A month ago we returned to Amsterdam after a great time with family and friends in the States. The next day, we started visitor season. It’s my only plausible excuse for the lack of blog posts lately.
It is a rather tricky time of year here with the weather. One day is beautiful, sunny t-shirt type weather; the next day is chilly and won’t stop raining. And then there is the teaser day that starts out sunny, and later becomes rainy—or vice versa—and you find yourself outfitted in the wrong gear. So, either pack the kitchen sink or roll the dice when you head out for the day. Sadly, our first set of visitors had to trek to Bruges to see that the sun does exist this far north. G’s mom and her friend came to visit and they spent their week in Amsterdam under the refuge of a raincoat.
Rainy day on the Prinsengraft
However, after heavily bribing the sun gods and trekking a bit south to Bruges, we found sunshine! Along with an abundance of Belgium beer, frites, chocolate, and waffles. Loves for the tummy, but sworn enemies to my derrière. Regardless, I indulged! Click here for a full photoshow.
Canals along Dijver
Driving back to Amsterdam, we couldn’t help but laugh as we crossed the Belgium/Dutch border and were greeted by, what else…rain! At this point, our guests were used to it and we toughed it out on their last day at Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. Click here for a full photoshow.
Not a good open-air museum day
Still windy, but at least no rain for the photo op
A few days later, G’s pseudo-sister and her cousin arrived. The weather made a complete 180 and showered them with mild temperatures and sunshine all week. I think Mother Nature knew they would spend a lot of time on the bike, so she was kind to them. C & K also made an overnight trip to Bruges and discovered my four deadly favorites. With all its charm, Bruges again tops the favorites list with our guests.
G & C at the Brouwerij
C & K waiting for dinner at Balti House
We bid adieu to C & K and prepare for G’s cousin and wife arriving the next day. The weather is gloomy when they first arrive, but with lunch in our bellies and two rental bikes in the pack, we are ready to show them around. When the weather cooperates, we love to bring our guests to the Brouwerij ‘t IJ . Turns out this was a day that started ugly, but peaked during the late afternoon. After a ride along the picturesque canals and the obligatory gawking in the red light district, we were off to the brewery to replenish our energy with some local beer and cheese. Lekker!
Mid week they were off to, big surprise here……Bruges (and Boullion)! With all the guests we have brought or sent to Bruges, I think we have earned a sizeable referral fee from the Belgium tourism department. Or at least a waffle?!?
New to me was the nearby town of Utrecht. When S & E returned from Belgium, we spent an afternoon/evening there enjoying the scenery, beer, and pancakes. Dutch pannenkoeken’s are best described as a cross between an American pancake and a French crepe—on the thinner side like a crepe, but served open face with the added items visible. They are available all day and a typical pannekkoeken house has at least 50 varieties. Sweet, savory, veggie, meaty, fruity, cheesy…hard not to find one that will suit your craving. My choice for the night was sprek en kaas (bacon and cheese, super lekker!).
E & S enjoying the scenery
Cousins toast with one last beer
As I brought our guests to the airport this morning, I couldn’t believe how fast a month went by and had to accept the fact summer is clearly over. The days are getting shorter, fall weather is upon us, and the rainy season is around the corner. The debauchery of my summer time fun has caught up with me so it’s time to hang up my hostess hat and put in some long hours at the gym!