20150413_141405Goedemorgen!

Whoa, it has been awhile since I wrote of our travels on the blog. I missed blogging about three different  trips we took last year. San Francisco,Kauai, and the Florida Keys. I will try to get a few pictures posted from 2014 when I get a chance. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. Time to catch up then.

At this very moment Kris and I are in Terneuzen (The Netherlands) for another round of work with her Dutch colleagues. Next week we travel to Germany for week two. After the second work week we will fly down to Mallorca (Majorca) the largest of the Balearic Islands which are east of the Spanish coast. After catching a few rays of sunshine on Mallorca for a few days we will then fly over to Barcelona.

I’d like to say that all preparations for this trip went smoothly and we prepared for it efficiently but I cannot tell a lie. A couple of bumps in the road tried to throw us off course. The biggest bump being that my lovely spouse spent most of her 50th birthday in an emergency room. I had thrown her a birthday party on the Saturday before her actual day. Fortunately, she did get to celebrate her birthday milestone but two days later after lunch at her favorite Mexican restaurant, the gall bladder rebelled. Apparently, some gall bladders give out at the ripe old age of fifty. Uh oh, I probably jinxed myself but I am a few more than fifty at this point. What I have more to worry about is telling too much about Kris’ gallbladder on the blog. Wink, wink.

The hospital admitted Kris almost immediately and observed her until the next morning when the offending organ was removed. Then came news that a stone was hiding out in her abdomen causing more issues and another procedure scheduled. At this point, I thought we might have to postpone our departure date. The week before we had requested to rent an  apartment on Airbnb for when we arrived in Amsterdam. Not a good idea after a surgery that requires cutting, stitches, and rooting around in side of your tummy. Did I forget to tell you that most of the apartments are walk-ups? Crazy, steep Dutch stairs in the truly old houses and apartment buildings in which we had hoped to rent. No elevators or lifts as they refer to them here. Stroke of luck though, the apartment fell through due to the owner not responding to our request in a timely manner and our deposit refunded. Still, no decisions could be made until Kris underwent yet another procedure to determine if any other issues had arisen.
The hospital finally released Kris four days later after being admitted on her birthday leaving us with less than five days to consider what to do. Obviously, Kris made it through numerous days of immediate recovery issues and follow-up doctor appointments but she is still not 100%. I have taken over some of the travel tasks that we normally share. No heavy lifting for her so we are as close to Rick Steve’s traveling style as possible for these two Texans. Minimal baggage one real suitcase to check and smaller bags to carry on. This limits our shopping but that has its plus side, I suppose, at least for the bank account…

Since all apartments were out we booked accommodations in Amsterdam at the Conscious Hotel by the Vondelpark. It worked as it was the only hotel (not a party place, not too noisy, not crazy expensive) still available at such late notice. The staff at the hotel was great, turned us on to a great little restaurant, and the location rocked since the metro stop was right across the street. One thing we did miss was no coffee pot in the room. This impacts Kris greatly since she wakes up early, anywhere between 4:30 & 6:00 am. We find that most of the hotels and bed & breakfasts don’t serve coffee or breakfast until 7:00am. That is a deal breaker for us most of the time but in this instance we had to take what we could get. No other complaints though. The staff let me have mucho pillows too. What really made me happy was the extra long bathtub that the Dutch have in most of their bathrooms. Like I’ve said before, you can swim laps in one if you are only 5’4″ like me. Bathtub bliss!

So, there it is. There is more to tell but I think you will have to wait until my next post. I am going to go sit outside in the refreshing clean air by the North Sea and drink another cup of coffee before I go looking for a bicycle to rent for my week here in Terneuzen.

Tot gauw!

Karen

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