Saturday, December 08, 2007

Seasonal Dutch

First of all, there ARE tulips in Holland in the wintertime! Donica always stops at the corner flower stand when we arrive in Amsterdam and buys flowers for the apartment. You can imagine my delight when she brought home these tulips. They didn't last long and we're already on our second batch, but, HEY, WHO CARES!

Last Saturday when we were out-n-about (and saw Sinterklaas, remember?), we were down on the main shopping street in the Centruum. Yup, that's what it looks like right now.

And closer to our apartment, at the Leidseplein, everything is lit up just gorgeously. The Bulldog cafe is so appropriate for us Georgia girls, you know. Son Mark graduated from the U. of Georgia, the Bulldog school! I think of him every time I see this place.

Turn around from the last photo (Bulldog, remember?) and this is what you see across the tram tracks. Amy, remember when you and Angie sat at that outdoor cafe with all those tables and chairs and had a drink while people-watching? It's been turned into this ice-skating rink. How cool is that!

I pretend I'm that lady waving! It takes me back to high school days when we did all that ice-skating down by the river where they flooded our baseball diamond each winter. Talk about memories!

Then, to put frosting on the cake, just yesterday afternoon, just before 5p when it was almost dark, I heard the organ grinder! MY organ grinder! I couldn't believe my ears. This time it was Christmas music and yes, he stopped right outside our windows, as always. I did not throw open the sash to see what was the matter, but I did tear down the stairs with camera and Euro coin in hand. I was not disappointed.
BTW, if you squint, you can see the stand of Christmas trees there at the end of our street under the lights.

So you see, what we're missing in Atlanta right now we're NOT missing here. This is MY first December/winter in Holland (Donica has been here at this time of year many times on business the last 12 years), and I'm like a Child. Full of wonder and delight.

This is our last weekend here before we fly home for the end of this year, but more on that later....

Hope you're all enjoying this season wherever you are! PLEASE.


  1. You are obviously well into the Christmas Spirit (and I don't mean the liquid variety!). The tulips are gorgeous, but surely they must be grown in a greenhouse at this time of year?
    The organ grinder is a wonderful old-world touch, to see one on the street would make my day!

  2. Oh Ginnie! These pictures are beautiful! I wish I were there! We have very similar scenes in Basel as well and it makes me smile every evening when I take the tram home and drive by the Christmas Market.

  3. Ex-S: I'm sure the tulips are greenhouse grown, but that makes them even more special because at least they're being grown! I have never seen an organ grinder in Atlanta or any other city where I've lived. So, yes, it feels very "old-world" to me as well! I love it. :)

    CS: Donica is going to be in Arosa around Jan. 10th while I fly to AMS. Can you believe it! I will really be thinking of you then!! I hope the New Year will bring our meet-up quickly. We've had to wait much too long!

  4. Boots, this is obviously a second childhood, a second lifetime for you, living anew in Europe. You're getting to know traditions there I wish we had kept here. Such mutts we are, with no ethnic traditions growing up. It's thrilling to watch and listen to you embrace it all, like a child. Enjoy every minute, I feel your excitement and childlike enthusiasm. What a wonderful post.

  5. Your words are right-on, Ruth! The older I get, the more Child I am becoming. I think it's my Soul Purpose in life right now, if that makes any sense! Thank you for knowing me.

  6. Hi Ginnie

    Very nice photos, I like the colors and your discription of everything.

  7. Yes, my daughter's name is Astrid but I suppose she is not the one you met. And yes I will help you with the bigger photos. But you have to change things in HTML and the question is: how much do "YOU" know about that. It is not so difficult but if you don't know anything about it, then it is better to have someone at your side to help. To change the background is much more complicated.

  8. It's so beautiful! I'm so excited for you, so many new experiences, i can imagine the big smiles and your gleaming eyes!

  9. The tulips are so lovely, I buy flowers every other week for the house. It brightens up the place.
    What great fun your having in Amsterdam Ginnie and with so much going on. The christmas season is for kids of all ages and I know you are a big kid at heart, as am I.Enjoy what time you have left before you return to Atlanta.:)

  10. Ruth/A.Boots-

    I think the Harts didn't serve the generations well with "ethnicity"--maybe because of their own "only child" syndromes.

    As for my Carlson side, the Swedish traditions are firm and memorable. I wish you all had experienced the u.k., celtic, swedish traditions of Carl and Barbara!!

    I'm so envious of you, that you are able to enjoy this other culture!! Have fun!

  11. What a lovely post Ginnie and of course tulips from Amsterdam is alway something special and it reminds me of one of my favorite song :-) It reminds me more of spring though lol

    Thanks for taking us through a guided tour. It's a long time since I've been there and actually it looks quite a lot like Brussels to me.

    Hope you'll have a safe trip home and a great Holiday - both of you!

    I've enjoyed this season a lot and also your lovely posts about it!

  12. Oh the flowers are so beautiful. And the sites, wow! I still think Vancouver lacks culture or is it that people are too afraid to do things outside for fear of the spoiling rain?

    What I do know is that the only thing close to the beautiful scenery we have had are the incredible sunsets that I literally run to capture (and near where we ate Thai food)..

    By the way, we went there last night to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. I thought of you both of course.

  13. Oh i love the tour of the streets and all the beautiful lights, thanks for sharing the holidays in another country. The Organ Grinder would also be my favorite, I would love to here the sounds coming from it.

  14. Thanks for your comment on the antique and classic cars, they were spotless, not a speck of dust or mud to be seen. You have to be truly dedicated (and rich!) to own one of those cars!

  15. Wow Ginnie, where have I been, I just saw these pictures, THIS is Amsterdam in this time of year, I am always surprised how you can discribe supurbly the atmosphere, it is fun on a skatingring just put there for a few weeks, I do hope the weather will be colder, so we can skate the canals again, THAT will be fun for you to watch when you are back here 'next year', someday I will give you some advise to let your tulips survive a 'little longer, thanks for the wonderful pictures.

  16. You and the organ grinder, that's too funny. You are probably his first stop now! I love tulips also! Those ones are ruffly and pretty !

  17. So pretty! And what a treat to see YOUR organ grinder again. Amsterdam is a beautiful city any time of year, I bet.

  18. Dick (twice): You're such a sweetheart to stop by!!!

    Mad: Just like a little kid, that's me! Thanks. :)

    Lurch: Just think--we kids will get to play together after the New Year! I can hardly wait!

    Mrs. M: I think what I didn't have back then, Shari, I'm making up for now! Better late than never, I guess.

    Renny: You're a sweetheart! I love that we can share the different cultures we're in!

    ET: 2nd anniversary already! WOW! Congratulations! The year has just flown! You keep grabbing the photo ops you're given and that's all that matters!

    L&N: I feel so lucky to be here, Lilli. It really is a taste of heaven! :)

    Ex-S: HA! And you get to take the photos! :)

    Astrid: If you get to skate the canals, I WANT TO SEE IT! Or at least see your photos. Can you skate and take photos at the same time? Wouldn't THAT be a cool effect!! I hope you'll be able to try it. :) Oh, and now I can thank you for the tulip tip!

    RRD: Yes, I'll never let him forget me, Stacey! :)

    Christina: That's what I'm finding out! Just like Hannover, but different. :)

  19. They just do everything with such class and taste there!