round, round, get around

January has been a little more mellow than our first few months here in Den Haag, as BC has gotten busy at work and weekend traveling has been put on hold for a while.  However, we have still had the opportunity to visit some places and do some exploring nearby!

A few weeks ago, we made a Saturday afternoon drive to Leiden, which is only about 15 minutes way (and we took the most scenic route available).  Leiden is home to Leiden University (as its name may suggest), so there seemed to be a younger crowd around the cafe’s and such.  We wandered about for a while (although it was a cold day), and we eventually settled in a little cafe called Einstein’s…turns out that is because Albert Einstein actually spent some time at Leiden University during his career.  After some snacks and a beverage, we headed back home to Den Haag.

Leiden!  (Instagram filter applied...follow me for more photos)

Leiden! (Instagram filter applied…follow me on Instagram for even more photos)

At Einstein's cafe.

At Einstein’s cafe.

Windmill in Leiden.

Windmill in Leiden.

Shopping district.

Shopping district.

Another fun fact about Leiden – the pilgrims actually lived there prior to their departure for the New World.  They hold a Thanksgiving Day service in one of the churches in remembrance.

We decided to venture out for a much-needed burger that evening, as I was craving them and some delicious french fries.  We had been to this place once before during our month of living in the city center, and we knew it was the perfect place to go again…Burgerz.  It’s a really cool place that has a lot of admirable practices for obtaining ingredients.

Makes me want another now.

Makes me want another now.

Seriously awesome.

Seriously awesome.

This past week, while BC was busy working away, I met up with a fellow expat (and fellow EY wife) who lives in a more Southern Netherlands city of Eindhoven for a little day trip.  We met up in the city of Dordrecht.  After a quick warm-up with coffee at a small cafe, we explored the Dordrecht Museum – an art museum re-opened in 2010 after major renovations (so it was pretty sleek and modern).  Most of the work was very old, but impressive.  It featured a lot of work by Ary Scheffer, a painter who was born in Dordrecht (not an art history expert, so no clue who that is).  There was a small area of more modern art as well.

After the museum, we wandered about looking for a little lunch cafe.  We found a cute place, where I had a tasty brie, honey and walnut sandwich (what?!  it was awesome) and we also enjoyed some tasty frites w/ mayo.

Lunch spot.

Lunch spot.

Then we were off on a cold and long walk through the city, along the river, and on to a very interesting sight…  The Ark Van Noach (Noah’s Ark).  There is literally a 1-to-1 scale replica of Noah’s Ark that is open to the public (unfortunately not on Wednesday afternoons which is when we were attempting to visit).  The ark actually just opened in July 2012, after 3 years of building!  Crazy…and really wild to see in person (even if it was cold and no one else was around)!

Next door to our lunch spot.

Next door to our lunch spot.

A canal through town.

A canal through town.

We thought it was funny that a sign on the door said "Free Ark Wifi" - what would Noah think?!

We thought it was funny that a sign on the door said “Free Ark Wifi” – what would Noah think?!

Put this one in here just to show you how deserted this area was.

Just wandering up to the ark.

The full ark.

The full ark.

After such a long walk to the ark, we hopped a bus back to the city center for yet another cafe visit (best part of the cities here).  Then it was time to take the trains back our separate ways!  I had a great time, Megan!  More adventures to come from this duo, I’m sure.

This last weekend, we got together with the whole EY expat crew (Todd & Megan in Eindhoven, Taylor & Chelsea in Amsterdam and Amanda in Amsterdam) for a fun afternoon.  It’s always nice to catch up with these peeps and swap our stories of small victories, large difficulties and frustrations and tons of embarrassing moments! 🙂

We met them for lunch in Breda, another town not far away – about an hour drive for us.  We had a nice, slow-paced lunch in a brewery in town before venturing on to the main event…the Bier Reclamemuseum (Beer Advertising Museum)!  This place was quite the sight to see.  There were TONS of memorabilia from all sorts of Netherlands and European beers from signs, bottles, glasses and crates to bottling machines and stained glass windows.  Not a bad place to stop and experiment with a new brew.  Of course, the one I picked ended up having some sort of floaters in it…definitely odd, but it was pretty tasty!

The whole crew out front.

The whole crew out front.

The actual bar.

The actual bar.

There was even an outdoor space (fully decorated).

There was even an outdoor space (fully decorated).

Crazy amount of stuff.

Crazy amount of stuff.

In other news, the snow is disappearing and we are warming up.  I put a photo below to show you Saturday morning (snowing), Sunday morning (rain/slushy mess) and Monday morning (gone!).  I am very excited about the rising temperatures here!  I have heard that I shouldn’t be complaining, as the ice storm was sweeping through at home!!  Best of luck to you all with that.

Nice progression!

Nice progression!

Just had to share these - all of the snowmen I have seen here look like this...not into the 3-ball technique I guess.

Just had to share these – all of the snowmen I have seen here look like this…not into the 3-ball technique I guess.

We are celebrating the official 6 month mark later this week…so I have a few blogging ideas in mind to commemorate the occasion.  Check back soon for more!!

Until next time,
-MK-

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