Saturday, 15 January 2011

Holidays, Holland, and Home

More and more time passes between posts and I know I should write and record tales of our time here, but I've come to realize I don't enjoy writing. I like to share what is occurring in our lives, but as for typing it out in coherent ways, as Olive would say, "Not so Much." I read my friend Lis' blog Half-Assed Mama. She loves words and her stories come out entertaining and complete - even if it is a three line post. Talent. So I apologize for my upcoming blurts accompanied by pictures. We are all not made for a bloggers life.

Christmas was here at home in Cheveley. Santa was visited in his Grotto (a small back room in a toy shop with a red curtain over the door) and Olive wasn't sure about this man with a pony tail, ear ring, and a small little room he was trying to bring her to. Good Girl! Alas, after Josh and I said it was okay because he was Santa, we were able to snap this shot of an anxious Olive and Father Christmas. We also took part in traditional English foods and favors (crackers) much to the enjoyment of all. Pigs in a blanket is really pig wrapped in a pig. And Christmas pudding aged 12 months to "perfection" is a beauty that is held in the eye of the beholder.
Soon after, Barbara and Rob appeared for a 15 day excurison here to England with a side trip to Holland. Sights around the area were partook and many a city walk were had. Highlights included the New Years Day Parade in London. Ironically it consisted of 75% American High School Marching Bands (WA & IN included). But there were a few UK highlights including the Donkey Society and the Pearly Kings & Queens (men and women covered in pearl buttons sewn to their suits). AND instead of throwing candy like at most US parades Olive was pelted with fresh fruit. She scored a pear but the grapes that hit the guy across the way didn't fair as well.
The quick 3 day trip to Holland was to visit Barbara's extended family of Aunts and cousins in Haarlem. All lovely people and the Aunties were spry & quick witted for being  mid 80s and above! When not visiting family, we did a lot of driving (for such a small country, we probably did more than we should) We walked around Volendam & got our pictures taken - now 4 generations of photos have been taken at the same shop. Say "Whiskey." Also had a Heineken Oud Bruin (Old Brown) which is entirely too sweet for a beer but a national favorite. In Zandvoort Josh and Babs got a salted herring - smelled so much like onions, and raw yet pickled fish didn't sound very appetizing. But, they both loved it. Browsed the streets of Alkmaar and had a cheese croquette. Of course there was a klumpa and kass factory tour, and plenty of molen to see as well. AND we had a quick rainy morning in Amsterdam walking about. We shielded her from the adult content in the windows the best we could. Gazing into a coffee shop is less scaring than an adult toy shop. Lots of pretty colored glass. It was like being at a Chihuly exhibit instead.
Now, we're getting back to normal routines and planning next adventures. Olive's big move in Kid-dom is she has asked to stay for lunch with the other kids at "Lunch Club". Today it took 8 stores, 1 hour, and a random occurrence into a luggage shop to procure a re-usable lunch bag- a pink and purple cat. If there was a Target it would have been 1 store, 5 minutes, and no story to tell. Ah England.