Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years on the Amstel River

Videos of New Years on the Amstel River in Amsterdam

Happy New Year!

These are Oliebollen. Literally, oil balls. They are traditional Dutch donuts meant to be eaten on New Years. You can find them sold in stores and from little carts all over Amsterdam. But, today on NYE, everyone wants one. There were lines out the door of every bakery we passed!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Word of the day: Detritus

His explanation for using this word instead of a normal word like debris was "words are fun."

No more crunchy underpants!

Meet our new favorite thing: Silan fabric softener. For the first couple of weeks that we were here all of our clothes were crunchy. You see, we have a washing machine, but no drier, and therefore, no soft fluffy clothes. However, this little bottle of heaven seems to make quite an improvement in the softness of our clothes. Amazing!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quote of the day: Sunday

"You told me you were going to die before me!" "Yeah, only if we live naturally."

Blending in to their new habitat

The common house cat, felis domesticus, has evolved over millions of years to be indistinguishable from its surroundings:

Btw - today is Stuart's 2nd birthday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Honeymoon destination chosen: Vienna, Austria

When asked where we were going on our honeymoon we offered a few different responses... "our honeymoon is a year in Amsterdam!" or "we're not going on a honeymoon exactly" or "wherever we travel to first once we get to Europe we will call it our honeymoon."

Well, it turns out, that our first planned trip will be Vienna, Austria in mid-January. It happens to be the top city on Dave's "must see while we live in Europe" list (mine is Venice, Italy but we're going there in April for my birthday). So, we decided to go before spring semester begins and my classes start and his work schedule kicks into high gear. Plus, it is sort of a belated birthday trip for him, so we thought Vienna would be perfect.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dear Kitty,

Ok, well, perhaps "everything" isn't closed today... museums are open! So, we decided to do our first "touristy" thing here in Amsterdam. We went to Anne Frank's House. I was there about 10 years ago but was ready for a refresher. It was so moving and powerful.

You know you're in a different country when...

...the day after Christmas is called "second Christmas" day. All that means to me is that everything is still closed!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It may be Christmas but it is STILL Hanukkah too

I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.
When it's dry and ready, dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.


Christmas Lasagna

My adorable husband made the most amazing lasagna tonight. We figured since a lot of places would be closed for a few days it would be a good thing to make because we could eat it for many meals.

Breakfast on Christmas morning

It's Christmas morning and we're in Holland so of course I want to make Pannenkoeken. We decided to make Poffertjes (which in the US we call silver dollar pancakes) and I even put sprinkles in some of them. Sprinkles are a very Dutch thing... like it's a food group. In the US sprinkles go on ice cream as a topping, in Holland you can put sprinkles onto bread and eat it like a sprinkle sandwich.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jewish Xmas Eve... Chinese food!

And our Christmas Eve ended Jewish style... with a Chinese feast at Oceania!

Lunchtime concert at the Concertgebouw

Our Christmas Eve started out with a free Lunchtime concert at the Concertgebouw.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Candle Lighting on the Dam: The Experience

This is what the Dam looks like just days before Christmas. Holiday shoppers are everywhere, there is a huge christmas tree brought in from Trondheim, Norway (where Monica and Daniel lived coincidentally) and it feels like winter!

Well, tonight, there was an addition... a HUGE Menorah that was going to be lit by the Mayor of Amsterdam. We watched from a huge group of Jews and non-Jews. Luckily it wasn't too cold so it was actually pleasant to stand outside on this lovely winter night to say the prayers and sing Ma'oz Tzur with the crowd.

Candle Lighting on the Dam

They mayor (burgemeester) of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, is coming out to the Dam (central square) to light a HUGE menorah (grote menora) tonight. Hopefully it won't be too cold because we plan on standing out there to enjoy the festivities.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's still Hanukkah!

Where is he jetting off to now?

As MONday comes to a close over here in Amsterdam, I MUST MUST MUST post my new favorite picture of my favorite baby boy. Erik, you're the cutest thing!!!

Festival Crashers ChicBuds Video on YouTube

Accomplishment of the day

Today I joined a fitness center called Your Future! I hope to be spending a lot of time there in... MY future.

It's not a big flashy gym, it's just the right size for me... there are a few good machines and a couple of good classes every week. It should do the trick.

I think my favorite thing about this map is that it is not exactly accurate. The street is correct but the fitness center is on the other side of that main road, right across the street from the church.

Our street is also on this map. So, if you are at all familiar with Amsterdam then now you know the neighborhood we live in. FUN!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our new bikes!

Here is Dave and Theo and below is me and Stella. Off we go!

Albert Cuypmarkt

Sinterklaas came by to hand out fruit to the children!