I did get hooked up to the internet today! Whoohoo! They also installed the cable for my TV, but didn't bring the cable box? Said it would be mailed??? HUH? Why would you go to hook up someone's TV and not bring a cable box (since it is required for operation)? Supposedly it will come in the mail in about 3 business days. I hope it is here before the weekend so that I can watch the Super Bowl.

So... update. I did a roadtrip this past weekend of about 750 miles. I left here and went to Strasbourg, France, then on to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. I had planned to come back to Germany from there, but there was still a couple hours of daylight left, so I decided to drive up to Brussels, Belgium. I stayed at the Hilton there, they are pet friendly and don't charge you a huge surcharge/deposit. The dogs did great. I put their bed in the back seat and they enjoyed burrowing under the covers at going the hotel. I didn't anticipate going up there, otherwise I would have thought to contact one of my former co-workers who now live up there. That would have been neat to see her. So, I spent Saturday night there in Brussels and then got up Sunday morning and the dogs and I went exploring down at the "Grand Place" (that's what it is called) and I even managed to find the little boy statue that is "pissing." For some reason, I had remembered him to be a bigger statue, but maybe not? I also bought some Belgium chocolates while I was there (I think Germany's chocolate is just as good). I came back via Ramstein, where I stopped to shop before coming back.

My car didn't like the trip too much, I now have my "check engine" light on permanently. I think it has to do with a sensor or maybe "vacuum" system in the engine. It only has an issue when I am accelerating up a hill. (like there is a vapor lock or something). Fortunately I have an appointment to have the car looked at next week. Hopefully they can fix that while they are in there.

Other than that, this laptop that I am using is down to about 12 gigabytes of memory left, so I don't want to upload any pictures right now. I'm in the processing of copying all the pictures currently on this computer to an external drive, that will free up about 60 gigabytes and I'll be back in business, at least for awhile. My computer is telling me that it will take 11.5 hours to copy all the photos over (wow!). But, I do owe you guys a lot of photos... from the Neuschwanstein castle last weekend (a week ago) and from my road trip this past weekend.

Work-wise things are going okay, I'm slowly building my caseload. My boss is in the states right now, she'll be gone another week. I took today off so that the cable people could come out. I'm glad I did because I'm coming down with a head cold and sinus drip. I've been taking it easy this afternoon.

Unpacking is moving along, going a little slow as I continue to work. I picked up some bookcases to put together so that I can unpack the boxes of books. I'm going to put the bookcases up in my "office." In addition to having 3 bedrooms upstairs, there's also a nook for an office (If I had a young family, it probably could have been used for a nursery).

I'm looking forward to people coming over to visit!

Okay... I'm going to sign off. Hoping I *feel* better tomorrow (I'm on call for the next week, fortunately it's usually pretty slow being on call).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guten Tag!

Hello! Long time no see! I'm just posting a brief note because I'm using a friend's computer. I still don't have internet access at my house, they are supposed to come out on Monday morning to hook up my internet and tv (and a land-line phone). Hopefully then I will be able to get back to blogging on a regular basis!

SO... a recap. January 7th, my car arrived. January 14th, my CHRISTMAS cards arrived (that I had ordered and sent to my daughter... and she mailed them to me priority mail, postmarked December 10th!), January 15th I got to move into my new house (I was provided with some bedroom furniture and have the "bar stools" at the kitchen counter). I was pleasantly surprised when they called and said they could deliver my household goods on the 19th (which they did). I would say that about 85% arrived intact. Every piece of my bedroom furniture was damaged in one way or another, dings and chips here and there, but probably what did some of the worst damage, was that they taped the packing tape directly to some of the pieces, so when you tried to take it off (when the movers here tried to take it off), it peeled off the finish. My mattresses made it intact and okay, but the movers here then unwrapped them before carrying them around the side of the house to the basement and got THEM dirty (especially the box springs). GRRRR! I think they are going to have to get me a new bedroom set! Those mattresses were only about a year and a half old and in perfect condition (because I use a bed skirt on the bottom and use a thermopedic topper on top with a mattress cover). They also broke my computer desk (I can use it, the movers managed to kind of put it back together, but it's still damaged), and then they took my leather computer chair apart and didn't secure the nuts & bolts to put it together, so when the movers unpacked the chair, the parts went everywhere, so now the chair can't be put back together.

Amazingly, I haven't found any damage to my dishes, my hummel figurines or my curio cabinet (or my TVs). They packed my hummel figurine glasses with my pots and pans???? They *didn't* wrap my computer up, just stuffed it all in a box together. There were gouges on my printer/fax machine (where they did the same thing to that). At some point when I've finished unpacking, I will need to submit a claim for the damages, most of which was due to the way it was packed in Hawaii, I can only blame the movers here for getting my mattress dirty.

Other than that, I've made a trip up to Ramstein, that was neat and well worth going back again to see. Last weekend on Saturday I went down with friends to see the Neuschwanstein Castle (which is the castle that inspired Disney to build his), Sunday I tried to find the old walled in city of Rothenburg and ended up in some hilltop town/village by the same name (about the same disance away, but further northwest of where I should have been going). It was a nice drive though and I got to see a bunch of castles along the way.

I'm thinking about taking the dogs on a road trip this weekend, I'll see how the weather holds up. I'm thinking about heading over to Strausburg, France, up to Metz, France and then up to Luxembourg and spend the night there (with the dogs). Then Sunday I would drive back through Trier and possibly stop off for a short visit at Ramstein again before heading back home. I'm taking Monday off (initially I had thought about taking a tour to Paris this weekend, and it would have gotten back late, but then decided I didn't want to do the all-night bus ride to get there). Anyway, it works out because the Cable people (and my landlord) will be at my house on Monday morning to hopefully get my internet and TV hooked up. It will run me about 60 euros a month, and then my utilities are supposed to run me 314 euros a month (I'll be reimbursed, but they initially estimate what your utilities will be by previous usage (i.e. by the previous tenant) and you pay that for a year, then they do a meter reading and you either owe them money, or they owe you money. Interesting, huh?

Tomorrow I've got "newcomer's orientation" for the hospital (they usually do it about once a month, but skipped December because of the holidays).

Well, I'd better sign off, I'll hopefully be back on next week to post more. I miss y'all!

Take care!

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Friday, January 14, 2011

Last night for blogging for awhile...

So... good news and bad news... Good news is that my Christmas cards finally arrived. My daughter postmarked them December 10th from Washington State WITH the correct address and everything... and it took OVER a month to come PRIORITY mail. What's UP with that??? Needless to say... my friends and family will be getting their Christmas cards from me at least a month late. Someone suggested that I just send them out next year, but I don't want to. I'm planning to send them some time this coming week.

The bad news? I won't have internet access at the house until the 21st or the 28th of January and then it will be a dial-up modem which means the upload and download speed will be SLLLOOOWWW. It also means that I am 95% sure that I WON'T be posting a blog for the next few days (until Tuesday when I work again, because Monday is a Federal holiday). I'll miss you!

Plans for the weekend: Saturday David & Carol are going to help me move out of the hotel and to my house. They will get to see it for the first time. I have to check out by 11am.

Sunday: I plan to drive up to Ramstein. I'm hoping I can find a decent 220 volt Microwave. I also would like to pick up a washable rug for the foyer of the house, when you first walk in.

Monday, probably go shopping or sight-seeing.

Okay... I'm going to sign off. I'm doing a couple loads of laundry tonight so I have all clean clothes to start off with (I do have a washer and dryer at the house). I'm also washing a jacket and the dog's blankets.

I'll be okay and post on Tuesday sometime at the latest.

Auf Wiedersehen,
- Kris

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Late night

Okay... this will be short since it is 11pm and morning is going to come early.

Work went fine today, I met with 2 couples, one a new couple that I had not seen before. The day went by fast.

After work I came home and got the dogs, took them out for a walk, then took some stuff out to the house. While I put things away, I let the dogs explore... they said they like the new place... (just kidding), but at least they will have more room to run around!

I brought them back home and got a bite to eat and helped a friend in "The States" (I tend to still call it "The Mainland") who had their email and facebook accounts hacked. Then I took all the boxes I had shipped over and some other stuff and made another trip back out to the house. I put my queen size sheets on my full size bed (LOL) and put my beautiful new, soft, heavy blanket that I bought over here, on the bed. It looks great. I think I'll probably end up leaving it on that bed (it fits it perfectly), but will add a down comforter for added warmth. (I'll see how I do with it while I sleep there until MY bed gets here, if I don't feel it's warm enough, THEN I'll add a down comforter). SO... the bedroom looks nice. I need to get a "wardrobe" shrank (clothing closet?) to put in there. There are no closets in any of the bedrooms (typical of German homes), so there's currently no place to HANG any clothes in there.

I also took out all my "dry" food? Okay... all the food that isn't in the refrigerator (except my bread).

Tomorrow after work I'll take another load out and then hopefully on Saturday, I'll only have to worry about taking out my computer and my clothes (and the dog kennel!). I'm wishing I had a big bean bag chair to sit on as the house is so empty... oh well. AND by the way, I was told by the cable company that it could take up to 2 months to get my cable hooked up out there. WHAT????? SHEESH! SO... that means no computer access out there...and no TV (TV is a separate thing though... I'll need to figure that one out yet and decide if I want to have it and pay for it). So... I may not be able to post much for a few weeks (I *do* have computer access at work, but won't be able to post any pictures).

Maybe I'll talk Carol into going out there with me tomorrow after work, so she can see where I live and see the house. David's in D.C. right now, not sure when he's due back, either tomorrow or Saturday, I think.

Okay... I'd better sign off and think about getting to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More pictures of my house...

The kitchen (with the refrigerator door open)
The dining area and living room area viewed from the kitchen (by the way... those floors are heated!)

The master bedroom looking towards the walk-in closet and master bathroom (door to master bath is closed). That light blue panel slides left and right (I have it slid to the left in this photo) and when it is centered, it looks like a solid wall.

Looking from the master bath through the walk-in closet to the master bedroom

The Master bathroom with the heated towel rack on the left.
SO! They did the walk-through on the house today and I had a double bed (used), a dresser, a night stand and lamp delivered along with a German washer & dryer, and another small refrigerator (the one in the kitchen is VERY small). I also got the keys to the house today. YAY! I spent all morning at the house. In the kitchen? By the way? Has a fold down meat/cheese, bread cutter - electric slicer. How cool is that? And the floor on the main floor (and I think in the basement master suite) is heated. No more cold feet! (The upstairs where the three bedrooms and the computer room is, has carpeting).
This afternoon I went on a tour of the local hospitals (a few of them) and learned a lot. Did you know that they have "speciality" emergency rooms here? If you have a urological emergency you go to one hospital, if you have a pediatric emergency (that isn't a broken bone), you go to a certain hospital... same for gastrointestinal issues. Thankfully, before I have to go to a hospital I have to call a patient liaison who will help me figure out which hospital I need to go to. They facilitate any medical problems with the German medical system.
So, it was a productive day. Tomorrow I have a couple appointments and I need to go deal with getting a tax relief form for the utilities at the house. Then within the next couple weeks I should have my own household goods delivered. I'm getting there... it just takes time. I'll move out of the hotel on Saturday (and I'll be in my house - empty... at least I have a bed and I have some chairs to eat at the kitchen counter). *smiles*
Okay... signing off for tonight. If you are a friend on Facebook, I posted a LOT more pictures of the house on there.
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not much going on today...

So... not much to write about today. I didn't have any clients, so I just did computer stuff. At lunch time I came home and took the dogs out for a walk, it was a beautiful day (weather-wise) until I got off work - then it was raining. After work my boss asked me if I wanted to ride along to the "Ritter Sport" factory. They make a BUNCH of different flavors of candy, perhaps you have seen them in your store? I got a bunch of different flavors to include: Chocolate with marzipan, chocolate with whole almonds, milk chocolate with nuts, some chocolate & white (?) with cashews, coconut & chocolate, almond milk-cream, chocolate carmel nut, chocolate covered cracker, chocolate with a white creamy crispy filling, white chocolate nut, and there's a cherry almond or something flavor. Should be interesting and I am sure I got more than I needed to get! My boss has to go up to Heidelberg tomorrow morning for a meeting, so that's why she wanted to go pick up some chocolate bars to take. The place isn't too far from where I'll be living. My boss also pointed out a road that leads to a good Italian store, I'm looking forward to checking that place out.

Okay... signing out for today. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post more pictures of my new house! YEA!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, January 10, 2011

What a day...

First off, I got my car re-inspected (despite it taking WAY too long considering that it only took them 5 minutes to look and see that the tint had been removed and that I had a GERMAN first aid kit). I registered it for 2 years, so hopefully I won't have to worry about it for a couple more years. Friday I *do* have to drop it off at the auto care shop to get my snow tires put on. I've been fortunate to have my car in relatively good weather.

I messed up my ID card today and got "blocked" from the computer so I had to over to another shop and have them "un" block it. Fortunately it didn't take very long. I just entered the wrong password one too many times today and when you do that, your card gets "locked."

I met with a couple clients today, so all-in-all it was a good day (other than taking too long at the car inspection place). Tonight I did some laundry, mainly because I wanted to wash the dogs jackets (they've gotten dirty over the past few days.

Not much else to post about today. Tomorrow will be a quiet day, I had one couple scheduled and they had to re-schedule. Once my household goods get here, I can start really working to build my caseload. If for no other reason, than job security. *smiles*

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Walking with the dogs....

So... after a lazy morning (after taking the dogs out about 7am and then having breakfast and laying back down), I got ready about 1pm and went with my friend Carol to take the dogs out for a walk on one of the local paths. We walked for about an hour with the dogs (Tara Bella, Peanut & Bruno). Unfortunately it was rather muddy in places, so when we back, Peanut & Bruno got a bath and I took a shower. The dogs were worn out. I took them off their leashes for awhile because there wasn't anyone around, and man, did they have fun running and chasing - especially Bruno.
Tonight I walked over to the store, just to browse and I had some chicken for dinner. I've been glued to the TV a lot since I last blogged because of the shooting in Tucson, AZ. My middle daughter used to live there and is very interested in Politics. I am still wondering if the comments made earlier this year by the former Governor Palin had an impact on this young man's decision to "target" and shoot Rep Gifford. She posted pictures of districts (?) that needed to be "targeted" to prevent those Democrats from getting elected, to include Rep Gifford. There was a poster with "cross-hairs" (i.e. from a rifle) on Gifford's district (implying Gifford). I hope this will be a wake-up call for all politicians to consider the impact of their statements. I think people would like to see Politicians get along and work together for the good of the country, rather than bicker and fight and use the hate speech that seems to be increasing more and more.
Okay... I'll sign off. I'm looking forward to the coming week, to getting my car past the inspection, to getting new snow tires put on, and to moving out of the hotel and into my new home! YAY!
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Had a fun day...

This is the road that I'll be living on, in fact, that white house on the left side is the other half of the "duplex." And see... there's an open field just down the road. (Notice also that they must not clear that road at all!).
Here's Peanut checking out a bush, those steps lead down to the garage door.

Looking through the trellis down towards the garage...

The living room and dining area looking towards the front door and kitchen.

The back door/porch...
My new living quarters....
So... I had a good day today. I started off by coloring my hair, then I took the dogs out to see where our new home is (thank goodness for my GPS). I posted some pictures, there's still a lot of snow there. It doesn't look like they plow. We explored a little around the house and then we went over to "Patch" because I wanted to see if the Thrift store was open, but it wasn't, darn it. Then I brought the dogs back to the hotel.
Then I headed back out to find the American furniture store, it's about 40 kilometers away. It's so-so. At least it gave me an idea about what was available there, should I need anything. THEN, I went to IKEA! Yea! I had fun looking around in there and picked up a couple small things. It gave me an idea too, of the costs and what is available there.
From there I went to Breuningerland, which is a large 3 story shopping mall nearby. I just picked up a couple towels there. I think I wandered around there for a couple hours, and I had dinner there ("Fish & Chips"). Then I came home and took the dogs out for their walk (without their coats!). It got up to about 55* today, nice!
Okay... I'm going to sign off for tonight. No plans for tomorrow (yet).
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, January 7, 2011


This was a beautiful large model of a sailing ship at a restaurant that we ate at on New Year's eve (on the tour).

SO... YAY! My car came in today! I had to do some running back and forth between office, and my car didn't pass inspection because of the tinting on the windows. So, among other things I did this afternoon, I found someone to remove the tinting (and it is now removed). Unfortunately the safety office closed at 2:30 today, so I'll have to wait and take it back on Monday. Then I'll get permanent plates. For now I have temporary plates and I *can* drive it. One of the things I had to do was to go get a "gas" card (which allows me to get cheaper gas), and then I had to drive about 15 miles to one of the stations I can get the cheaper gas at, and I was able to get my car filled up (when you ship your car, they want you to ship it with less than a quarter of a tank of gas). I also got my car washed (it was filthy!). But, at least it seems to have gotten here without any damage! Now, next Friday I get to go get a couple snow tires put on.

Tomorrow I'm going to drive out to the town where I'll be living (so I can "find my way home!"). I may also see if I can go find a thrift shop to pick up a pot and pan, and maybe a sharp knife... a couple things I'll need to tide me over until my stuff gets here sometime in the next month. At least I have sheets to put on the bed they are going to loan me (albeit they are Queen size sheets that'll be on a double bed... but I'll survive). I will need to get a microwave and a German hair blow dryer. I'll probably be eating off of paper plates and using plastic cups for awhile. (This too shall pass).

I have to say... I got teary-eyed when I saw my car. I'm so thankful to have it here!

Okay... signing off for tonight (I've just been chillin' with the dogs and watching some TV tonight).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, January 6, 2011


This is the "Bar" area of the hotel we stayed in up in Leiden, Holland
My bathroom at the hotel (Tulip Inn)

Another view of the bathroom...

My bedroom looking towards the front door...

My room... (at the Tulip Inn in Leiden, Holland).
Oh well... thought I'd post some pictures of my hotel room for the trip to Amsterdam. We stayed in Leiden, which is just outside of Amsterdam. The train station was right across the street (but I never heard any trains, so that was nice!).
The Hrumph! I met with a woman who came in for counseling today, her husband wouldn't come in. I think the woman is at the point of divorce... and then tonight I found out her husband is threatening suicide. How manipulative can you be? I imagine it can be pretty wearying to worry that if you ask for a divorce that your spouse might threaten to kill himself or herself.
Other than that, I don't know where the day went. We did have a meeting this morning... at lunchtime I came back to the hotel and took the dogs out for a walk. I also had to go get a new ID card. This afternoon I had to drop some paperwork off so I can get reimbursed for my rent when that comes due. I need to get the process started now that I have my contract. I still have to get back to them tomorrow with an estimate of how much my utilities will cost. I guess I will get paid XX a month and after a year, they will determine if I got paid more or less than I was supposed to and I'll either get more, or I'll have to pay more.
After work I went and bought a snow shovel and some salt (or whatever it is used to melt ice and to keep the sidewalks clear). I also bought a set of towels (I figure they can stay in the guest bedroom), so I'll have some towels when I get to move into my new place in just over a week.

Tonight I am doing laundry (that's always fun). And I'm watching TV. I called and talked to my daughter Michelle for awhile. She sent me a "Whitman" sweatshirt for Christmas, along with some of her almond roca and a "Walla Walla" Magnet and they came in the mail today. I *still* haven't gotten my Christmas cards that I ordered (they had to be sent to her and she sent them on to me, she mailed them about the 11th of December and they are missing).
Okay... time to sign off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where did the day go?

Swan in Holland
Horse-drawn cart in Holland

New Year's Eve in Amsterdam

New Year's Eve in Amsterdam at Dam Square
Well, I don't know where today went, I only had two appointments (couple therapy), but it was a long, busy day. My last appointment lasted a couple hours because of the issues they were working on.
At lunchtime I did run over to where the other clinic was (in my rental car), just so I could assure myself that I could find it if I get called out in the middle of the night. I didn't have a problem. They have a "Subway" over there, so I picked up a sandwich while I was there.
Okay... I'm going to sign off and chill out with the dogs. I'm still recovering from the weekend - at least I'm still tired. Hopefully I will get to bed early tonight.
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Busy day...

Delft plates in various stages of completion....
One of the artists' tables where the pottery gets painted before the final firing

One of the kilns they use...

Molds and candelabras...

The artists' workstations...
Thought I'd post some pictures from the Delft factory (which was located in a 3-story house).
Today I only saw one couple, but the rest of the day was productive.
1) I signed the contract on the house, so I will be renting it from the 15th of January.
2) I arranged for some loaned furniture (for example, they will let me use a washer & dryer for the duration of time that I am here, I also requested a double-bed and mattress (that's the largest they will loan you), a night-stand a larger refrigerator, I think that's about it. At least I will have a bed to lay on (and eat on?).
3) I went over to the bank to wire the security deposit to the landlord so he will have it before I move in.
4) I picked up my rental car and now I am on-call for the next week.
5) I went to check on getting my internet/cable hooked up, they ordered a modem, once that comes then they will make arrangments to come get it installed.
Other than that, I went out to dinner with David & Carol tonight. Tomorrow I have two couples coming in and I need to go to the Personnel Office to make sure they know how much my rent will be (so I can get reimbursed). I also need to pick up a "gas" card (so I can purchase gas for the car). Seems like something else I need to do.
I did drive by the lot where the cars that come off the boat get dropped off... my car still isn't here... darn it (I checked before I went to get the rental).
I did upload a bunch of pictures to my facebook account last night, but doesn't look like I'll get the rest uploaded tonight. Its already after 9pm. I *did* get my Christmas decorations all taken down last night and put away [Kris pats herself on the back!]. So that's done.

Okay... signing off...
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ready to head to bed...

Me and "Postcard Charlie" (he has a picture of himself on a postcard when he was younger) This was at the Cheese & shoe factory
This woman was nice enough to let us pose with her. And no... I didn't buy any shoes, but one of my co-workers/tour mates bought 5 pairs!

Here's our post-dip picture... BRRRRR... hurry up and take those pictures so we can go change! (there were more that did it... these were the ones I was with in our group, thankfully one of the hubbies was nice enough to take pictures for me!)

At the Delft factory where they hand paint the porcelain. This was BEFORE the "dip." *smiles*
Today at work was a quiet day, as we all settled back in from our trips and the weekend. Still no car... so I had to go make a reservation for a rental car tomorrow... I'm getting a little tiny car... THAT should be interesting! But, I'm going to be on-call tomorrow for a week and need transportation "just in case." They don't have any of the GPS units that I want, and won't get them until Friday. So, hopefully I won't get any calls before then. (I'll just need to print out a map, just in case. I just have to go to the local police station about 15 miles away, at least I don't have to go to anyone's house or anything like that.
Okay... time to take the dogs out for their walk so I can get to bed soon. I'm going to upload about half my pictures to facebook (so they will be uploading while I am walking the dogs). Maybe tomorrow night I can finish uploading the rest of the pics.
Auf Wiedersehen,
- Kris

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm home...

Just a quick note... I'm home from Amsterdam, but it's almost 1am, we got back about 12:30am and tomorrow (Monday) morning I have to be at work by 7:30. Today we went for a canal ride and had some free time. Seems like we did something else? It was a LONG ride back home... and I'm very tired. Dogs were very happy to see me and happy to have me back home. I'll post more pictures as I can.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 1-1-11!

Hope you are having a great day! I had a good time today! We went to the Delft porcelain factory first thing this morning where they still hand paint each piece. I bought a small vase ( I will bequeath it to my daughter Michelle some day), I bought a set of cand.stick holders (for Kati someday) and a salt & pepper shaker set (which will go to my youngest). Then we went up to the beach (or over?), at Scheveningen (sp), and I thin, there were 10 off the bus that went into the ocean (North Sea) . We got there too late to officially register wit the other 10,000, so we didn't get the hat & mittens the rest of the participants got, but I saw a older couple & asked if I could buy one of their hats from them and the woman, bless her heart, gave me hers. I will definitely cherish it! The time there was too short. I did get lots of pictures there were 5 women (4 others that went in with me) one of the husbands took pictures for me.

After the beach we went to a place where they make Gouda cheese AND wooden shoes. I bought some cheese, but didn't buy any of the shoes. One of the women with us (that works in a nearby clinic and we are both under the same hospital structure) bought 5 pairs of wooden clogs! Then we went from there to a Chinese Cantonese restaurant for dinner, it was ok but I've had better. Now we are back At the hotel, some have chosen to go back into Amsterdam to party, but after this blog I am going to go up to my room and crash! I'm tired!

I will post some pictures when I get back to Stuttgart, it might not be tomorrow night because we are due to get back late and I have to get up early on Monday to go to work.

Signing off from Amsterdam...

auf Wiedersehen!