we are ‘home’

Yet another round of packing last week…we are getting use to this process. But this time offered a light at the end of the tunnel, UNPACKING!

We moved into our new apartment last Friday, the place where we will be staying for the remainder of our time here in Holland! (This is also the place that you will all have the opportunity to see when you come visit. Always have to get that in there.). We are very happy to be in the new place and begin to actually settle in/make the apartment into our home. It it is a much cozier space, and it has been very well maintained. The washing machine/dryer is a dramatic improvement, and we have have significantly more showering room (no more fear of dropping something and having to bend down potentially opening the shower door with a body part). In addition, we have a large terrace open to green space and tons of natural light from all the windows. The windows are a huge perk, given the great weather we have been enjoying (65-75 degrees most days thus far).

The new neighborhood is the best feature of all! We are on a quiet side-street with minimal traffic. There is a nearby pond/walk-way. We are one street over from the main strip (Bankastraat) which is full of cheese shops, bakeries, butcher shop, super market, fruit markets, cafe’s, dry cleaners, ect. There is also a street vendor for herring, a Dutch specialty, for any daring visitors. We are a few blocks from Fredrickstraat – an adorable shopping and dining-filled street. We are about 4 blocks from the Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice of the United Nations and other important international organizations. Nearby streets are lined with embassies of other countries. There is supposedly a nearby park complete with bike path directly to the beach. And BC now has only about a 15 minute walk to work.

What does one do immediately after a move? IKEA run, naturally. Saturday, BC and I opted for round two at the nearby, massive IKEA store. We waited an extra hour before heading out this time…seemed to improve the crowd slightly. We walked every inch of the store taking in all options for our new home needs. Four hours later, we had our cart filled to the brim and we arrived at the self serve furniture portion of the building (which is a large warehouse filled with boxes of assembly required furniture). Unfortunately, BC and I failed to think this process through while we were making decisions up in the showroom. We were only able to fit a couple of the items in our little Honda Civic that doesn’t have fold down seats in the back. We are still working on plan B for the additional furniture.

Sunday, we decided to go into the city center for some additional house shopping, looking for things such as a toaster, towels, and hand soap. We successfully found and purchased the granddaddy of all toasters (which didn’t fit in any available bags, so BC got to carry it all over town showing it off). Expect lots of toast to happen in our household! We arrived home with the toaster, a water filter pitcher, bath mat, shower curtain and of course, a box of chocolates… Successful enough for excursion #1.

Other than that, we are still adapting to our new-found free time and finding things to do with it. BC has taken up ironing as an alternative to (the extremely expensive) dry cleaning. I have been contributing somewhat as well, but he is just so good at it! :). I have created a LONG list of activities we can do together and plan to type them up, cut them out and put them in a cute jar for future use…we can draw out one thing to do whenever we are bored. I would be happy to share my list (I am proud of it) if anyone would like to do something similar! I have also been reaching out to people regarding volunteer opportunities and local clubs/social groups…looking forward to getting started! We have also been enjoying catching up with many friends and family members on Skype and FaceTime!

We are looking forward to some upcoming events too. This weekend is a European PGA tournament (the KLM Open), which we have tickets to. There are a couple EY partners from home that will be here next week, so it should be fun to catch up with them (they have both lived here before). There is an expat fair coming up next weekend. We are planning our next weekend trip to Belgium this month. Our first visitors will be here in about a month!! Lots of exciting things to look forward to right now!

Well, I think that’s all I have for now, folks. Hope all is well!

Until next time,
-MK-

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