Thanksgiving in The Netherlands doesn't mean much unless you live near Leiden, the city where the Pilgrims lived for 15 years before they decided to venture to the New World. And of course Thanksgiving means something to the kids at the American School because they get Thursday and Friday off and no other school does.
Each year there is a service in the Pieterskerk (shown above), the church where the Pilgrims worshipped and where John Robinson, their leader, is buried. Grant's high school choir sang, the boy scouts led us in the Pledge of Allegiance (which was totally new to the non-Americans) and a Dutch descendant of one of the Pilgrims spoke. This person was Dutch because the father of the family left on the Speedwell, made a connection to the Mayflower in England, braved the Atlantic crossing to the New World and then died. His family who had planned to join him later, wisely decided to stay in Holland.
|The Mayor of Leiden addressing the service|
|This guy was watching me the entire service|
|The Leiden canals.|
|What a great reflection|
|Christmas and Heineken; what a great combination.|
|Grant & his friend, Arnold -- Men in Black.|
Since there were only two of us there was no Thanksgiving Turkey. Instead we had tacos. Plus a pumpkin pie and cheesecake from the NHS at school. So while the menu was slightly unorthodox, the result was still the same -- Grant ate too much.