Vacation: The Netherlands vs. the U.S.

The Dutch refer to the first Saturday in August as “Zwarte Zaterdaag” or Black Saturday. It’s called “Black Saturday” because everyone hits the road (asphalt) to go on vacation. On August 1st, there was a traffic jam in France that was nearly 900 km (560 miles) long. Last year, the traffic jam was even worse.Continue reading “Vacation: The Netherlands vs. the U.S.”

Utrecht – Tour De France

Utrecht was the starting point for this year’s (2015) Tour de France. We were on vacation and weren’t able to see the send off, but the city has been buzzing with excitement since it was announced nearly two years ago. Utrecht, a transit hub and university town, has begun to receive more attention and accoladesContinue reading “Utrecht – Tour De France”

Maastricht – Remembrance Day

Maastricht may be located in the Netherlands, but its soul is Belgian. At least it feels more like Belgium than it does the Netherlands. Part of that could be attributed to proximity – Maastricht, at the southernmost tip of the Netherlands, closely borders Germany and Belgium. The south of the country is known for itsContinue reading “Maastricht – Remembrance Day”

(I wanna go to the) Carnaval

No time like a deadline – it’s Easter, and the last possible moment that I can describe Carnaval – a party that celebrates the beginning of Lent. It’s celebrated in the south of The Netherlands, the only portion that remains traditionally Catholic. We went to Den Bosch this year, and spent last year in Eindhoven.Continue reading “(I wanna go to the) Carnaval”

Gouda bij Kaarslicht

Before we moved to the Netherlands, a friend of mine emailed me a picture of Gouda bij Kaarslicht (Gouda by Candlelight), and wrote, “you’ll get to see this!” Who knew that we would end up living a quick twenty-minute bus ride away from Gouda. Last year (2013) we weren’t able to attend, so we (I?) madeContinue reading “Gouda bij Kaarslicht”

Köln Kerstmarkten

So a couple of months ago, I told everyone that I would be discussing places in the Netherlands, and then right away, feature a place like Cologne (Koln) that is not within it. Sometimes I’ll deviate from the script, I guess. Since it is December, I thought it might be fun to feature Christmas events,Continue reading “Köln Kerstmarkten”

Where we were – Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden is Manon’s hometown, and we lived there for the first half of 2013. That year was an exciting time for Leeuwarden since it was chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2018; its beloved voetbal (soccer) team moved up to the Eredivisie, and DJs took over the town around Christmas for a fundraisingContinue reading “Where we were – Leeuwarden”

A little help

A couple of people have contacted me; both of whom are Americans in the US that would like to move overseas and are exploring their options. I completely understand why someone would seek advice before making the decision to move here like we did. And while I went though the Dutch American Friendship Treaty process,Continue reading “A little help”

Inburgeren

Inburgeren basically means assimilation, and for me, it’s not just a goal, it’s now a requirement. When we initially came over, I applied to stay by invoking the Dutch American Friendship Treaty – a visa that allows me to live and work in the country for two years. But a lot has happened since thatContinue reading “Inburgeren”