I was looking through my photos from last month and realized that I hadn’t posted my photos of Bijenkorf yet!
Holiday lights (the same every year, but always pretty!)
Bijenkorf does different window decorations every year. A lot of businesses in The Hague take part in holiday window displays (see the TINK competition).
And this one:
This year the Christmas tree was rather simple, at least compared to previous years:
It was of course as tall as ever – the base started at the top of the ground floor, with the peak reaching to floor 5. As evidenced by the escalators at the left…
Check out the Coke and Diet Coke can ornaments in the upper right. I especially like the slightly ‘frosty’ look. Cute!
I found a cool link on Youtube of last night’s fireworks, taken from above the city with a 4K drone. It lasts about 5 minutes and is not to be missed!
Here’s a look at our ‘Christmas table’ on the second day of Christmas:
Yes, we were streaming a fake fireplace through Hulu!
In the glass was a raspberry spoom (sorbet ice cream). Yum! The two bottles were purchased at The Hague’s Royal Christmas fair.
But seriously – go back and check out that video. It does a good job of showing how crazy the Netherlands can get at New Year’s Eve.
Recent photos that I took of Hop & Stork in De Passage, a covered shopping area in the heart of The Hague. The creations they can make with chocolate are just insane…
Dressed up and on your way to a fancy Christmas soirée…
A few days back I was doing some Christmas shopping at “The Fred” which is short for Frederick Hendriklaan, a street in the Statenkwartier neighborhood. There are a lot of international organizations and businesses in this part of The Hague.
Much to my delight, I saw some cute Christmas decorations:
There was also Pluto:
I never knew how popular Frozen was until I went to Disneyland Paris last month…
Apparently there was also Minnie Mouse and Goofy, but I missed those (news article in Dutch).
Today marks five years to the day since I arrived in the Netherlands. It is amazing how time files… Yesterday was otherwise a very typical December day:
- We visited the Christmas Fair at the Lange Voorhout
- We went grocery shopping at the local Albert Heijn (this one being of the “XL” variety over on Elandstraat)
- We baked cookies (see below)
- We started working on Christmas cards… we are really behind on the international cards this year!
To mark the occasion of “five years in the Netherlands” I made lemon cookies. You can find the recipe in Dutch over at OhMyFoodness. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make. The cookies turn out very lemony and chewy – just the way I like it!
Five years! I couldn’t bake five years ago if my life depended on it…
One of the best things about the upcoming holidays (besides finally having a few days off – the last public holiday was June 5th!) is breaking out the gourmet set for New Year’s Eve.
Gourmetten is awesome. You have a little grill that goes in the middle of the dinner table and you spend a few hours grilling meats, vegetables (onions, paprika), and other miscellaneous items like pineapple (yuuuum!).
To get a sense of what it is like, check out this blog post from 2015.
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!
Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…
But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).
One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)
Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.
A look at another side, which had just been started:
The third side:
And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:
Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.
Here’s a look at part of the Valentine’s Day at Xenos (a discount store):
If you need candles or flowers, you’ll definitely in luck…!
I also took a picture of this cute snow globe. Inside you have the iconic Dutch clogs:
Not that we have much snow at the moment. After a week of cold, we have (relatively) warm temperatures, at least through the weekend. And of course, rain…
But we’re past January – it can only get warmer from here! In theory.
Random photo from Saturday, during the Chinese New Year festivities: