Friday, November 26, 2010

The things to love

We had a great Thanksgiving here in Amsterdam. Scott made some deee-licious food. One of our American friends came over with her family and brought pecan pie and mashed potatoes. It was in fact a proper American Thanksgiving, right in the middle of Holland.

While we were eating, the question was posed, "What do you like about living here?" I have been giving it thought over the last several days. Because the real answer is EVERYTHING, I had to narrow it down to a few favorites. Here's a short list.

1. The food. Without doubt. The food is fantastic here! Everything is fresh and mostly small farm grown. No corporate farming over here and Sysco does not take all the food to all the restaurants. The results in food tasting different everywhere you go. Yummy. Of course the down side is that not too many items have preservatives in them, so it requires frequent trips to the grocery store. I'll take that deal every time.

2. The weather. It is really great weather. It is colder than Houston, but Houston is too hot. Since I had become acclimated to the weather in Houston, I had no idea how bad our weather was. Having been here, I appreciate how awfully hot it was in Houston. I may be fussing about the weather on month 6 of winter in the near future, but for now I am LOVING it!

3. The travel. Almost everything is within a 2 hour plane ride or a 3 hour high speed train ride. In a short three months, I have already been to Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, etc... What a great experience! KLM is my new found friend...

4. My job. What a cool job I have! Some travel is certainly required, but it has been a good trade for the experience for our entire family.

5. Let's not forget about the vino! We are slowly learning our European wines and branching away from the Californian wines. Delicious!

6. The pedestrian lifestyle. We walk or bike or take the tram (which is great and cheap!) almost everywhere. I think there are more bikes here than people. It's healthier and there seems to be much less pollution. That's pretty surprising since this is one of the most populated areas of Europe.

7. My fantastic fam! Scott is finally home from the extensive travels back and forth to the US. The kids are loving it here. They tell us all the time that they never want to go back to Houston (mostly because they say it is too hot). This has already been a wonderful experience and we still have 75% more to go! (This pic is one of them sitting by the river running through Paris by the Louvre.)

We are so lucky to have this opportunity. We appreciate it every day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Awww... Sweet Vacation

We moved to Amsterdam August 5, 2010. Scott traveled back and forth to the USA for one week on and one week off until mid-October. He then returned for just over four weeks. I stayed in Amsterdam, well, all over Europe considering my work, and did my best to hold down the fort. It made me truly appreciate what single mothers do. I have been so lucky to have a husband who was involved with the kids to such a great extent. His absence confirmed what I already knew, which was it would be extremely difficult to do it all by myself.

We made it. It was tough. Tougher than I expected. But we made it.

He returned, and five days later, Scott and I went on a four day vacation to Venice, Italy. It was fantastic. We were able to experience high tide. We were able to eat, drink, and sleep. We were able to simply hang out with no "to-do" lists hanging over our heads. It was much needed.

Here is a short video of our holiday together. I look forward to returning to Italy!