Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Years in The Hague (Or: Lines for oliebollen)

On the way through Centrum this afternoon, I just had to stop and take a photo of the line of people waiting to buy oliebollen, which is sort of like a doughnut. (Actually the Wikipedia article for oliebollen says that it was the inspiration for doughnuts, so there you go.) They are usually covered in powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.

Now that is a long line! When I left for work this morning I wondered why they needed five people working this stand. Now I know why!

Marco and I are now at Roger’s to spend the night. There are basically fireworks going off every second somewhere… It it also important to get to where you need to be a bit early, as the trains have their last run at 8pm and the buses/trams around 8:30 due to how crazy it can get with fireworks in this country. Oh and yeah maybe the transport workers want a holiday too. 😉

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

Christmas in Chicago (Or: Random photos)

Marco, Roger and I are currently in Chicago for the holidays. 🙂 I am currently writing this blog post on my new iPad! A Christmas gift to myself…

Here are some of the photos that we have taken on this trip (but only a few – not all of the photos are on the iPad yet).

Christmas tree by Best Buy in Chicago

Above is a Christmas tree outside of the Best Buy in Chicago on Michigan Avenue.

Double Tree hotel at the Magnificent Mile

Double Tree hotel at the Magnificent Mile

Above is a picture of the hotel lobby we stayed at, with Christmas decorations. Of course the advantage to this hotel is the warm chocolate chip cookies – that was all Marco and Roger talked about for months after booking the hotel. Of course we ended up getting chocolate chip cookies with walnuts but they’re testily very tasty so no one minded… Also funny: this hotel is right by Navy Pier but we didnt visit it at all (this trip anyway – last trip to the city we did).

Post Office in Chicago, flat rate boxes

Post Office in Chicago, flat rate boxes

Here is a random photo of a post office display for flat rate boxes. You have various size boxes available and you can ship whatever is in that box for a flat rate (so a small box is always so many dollars, etc). Technically the boxes are “free” but it costs money to ship them. Marco uses these to send Dutch candy to a friend of ours in California.

Stuffed tiger at the Lincoln Park Zoo

And here is something for Marco’s mother, who loves tigers. This was for purchase at the souvenir shop at Lincoln Park zoo. Sorry but it did not fit in our luggage!

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Waiting for your tram? (Or: Play the HTM piano)

Imagine my surprise when Marco and I went down to the Spui tram stop (which is underground) and saw a piano available for playing.

Holiday piano from HTM

The piano was offered through HTM, the public transportation service of The Hague. Pretty neat idea! Read more here (in Dutch).

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Debt free (Or: Student loans paid off

Woohoo! It took nine and a half years but my student loans are now paid off.

Student loans paid off

As a present I am treating myself to an iPad Air 2. My first tablet ever. 🙂

We’re off to Chicago tomorrow, visiting family for the holidays.

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Back again (Or: Christmas tree in The Hague)

Marco and I were walking through the Passage yesterday and noticed that the Christmas tree was back again this year. This is sort of a surprise because when Apple moved into the spot a few years ago, they stated in their contract that the Christmas tree (which had been there for years) was no longer allowed. The first and second years the Christmas tree did appear because the Apple store wasn’t open yet. However, the Apple store opened over the summer, so no more Christmas tree, right?


Christmas tree by the Apple store, The Hague


You can see the Apple store behind the tree.

Happy holidays!

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Party time (Or: Christmas trivia

Today was a holiday party for work. It was held at Restaurant Pavlov in The Hague. That place is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside! The food included things such as cinnamon rolls (that one was new for me, but it was tasty), salmon wraps, wraps with goat’s cheese, pears soaked in cinnamon sauce, pumpkin soup and more.

We also held a round of trivia, including such questions as:

How many desserts are there during a traditional French Christmas dinner? 13 (it represents Jesus and the 12 apostles, according to Wikipedia).

Which country gives London the Trafalgar Square Christmas treeNorway.

In which country is the Poinsettia plant commonly found? Mexico.

In America there is a Christmas event called “Running of the Santas”. What type of event is this? A bar crawl (visiting many bars to drink).

How do you say “Merry Christmas” in Dutch? Prettige feestdagen (and other ways).

How many points/sides are in a snowflake? 6. (Read the scientific explanation.)

Whose story was used for A Nightmare before Christmas? Tim Burton’s.

Who wrote the score for The NutcrackerTchaikovsky.

All in all, a fun event.

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Tis the season (Or: Christmas tree by work

Okay, so life has been busy lately. About 10 days to go before we leave for Chicago – and we have stuff to do every night. Hmmm… Though we might be able to sneak out to dinner on Thursday if we’re lucky.

Here is a lovely photo of the Christmas tree in my workplace’s lobby. It randomly appeared last week and actually got me to stop in my tracks since I wasn’t expecting it.

Christmas tree by work

It must be December in the Netherlands – it rains a lot these days, including pouring rain a few hours ago. Hmm. And that in comparison to Chicago next week – it’s been a good two years since I’ve seen snow. I think I miss it. Maybe…

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New purchase (Or: Slow cooker acquired)

Marco surprised me a few days ago with a box, stating that it was from Sinterklaas (the corner of it was even in my shoe, as Dutch tradition dictates!). It turned out to be a slow cooker, a device commonly used to cook food slowly while you’re at work or otherwise not around. It needs to cook for at least six hours, ideally 8 or more.

Here was our first meal using the cooker:

beef stew and bread

Beef stew with bread (grilled on a paini press). Not any bread – sweetened bread. That is the closest to Hawaiian rolls that I can find around here, with those being what I used to eat with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The recipe we used can be found at

Oh – and it must be winter. My blog is snowing! (an effect that automatically happens during December each year).

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