Monday, November 19, 2012

Sinterklaas is Coming to Town

On Saturday Sinterklaas,(the Dutch version of St. Nick) came to Utrecht.  The story goes he comes up on the canal from Spain accompanied by his "friends" Zwarte Piete(exact translation is Black Pete, yep real politically correct here :)).  He then docks in town and rides through the city on a white horse.

We had to do as the locals do and get pictures with Zwarte Piete, side note all of these were women with the paint on.  The bags that they are carrying are filled with Poepenoten(translation: pepper nuts), which are little biscuit like ginger cookies.  When Zwarte Piete sees children he will through the mix for the children

We had great spots along the canal for the journey up the canal

Sinterklaas is on that boat, he was on the other side of the canal and this is the best we could get

Boat full of Zwarte Piete
One of the carriages in the parade

Riding his white horse to the Dom Tower

It was definitely an experience!  It was fun to see all of the kids so excited and really got me into the Holiday spirit!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

While Brent's Away

Brent is gone this whole week traveling for work(Germany and Italy) and I have gotten asked by quite a few people what I am going to do with him gone. So here are my plans/goals for this week

- Get long runs in. My goal is to run 40 miles this week.  Typical weeks I do around 35 so hopefully the extra 5 miles will be easy :)

- Eat a TON of leftover Mexican food- Brent and I hosted a dinner last night and instead of cooking for 5 people who would be there, I cooked enough for probably 10 :)  Thankfully Mexican is my favorite and I can mix the ingredients up a little bit.

- Finish my Christmas shopping- I need to get a move on this since we will be in Minnesota in 9 days!!!

- Continue my search for a new apartment for us and a job for me- Neither of these are going very well

- Dinners with friends- I have some lunches and dinners planned with some friends here so I will enjoy the girl time!

Needless to say I am going to keep myself busy!

This past weekend Brent and I went to the St. Maarten Festival of Lights parade with friends of ours.
Anyone who had a lantern could walk in the parade and it was really cute to see some of the lanterns that the little kids had
The Parade started with a St. Maarten(he is the patron Saint of Utrecht) lantern.

Saxophone leading the band through the parade 

The parade ended in the Dom Square and they had the children's band from St. Maarten's school playing.  

It was a cute parade and most of all a fun night out with friends!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stones and Chocolate

Brent went to the U.K for work last week and this was the text I got
Stonehedge was on the side of the road while he was driving to the airport.  This girl=jealous

And of course he brought something home for me

Chocolate covered honeycomb.  It sounds strange but it was amazing!  Now if only I could convince him to bring me back some italian shoes from his trip to Italy next week :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Brent and I will be experiencing Christmas in Holland this year.  Decor has begun to show up along the streets in preparation for Sinterklaas(similar to St. Nick) and Zwarte Piet to come at the end of the month.  With the celebration of Sinterklaas on December 5th.  We will be in Minnesota for Thanksgiving so we will miss a lot of the celebration but I look forward to all the decor being up when we get back.  Last weekend we went into Amsterdam to get a start on our Christmas shopping and we got to see the start of some of the decorations going up.
Pictures are from iphone so sorry for the quality!

 Streets in Amsterdam with holiday lights

Festive chandeliers throughout the city

Now if only they had some snow!