Friday, August 26, 2016

Dutch Letters -- Final Posting

In June it was finally time to say goodbye to Holland.  The six years spent there ended up being the second longest place that I've lived in my adult life.  Grant did half of his schooling in The Netherlands (but don't ask him to speak a word of Dutch).  And Graber lived there for 85% of his life so far (but don't expect him to have picked up any good European dog behaviors).  

My work colleagues and I went to the local skeet shooting range for a going away party.  I figured what better way to prepare for my return to America than to shoot guns (which is a very unusual thing to do in Holland).  Since I worked with a construction team most of the gifts involved alcohol, although Karin came through with the orange tulips.

The gifts from my going away party

Prior to returning to the US, Graber had to get his travel haircut.  We affectionately refer to the groomer/kennel owner as "The Man".  And for every holiday that you've read about on this blog, Graber has spent those days and nights with The Man.   To tell the truth, we've gone there for six years and I couldn't tell you his real name.  He was great with Graber and loved to see him every time.  

Goldie departed early for the US to live with Kate & Doug.  Although she wasn't at all happy to be in a cage for 18 hours during the flights, she was very happy to move to a home that did not include a dog.  As you can see she has adjusted very well and is quite happy in her new home.

What to do with the bicycles?  My town bike was great for getting groceries and riding to work, but I didn't see myself riding it in the US.  So I sold it. As you can imagine there is a huge market for second hand bikes, so I sold it quite easily.

I'm pretty attached to my road bike, so I watched a couple of youtube videos on shipping a bike by plane.  Some partial dismantling, lots of bubble wrap combined with a free bike box from the local shop and I was ready to ship it home as luggage.  When you show up at the Amsterdam airport with a bike box, no one looks at you funny at all.  They have a special desk to check your box and everything goes quite smoothly.   

As you can see below, I had a few other pieces of luggage as well.   It doesn't look like that much until the taxi company sends a car instead of the van that you ordered to get to the airport.  We made it work, but it was close.  

And so my European adventure and this blog come to an end.  I'd love to have something witty yet moving to write to close out this publication and preview the future, but I don't think I could produce anything better than Bill Watterson's final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

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