Friday, February 3, 2012

When In Rome... or ... the Netherlands...

I'm only a month late on my posts...I promise I am catching up...... When I went to visit the Taylor family in Eindhoven, it was great to participate in a few Dutch traditions. Not being blond, or able to speak Dutch, I did my best.

Tucker and I set off on our road trip and took the chunnel over again. Door to door, we could have been there in 5.5 hours (see our previous road trip post about how easy it is to drive through four countries) but awful weather kept us going slow on the highway and stuck in traffic for 7 hours instead.

Tucker never seems to mind. He loves being in the car for some reason. Probably because he doesn't have to drive. 

Although it seems so long ago, Tucker and I went to visit at Christmas time. I really enjoyed myself as for some mysterious reason, the Belgium radio station was playing all Christmas music. That hour of my drive was fabulous. Here Tucker gets into the Christmas spirit with Sadie, Barb's younger daughter.

Since I never actually spend Christmas in my own home/rented accommodation, Tucker is enthralled by the Christmas tree. Then again, all his dog sitters always have a tree. I think he must be looking at the tree with longing.

The girls were happy to have Tucker around. Besides the Santa hat gift in the earlier photo, they spent quite a bit of time decorating his collar to make it more festive and giving him gifts. Mia, Barb's older daughter, made Tucker a stocking of his own.

So because it was a trip somewhere new, we decided to get out and about and do some visiting. We went to a nearby town that was the home of Van Gogh in his early painting years. It was in this town that he painted one of his more famous works, the Potato Eaters. Here Zack and I are at the start of the Van Gogh tour. And yes, it is December, it was cold outside.

 Being so far North, I was surprised to see a few of the older homes still had a thatched roof.

 Can this really be cost effective with the heating bills??
 When in the Netherlands... there has to be a windmill, right? I made Zack and the kids stop for a photo. You can't not have a photo of a windmill. It just goes against the tourist code.

 While we were there, we also had to take Tucker to the vet (long story) for a stupid customs procedure to get him back into the UK. Of course, we are being Dutch so we head out on bicycles. Tucker gamely rode in the bakfiets (wheel barrow -like bicycle where the kids sit in the wagon in the front) on the way to get money. However, he didn't really enjoy being a passenger so scared the heck out of Barb by hopping out of the front mid ride and deciding to run along side. Needless to say, Tucker got LOTS of exercise that weekend.

Being a good American tourist, I also had to take a photo of Zack's gardening shoes. Oh yeah, these are wooden clogs. Sweet!

Lastly, if you can ignore the atrocious Ohio State reference, this photo is for some Michigan friends who don't realize the neighborhood fishmonger leaves the head on the fish when you buy it.

Yes, I'm a fan of red snapper.

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