Friends&Family

A cook’s birthday card (Or: Illusions of beer)

Here’s a photo of the birthday card that Marco received from his dad and his dad’s wife:

Homemade birthday card and 'beer' for a cook

First off, check out the birthday card on the right. As you see it folds open to display an oven, complete with utensils and condiments on each side. And pizza!

On the left we have a glass of beer. Or do we? It’s actually made of hair gel (the yellow bubbly stuff) and a layer of styrofoam for the ‘foam’. The only mistake we made was taking to long to take it apart, since the black plastic ladder decided to react to the hair gel and melt a bit… Opps! But still, really cool. And it’s not the first birthday card they made for us. Or check out this other birthday card and this Christmas card.

Advertisements
Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | 2 Comments

Hmm (Or: How do I spell 1,000 posts?)

I can’t believe it, but this blog has hit 1,000 posts! And what better way to celebrate that than with some pictures of a recent (unrelated) gift I received?

Snelspelwijzer from Onze Taal, with postcard

Snelspelwijzer, from Onze Taal (Quick spelling guide). And one very colorful postcard!

The gift came from my old language coach (from SamenSpraak) who I still see on a regular basis. If you’re wanting help with your Dutch, I can’t recommend SamenSpraak enough. Here in The Hague there is a monthly meet up, the first Wednesday of every month. It meets in the central library’s café. You can also get paired with a volunteer language coach and meet up as often as you both wish. Once a week, every 2 weeks, and similar. If you’re in Den Haag I recommend first dropping by the café to see what the group is all about, but you don’t have to do so. Back in 2014 I went to three café meet ups before I signed up to be paired with a coach, but that’s just me.

Link for information about the SamenSpraak café

Form to request being paired with a language coach/volunteer

Snelspelwijzer from Onze Taal

A look inside the book

The section above is Klinkerbotsing in samenstellingen or ‘Vowel collision in compound words’. The chapter is about hyphen usage. The rule here is basically that if a compound word, and the first word ends in a vowel and the second word begins with a vowel, you need to join the two words with a hyphen. Example: foto-expositie (photo exhibition).

I predict Marco will hear some rather geeky grammar things in the near future.

But until then… onward to the next 1,000 posts!

Categories: Friends&Family, Learning Dutch | Tags: | Leave a comment

After four years (Or: Pearl Jam back in the Netherlands)

This week shall officially be dubbed as ‘Pearl Jam week’ as they had three shows in the Netherlands. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Ziggo dome and Saturday at Pinkpop, a huge outdoors festival. The last time they visited was four years ago, which I was a bit shocked by.

Pearl Jam in the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, June 12 2018

The first night four of us went: Marco, myself, Roger and my mother-in-law. We had fan club tickets, specifically standing tickets, which meant we could go in a half hour before everyone else. It does have the downside that you need to pick up your tickets the day of at the box office as you are required to show an ID, though.

We arrived around 2:30. Let’s just say the line for getting the tickets was over an hour and the line for merchandise was about an hour and a half… So we did some divide and conquer: Roger and Marco got the tickets, while my mother-in-law and I got the merchandise – posters. There are unique posters for each Pearl Jam concert (Marco and Roger got them all).

Tuesday’s poster | Wednesday’s poster | Saturday’s poster

Marco also picked up a new ‘Safe travels‘ keychain, to replace the one he got about ten years ago.

Continue reading

Categories: Friends&Family, Marco&Niki | Tags: | 4 Comments

New York City – Dutchified (Or: Ravensburger puzzle, 1000 pieces)

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.

Ravensburger puzzle - New York Cities of the World 1000 piecesThere were two minor weird things with this puzzle:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Ravensburger Cities of the World New York close up

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

Categories: Everyday purchases, Friends&Family | Tags: | Leave a comment

Mickey time (Or: More photos from Disneyland Paris)

I have so many photos to show, and not enough blog posts…

First, a few photos of Marco, Roger and I’s trip to Disneyland Paris with Dutch influence:

Disneyland Paris - It's a small world (Dutch)

A look at the Dutch section of the “It’s a small world” attraction – windmills, tulips and clogs of course!

Disneyland Paris - It's a small world, outside

Outside, the various translations of “It’s a small world!”. The Dutch translation is off to the right, in blue. “De wereld is maar klein, hoor!”

Silver Spur Disneyland Paris menu cover in Dutch

Restaurant menu from “Silver Spur” – a steakhouse we ate at on our last night at the park. 

(above) They had asked what country we were from. When we got to the table we were handed Dutch menus. A thoughtful gesture, but we weren’t sure how the wait staff would understand what we wanted to order. Perhaps it would be done on the “point with your finger” system.

The only confusing thing was that the dessert section read “Coffee or tea, 11 euros” in Dutch. We were very confused. How could coffee or tea cost 11 euros? We later got our hands on an English menu which read “Coffee or tea, plus a selection of desserts, 11 euros”. Okay, that makes more sense!

Continue reading

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekendje weg (Or: Disneyland Paris, 25th anniversary)

Weekendje weg = a short weekend trip. A bit ironic here, since our trip was five days…

Last weekend (Thurs-Mon), Marco, Roger and I went to Disneyland Paris. This was my second time – the first was during our honeymoon in 2013. And this time we splurged a bit, booking a suite in Sequoia Lodge, a hotel themed after the American northwest. The excuse was that we were with three adults, so this way everyone has plenty of room! And little did we know that the complimentary VIP fast passes (unlimited use) would quickly come in handy when we realized we arrived in the middle of a French school holiday…

We went by train, taking the Thalys from Rotterdam. First class! So free breakfast when you board at 7am. That got us to Gare du Nord, the train station in Paris. Then we had to take the metro (45 minutes to an hour) to get to Disneyland itself. It’s east of the city. We booked “Disneyland express” which meant that when you arrive at the Disney train station you can drop off your luggage and collect your park entrance tickets and VIP fast passes right then and there. They deliver your luggage to the hotel while you go straight to the park. We ended up not getting to the hotel until around 8 or 9pm that night.

Another perk of the room type – separate registration area! It was like opening a new bank account – you went to a desk, with two chairs for the guests. You have a seat while they get the last formalities squared away. There was a bowl of 25th anniversary golden coins (dark chocolate), free for the taking. We took a few, not knowing just how many we’d get during this five day trip…

At this point the worker called someone to let them know what our room number was so they could deliver the luggage to the room and open the sofa bed for Roger. We didn’t go to the room right away, but instead headed over to the “Golden Forest” lounge (for anyone with a Golden Forest room or better). It was a strange experience – there was no one else there! Unfortunately that was the only time we would see the place empty again.

Sequoia Lodge Golden Forest lounge

The advantage of the Golden Forest lounge – it is also a breakfast area, and you can get breakfast whenever you want between 7 and 11am. During breakfast they open both rooms. The first time Marco and I went to Disneyland together, we stayed at the New York hotel and had to pick half hour slots when we wanted to have breakfast (first come first serve at hotel checkin). This was much more relaxed.

Continue reading

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | 2 Comments

Soccer? Football? (Or: My first ADO Den Haag game)

Of course – it is called football (or voetbal) over here. Roger bought some tickets for the ADO Den Haag game a few weeks back, against Sparta Rotterdam. So Marco and I met up with Roger and his mother – although our first stop was the Rrrollend Foodtruck festival. The last one of the year in The Hague! We are already looking forward to the return of the festival in 2018.

Here is the ADO Den Haag stadium – reachable by tram 3 or 4 from the city centre (Forepark station).

ADO Den Haag football stadium

Unfortunately it is about a 10 minute walk from the station, but at least you don’t have to take the train.

Before the ADO Den Haag football game

Before the game – people filing in and the grass being watered. It is hard to tell from this photo, but the seats are elevated, with fans needing to climb a flight of metal stairs to get to this level. The field is separated by a high wall to prevent rioters from reaching the field.

The section on the other side with the team logo is where the fans with season cards sit.

More flag waving before ADO Den Haag football game

At the beginning of the game they passed out a lot of large flags to our section. If you sit here your flag waving skills better be good!

Flag waving before the ADO Den Haag game

Above is one very energetic fan. He first passed this flag to another spectator, asking if the man wanted to wave the flag. When this didn’t really happen (the guy just held it in his hands), the guy took it back and began to wave it frantically. And note the back of his shirt – 070 is the area code of The Hague.

1-0 score between ADO Den Haag and Sparta

We ended up winning the game 1-0. It would have been 2-0 but there was a goal called off for being offside.

The best part: we were sitting right behind the goal so we had a great view.

Blue Army graffiti by the stands at ADO Den Haag football game

Here’s a look at the graffiti-filled wall that separates the fans from the field. The stairs to go up to the stands are off to the left.

All in all it was a fun game. Though I have to admit that my favorite moment was when ADO Den Haag had a goal chance that the Sparta goalkeeper blocked – four times! The ball kept being hit back to the ADO Den Haag player, who had little choice but to kick it back in the same direction. it was like a game of pong.

Categories: Friends&Family, Sports, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wednesday evenings (Or: Food and fun by Milu)

Last Wednesday I went out for dinner and cocktails with a friend of mine. We went to Milu, a restaurant in the centre of The Hague near the Grote Kerk (literally “the big church”). It was my second time visiting – the first time was with coworkers. The restaurant’s premise is sharing dishes; we ended up having three “rounds” of food and drink.

Round #1:

Bruschetta bread and beef teriyaki with Chinese pancakes. With a green tea mojito for me.

Bruschetta bread, Milu, The Hague

Beef teriyaki and Chinese pancakes, Milu, The Hague

Continue reading

Categories: Food, Friends&Family, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

I say Heyyy Ohhh (Or: Green Day at the Ziggo Dome)

On Tuesday night Marco, Roger and I went to the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam to see the punk rock band Green Day perform.

green-day-concert-jan-2017-amterdam-ziggo-dome

The setlist for the night is available at setlist.fm. They played for at least 2 1/2 hours (they were scheduled for 3, but even 2 1/2 seemed like a decent amount).

green-day-concert-jan-2017-amterdam-ziggo-dome-mike-dirnt

guitarist Mike Dirnt graces our corner (he came over frequently)

My favorite song that they played was Are We The Waiting (YouTube). From the new album I only wish they had played Say Goodbye (YouTube again), although they don’t seem to play that one on tour. Oh well – can’t have it all!

green-day-concert-jan-2017-amterdam-ziggo-dome-flames

Instant wall of heat. It felt nice, since it was so brief…

It was a really good show. I definitely woke up sore in the morning, but it was still worth it.

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | Leave a comment

Be the first to defuse an exploding kitten (Or: Fun card games)

For Christmas Marco and I got Roger a copy of Exploding Kittens, a card game “for people who are into kittens and explosions. And laser beams. And sometimes goats”. In this case we got the NSFW version, but they also have a normal version.

exploding-kittens-card-game

A look at the card game

It’s an interesting card game. The goal is to not get an exploding kitten card (the black card at right). If you do, you are out of the game unless you also have a green defuse card like the one on the left. Two interesting twists:

  • You end your turn by picking up a card, rather than starting your turn by doing so.
  • There is no need to reshuffle the current deck because the game will definitely end by the last card. This is because you the number of exploding kittens and defuse cards is based on the size of the group playing, and you always have one less defuse card than exploding kitten card.

We also played a game of Skip-Bo, another card game. That game has the advantage of time management – the number of cards you deal at the beginning of the game to each player is your choice. If you deal less cards, the game ends quicker than if you had dealt more cards.

skip-bo-card-game

Finally, a shoutout to a friend living in Japan who sent over some nice snacks. In this case, the Japanese snacks are the larger pieces in the upper right:

various-salty-snacks-while-playing-skip-bo

Not quite sure what they are made of, but they were good! Thanks again!

The other snacks are sour cream and chive pretzels as well as Dutch borrelnootjes (“party nuts”) – Dutch Wikipedia. They are peanuts surrounded by a salty, spiced layer. A bit hard to describe, but tasty in moderation.

Categories: Food, Friends&Family | Tags: | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.