Sunday, April 29, 2012


Brent and I went and saw our first movie in Holland last night.  Before we even got into the movie we had decided it was going to be the best movie ever because of what we got to buy at the concession stand

We got to enjoy the Avengers with beer and gummy bears- great pairing!
Hope everyone else had just as exciting of a Saturday night :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Saturday that the Budde's were here we decided to venture to northern Holland to see the tulips and flower fields.  Brent and I had gotten the recommendation that the Keukenhoff was one of the best places to go.  It is a very large garden/ park with both indoor and outdoor flower gardens.  So we rented a car and headed north.  We took the scenic route and we were able to see fields and fields of tulips along the way.   After me being a back seat driver the entire way (because you know I really know the roads in Europe ha) we made it.  The place was insane- insane with flowers and people.  Again, we dealt with on and off rain, but we made the best of it and saw a lot of flowers. WARNING - there are a lot of pictures of flowers, if you don't like flowers, well skip this post :)

 After we left the Keukenhoff we stopped at some near by fields and literally ran around in the tulips.  By this time the rain had cleared up and the sun was shining. I did some jumping in the flowers, Brent did some leaping and Brad did some prancing.  Who knew you could have so much fun in a tulip field.  After the all the jumping and prancing we made our way to Noorwijk and walked along the beach. It was a nice way to end our visit with the Buddes.

Missy and Brad we loved having you guys here and we know we will all be talking about the great memories from this trip for years to come!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Budde's come to Utrecht

Last week my sister Missy and her husband Brad came to visit Brent and I.  We were so exited to have the two of them stay with us, and I was excited to see my sister's growing belly(she is 5 months preggo).  They spent the first part of their trip in Paris and ended the trip with the Anderson's.  On Thursday we took them around Utrecht showing them the local attractions.  We headed to Amsterdam on Friday.  It rained for a good part of the day so we did lots of ducking in to places.  Our Saturday adventures need a full post of its own.  So until then enjoy a photo tour of our first few days with the Buddes. 

 A good start to the weekend, beers and some good food
  10 years married and they are still cuddling in the rain :)

 Next weekend is Queensday in Amsterdam,(well in all of the Netherlands but Amsterdam is where the biggest party for it is) so they had a carnival set up in the Dam Square to start the  festivities
 Staying dry requires delicious desserts and coffee
 It wouldn't be an Amsterdam trip without a canal picture
 Train ride at night on the way back to Utrecht
 Horribly blurry of Brent and his walk home snack

We had a great time with the Budde's, shared many laughs and made many memories that Brent and I will remember for a lifetime.  I can't wait to visit home in the Fall and see there new little baby(my money is it's a girl :)) 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

Seriously I love coffee.  Like Brent thinks I have a problem. So that is why this weeks favorite thing is...Coffee!! Now you are all saying, "Mindy, you can have coffee in the states" and I know but it is different here.  See the picture below

Do you see what is on the right of the saucer?? That is right a cookie.  Every time you get coffee here they give you some sort of "treat."  It is the best. One place even gives you a mini stroopwafel with your coffee.  If you read my favorite things last week you know how I feel about the stroopwafel :).  

I am spending the next couple days with my sister Missy and brother in law Brad.  Expect lots of posts and stories next week about their visit!

Have a good weekend

Monday, April 16, 2012

And we're biking!

Can you guess what we did this weekend? I'm sure the title of the post doesn't give anything away :)  We finally  look like locals because we officially own a bike!  We went into a few places on Friday to look at some and get an idea of what we wanted/needed.  We went home knowing we would be coming back on Saturday to buy one.  Let me tell you Brent was like a kid on Christmas morning.  He was so excited to get and ride this bike. So Saturday morning we went out and got Brent a haircut(more on that later) and went down the block to get our bike.  We decided to start with one bike and see how it goes and if we think we need to get another one.  I was amazed at how expensive some of the bikes were, I saw one for 750 euros($980!!).  Brent made a good point though that most of the people don't have cars and use the bikes as their main means of transportation.  

Right out side the store he had to jump on!  On the back there is a small little "seat" where Brent thinks I can sit while he bikes, yeah that didn't work out so well.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am not very coordinated so trying to get on the bike while it was moving wasn't working for me.  Needless to say, I walked home while Brent took the bike.  

Loves the bell

Getting back to Brent's haircut.  Both of us are in need of a haircut and he decided to be the first one to try it out.  He calculated the amount he wanted left on his head into centimeters thinking it would be easier for the hairdresser.  It didn't help.  He walked out looking like he was shipping off to the army.  Still looking just as handsome though :).  Now he knows for next time!  
Oh and for anyone who wants to know what the bike traffic looks like here I attached a link below.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Picture Day

Today's post is going to be pretty picture heavy.  Not a lot new to report.  So instead of words here are some photos out and around in Utrecht my first two weeks.

An old windmill
Canal near the city center

 One of the many bikes.  There are more registered bikes in Utrecht than there are people. We still have yet to buy ours!

The Dam Tower. That's dam like daam not Damn :) 

 The tunnel going into the Dam square
 In the park right by our house

An old church across the street from us that has been converted into condos. 

The weather has been getting nicer here so we will definitely be getting out a lot this weekend.  We are hoping to take the train to Den Hague tomorrow. I will be sure to let everyone know what we end up doing!
Have a good weekend everyone

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Favorite Things Week 1

 I decided that once a week I am going to devote a blog post to a favorite thing of mine since we have moved.  These things may be favorites about Utrecht, about Holland or Europe in general. You will have to check back weekly to see what new favorite thing I have discovered.  This weeks favorite is an old Dutch treat, the Stroopwafel.  What is a stroopwafel you are probably asking.  Well let me preface by saying it is delicious!! It is a very thin waffle that is cut in half. Then as you can see in the picture below it is spread with a caramel like syrup. I describe the filling to Brent as liquid heaven, it gives him a good laugh.

 Spreading the warm caramel
 Getting my money ready.  Best part about them, they are only 1 euro.  I always have at least one euro with all that change in my wallet!

Digging in! I do always share with Brent, even though every part of me wants to devour the whole thing my self. 
The fresh ones are only available on the weekends but many stores sell pre-made packaged ones.  Anyone who comes to visit will definitely get to experience a stroopwafel(or two :))!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Recap

Hope that everyone had a great Easter! Brent and I spent our first holiday married by enjoying our new city just the two of us.  We were able to find a church that had an English service at 12:30 so we went to that. It was a bit of an adventure though.  On Friday we decided to find a catholic church so we would not have to worry about finding it on Sunday morning, we would know where it was.  So we get to the church on Friday and they have a sign up(all in English) that every Sunday at 12:30 they have a mass in English.  We were happy about this since we assumed we would be sitting through Easter mass in Dutch.  So Sunday morning we get dressed and head back to that same church.  When we got there 5 minutes before mass the church was empty.  Turns out the sign was advertising for another Catholic church.  We walked fast to the other church and ended up only being 5 minutes late for church. We were also very happy to be able to skype with our families this weekend. Skype is amazing and I don't know how we would do this without it!

Backtracking to Saturday.  Brent and I were really excited about going shopping at the market this weekend.  Every Saturday in Utrecht (other cities too) they have a big market set up in one of the squares in the city center.  They have everything you can think of from clothes to chicken wings to freshly roasted nuts.  Armed with our change...seriously we have so many coins!  They get heavy to carry around! Anyways, we got some really good stuff.  Neither of us are huge olive lovers, BUT one stand had sample of these pesto olives and they changed our lives forever(or just our opinions of olives).

 Seriously delicious pesto olives
These Peppers were spicy and stuffed with cheese. Spicy and cheese, two of my favorite things!!
The best part about the market is that they have samples of almost everything. That is how we ended up with the peppers. One bite and Brent was instructed that "we need these."

 We decided after we bought the olives we needed some cheese to go along with them.  And of course we had to sample all the cheeses they had out before we decided on one. All of the cheeses are always displayed on these olive wood trays. Brent now insists we need an olive wood tray.  This is the same man who every time we got another serving tray as a gift from showers etc. made a sarcastic comment about the quantity of serving dishes and trays we had. :)

 Below are all of our market purchases assembled for our late lunch.  I am not posting the after pictures because it is slightly embarrassing how we demolished the food.  We also got a new macro lens for our camera so it gave me an opportunity to play around with it.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the first of my weekly favorite things post!
Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Getting to Know you

While typing out the title of the post, in my head I was singing that very song from the King and I :). My older sister Missy and I were in that play together when we were kids. Aah good times!

Anyways, on the getting to know you theme, yesterday Brent and I went to another Internations event.(Internations is a online forum for expats to meet one another and once a month they have meet ups)  Some of you may remember that when we visited Utrecht in November we attended the first meet up they had here, and were not super impressed. Well last night was much better.  There were all different people than the first time with a good mix of different nationalities.  There were two other Americans there, and guess what? Both of them are from Minnesota! To  make things even crazier, one of them was in the same dorm as I was freshmen year of college and lived directly below me- such a small world!  We also met quite a few people who live in the same neighborhood as us. It ended up being a fun night and both of us were glad that we went.

Today we are off to the market - look for a post to come all about it!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We're Here...and almost settled!

Brent and I are in our new home!!  I arrived in Utrecht on Wednesday the 28th and thankfully we moved into our new apartment the following day.  I was really happy that I only had to spend one night in a hotel.  Brent on the other hand had to spend 10 nights there.  Needless to say he was ready to be settled in a place. The place came fully furnished, thankfully. We would not have had to bring a single thing in, but of course I wanted some of the things to be our own(sheets, towels etc.).  Today our boxes of all the items I had shipped got here, so it will really start to feel like home. So instead of me going on about the place I will just show you (excuse the lighting on the pics, the place really does let a lot of light in)

 Our living room
 My handsome husband hard at work
 Living and Dining area from Kitchen
Our bedroom

We have a second bedroom/office but right now it is filled with our luggage and boxes.  We have 2 bathrooms(strangely enough 1 is just a toilet by the front door...who knows why).  Brent found this place the week he was here by himself and thought I would like it.  He was right! There were quite a few fake floral arrangements that the landlord had decorated with, Brent had made sure to put them in the storage area :) 
So now I am off to try and unpack some more boxes and suit cases!! Wish me luck!