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…
As mentioned in my previous blog post, Marco and I were in Amsterdam last week to celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. And I have more photos to share! Here is a look at the EYE Film Museum, taken from across the river IJ.
It is the national museum of film, containing over 40,000 films, from classics to modern film. Their website states that there are four cinemas, an exhibition space, a floor reserved for educational activities, a store and a bar-restaurant. They also host film-related programs and debates.
A look at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, also in the heart of the city
The lesser photographed “back side” of the building, including a 6 meter tall statue of Atlas carrying the globe on his shoulders
And finally, the “What are you reading?” board in the American Book Center.
What am I reading right now? Open kaart, by Brenno de Winter. It’s a book about the OV-chipkaart system in the Netherlands, or the card used to travel on public transportation throughout the country. Specifically the book covers the historical security issues as detailed on Wikipedia, mostly related to how easy the card was to hack in the beginning. It sounds dry but it is a fun read… if you’re into that sort of thing, of course!
Earlier this week Marco and I were in Amsterdam to celebrate our wedding anniversary (four years!). One of the places we visited was the Beurspassage, a small passage which connects two well-known Amsterdam streets (Damrak and Nieuwendijk). The passage itself is only a 5 minute walk from the central station. The top and sides are covered in art – including a giant fish!
A giant fish, just like I said!
Giant green shoes hang on the wall by Primark…
The only thing I would have wanted was that it was longer. But it was very pretty nonetheless!
Work is insanely busy these days! But here is a photo of:
- Coffee! Yum.
- Brownie. Handmade by Marco.
- Vanilla ice cream. Also handmade by Marco!
That’s right – guess who got an ice cream machine for his birthday! Lekker!
Friday night after work Marco made homemade pizza. With three types of paprika (bell peppers), onions, two types of cheese and jalapeños. On the left side you have sun-dried tomatoes while on the right side you have ham. Lekker!
Categories: Food, Marco&Niki
Marco bought these for me – they are the size of drink coasters (onderzetters, in Dutch) and the theme is chocolate (droooool):
The four sayings are:
- Chocolate comes from cocoa – which is a plant – therefore chocolate counts as a salad. The end.
- Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions. Chocolate understands.
- All I want is peace, love and a chocolate bar bigger than my head. (My favorite!)
- I love you more than chocolate, but please don’t make me prove it.
Marco and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on Wednesday. This was the anniversary of us meeting (October 19, 2006). We actually met each other after Marco went to a hockey game — Nashville Predators vs New Jersey Devils — in which the Predators won 4-3. It makes the date rather easy to remember, as you just need to look up the hockey game if you forget.
Marco surprised me with this on Wednesday night:
Trust me, this gesture was sweeter than you think.
Hamburger and fries, right? Wrong.
The fries on the left are actually pieces of waffle and cake. The lower right is strawberry, kiwi and mango with yellow sauce made to look like mustard. And the hamburger itself is made of two donuts for buns and with chocolate “mug cake” posing as the hamburger patty and strawberry sauce as ketchup.
What a creative surprise! 🙂
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).
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, 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. 🙂
Last month Marco was feeling creative. He knows I like the color blue so he decided to make me a blue lemonade + tequila + orange juice concoction. Originally he was going for a layered look but I think this result was much, much more awesome…
The glasses were actually a promotion from Baileys – buy a bottle of Baileys and get two glasses free. They are quite beautiful actually.
Yesterday was my birthday. Fun times were had all around, between sharing a beer with Marco after work (we went to the Plein) to doing gourmetten with Roger that night.
I will have a few other photos later, but for now check out what Marco did:
In the morning I woke up to sticky notes everywhere. My favorite hiding place was on the toilet paper roll (not visible until you use it) and in my jacket sleeve, so that when I put my jacket on it popped out. There are 34 notes in all — numbered, thankfully — which read:
“Mijn lieve Niki, weet je dat het jouw drie-en-dertigste verjaardag is vandaag? Ik ben blij dat wij dat samen vieren want ik hou echt heel veel van jou! Je rare man – Marco (34 alvast voor het jaar dat nu begint).”
“My lovely Niki, do you know that it is your 33rd birthday today? I am happy that we can celebrate it together because I love you very much! Your silly husband – Marco (34 in advance for the year that now begins).”