Saturday, June 6, 2009


Well, I'm pretty much past taking pictures. I was so picture crazed those first days of the trip to get all the organs, and by this point, I'm more focused on playing then photographing. Also all the sight seeing stuff, I'm just burned out of picture taking, so I don't have any new ones since the last post. We've been going every day to museums, parks, churches, villages, cheese factories, historic landmarks, etc. etc. etc. We cram the days full for sure. Yesterday was Sabbath, as the people we are staying with are Seventh Day Adventists. We went to church in the morning after a most wonderful breakfast, then ate at church. Then came back here around 2 and had wonderful cake. Then we just sat around and talked until dinner at 5, which was sooooo good. We ate roasted red pepper and zucchini soup made from scratch along with fresh warm pita chips and hummus. After this, we all (the family I'm staying with, the 3 ND students, and some family friends) took a LONG walk on a gravel path in the country. I guess every Sabbath is this way for them... no work, lots of food, and lots of talking. I kind of like it. Now it's Sunday and we're heading for the Catholic early service and the Lutheran late service... we will be very churched, and ecumenical. Haha.

Only 2 days before arriving to the states, so this is one of my last posts...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The last few days....

The last few days have been spent in Amsterdam and the surrounding area and Internet was not access able. So, a brief update. We did a LOT of museums, and pictures are not allowed. We visited the Anne Frank house, which was so powerful. Also we went to the VanGough museum and also to the Reijks museum and also to the symphony to hear Verdi's Requiem. Also we went to 2 organ concerts. It was pretty sweet. We also of course spent time playing and seeing a few organs. We also ate pancakes, becuae they have every flavor imaginable, and its just the thing to do. Also, don't worry... I ate plenty of ice cream. See the previous entry for the list of things I have learned, but in the meantime, some pictures...


Windmills... there were 19 mills total, and it was a pretty great walk.

So we went to this church, which is famous for its floor.... it is made up ENTIRELY of graves. As you can see, there are lots of grave covers. Every rectangle has a body under it. There must have been several hundred bodies buried here. It was the most amazing thing ever.

A better view of the church. HUGE organ. We couldnt play this one, but heard a recital there. Notice more graves on the floor...

Sitting on top of the "E" in Amsterdam statue. It was pretty high up and scary.

Can't believe I'll be back in the states in less than a week... I'm already trying to plan how to come back here.

Things I have Learned in the Netherlands...

  • In the Netherlands, the bike lane is often separated from the pedestrian lane by a curb or posts so your odds of getting run over are significantly less. HOWEVER, the tram tracks weave in and out of everywhere, so your chances of getting hit by a tram are significantly more.
  • If you hear a tram whistle and one of your friends yells "watch out!" while another friend grabs your arm and pulls you over while you feel the tram brush against your coat sleeve, this is a good indication that you are not paying attention and are walking to close to the tram tracks.
  • German and Dutch are not the same, and it is not a good idea to try to use your limited and recently acquired German words here. They'll look at you crazy.
  • Just like Germany, bathrooms are very hard to come by
  • Sprinkles are a staple part of the diet. You can buy them in HUGE boxes in every flavor possible.
  • Just like Germany, the people smoke here a lot.
  • People here don't always smoke just tobacco....
  • Do not go into a coffee shop and expect to find a cup of coffee. (See previous 2 points)
  • The Dutch are the tightest penny pincher's ever and do not believe in student discounts.