I recently finished a 1000-piece puzzle of Amsterdam — a present last year from Roger. And indeed, the puzzle sat in the ‘puzzle holder‘ for a good 5 months before I was able to finish it. The puzzle itself shows the corner of Amsterdam’s Prinsenhof where it meets Brouwersgracht, on King’s Day – hence all of the orange-clad characters.
Here is a close up look of the detail:
In the meantime, I’ve already started the next one. That would be a puzzle of The Hague’s Hofvijver which Marco bought for me as a Christmas present.
For Christmas I was gifted a Ravensburger puzzle from Roger. It was made from a good quality – even using “soft lock technology” apparently. I found it interesting that the puzzle used a dark blue backing instead of the light gray backing that most puzzles use.
There were two minor weird things with this puzzle:
- There is a part of the actual puzzle that doesn’t match the box it came in. Look in the lower left with the lady in green – in the actual puzzle she leans over to the right, worried because the man behind her is choking on a herring. On the box, she panics a bit and falls backward because the seller is shoving a herring in her face.
- There was an extra puzzle piece that did not fit anywhere. The puzzle itself is done, and has no gaps. You can see it in the photo below, to the left of the actual puzzle.
If you’re looking closely, you’ll notice that the puzzle itself is within a flat case. The exact model I have is Jumbo luxe puzzelkoffer – 1000 stukjes. It makes for really easy storage. There are two additional panels which are shown in the link which you can also use to store pieces on top of. When you are ready to store everything, you put the panels on top of the puzzle to create a tight fit so that none of the pieces move. You could even store the work-in-progress horizontally. I have successfully tested this but normally store it vertically.
I am of course already working on my next puzzle…
Marco and I visited SoLow a few times this month to look for Halloween supplies. The name of the store refers to their prices: they are, well, “so low”. But the best time to visit is in late September and in October, as they always have a good selection for Halloween costumes and decorations.
This evil clown definitely looks like he jumped right out of the set of Stephen King’s It…
Or the undead dog. Oddly enough, this was the only thing a little kid wanted to go near. She was deathly afraid of the other decorations that made noise and moved around, but nope. This one she just HAD to pet. Briefly…
Masks for every occasion.
Or a happy go lucky skeleton, if that is what you are looking for.
I’ve been pleased with how Halloween has grown as a holiday over here. It is still not nearly as popular as in the States, but there are more parties and opportunities for kids to get candy if they know where to go.
I think this year I might resurrect the blue fairy costume again. With a few pieces I bought this year from SoLow, of course!
A few random photos from an Albert Heijn in The Hague:
It is smoked meats (meat covered in spices like paprika, black pepper, and similar).
Just a random thing that caught my eye – “Hmm, this would make a good photo for the blog.” 🙂
Albert Heijn’s latest promotion is saving up for pans designed by Vivo. The last promotion Vivo did for Albert Heijn was kitchen knives. That promotion was kind of funny because people ended up complaining that the knives were too sharp. (Seriously? What did you expect?)
But this time we have luxury pans. Cool.
Actually, Marco and I don’t really need anything, so we’ve been saving up for Roger to use them if he wants.
Since this photo was taken we’ve collected more stamps – at this point we have exactly enough.
Definitely “luxury” pans – one pan requires 60 stamps. In theory you receive one stamp for every 10 euros you spend, though there are ways to get additional stamps if you buy certain items and sometimes you get more stamps than you should.
We’ll probably keep collecting stamps on the off chance someone else needs them, but I don’t think we’ll attempt to fill another card. However, we have until mid-February so you never know.
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:
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…)
And a look at their logo:
Oh, and one final fun fact – as usual, Sinterklaas candy is already popping up in stores. It’s only August people! 🙂
A few weeks back Marco, Roger and I went to Pathé Spuimarkt (the local movie theater) to see X-Men: Apocalypse. Marco was pleasantly surprised to see a newly installed frozen Fanta machine.
One of his favorite treats when visiting America is ICEEs (a type of frozen slushie). Of course ICEEs are even better than Fanta’s frozen drinks, but when you’re not in America you take what you can get!
Some weeks ago Marco and I visited Bram Ladage, a small takeout place that serves mainly french fries and milkshakes. Once you have had those fries it is hard to go back to McDonald’s.
On top you have pindasaus (peanut sauce in English).
The best part about Bram Ladage is there is “free” seating nearby on the Grondwetbank (a loose translation would be “Constitution bench” – it’s a very, very long bench which is inscribed with the first few lines of the Dutch constitution).
It’s not something we get very often, but when we do it is always very tasty!
This will be a very coffee-themed post… It’s almost summer (maybe) so it is a lot more fun to drink iced coffees. First up we have a frappé from the library café, Bibliotheek Den Haag. I found it so tasty I had to struggle not to drink it all up within 30 seconds.
Second we have a Starbucks drink from a coworker (her blog and her Instagram). After a while it gets old just writing your name on the side, so these days the Starbucks workers write random messages on the side. It’s raining men… and coffee!
Next we have a summery mural from the Eat Company from the artist Sophia den Breems. I’ve previously blogged about the Spring 2016 mural here.
Finally, the latest discovery… iced chai tea by Kaldi! It’s hidden away in the Haagsche Bluf. It’s the drink on the left, next to Marco’s iced cappuccino. It was delicious, a slightly thicker concoction with the chai tea taste at the end.
Marco and I recently had coffee at Hema, splitting a slice of apple pie. On the way out, we noticed some of Hema‘s famous sausage:
Except that this was in the candy aisle. The sausage was made of marzipan! (Marzipan is apparently rather popular over here, but not so much in America).
I also noticed some chocolate bars which say “You are sweet” and “Thank you”. The problem with this is I have some good memories of the chocolate bar when it used to be in Dutch (“Ik vind je lief“) so it is a bit odd to see it in English. For example, the first time Marco gave me one when I still lived in America…
And finally, a what the heck? kind of image. Check out this Kit Kat flavor Marco and I saw at the Asian store:
That’s right – if you look at the pricing card underneath you will see it is sweet potato flavor… All right-y then.