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Unread 06-28-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Virtual Trip to Europe

Hello! Are you saving money for a vacation? Have you just returned from a vacation and now are having vacation letdown? Are you having a "staycation" this year? How would you like to go to Europe? Well, starting tomorrow we will be taking a virtual tour of Europe + a special added destination at the end. Each week we will tour a different destination with an opportunity to make a card at the end of each week's tour. Our cards will be posted in a special gallery so all the travelers will be able to see them. If this sounds like fun, join us on Monday, June 29 as we begin our tour of The Netherlands.
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Unread 06-28-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Can't wait..my mom's Dad's family came from the Netherlands. His older siblings and parents. He was born here. I sure hope I can stop in and see the sites.
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Unread 06-28-2009, 04:13 PM   #3
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Woohoo! I'm so excited about the trip! And now I'm subscribed to the thread!
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Unread 06-28-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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WoooHoooo!!!!!! I invited a friend who's applied to be a hostess this time around too!!!! Her name is Ky.........or scrapacat here on SCS!!!! Travelling first to the Netherlands is gonna be a blast!!!!!!
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Unread 06-28-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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Oh oh oh oh!!! This is so awesome!! Wow - thanks, Lee! This will be a treat! No vacay this year cuz DHs job got reduced by one day a payperiod. Plus, I'll get stuff made!! Woooohooooo!! Geniuses, you all are!
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Unread 06-28-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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Netherlands here we come!!!!!!
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Unread 06-28-2009, 05:16 PM   #7
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Oh my word, Lee, you always have the best smilies!!!
Welcome, Ky!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 03:15 AM   #8
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I'm ready to go, Pat! Very exciting--haven't been to the Netherlands since you and I went in the 80s!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 04:31 AM   #9
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Okay, been up all night..........blasted insomnia.........I'll definitely be on the trip..........I just may be pulling the Night Shifts!!! I can't wait to start!!!! And I may have to nap on the way TO the Netherlands!!! Someone wake me when we get there!!!!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 05:29 AM   #10
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Welkom to The Netherlands! (I'm going to use Gina K's trick of putting the first line of my tour posts in large blue print so you can find them easily.) and welcome to the first day of the virtual trip! We have just landed at Schiphol Airport just outside of Amsterdam. We have checked into our hotel, the Banks Mansion Hotel on the Herengracht which is one of the main canals in the city. (To see our hotel click here) Be sure to look for a virtual tour link whenever I post a link! Today we are going to take a boat tour of the city of Amsterdam, built on the Amstel River. The city is built on a series of canals (62 miles of them!) so a boat tour is the best way to see the city. Amsterdam has 90 islands and 1,500 bridges! The main canals are the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht, the Kaizersgracht, and the Singel.
Then after our boat tour we will go to two famous houses in the city, Anne Frank's House and Rembrandt's House. If you read the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, you are familiar with the story of how she and her family hid from the Nazis in a canal house in Amsterdam. The house is now a museum and has been kept as it was when Anne and her family were there. The pictures of movie stars that Anne cut from magazines and pasted on the walls of her bedroom are still there! Enjoy your visit to the Anne Frank House. Next we go to visit Rembrandt's House, which has been restored to look like it did when he lived there. You might want to eat at the cafe in Rembrandt's kitchen while you are there. Rembrandt lived in this house in a very fashionable part of town during his most prosperous years, from 1639 - 1660. He painted The Night Watch while he lived here. We will see that painting tomorrow when we visit the Rijksmuseum. Enjoy your tour of Rembrandt's House. And on our way back to our hotel this afternoon we will stop at the Gassan Diamond Factory. They have a delightful tour and you might even want to buy diamonds while you are there!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 09:05 AM   #11
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What a pretty country Pat...I love the canals. Can't wait to see what else we're doing during our visit.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #12
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What a great first day! You really squeezed a lot in for us, Pat. I can't wait to see what else you have in store. The Netherlands is one place I never got to when I studied in Europe. I would really like to visit the Anne Frank House someday; her diary really made an impression on my when I was in middle school.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
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Phew, I am tired from our first day! I am relaxing in my deluxe canal view room sipping on some complimentary spirits (I hope I understood correctly that they are complimentary!) Amsterdam is just gorgeous. I especially enjoyed the canal ride and the DIAMOND factory! I can't wait to see where we go tomorrow!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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Pat, Thanks for being our guide today. The Canal ride was relaxing when I wasn't trying to soak in everything. I've always wanted to see the Anne Frank house, so was glad we stopped by there. The DIAMOND factory was geat also. Wish I could have afforded that one I was drooling over.

I am so glad we got back to the hotel early enough. I had a few cousins several times removed drop by. Heimstra's and Westerbaans. I glad I brought my Family book with me so they could see all the American branches. If I get a little free time, I'm going to try and pop over to Arum and Achlum up in Friesland to see where my Great-Grandparents came from.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 07:55 PM   #15
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Goededag! I hope everyone enjoyed our first day in The Netherlands. Today we are staying in Amsterdam to see some of the fabulous museums. First we will visit the Rijksmuseum. Now, understand you cannot see it all in one day, so you will probably want to confine yourself to the Dutch Masters section. Here you will see The Night Watch by Rembrandt. This is a huge painting, the people are life size! You will also other paintings, like this one by Frans Hals. We will see more paintings by Frans Hals tomorrow when we visit Haarlem. Take as much time as you can to enjoy the amazing art in the Rijksmuseum. (Be sure to click on the panoramic view.) We will have a break to eat lunch in one of the small restaurants in the area. (Did you know the people in Amsterdam bring their dogs with them to restaurants? Don't be alarmed if you see dogs under the tables!) Then it's on to the Van Gogh Museum. This museum contains art by Van Gogh and art that Vincent and his brother Theo collected. Before we go back to our hotel, we will stop at a clogmakerij to see them making wooden shoes. You might want to buy a pair for a souvenir!
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Unread 06-29-2009, 10:09 PM   #16
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Wowza Pat!!!!! What a phenomenal tour!!!!!

The canals..........

The art..............

The history.........

The food............



I can't wait for Day 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 07:15 AM   #17
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What a blast that was!! I just LOOOOOOOVVVVEEED The Diary of Anne Frank, and read obsessively about her - anything I could get my hands on. Loved this city, and especially the hotel. YUMMM-OOOO!!! Yeah, I'm kind of a spoiled brat traveler. No roughin' it for THIS girl! Thanks for a great first day, Pat!

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Originally Posted by casep View Post
Welkom to The Netherlands! (I'm going to use Gina K's trick of putting the first line of my tour posts in large blue print so you can find them easily.) and welcome to the first day of the virtual trip! We have just landed at Schiphol Airport just outside of Amsterdam. We have checked into our hotel, the Banks Mansion Hotel on the Herengracht which is one of the main canals in the city. (To see our hotel click here) Be sure to look for a virtual tour link whenever I post a link! Today we are going to take a boat tour of the city of Amsterdam, built on the Amstel River. The city is built on a series of canals (62 miles of them!) so a boat tour is the best way to see the city. Amsterdam has 90 islands and 1,500 bridges! The main canals are the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht, the Kaizersgracht, and the Singel.
Then after our boat tour we will go to two famous houses in the city, Anne Frank's House and Rembrandt's House. If you read the book, The Diary of Anne Frank, you are familiar with the story of how she and her family hid from the Nazis in a canal house in Amsterdam. The house is now a museum and has been kept as it was when Anne and her family were there. The pictures of movie stars that Anne cut from magazines and pasted on the walls of her bedroom are still there! Enjoy your visit to the Anne Frank House. Next we go to visit Rembrandt's House, which has been restored to look like it did when he lived there. You might want to eat at the cafe in Rembrandt's kitchen while you are there. Rembrandt lived in this house in a very fashionable part of town during his most prosperous years, from 1639 - 1660. He painted The Night Watch while he lived here. We will see that painting tomorrow when we visit the Rijksmuseum. Enjoy your tour of Rembrandt's House. And on our way back to our hotel this afternoon we will stop at the Gassan Diamond Factory. They have a delightful tour and you might even want to buy diamonds while you are there!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 07:21 AM   #18
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OMG - another fabulous day!! Great stuff, Pat - Van Gogh is an interesting artist. Thanks once again, Pat, for a spectacular tour!!

Hugs!

Karolyn

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Goededag! I hope everyone enjoyed our first day in The Netherlands. Today we are staying in Amsterdam to see some of the fabulous museums. First we will visit the Rijksmuseum. Now, understand you cannot see it all in one day, so you will probably want to confine yourself to the Dutch Masters section. Here you will see The Night Watch by Rembrandt. This is a huge painting, the people are life size! You will also other paintings, like this one by Frans Hals. We will see more paintings by Frans Hals tomorrow when we visit Haarlem. Take as much time as you can to enjoy the amazing art in the Rijksmuseum. (Be sure to click on the panoramic view.) We will have a break to eat lunch in one of the small restaurants in the area. (Did you know the people in Amsterdam bring their dogs with them to restaurants? Don't be alarmed if you see dogs under the tables!) Then it's on to the Van Gogh Museum. This museum contains art by Van Gogh and art that Vincent and his brother Theo collected. Before we go back to our hotel, we will stop at a clogmakerij to see them making wooden shoes. You might want to buy a pair for a souvenir!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 10:22 AM   #19
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When do we get to smoke doobies? Isn't pot legal in Amsterdam? This is fun (even without the pot) LOL can't wait to see where our journey takes us tomorrow and in the weeks to come. Right now I have to jet from Amsterdam to China where I have some won-ton soup waiting for me.
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Unread 06-30-2009, 01:04 PM   #20
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I was amazed by the the Night Watch. I could have just sat there and taken it all in all day. Ummmm, perhaps Jacq would like to visit the red light district as well. My ham toastie at lunch was great even though the labrador retriever under the next table kept eyeing it. I wish we had been here on my birthday, Pat--cause then we would have definitely had to hit the Heineken factory!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 02:48 PM   #21
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Mmmmmm, the Heineken factory! The day is still young!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 06:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
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When do we get to smoke doobies? Isn't pot legal in Amsterdam? This is fun (even without the pot) LOL can't wait to see where our journey takes us tomorrow and in the weeks to come. Right now I have to jet from Amsterdam to China where I have some won-ton soup waiting for me.


If anyone was going to bring this up it was you Jacq!. Next thing we know you will want to go to the red light district. I guess we were to expect this type of behavior from you if we brought you along!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 06:22 PM   #23
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Fabulous second day Pat! I loved all the art - it was hard for me to pull myself away from one museum to go to another. I also got a pair of wooden shoes for each member of my family.

Off to babysit Jacq and keep her out of too much trouble
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Unread 06-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #24
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Day 2 was just awesome, Pat! I want to take home the kitty in the clog! I have a tiny pair of wooden shoes from a visit to Holland, Michigan, but they didn't come with a kitty.
I have to tell you I really enjoyed the museums, especially the Van Gogh Museum. One of my favorite paintings of all time is Van Gogh's irises (in the field, not the vase). I have a print on my wall!
I'll skip the pot brownies in the red light district coffee shops, but I'd love to visit the Heineken Brewery if there's time!
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Unread 06-30-2009, 11:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueline View Post
When do we get to smoke doobies? Isn't pot legal in Amsterdam? This is fun (even without the pot) LOL can't wait to see where our journey takes us tomorrow and in the weeks to come. Right now I have to jet from Amsterdam to China where I have some won-ton soup waiting for me.



I THOUGHT that was you in the bathroom behind the exhibits!!!!!!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 03:45 AM   #26
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Goedemorgen! I hope everyone slept well. Our hotel is really nice, isn't it? Today we are going to take a ride to Haarlem. Haarlem is just 20 km west of Amsterdam. It is the historical center of the tulip-growing district. In fact, Haarlem's nickname is Bloemenstad (Flower City.) First we will walk around the city. Then we will visit the Frans Hals Museum. More paintings by some of the Dutch Masters here, Frans Hals of course, and some really nice paintings by Jan Steen. We'll have lunch in the market square, then on our way back to Amsterdam we'll drive through some tulip fields. The flowers are so beautiful! Maybe we'll see the big farm machines chopping off the flowers and harvesting the bulbs. It's kind of sad, but Holland sells tulip bulbs all over the world. More about tulips here. We'll stop at one of the farms in case you want to buy some tulip bulbs to take back home. Enjoy your day!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:21 AM   #27
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That is a really cool floating market--it looks like the flower shop maybe--SingelBloemenmarkt.jpg. Really cool. Is the Floriade this year, Pat?
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:25 AM   #28
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No, I believe the next Floriade in The Netherlands is 2012. There will be one in the Spring in Australia, though. I'll have to check out the dates.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:27 AM   #29
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Oh, the tulip fields are sooooo pretty. I'll definitely be picking up some of those. And, I love the windmills.

I didn't buy any wooden shoes but I already have a tiny pair that''s actually a magnet (BFF Michele brought back for me when she went to Europe last year). They're adorable. And, I'm with Michelle L., although they'd be better with a kitty they're still cute.

Heehee, I knew you'd get a kick out of the doobie comment. LOL
Stacey - keep me in line I don't want to stray too far from the group.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:33 AM   #30
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Did anyone else find the ice cream vendor near the Van Gogh museum yesterday--the one with those cool ice cream sandwiches that had "cake cone" kind of sandwiches instead of cake for the "bread" part? Yummy! I love all the little parks here (and obviously the ice cream vendors, too.)
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:35 AM   #31
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Okay, here's the scoop. The Floriade in Australia is Sept. 12 - Oct. 11 in Canberra. Our tour is planning to be in Australia, Aug. 24 - 28 so unless we add a couple of countries, we're going to miss it.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:42 AM   #32
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Oh well, at least we'll be able to see the preparations for it. Hey Pat, maybe you should give Cav a shout and remind her we're coming and let her know where we are. I haven't seen her! Maybe the jet lag is still hanging in there and she's languishing in the hotel.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #33
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Day 2 and 3 were fantastic. I didn't buy any wooden shoes as I have a pair that belonged to my grandmother. I did buy lots of tulip bulbs however. Shipped them home. Now I just have to find time and places to plant them. Loved lunch.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 04:17 PM   #34
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Update of CAV..I received this Tuesday Night. (NOTE: Noon EDT is 2AM next day)
Maggie was admitted last night after going to emergency - her oxygen saturation is hovering between 89 and 91 and once it goes below 90 it's an issue and it should be up around 100. Anyhooooooooo - long story short, we were eventually put into a ward at 4.30 this morning - Jerry came home and grabbed a few zzzzzz's (and I stress only a few zzzzzzzzz's) before heading back up to us - he got back just after 9 and so now I'm home.

I haven't heard anything new, but will keep everyone posted.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 05:28 PM   #35
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Thanks for the info about Cav's daughter, Robyn. If you hear any more, please let us know.
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Unread 07-01-2009, 06:37 PM   #36
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I'm so glad we got a chance to see a windmill, today, Pat! They make for great photo backdrops. And the tulip are just gorgeous. They don't grow well in So. Cal, which is a bummer! I love seeing them in bloom when I'm in Oregon. Looking forward to tomorrow's festivities!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 08:55 PM   #37
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LOL!! You are so NAUGHTY, Lee!!! You, too, Jacq!!! That must be why I love you!! LOL

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Originally Posted by LuvLee View Post


I THOUGHT that was you in the bathroom behind the exhibits!!!!!!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 09:03 PM   #38
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A-MAZING, Pat!! I absolutely loved the Windmill and the tulips! I used to love going to Mt. Vernon to see the tulip fields here. But since we return back to WA so late, the fields are already plowed down.

So, how was the birthday celebration, Jean? Did I miss the pictures?

Can't wait to see what's in store for our tour tomorrow. I slept like a baby last night, by the way. Yummy sheets!!
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Unread 07-01-2009, 10:17 PM   #39
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Ooooo.............LOVE the Tulips!!! Although I took the Museum tour first..........I did not learn any interesting Dutch words to share however!! I bought some bulbs....'cuz I didn't want anymore monkeys urinating on them! Those windmills are so cool....I tried to buy one of those.........but shipping charges were a wee bit expensive!!! LOL

We've got out of State company in.......but she's an SCS'er so I'm gonna bring her along tomorrow!!!! Thanks for such great places and fabuous sights to see so far Pat!!!

Pass along hugs and prayers to Cav and her family!!!
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Unread 07-02-2009, 04:39 AM   #40
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Goedemorgen, and welkom to day 4 of the Virtual Trip. Today is our last day of sight-seeing in The Netherlands. Of course we couldn't leave without seeing Delft! So off we go to South Holland. Delft is between Rotterdam and the Hague. It is a seaport, and was the home port for the Dutch East India Company. It is a picturesque city with lots of canals, but be careful! I was so busy trying to get a good photo of the pottery factory I almost fell into a canal! You know how you keep backing up, backing up to get the whole thing in the picture? Beware! No rails around the canals in Delft! The city is most famous for its beautiful Delft Blue Pottery so the pottery factory is a must. You will probably want to buy some pottery as a souvenir of your visit here. Delft is also the home of Johannes Vermeer, a famous painter of Holland's Golden Age. A few of Vermeer's painting are here, here, and here. Vermeer is known for his bright colors, especially blue and yellow, and his amazing use of chiaroscuro (the way he painted light and dark into his paintings.)

The last city on our tour will be Gouda (pronounced How-dah.) We are going to visit the cheese markets there. Gouda became a city in 1272. It has many beautiful old buildings, one of which is the town hall. Gouda is most famous for its cheese market which is open every Thursday. I am sure you will want to buy some Gouda cheese while you are here. Enjoy your afternoon in Gouda!
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