3rd wedding anniversary (Or: A stay at nhow Rotterdam hotel)

Last week Marco and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at the nhow hotel in Rotterdam (Dutch | English). The hotel was designed by Rem Koolhaas and currently holds the title of the largest building in the Netherlands (at 160,000 square meters).

nhow-hotel-rotterdam-and-erasmus-bridge

Our room ended up being in the lower left building, in the upper left corner on the 23rd floor.

Where we were going and where we were staying was a surprise on my part – Marco only knew that it was a city in the Netherlands and we would be spending one night in a hotel.

rotterdam-centraal

Rotterdam Centraal, the train station. We ended up taking the new metro line E from Den Haag Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal, but that is for another blog post.🙂

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Categories: Marco&Niki, Rotterdam | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Wednesday outing (Or: Cocktails by Milu)

Last week I went out with my colleagues for Wednesday night €5 cocktails at Milu (Dutch | English). It’s a restaurant close to the Grote Kerk (a well-known church in the center of The Hague).

First drink - a spicy mango martini, chosen in honor of Marco, who loves mango stuff ;)

First drink – a spicy mango martini, chosen in honor of Marco, who loves mango stuff😉

Actually Milu was where Marco and I had our wedding reception (back when it was known as “Het Wapon”). We hadn’t been back since it closed and this one came in, so it was admittedly weird to walk back inside and at some point to go upstairs (both the bathrooms and the festival room are there).

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Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Waiting, waiting, waiting… (Or: Joining the MacBook Pro world)

I was going to write about the lovely cocktails that I enjoyed at Milu last Wednesday, but I think that will have to wait until the next blog post! Instead I am going to talk about my PC. I received this computer as a birthday gift from Marco and Roger back in April 2010 or 2011. It is a cute little Asus netbook. Either way it is at least 5 years old. It does okay, all things considered. Except when Windows 10 needs to reboot to install updates. Ugh!


Since I’ve taken that picture it has mercifully come back, but it did spoil my plans to write a blog post there. So instead I am writing this blog via the WordPress app on my iPad while using a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s not the fastest typing in the world, but it is still much faster and accurate than what I can do on the iPad directly. Except for the last sentence. Ironically I made a lot of typos and had to slow down my typing there…

In the meantime I’ve been waiting on the new MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, I expected it to come out in March or June of this year. It’s now September with no end in sight. Well, except an email reply from Tim Cook that they didn’t forget about Macs. Hopefully that means October, but we’ll see! Part of the reason I’ve been patiently waiting was because there is a good chance I will go for the 15 inch rather than the 13 inch, and the processor in the 15 inch is already two years old (it did not get upgraded last year). Not a problem at all, except that I’ve proven I like to keep hardware for a long time, so I want a computer that lasts at a minimum five years. I love my iPhone 5 and secretly dream that I can hold on to it until early 2018. Another reason is that I secretly love to read the “Waiting for Skylake” thread over on Mac Rumors. Skylake being the new processor. The thread is around 24,000 replies and almost 1,000 pages. Crazy! 

Part of the reason that I am looking to get into a Mac is to finally have all Mac devices — I find it really frustrating that I can’t easily copy text from my PC to my iPad or vice versa. That is actually possible with the upcoming systems. But the main reason for writing this blog post was to explain why I haven’t been writing as many blog posts lately — I usually average once a week, usually in the weekend. It takes forever to load websites and copy images over from my phone (I either use Dropbox or a special flash drive with a lightning/USB connector).

Anyway, another month or so, and then hopefully the blog posts will become more frequent! Hopefully.🙂

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Surviving and working together (Or: A day out at Scheveningen)

These photos are actually from Marco, who had a work outing in Scheveningen this past week. The theme was “overleving en samenwerken”, or “Surviving and working together”, which can be complete opposites if you think about it… From what I heard, it was the typical team outing – rope tug of war, get this water from this place to that place using only three bamboo tubes, etc.

The first picture is a look at the art installation “Beelden aan zee” (Images by the sea) (Dutch website | English website). Along with the museum, Beelden aan zee is known for outdoor metal sculptures inspired by fairy tales, a few of which like the one in the photo are very, very tall and make for great photo opportunities. Especially at sunset…

Scheveningen Beelden aan Zee at sunset

And Scheveningen’s latest tour attraction is a ferris wheel partially constructed over the sea on the pier (English news article | Official website in Dutch).

New ferris wheel in Scheveningen

And a close up:

Closeup of new ferris wheel in Scheveningen

It is kind of interesting that I have never set foot on the pier. Well, to be fair it was closed for renovation for a long while. But it’s on the to-do list…

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Belgium turns orange (Or: Verstappen mania)

Here in the Netherlands you have an up-and-coming Dutch racer by the name of Max Verstappen. He’s been around for a few years, starting with the story that he was racing in Formula 1 before he had a driver’s license. Earlier in the year he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Today is the Belgian Grand Prix, where Verstappen starts 2nd (although at the time of writing, he’s slipping back to 13th due to some car damage). But of course – Belgium has turned orange! Around 50,000 Dutchies were expected to travel to the neighboring country to be at the track. Traffic jams have been reported the entire weekend (article in Dutch) – at its worst about 2 hours extra traveling time.

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Photo: Filip Cleeren

The above photo was taken by Filip Cleeren and comes from the article Analysis: Max-Mania at Spa as F1 turns orange (in English).

Categories: The Hague | Leave a comment

New metro station (Or: The Hague to Rotterdam)

As of yesterday the new metro station at The Hague’s Centraal station is ready! It connects The Hague with Rotterdam via metro line E. Marco and I were waiting for a bus to Wassenaar so I took some pictures from a distance:

New metro station at The Hague Centraal

The white tunnel form definitely reminds me of the design near the Beatrixlaan station. And another one:

New metro station at The Hague Centraal 2

Maybe Marco and I have a good reason to finally visit Rotterdam now. I think the last time I was there was for a WWE wrestling show… But that was three years ago, so I am sure I have been back since then. Right?🙂

Categories: The Hague, Transportation | Tags: | Leave a comment

Remnants of theater (Or: Dr. Anton Philipszaal)

Back in December I showed a picture of the tearing down of the Dr. Anton Philipszaal in The Hague. Remarkably, there’s still a small piece of the building left:

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Marco and I were on the way to Lebkov by Centraal Station for some coffee. We ended up with iced cappuccinos – yum! Since it’s a nice summer day (but not THAT nice of a summer, the Dutch meteologists say…)

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And a look at their logo:

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Oh, and one final fun fact – as usual, Sinterklaas candy is already popping up in stores. It’s only August people!🙂

Categories: Everyday purchases, The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Summer eating (Or: Rrrollend Food truck festival by Malieveld, The Hague)

Yesterday Marco, Roger and I saw Suicide Squad at the local IMAX movie theatre (Pathé Spuimarkt). Afterwards we visited the Rrrollend Food truck festival by Malieveld, close to Centraal Station.

And what delicious food! Here’s a look at some of the photos I took. First, a look at my Asian Chicken bowl from Roll or Bowl:

Asian chicken by Roll or Bowl (Den Haag food truck festival) Continue reading

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Random reads (Or: An exercise in Dutch)

Last month I posted my reading list for th first half of 2016. So far, July is going even better! I have read about 560 pages (around 18 a day, but I have a hard time sitting down and reading on a daily basis so it is much more varied than that).

Here is a look at some of the books I’ve read in Dutch (or am reading) this month:

1) Never let me go (Laat me nooit alleen) by Kazuo Ishiguro (English | Dutch), a dystopian science fiction novel which follows the lives of three students at a boarding school. But these students (and their classmates) are in fact clones, raised for the sole purpose of providing organs to others once they graduate.

2) The guest cat (De kat) by Takashi Hiraide (English | Dutch), a short book (~160 pages) about a cat who visits a young, work-at-home couple on a daily basis. Free to come and go as he pleases, the cat quickly becomes the centerpiece of their lives, even though he is only a guest.

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3) Player One (Speler een) by Douglas Coupland (English | Dutch). I just started this one. It follows four people at airport bar over 5 hours as a worldwide disaster begins outside — Karen, who waits on a perspective internet date; Rick, a bartender who no longer drinks; Luke, a pastor who fled with his church’s savings; Rachel, who has trouble connecting with others; and a mysterious voice known only as “Player One”.

4) The Dog Stars (De Hondsster) by Peter Heller (English | Dutch). I haven’t started this one yet. “Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.” Hmmm….

And on to August!

Categories: Reading, The Hague | Tags: | 2 Comments

Lunch and sugar cookies (Or: Summer fun)

Yesterday we celebrated Marco’s birthday at Little V, a Vietnamese restaurant. This was our first time going to Little V for lunch and it did not disappoint. I ordered an ‘eenpansgerecht’ or ‘let’s throw everything into one dish for ya’, with beef and chicken.

Lunch bij Little V (beef and chicken)

My drink was an awesome looking (and tasting) lemonade made of rose water.

Rose water lemonade by Little V in The Hague

And as a blog post bonus… a week ago I made lemon cookies! That is of note because I don’t really do the baking in the house. But this time I chose the recipe, did most of the work, and Marco was my assistant! (For the first time ever.)

Thuisgemaakt citroenkoekjes

The recipe was really good and I followed it exactly. Next time I would probably use less sugar, but I don’t have the sweet tooth I used to have so there is that. They were awesomely chewy (honest to goodness chewy!) and the lemon favor shined through perfectly.

See the recipe at Oh My Foodness (in Dutch) – including a very helpful video for people who don’t ever bake. Like me. See also her general recipe list.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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