Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ayush in Our Own Backyard


Remember Ayush?  Ayush from India, living in Singapore, and sometimes working in Venlo, NL.  Yes.  THAT Ayush.

This past weekend we had the good fortune of showing him around our own backyard when he took the train to visit us for an overnight.  Lucky for us, our senior complex here has a guest room across the courtyard from us, so it all worked out splendidly.

Astrid and I drove to Geldermalsen to pick him up at the train station.  He could have come all the way to Gorinchem
but this gave us an extra hour by driving to another station, without him having to change trains again.

Besides, Geldermalsen was near the stork village we wanted him to see...our first stop.
Even Astrid still gets excited by storks, though having grown up with them.
I had never seen a real one till I moved here!

Then we drove along the dijk to Brakel, to catch the ferry across the Merwede river,
saving us miles and time for the rest of our day.

The first big stop across the river was the Loevestein castle from 1361.
Those who've followed me for awhile should recognize it, right?!

It's one of those child-friendly castles, catering to Kids of all ages.

Ayush was a good sport!

What's there not to love about a real castle!

For one thing, they have a way of working up your appetite.
So we drove to nearby Woudrichem for lunch at our favorite De Stroming restaurant.

Woudrichem is Gorinchem's sister city across the river from us, remember?
The Nooit Gedagt windmill there is where Astrid gets her flours for our bread machine.
It's also where you can climb to the top...which Ayush and Astrid did.

Woudrichem has a picturesque harbor, too, so it was the ideal place to end our first day.

At home that evening we watched a good movie while eating peanuts in the shell.
Ayush was in Rome and followed suit like a very good gentleman!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The next day, Sunday, was another "see what's in our backyard" kind of day.

From our back door (top-right), we started the walk around Gorinchem's citadel.

I couldn't be prouder of where we live here in the Netherlands!

We actually wouldn't have to go anywhere ever for how beautiful our city is.
(But you didn't hear me say that, of course.)

Another windmill, De Hoop, allows climbing to the top.
For having never been inside a windmill, Ayush really lucked out...two in one weekend!

What is it about water and boats and harbors?

We ended up in city center to visit inside the protestant Grote Kerk, two blocks from our apartment.

And because the Italian ice cream shop is there on the square, we did our thing
before heading back home...before heading out again by car.

It was time to drive out into the polder to our favorite pannenkoeken restaurant.
Liddle lamzy diveys were skipping about all over the place, so we had to stop.


I especially loved watching the two who were inseparable the entire time.
It doesn't get much cuter than that.

And, yes, we each chose a different pannenkoek and shared one-third of each.
YUM YUM YUM

And then, for the grand finale, we drove to Kinderdijk, the UNESCO site of 19 windmills.

I hope you never tire of this place because this won't be the last time you'll see it from me,
God willing and the creek don't rise.

It was the Golden Hour already, time to take Ayush back to the train station.
What a great visit from such a kind, generous, considerate young man.
We'd do it again in a heartbeat, Ayush, so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I told sister, Ruth, that this was a dry run for the two days she and hubby will be with us in July.
If it works for you, it works for us!


24 comments:

  1. Looks like fun with Ayush, and yes a good dry run preparing for our visit ... which will be minus the coats, I'm guessing. ;)

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    1. Minus the coats, definitely, Ruth. If not, something will be seriously wrong!!! :D

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  2. Netherlands in one of my favourite places in the world. Thank you for the visit!

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    1. You would love where we live, Marie. And it all really IS in our backyard!

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  3. This was such a great weekend. Perfect weather, perfect guest and there is so much to show. I think we did right with the things we did. Wonderful pictures showing the wonderful time we had. Ayush thank you for being such a good sport, it was great to show you around.

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    1. AMEN. I ditto everything you have said, Astrid!

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  4. That video with new lambs is so sweet and funny, Ginnie, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about both of your meetings with Ayush. You obviously enjoyed them which is a great thing. :)

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    1. When you can meet up with a blogger friend, Petra, and come away deeply enriched, you have faith in the Internet again. I know the same thing will happen if ever we get the chance to meet YOU! :) Thank you.

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  5. I can see that you all had a lot of fun together :-)

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    1. Oh yes, Cherry. He is such an easy guest to have!

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  6. So jealous! Wish I was in his shoes :)

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    1. I have a feeling one day you WILL be, Maria! :D

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  7. Oh my...I'm trying to figure out which is cuter...Ayush or the little lambs! Adorable...both!!!

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    1. HAHAHA. I like that, Robin. Actually, he reminds me a bit of what I have seen of your own "son." :) Ayush is 33.

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  8. Thank you both for hosting me over the weekend. It was definitely a most memorable weekend in your company and it was a lot of fun exploring that part of the Netherlands. The accommodation at your place was just perfect. The windmills were fascinating, especially stepping into a working one. Loevestein Castle was very interesting, to see how citizens of that period made the best of what was available to them. Kinderdijk was an obvious highlight. And thank you for introducing me to two excellent abbey beers. The perfect weather conditions helped too. That was a terrific post, Ginnie. It is obvious a lot of thought and effort went into that, I appreciate that.

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    1. You are, of course, so very welcome, Ayush, in every regard. It was a pleasure for US and we would do it again in a heartbeat. I'm glad it was "perfect" also for YOU. Thank YOU.

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  9. “Pannenkoek”? Is that pizza by another name? It looked beautiful. So long as there are windmills, I’m happy.

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    1. For ME, Ted, yes, it's like a pizza but for Astrid it's not because the "pancake" is not a crust, baked in the oven. It's more like a thick French crepe made in a pan that has the toppings added while still in the pan.

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  10. That video of the lambs made my day. Adorable--thank you. Your city is gorgeous and you are right to be proud of it!

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    1. Wait. Who are you Anonymous? I would love to know. In the meantime, thanks for your comment.

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  11. I absolutely adore when people come to visit so we can come along....and now I see loads of things I want to see and do and eat when I come for a visit!

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    1. Do you think you CAN come to visit us, Donna? The welcome mat is always out for you. Just let us know WHEN! And wouldn't that be fun!

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  12. My sister at Myrtle Mae blogspot introduced me to your blog. I have always enjoyed the beautiful scenery and photographs. It always gives me a feeling of peace when I visit your blog. First time I've commented, though thought to many times.

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    1. I am SO GLAD you commented, Anonymous (even though I still don't know your name!). THANK YOU. And thank your sister for me!

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