Monday, October 15, 2012

ROBIN: Our First Blogger Visitor

Last post I gave you the teaser of our second overnight visitor here in Gorinchem, Netherlands, where we have lived now for 3 years:

I met Robin through my Vision and Verb colloration site.  She actually makes the 3rd woman I've met from the group.  Petra is no longer with us but because she lives nearby, we have met up with her twice.  Cherry is the other one, from England, whom also we have met up with twice.  It's a small world after all!

When we found out Robin's hubby was going to be in Amsterdam for a conference, we connected with each other to make sure we grabbed her for as many days she could give us.  It was 3 days, technically, but only one full day in between.  Needless to say, we packed it in.

 On our long way home after picking her up in Amsterdam, we stopped at the
 Wijnhandel van Ouwerkerk wine store/business/museum from 1860 in nearby Arkel.

Talk about a photographer's heaven!

Once home and after getting her settled into her guest room across the courtyard, Robin joined us for Astrid's homemade spinach tart and an evening of relaxation.  It was the calm before the storm.  HA!

As with Bob and Peggy when they visited a year ago, we had a route planned.
Of course, we went the back roads to see the real Holland and stopped at every whip-stitch.
Astrid is very used to stopping on a dime, of course, and we let Robin know!

Culemborg was our first real stop to see the ornate city hall and the city gate...
and to have our koffie met appeltaart!  Just a quickie stop.

The bulk of our time we spent in Wijk bij Duurstede, first to see the Rijn en Lek drive-through windmill...
and actually drive AND walk through it...only 35 miles from us.  
It's a big deal for us because it's the only one in the world, supposedly.

Besides the windmill, the Kasteel Duurstede is the other main attraction.
When Bob and Peggy were with us, there was a wedding taking place, so it, too, is a big deal.
It's nice when you can shoot 2 birds with one stone!

And yes, that was where we also ate our lunch, at the same café as with Bob and Peggy.
I think we need to start getting a tourism commission, don't you?  :)

That evening, by the way, once we were back home, we took Robin to our favorite pannenkoeken restaurant out in the polder to let her experience the real deal.  We will take everyone there who visits us, so start licking your chops.

The next day, before returning Robin to Amsterdam, we chose Hoorn as our final city/place of interest. 

This is just one of many Dutch harbors but famous as Amsterdam's sleeper community.
Another fabulous photographer's heaven!

The Hoofdtoren is no doubt Hoorn's most famous landmark, from 1532.

From the wharf, we watched lots of sailing activities out in the IJsselmeer.
We were short of eyes, of course....

...and were actually followed around by this gentleman, Cor, a photographer who knows his stuff.
Robin might remember how old he is but 87 sticks in my head...or was it 78?
[Robin remembers 87 because he's as old as her dad!]

We especially enjoyed this gentleman cleaning his boat with the harbor water.
I bet there's a Boaters Have More Fun bumper sticker somewhere!

Except that we really have fun eating, which surely is more fun!

We parked outside of Amsterdam and took the Metro into city center to return Robin safe-n-sound.
She and hubby then proceded to wine and dine us, along with his co-worker.
After dinner we walked to one of Amsterdam's brown cafés and had a huppelolie.
That's what I'm sipping in the top left image:  a sweet kruidenbitter (= spice bitter).

How's that for saying Good-Bye to a new-found friend.
We actually left her with a catch in our throats.  We didn't want it to end!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So, instead of leaving on that are the goodies I collected while out-n-about with our new friend:


...and all those gevelstenen (= gable stones) I love. 

I wonder when Robin can come back???  She's already talking about bringing a girlfriend next time!
You'd want to come back, too, if you ever have the chance to come the first time.  :)


  1. Oh Ginnie (and Astrid!)...going through your post was like re-living my time with you two. I am still basking in knowing that I've had a taste of the real Holland and feeling so thankful to have found friends like you two to show me. I'm still amazed at how much ground we covered, how much I learned about your country, and how much I've fallen in love with both of you! I so want to return one day and I know I will! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! And I'm already thinking about the possibility of your stay for a few days in October in my city! xoxo P.S. 87..and the only reason I remember is because that's the age of my daddy.

    1. Now you know why it's important to me to do these posts, Robin. This really is the over-all snapshot of what we experienced together. Too bad I didn't have pictures of the 3 of us sitting at the laptops here at the table each morning and evening. That may be my favorite memory of them all!

      Don't you just love how we can connect with each other out of everyone in the whole wide world and be so kindred immediately. Cherish is the word! We are definitely looking forward to our next encounter...probably in NYC before Atlanta next year! We love the thought!

  2. Robin is right, these posts make that I relive it all over again. Sometimes I even forget what we all did. It was great to have Robin as a guest and show her around. We always see new things, take a slightly different route, meet other people. The weather was just amazing.
    The pictures of the gevelstenen en the weather-vanes are fabulous, that a treat over and over again.
    Your pictures show that we covered a lot of ground. Wijnhandel van Ouwerkerk, is a delight, I have been there many times and each time there is more to see than the last time.
    Until we meet again, we say to Robin......

    1. Until we meet again! I like that. Yes, indeed. So many bridges to our new dear friend. This is what makes life worth living. And you are such a great chauffeur!!! Hartstikke bedanke.

  3. you ladies had so much fun visiting. your photo walk route is awesome. may be you could moonlight as personal tour guides for photo enthusiasts.

    1. Fun is an understatement, Maria. We had a blast! :) Isn't it amazing how some people come into your life and immediately make you feel so comfortable. That's Robin. I think she would have been happy and satisfied with anything we did!

      Speaking of tour guides for photo enthusiasts, I think maybe YOU would quite enjoy that role?! :)

  4. Goodness, what an action packed couple of days! It makes me wonder if The Netherlands have more hours in the day than the rest of the world :)

    1. HA! I know what you mean, Anne. At least it doesn't happen every weekend! :) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. It looks like you were all having a fabulous time. You managed to capture a lot of photos :-)

  6. You lucky girls! Looks like such a wonderful time, thanks for taking us along and sharing so many great images.

    1. Now I'm just wondering when you and Larry can wander over to visit, Susan??? :)

  7. Ah loving all of the photos! I'd definitely want to go back too! Love all of the hunts you go on. I definitely miss all of that. They will come back as time goes on for me. But the posts and the shots sure make me smile.

    1. Right now your life is full of that precious little girl and your work, of course, Jen! We all know that! Your photo hunts like this will come in time, trust me. And maybe sometimes you'll just make them happen while the 3 of you are out-n-about! :) In the meantime, thanks for being so supportive of ours.

  8. It's nice getting a sneak peek at a visit. :-)

    After a few more visitors, I think there will be nothing you haven't noticed. Isn't it wonderful?

    1. We may start changing it up a bit, Ruth, just for us. HA! But thanks. One day it'll be YOUR turn, I hope!

    2. If you build it we will come. :)

    3. So then, how can we start to plan! Wouldn't that be fun!!!

  9. How I love those gable stones! They are so beautiful!
    You had such a fun time with Robin, Ginnie! How lucky you are to meet so many good blogging friends. I envy you all those fun outings that bring so many joys fro photographers. That 87 year old man is a year younger than my dad, but what a difference. It makes me sad (and angry) to see how my dad wastes away the last years of his life.

    1. I'm a huge fan of these gable stones, Carola, and love finding them wherever we go. I'm guessing Germany has lots of them, too!

      We had such a delightful time with Robin. And because YOU might get over to this side of the Pond again, I do hope we'll have the same chance to meet up with you...either here or in Germany. Wouldn't that be fun!