Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day in Den Haag

This past Saturday Brent and I decided to head over to the city of Den Haag.  It is about 40 minutes west of us and sits right on the sea.  We did literally no research and had no plans going there(this is not very typical of me, but somehow that's how it worked).  Funny fact, a 40 minute drive is a long drive to most people in Holland.  If they were going somewhere that was an hour away, they would likely spend the night so the wouldn't have to drive so far in one day.  Anyways, back to Den Haag.  The Hague(as it is translated to) is home to the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court.  Meaning war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity will all be tried here.  It is also one of the major hosting cities of the United Nations.  We didn't take a ton of pictures but here is a glimpse. 

 The Binnenhof and Knights Hall, these buildings house the House of Parliament and government offices

Close up of the fountain 

 Found a warm spot

In the middle of the city in one of the courtyards there was a kid's soccer game taking place.  My reaction,"Brent, it's cobblestone their poor knees when they fall"
Brent's reaction,"How cool, they are boys they don't care about hurt knees all the care about is if they win" 

 One of the stores we were shopping in had an amazing dome with beads hanging down all around it

Now, you know wherever I go I am going to find sweets. The Banana Chocolate chip cupcake was pretty delicious

The entrance into Chinatown 

The garden and park behind the Queens residence 

Playground in the park

Windy day at the beach brought out a lot of wind surfers(iPhone pic so not very good)

We were trying to get a picture together and Brent told me don't hold your hair, lets just see what it looks like...this is what we got

We have an ongoing tradition of getting pictures of Brent leaping in different places we travel.  We now have one in front of the coliseum in Rome, the tulip fields in Holland and now Den Haag beach.

Love this picture and him too


Sunday, June 17, 2012

A little Taste of Home

Brent has a guilty pleasure back in the US.  That guilty pleasure goes by the name of Taco Bell.  Now, this isn't something that he has a lot but he did make sure that it was the last meal that he had before we moved over here.  Well after living here fore 3 months we both have things from home that we miss and Taco Bell was one of my husbands.  His cravings just happened to come the same week that I came across this blog via Pinterest.  It gave me the recipe for a Taco Bell favorite, the Crunchwrap Supreme.  I jumped right on getting ingredients and putting it on our menu for the week.  I made some adjustments to make it a little healthier.  Instead of sour cream I used plain Greek yogurt(seriously you can't even taste a difference and you get some extra protein)  I used a leaner meat and instead of nacho cheese sauce I just used freshly grated cheddar.  They were a big hit and Brent's Taco Bell craving has been satisfied.  Of course I took pictures for all of you to enjoy

Hungry yet? Hope everyone had a good weekend


Friday, June 8, 2012

Things I've learned since moving to Holland

1. There is a reason for bike signals- I never understood the importance of bike signals until moving somewhere, that it is my primary means of transportation.

2. Never believe the weather reports- It will change daily, hourly and in some case by the minute so basically always plan on a little rain, a little sun and a little wind.

3. Get some saddlebags- no, not the saddlebags used to describe an unflattering part of women's thighs, these saddlebags

Seriously they are awesome.  When you have to bring your groceries home on a bike, these things are a lifesaver. And yes, that is one of our sweet rides that it is attached to.

4. Eating healthy is easy-  Fresh produce is cheap and available everywhere here.  Now Brent and I have no excuse to not eat our fruits and vegetables which should make our moms happy!

5. Spicy foods, not in Holland- Brent and I like it hot, our food that is ;)  There is nothing hot about the food here.  No hot sauce to be found and the so called "hot" salsa is sweet and more mild than mild tostadas salsa.

6. Learning a few dutch words goes a long way- Even just please and thank you.  Every time I have said either of them it always puts a smile on the persons face to see me trying and who doesn't like to make people smile!

7. Sprinkles are an acceptable breakfast option - Sprinkles for breakfast= awesome!!

It is common to have these on peanut butter toast in the morning. My favorite is on waffles.  I know a few of my nieces and nephews would be pretty excited to learn they can have sprinkles for breakfast :)

That is all I have for now.  I am sure as we are here I will come across many more things!

Have a good weekend

Monday, June 4, 2012

Durkin's come to Holland

Last week my good friend Nora and her Husband Mike came to visit Brent and I.  Nora and I met on the very first day of freshman orientation at the U of M.  We roomed together that night and stayed up until the early hours of the morning talking.  Needless to say, not much has changed.  Their first night here we were up past midnight catching up.  
They were here from Sunday evening until Thursday morning.  We spent the days touring Utrecht and Amsterdam and the evenings having good meals with lots of laughs! 

The boys doing their best GQ pose in the garden 

The Durkins 

Durkins and Andersons

 Relaxing at the park before dinner.  

Brent's brother Ross and his wife Katie joined us for dinner on Monday night before the flew home on Tuesday morning. 

 On the way home from dinner we walked through the park.  Brent was really excited to find this swing.  With the backpack on he looks like he is at recess

On Tuesday I took Nora and Mike into Amsterdam.  We did a lot of walking around, and the usual things for the first time in the city(red light district, flower market and canals).

 Before we could hop on a canal tour I took them to a cheese shop where they could sample to their hearts delight.  Seriously, the cheese is so good!

 Nora and I waiting for the canal boat

 A replica of an old dutch trading ship that sank on its maiden voyage.  A group of people volunteered to recreate it for display in the harbor. 

A clock tower that is famous in Amsterdam because the clock never worked, well what is the point of a clock tower then!

There are a lot of street performers in Amsterdam, this one created this dog out of sand on the sidewalk.
Dinner the last night at our favorite Italian restaurant(Brent was there too, he's just taking the pic :))

Also, I got my first haircut in Utrecht courtesy of Nora!  She did a great job and I am very thankful!

Thanks for visiting Nora and Mike!  We hope you enjoyed your time here as much as we did!