tuesday… i think

I’m battered and bruised!

Not from the trip, mind. I tripped over a rather large bentwood rocking chair earlier, after contriving a route behind it to adjust the window opening. (It’s a recent addition to the apartment so I suppose I’m not used to it being there yet)

A whirlwind: Rochester, NY for the Christmas holidays – fun! And not even too cold, for upstate! Snow, ice skating, food, food, food, and family. The horses were furry and fat as they tend to get in winter. The nephews and nieces were in full form of pre-Xmas excitement. Made cookies with Mom, Jordan and Em. Xmas eve at Joe and Diana’s– a feast! Some last minute shopping with Dad and Jon, and Xmas was a big breakfast at the farm followed by another feast at my cousin Nancy’s house.

On the 26th it was back to Newark airport and no layover onto a plane to Amsterdam Schipol airport, where Ben was waiting for me, as he’d gone there a few days earlier. Whoo hoo! Back in Amsterdam after only a year.; it was wonderful to return- with all its canals and beautiful old houses lining them– it’s magical. We had a chance to have a fun dinner with Gerhard and Eline while there. While in Amsterdam, we stayed at a very comfortable and sweet apartment, by way of a trade with friends of friends.

On the afternoon of the 30th we hopped a train to Münster, Germany to visit with Stork and Elena again, only this time for New Year’s Eve (last year we were in Berlin for the change-over). Super fun; some bike riding around town to pick up provisions for New Year’s Eve, which was a night was so foggy one could barely see a half block away. We had a great time watching fireworks in the nearby cathedral square after sharing a meal with their friends in the building- raclette style (a tasty prelude to Paris).

On the 2nd, we boarded an early train which took us from Münster to Cologne, at which point we switched for the Thalys to Paris. It was the first high speed train in Europe, and we had first class tickets, as they were cheaper than the 2nd class on the longer, traditional train ride (?!). Very nice. So, we arrived in Paris at around 4:30, checked into Hotel La Lousianne, then headed out for exploration and dinner! We walked to the Isle del Cite, as it was so close to our neighborhood, and caught part of a mass going on while we wandered through Notre Dame. That cathedral is impossible to wrap one’s head around; believable that it took over two centuries to complete.

Paris Paris Paris! Five days there- all of them very full of wandering and exploring– and eating, drinking… not smoking as much as I’d expected, however, as they’d enacted the no smoking in doors rule the very day before our arrival. 😦 Many cafes, however, still had plenty of outdoor seating, beneath striped awnings and heat lamps. Beautiful city– endless lovely architecture and curlicued balconies… Amazing. We also had the good fortune of being able to catch up with two Brooklyn friends while there; Steve on Friday afternoon and evening, and Alex for lunch on Saturday.

After Paris, we trained back to A’Dam for one final afternoon of wandering and relaxing. We went to several of our favorite spots, and returned to our kind hosts’ apartment for dinner with them (Marloes and Jurjen: they’d stayed at my apartment, and their friends at Ben’s, for a week over New Year’s)

Time to end this update, as I am on Amsterdam time, where it is approximately 3:30 am. There is an obscene amount of photographs from this trip; as time allows I will sort through and upload highlights and oddities to the flickr site (see link to the right). And, of course, there will be new imagery for jewelry…


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