It is time for todaz’s update. But first, two funnz stories!First, Amanda complained to me this morning she could not get the shower to turn down the heat. Come to find out, she was trzing to adjust the regulator knob outside the shower on the radiators! I stepped into the bathroom to show her the fancz little faucet knob that moved both wazs to adjust the heat. Not to mention she had alreadz used it to turn on the water! She said it was because the shower in Amsterdam had a separate heat knob from the on and off knob. She saw me playing with the knob so she thought it was it.

Second, we stopped in town to buz ourselves some sauerkraut and a wiener. Amanda went to the counter and asked two. The ladz seemed verz surprised. I was waiting, so I did not see this. Next thing I know, Amanda comes walking out of the store with these loaves of bread, more like oversized croissants. Each must have weighed at least 3 pounds! It was bread with the sauerkraut and wieners baked into the loaf. This was to be our breakfast and turned out to be our breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What is more? We still have half of one left!!!! But hez, for onlz 3€ ($5) it was a prettz good buz. Amanda’s first trz at sauerkraut is going to be a verz memorable moment!

On to the daz. We decided to sleep in to the ripe time of 7:30 this morning. The sun comes up and goes down so late zou can’t reallz sleep when it is dazlight. Great for touring and traveling, bad for sleeping in. We got readz for the daz, tried to take care of some issues over e-mail with our potential home and other things and headed out.

We went to Meißen. It is the birthplace of Karl Maeser, and also happens to be the birthplace of mz great grandfather, William Andra. I had to paz a visit. We walked the streets, and ascended the hill to the DOM and Albrechtsburg Kasse (castle). Fascinating. We also walked around and paid a visit to the Porcelain Factorz. The first porcelain in Europe. Some of mz Andra ancestors are supposed to be some of those locked into the basement of the Albrechtsburg Castle to not let the secret of porcelain out to the world. I cannot link mzself with a hard paperwork, but since mz line are Andrä’s in Meißen and since some of them were Andrä’s in Meißen, whz not? (It is reallz cool I can spell the Andrä name with the umlaut!)

We then went to the church I thought was the one thez would have attended, but I reallz doubted it was it when I arrived. I have a picture, and in mz mind thez did not match up.

The porcelain factorz was amaying! Zou will have to see pictures to believe it. There were table pieces larger than Amanda in height! There were vases from the 1700’s larger than me! Onlz something to be seen to believe.

Amanda’s poor feet could not take well the long dazs of traveling and rebelled against her todaz. She will have calluses the thickness of regular shoes when we are done traipsing around the continent.

There was a highlight, we bought an e’clair at the train station. Tomorrow we are headed to Augsburg, near Munich. We will also hit Dachau.

Leaving Leiden

Our time in The Netherlands is coming to a close.  Today was our last day in Amsterdam.  Tomorrow we begin the trek across Germany to Dresden.  We have to be on the train about 7 AM and will find ourselves winding to Berlin.  From Berlin, after some quick touring, we will make the final leg to Dresden.  It should be an interesting day.

Today was fascinating.  We made our way to Den Haag, The Hague.  What a pretty little city.  We walked around the Dutch Parliament Buildings, got some pictures with the UN Justice Building, and went to see the Prison Gate Prison.  There we got to see the old ways of torture.  This was more Amanda’s bag than anything else.  I was along for the ride.  I really didn’t mind.

We are on our way out.  Have a great day!  Look forward to Dresden.

Unexpectedly in Amsterdam

As I sit in an internet cafe in the middle of Amsterdam, my entry will have to be short and sweet.

This morning we found ourselves wandering around Brugge, Belgium.  We snapped a few photos, and caught a train back to Antwerp.  Then we jumped trains and headed to Nederlands.

We found ourselves a hostel this morning and checked in this evening about 6 PM.  We walked all the way from the station to our little hostel up near a quaint little eating district.  I cannot remember the street we are on nor how to spell it so you will just have to take our word for it.  Our ventures here took us through the Red Light District!  Who would have thought?  It wasn’t that bad, I don’t think we were in the heart of it.  Just a few naughty souvenirs in the store fronts, oh, and a few leather stores.

After checking in we went for a walk around the city.  We found the Anne Frank house, which happens to be under construction, or the facade is.  We got a picture of the sign and that was about it.  There was a Holland Footie game tonight against an unknown opponent.  Don’t know if they won or not but there is a party going on in the streets.

We stopped on a quiet little street to enjoy an Indian meal.  Who would have thought I would be sitting at a sidewalk cafe with my wife in Amsterdam eating khorma with the bellows of the crowds from the bars at every little quirk of the game.  Then again, my life has always been enchanted.  What next?

Dutch Sabbath

Nothing too much to report this day.  We went to Antwerp for Stake Conference.  It was a live broadcast from Salt Lake City.  Yep, we came all the way to attend church in Belgium broadcast to us in English!  We did get to hear a blessing in Dutch, but that was about it.  For those non-English speakers, it was translated for them in the main chapel.

We enjoyed the rest of the day with the Cazier’s.  We enjoyed some sandwiches for lunch, some shrimp/pasta/zucchini dish for dinner.  Both were very good.  They have been good to us.  Letting us use their laundry, spare room, and dining room.  They drove us to Vianden, Luxembourg, and Antwerp.  I do not know how we will ever repay them.  We certainly appreciate their hospitality and friendship.

We are planning on heading out for Paris tomorrow.  Although that plan may very well change as we hear of a strike with the French railways.  We may reverse our trip and head to The Hague tomorrow instead.

Welcome to June. It is already all planned out!

Boy, am I glad June is here!  My wife has joined me after our long separation from job and school.  What a relief.  I don’t have to worry about her stressing herself out or being picked up by a much more dashing, intelligent, catch of a man.

We leave this week for what may be the trip of a lifetime.  How many times in a lifetime, if ever, does one get to go to Europe for 6 weeks?  We will be starting with friends in Belgium, working our way to Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Germany, The Netherlands, England, Wales, Scotland, and who knows where else we may stumble.  We really cannot afford it, but why not live with some reckless abandon for a little while?  There are so many friends who do so every day of their life and seem to make it through their whole lives.  Granted, their quality may be diminished some.  But what is lost by worry seems it might be made up by the large home and toys that the self-proclaimed responsible typically don’t get to enjoy.  We leave on the 4th to return on the 16th of July.

We signed a purchase contract for a home this month.  Somewhere around the 22nd of June we will be closing on a humble home in Oklahoma City.  Who would ever have thought my first home purchase would be in Oklahoma City?  Did I ever think I would move or live in Oklahoma City.  Most certainly not.

Amanda and I just hit all three of the Idaho temples this past week.  Amanda had never been to any of them.  We have now hit all three Idaho and 11 Utah temples.  Before year end, we will have three more in that geography alone to hit to make it complete once again.  I am very sad I will be in Oklahoma City when the dedication of the Twin Falls Temple takes place.  Being so close to home, and wanting a temple closer for so long, now we get one and I cannot attend.  Amanda and I will be helping with the open house in July.  I guess that is some solace for missing the dedication.  I believe Idaho Falls and Manti are still my favorite temples.  The Rexburg Temple has so many gorgeous rooms.  However, for some reason I still prefer the sessions that are split up into all their sections.  Manti and Idaho Falls Temples both have you moving between all the rooms.  Manti has the pioneer value and beauty with a live session, but the simplicity of Idaho Falls with its rooms and movement make it a favorite.  Salt Lake certainly has the beauty but the place seems more like a zoo than a temple, especially in the summer with all the sealings.

This past week Amanda spent a day with me at work doing bench testing.  It was a beautiful day and we spent nearly all of it in Minidoka.  The Minidoka Longhorn Cafe and Whitesides Dairy was enjoyable for me.  The wastewater we play with is less than beautiful but it is part of life.  Whether we like it or not, we all have waste and somebody has to deal with it.  I thought Amanda was going to throw up at one point when we were doing some filteration.  She kept it down, luckily.  The day turned out well.  Except for the fact Amanda picked up a tick somewhere.  Not only did she pick him up, the tick dug in and started to sup near the middle of her calf.  She was not a happy camper when she discovered him.  A little polish remover and she backed right out.  Hope she got plenty to eat for the long stay in the septic tank.

For the first time in what must be at least 8 years since Grandma Ross passed away, all my siblings were back together.  Becky was coming through Southern Idaho so Scott organized a BBQ.  All five of us where there.  It was really quite a bit of fun and I enjoyed myself.  Even though we were never really close, I am glad we are still cordial and can enjoy ourselves when we get together.  Vicki, Dad’s first wife, was even there.  Dad and Jan were there as well.  Andra brought Brian and Daniel and little Daniel was certainly a favorite.

I know I have not been writing as much.  Despite more people reading the blog than ever before, I just don’t feel like I have much to write.  A couple of people want me to write more relevant things that would pertain to them, but how does one write interesting things for everyone?  Then, how does anyone write for someone else and keep their voice and soul into it?