Although many of you may be thinking that my sister, Anne, and brother, Tom, only visited us to muscle in on the free birthday cake, I can assure that was not the case. They were kind enough to come stay with Grant while Lori and I attended Kate's graduation in Nashville. Then they stayed on for several days to see The Netherlands. We really appreciate their generosity, plus it was great to have them visit.
They quickly fell into the European pace....long walks with Graber, bicycling to get groceries, having coffee in the middle of the afternoon at an outdoor cafe, drinking bottled water (with gas) and driving a manual transmission. The only hiccup occurred when the kitchen faucet sprung a leak while Lori and I were in the States. No worries though -- Tom devised a tupperware waterfall to contain the leak overnight and the landlord sent a plumber out the next day. Anne thoroughly spoiled Graber (as if that is possible) by taking him on 2 hour walks every morning. Tom and I enjoyed a number of cycling trips around the area. We also managed to see a few Holland sights.
|We rode our bikes to the Wassenaar Market|
|The virtuosos gave us a concert (I think they played Heart and Soul).|
|Children number 1,3 and 4 in the Woodburn Clan|
|Tom rode to school with Grant.|
|Cycling the paths in the countryside|
|The weather was warm on the first days of their visit. Tom and Grant relaxing after lunch at the local pannenkoeken house.|
|Graber's new best friend|
|Anne's idea of dog training is to say "good boy" when he catches the cheese. Like Graber would ever not catch cheese.|
|The tupperware waterfall kept the leak contained until help arrived|
|Our new faucet. Not much different than the old one except that it doesn't leak.|
|Now that all the visitors have left I need to get back to work....like mowing the lawn!|
Leiden: We did a self-guided walking tour of this historic city where Rembrandt was born and Holland's first university was established. As you can see in the pictures, the warm, balmy weather that we enjoyed for Don and Joan's visit vanished and Holland returned to its normal spring climate of wind, rain and chills.
|Like all good Dutch, the weather didn't stop us. This is the site of Rembrandt's birth, although it looks like they've updated the bricks and added siding since his time.|
|This tree at the Leiden Univsersity Botanical Center reminded me of the apricot tree at our family's farm. Both trees have some serious bracing to hold the trunks together.|
|The Hooglandse Kerk, begun in 1366 but never finished.|
Den Haag: We rode our bikes into Den Haag for an afternoon. We visited the Escher Museum, the Bittenhof (government house) and had a coffee.
|At the museum|
|At the gate of the Bittenhof|
|When we came to the plien, or square, someone had taped yellow balloons all around. It turned out to be Greenpeace holding a demonstration against nuclear power. We didn't sign their petition.|
|Our ritual afternoon coffee.|
|At Queen Beatrix's palace on the way home.|
|Cycling through the woods|
|These pillows are for parishioners at the Oude Kerk. Vanderbilt would have done well to offer these at Kate's graduation.|
|One of Delft's old homes|
|The old towne hall in Delft is a beautiful building that is normally closed. When Anne asked what it was used for, I didn't know. Just then a bride and groom emerged. Now we know what it's used for.|
|Tom and Anne relaxing before our boat tour. All that would change later on when things got a little more exciting. We hit the side of the canal 3 or 4 times and the motor quit when a plastic bag wrapped around the propeller.|