I have been home a few days and am getting back in my regular routine. I had a great time seeing new things in a place far far away! It is just about exactly 5,000 miles from PDX to Amsterdam. When I arrived, Jennifer and Hugo met me and as we left the airport this is what was outside.
I am so glad I took the picture of the sunflowers because when I left, they had all been taken out and replaced by small fall flowers! The sunflowers were beautiful and looked impressive in those huge cement pots.
Very close to where Jennifer and Hugo live there is this beautiful large park. Since she doesn't have her own car, we walked everywhere. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to town and the next few pictures are of Groningen.
As you can tell, there are lots of canals. We went on a boat ride one evening that took us all through the town. In one section of town there is a boat that is also a restaurant. It is a pancake boat!
They have these giant crepe like pancakes and you fill them with cheese, honey, molasses, ragu, or several other choices, roll them up and eat them!
The first Saturday I was there we went to Oldenburg, Germany for the day. It is a quaint town with cobblestone streets and a farmers market. We walked all day looking at buildings and shopping.
It rained most of the day and was a bit chilly. I don't remember what this building was named, but I love the color.
The highways are a bit different there. Two lanes and drivers stay in the right hand lane except for passing, which is done FAST, then back into the right lane. It works well for them. No horn honking and I didn't see any accidents. They do drive considerably faster than we do. It took about 2 hours to drive to Oldenburg.
The next Friday and Saturday we spent in Brugge, Belgium. It is about a 4 hour drive from Groningen and the scenery was great. It is very flat and very green. Lots of trees and cows.
We ate twice in an old pub that features 400 kinds of beer! I only tasted one kind. The one I choose is famous. It is made in a monastery and is only sold maybe once a year at the monastery and then at a couple of pubs. It was very refreshing!
This is the menu! Two large wooden pieces with pages that must have measured about two inches thick (not each page!) showing all the different beers and food to choose from. The food was delicious.
My Flemish onion soup and Belgium fries. In the town there are many places to buy chocolate and Belgium waffles and fries. There were horse drawn carriages ....
my wonderful Croque Madam that I had for breakfast. I first had this in Paris and loved it. Pretty much a ham and cheese grilled sandwich with a friend egg on top! I'm planning on making one this weekend.
As you can see, there are zillions of bicycles everywhere. You must watch out for your life. Bicycles rule and everyone else stays out of the way.
There was a wedding in this building and there were beautiful cars waiting to pick up the wedding party. I could barely see the bride come out and get in this gorgeous car with her new husband.
Back in Groningen. Most streets are cobblestone and beautiful. The sidewalk areas are made of these blocks. They were doing some pipe work in front of Jennifer's home and they just take the blocks up, do the work and then put them back. Very efficient. Sand makes up most of the ground that I saw. Reclaimed from the sea. Keeps the weeds from growing up between the blocks.
We did find a quilt shop very close to where Jennifer lives. It is on a residential street and you wouldn't even really know it was a shop. It was very nice and when you see me....ask about the price of Dutch fabric!!!!
The day before I left we visited Abraham's Mustard Museum! It was very old and had very old machinery in it that they still use to make mustard. He didn't speak any English so Hugo had to translate everything. I brought some mustard home and am anxious to try it.
I had a great time and learned a lot. It is good to see how many different ways there are to live. I suppose we all think we do life the best way. I am looking forward to going again and seeing more places. I am glad that Jennifer has found her love and that she is happy there. It is so very different. She has a new language to learn and a whole different culture to fit into.
I host a class tomorrow for any who would like to come. Some are working on wool projects and some just bring whatever they are currently stitching. It is tomorrow, Friday, from 10-1. $10.00
On Saturday from 10-2 we will be working on a project from Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine. If you want to know which one in particular....email me. It is also $10.00 and I supply a light lunch. Come and join the fun!
Of course on the forth Sat of this month, which is the 26th, Prairie Women Sewing Circle meets at Pioneer Quilts as does our Spargoinian group. I would love for you to come to either or both classes. The Prairie Women Sewing Circle just began a new Journey and the quilts are beautiful.
This is the first quilt in the series. It is a friendship quilt, you can have your friends sign your blocks. Ask me for more information or you can call Pioneer Quilts at 503.654.1555