Monday, February 16, 2009

Heat wave

To us the 45°F (7°C) temperature outside this morning feels like a heat wave. Maybe spring really is coming. We’re definitely ready for it. As much as we love Amsterdam, it’s been darned cold here this winter (the coldest in more than 10 years, yada yada…), and we’re tired of being tied to the dock. April 1st will see us casting off (weather permitting, of course) and heading up the old Zuider Zee. The plan is to linger in Holland in April to enjoy the tulips and another visit to Keukenhof ( before we continue on to Scandinavia.

Since my last post, we’ve been to see Anouk’s apartment in Amstelveen, and Esmeralda came to visit us for a couple of hours. It’s always fun to see “the Dutch girls.” They’re both very busy—Anouk with ski vacations and finishing her thesis and Esmeralda with work—so we haven’t seen them often. John keeps reminding me that they have their own lives.

This weekend we’re headed back to ‘s Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) at Lex and Maria’s invitation to experience Carnaval. (Sjoerd is kindly dog sitting, so we won’t have to worry about Märzen getting into the cat food again.) Carnaval is the Dutch spelling of the pre-Lent festival celebrated throughout the Catholic world. In the Netherlands, the north is historically predominantly Protestant, and the south is Catholic. We’re told that Den Bosch is the New Orleans of the Netherlands for the festivities. Of course, it’s much colder here, so we don’t really expect bare-breasted women, but who knows. The Dutch can go crazy sometimes.

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