Sunday, June 29, 2008

Full to Over-Flowing!

Normally, our trips to Amsterdam last longer than a week! When they don't, like this trip, they can become chock-full to the brim! So, no wonder I haven't posted since I arrived...and before I fly home tomorrow!

Donica was here at the beginning of the week and got to see our Dutch friend, Astrid, on Tuesday before she (Donica) flew off to London till yesterday. So, while the cat was gone...yes, we played! I could do a separate photo album on each of these photo hunts, but for now, here's a smattering.

Even though Astrid has been to Amsterdam many times in her life, often with her father years ago, she had never been to nearby Vondelpark. So that's where we went on Tuesday. 120 acres (47 hectares) of parkland with ponds and grass and wonderful lazing-about places, full of flora and fauna. And yes, even ice-cream stands!

It was a photographer's heaven. And since Astrid is from my Shutterchance photoblog "community," we really were in heaven.

That was Tuesday.

THEN, we went to Windmill Heaven on Thursday!
I kid you not! If you can picture a place where there are 19 (NINETEEN, count them) windmills all within the space of a bird's-eye view, you have found Kinderdijk (Child's Dike), 15km east of Rotterdam.

Talk about a kid in the candy shop! OMG! NO, I do NOT have one photo with all 19 windmills in one shot. It's possible from the air, but that day I was not in the air, only on Cloud 9.

Because Donica was gone for a few days in a row, I was able to be gone, too, killing several birds with one stone in Astrid's neck of the world. I was able to watch tennis, two nights in a row. Astrid and her son are both tennis players and the first night, they played each other. Like mother like son! The second night I was able to watch Son play in one of his championship games...and win!

And THAT was on the same day, Friday, when Donica had the good fortune of being at Wimbledon, believe it or not. Centre Court! It was an all-day affair for her: Federer vs. Gicquel, S. Williams vs. Mauresmo, and Ancic vs. Ferrer.

Earlier on Friday we went exploring in Astrid's backyard.
How's this for the entrance to a museum?! HA! If you can't take a joke, you need to get a life, right??!!

Here is Astrid showing me her float for her city's big celebration in September. Shhhhh. You didn't see this. It's a surprise. No one in her city is supposed to know anything about it except the 12 ladies who are making it. You did NOT see a thing, did you!! When the parade happens, I'll show you everything then because Donica and I are planning to go watch it.

Just feet away from that float is a sheep fold (in the same shed/barn) where I went into fits of ecstasy. Baaaa. Baaaa. High-pitched. Low-pitched. I couldn't stop laughing hysterically. I just "baaaaaa-ed" with them.

And when we walked around and saw the cows and chickens running wild, I thought of my BIL, Don, and his chickens. Here an egg, there an egg, everywhere an egg-egg.

As if that wasn't enough, we then drove out into the polder where Astrid runs not far from her house.

Sheep and more sheep. This time I wasn't laughing hysterically but was in that blissful state of Soulful harmony with Mother Nature. Those sheep really do follow the leader. And I even saw one sheep turn around and start baaaaa-ing to those far behind: "C'mon, you donkeys! Hurry it up, would you?!"

Then we transferred all the photos off our cameras and enjoyed the whole thing all over again. It was the Second Blessing. Heaven.

All my trips to this side of the pond are not usually this jam-packed with activity. But this time I made the most of the opportunities at hand and took advantage of them.

Today Donica and I will slow down and may even go see a movie, which is relaxing for us. Tomorrow I fly back to Atlanta, followed by her on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday we fly to Michigan, along with Amy, Dennis and Nicholas, for the Hart Family reunion at the cottage for the July 4th holiday.

As you see, my knee is clearly up for the tasks at hand! It has not slowed me down one bit. So YES, I'm well on the mend! Thanks to all of you who have sent your best wishes. If you don't see me again before Michigan, a great July 4th to all you Americans. Enjoy the holiday!


  1. Dit is zo ontzettend geweldig, zoveel gezien in zo'n korte tijd.
    Ik ben onder de indruk van dit 'reis-verslag'.
    I am impressed by the beauty of this post of you Ginnie, yes we both have the love for photography, we did so many things last weeks, we did have a ball, Vondelpark was great to be in, I will post a collage of that on SC next week.
    The weather was our biggest friend I think, not too cold and not too hot.
    It's always fun to meet Donica and you together, you know I cherish those moments, Donica and I have the same humor too......
    Your staying at my place was just a nice occasion to see 'Dutch' life from very close by, Jeroen was really happy you could make it that Friday evening.
    I am surprised of the picture of my project...SSHHHH...nobody saw that yet...we had the most fun with the sheep.
    Ginnie thanks for sharing these wonderfull memories, your pictures are so good, you know I am not saying that because I have too, but beacause they are good.
    Have a safe flight home and see you soon again in mid-July.

  2. Wow! Is it already reunion time again Ginnie??? My how the years (and your week) flew by!! I loved sharing your week with you and Astrid... it makes me homesick for Holland *sigh*

  3. Oh my goodness, you've been busy! And that knee has NOT slowed you down one bit, has it? Love the sheep. I don't see them very often myself, but I have a special love of sheep because they make wool and I love knitting. (I guess to me knitting is a soulful thing.) Have a happy Fourth of July. Our holiday is July 1, so a Tuesday this year. My husband took Monday off and we are having a four-day weekend at our house.

  4. Beautiful picture of you at the PC, the best I have seen in a long time!

  5. Hi Ginnie: Good news that your knee is behaving itself and carrying you to all those wonderful places in your photos. The windmills are fascinating!
    You certainly are quite a jet-setter, crossing the Atlantic more times than anyone lese I know! Do all the air hostesses call you by your first name by now??
    I came back from 3 weeks in England last week, so I have been posting some pics of my sightseeing there.
    Emjoy July 4th... our special day in Canada is July 1.... Canada Day!

  6. I'm glad to see that your knee is feeling better!

    Donica got to go to Wimbledon, center court even? I don't think there is any event on the planet that she can't get tickets for!

  7. What a picture gallery you put up for us today. Awsome! Happy to hear that your knee is healing well. You were a very busy bee!I'll have to see the windmills next time I'm in A'dam.

    Have a safe flight home!

    To Astrid: Us??? See something??? Project???? Uhm... No... Only a few sheep and windmills! ;)

  8. Hello Ginnie!
    This is awsome, I cannot travel to anywhere right now so your blog are my eyes, eeeeh no! Your eyes are my travels hehe! Neh its stille not getting much better ( I feel better) but you made my day Gin! Thanks and I am soglad that you saw the "good things " Of Holland, thats why I love Holland...

    BTW How is your knee doing???

    Anyhow I am slowly back in blogland, not with 'fresh' photo's but I am using my creativity to make from older photo's a new creation...

    Have a good week
    Dag van JoAnn/Holland

  9. Phew, I'm exhausted!

    You are rich indeed to experience life so thoroughly, with such a friend. And I'm still loving imagining D at Wimbledon. It will be a treat to catch up at Hukilau.

  10. So happy to hear that your knee is healing splendidly! It sounds like you had a blast and i'm so glad you share your adventures with us! The sheep are so cool and the sneaky on Astrid's float really peeked my interest! I can't wait to see the full review in September.
    Can you believe it's already July?? Hold on tight...the ride just gets faster and faster.

  11. Hey those hens need some nestboxes! I have a chance to get some dutch chickens this summer and I may not be able to resist! THey are called welsummers and they lay dark brown eggs. Looking forward to seeing you two this week!

  12. I think I win first prize for always catching your blog -2 seconds before the post and a day after... (yours and everyones)...

    Oh my I'm in heaven listening! How I wish I could go hunting for longer periods of time like you. With my time off, I seem to exhausted to do more than a day.

    We have Canada Day here tomorrow.. And I'll certainly be thinking of you on the 4th...

    You did so much in one week! :)

  13. Ginnie these shots are wonderful and I just wish I could have been there with the two of you..I was in mind and spirit,if not in soul.
    I love the shot of Astrid and Jeroen. She is a very proud mother as we all are.
    Boat what boat...!!!
    Great memories mijn vriend:-)

  14. What a lovely summing up from a great adventures and with great pics (as always) too. This wind mills are so typical Dutch!

    Really hope you and Donica had a great and relaxing time and that the movie was great :-)

    Glad to hear your knee is okay too!

    A great 4th of July to you too!

  15. Hello Ginnie,
    Just see how you're doing... wishing you a good weekend (again!!) See you maybe some other time..

    Greetings JoAnn From Holland

  16. Living life to the fullest, Ginnie, that's so you!