Monday/Tuesday, May 19/20, Netherlands

May 20, 2008

The Netherlands are known for a few things…besides flowers (which I am sure you got your fill of my million-flower exposition on the last post), there are of course, the windmills, wooden shoes, farms and animals. The past two days have been all about the Dutch life. From windmills in Zaanse Schans to a traditional fishing village called Volendam (Mynde opted not to dress up and take pictures with the other tourists.) The seemingly endless countryside with horses, cows, sheep and goats grazing on the lush green never got tiresome. We visited the local outdoor market in Sneek, took a trip to Snekermeer (Sneek lake), and spent a few hours driving and walking around the quaint little villages that made it seem as if we had gone back in time. All in all, the North part of Holland is quite beautiful with very few tourists, more green than will ever be seen in California and warm people who are generous with who they are rather than the “stuff” they have. It is so refreshing to be away from the materialism of the good ‘ol USA and get a taste of a much simpler life where friends sharing a drink and conversation is more important than what job you have or what car you drive.

Since it is light here for so long, at 8pm last night, we got the idea to show Richard what “Geocaching” is all about. If you have not ever participated, it is a fun “treasure-hunting” activity for all ages. Turns out it is world-wide since we even found a cache in Sneek! With a little help from a nice neighbor, we were able to find the cache and show Richard an interesting new activity.

Many, many thanks to Richard for everything… opening his home, being our tour guide, chef and chauffeur…showing us parts of Holland we would have not ever seen as “regular” tourists and translating all of the conversations…we are forever grateful!!

We have a short video and tried to show with the photos the beauty of the land and surrounding areas.

So today it is off to Amsterdam for our last night in the Netherlands. We will post that final blog when we get back home (and recover from this 23-day adventure). We hope you have enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures…we are glad we took the time to record some of the memories of this vacation and are already looking back to remember all that we have done and seen!

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