On October 19, 2010 I moved from the US to The Netherlands. This is a love story many years in the making.

Warm is goed.

Spring is springing, much to my regret. We haven’t had anything like what I call a winter, except for about 3 weeks in early December.  However, Spring does mean flowers, and anyone that knows me knows how I feel about flowers.

I must say, they grow some seriously weird things in the woods around these parts.

We went to Florida for a week. Granted, it was for work, but it was still Florida. Warm. Warm is nice. It may be Spring but it’s still freezing out, and the balmy low 80’s (21C) felt great.

My bare toes and I spent a little time lying on the “beach”, sharing the last rays of the sun with Ivo.

I was lucky enough to get two really lovely shots of the water in the slanting light.

We had hoped to see the last flight of the Discovery, but sadly our attempt was blocked by a huge cloud and all we saw was a little of the contrail long after she’d soared up into space. That was really very disappointing. Wah.  On the way toward our failed attempt to see the shuttle take off, though, I did get a shot of some dramatic sky and trees I like very much.

We had dinner with some FBI guys (They’re pretty much like any other guys. The movies lie.) at the California Grill on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort at Disney. We ate there twice, the second time minus the Feebs, and that time around we had the good fortune of being unable to get a table and thus having to eat at the bar where we were taken care of by a truly excellent bartender named Ray. This man is a master of his craft, and I had a really good time with him. When I asked for the French port with my dessert that was a suggested pairing on the menu, I caught a fleeting pained expression on his face, so I beckoned him back and asked him what he would recommend. He looked all happy and said he’d make me something, but wasn’t going to tell me what was in it until I’d tried it. If I didn’t like it, he’d give me something else. So the man whipped me up something which was utterly delicious and was in fact a much better choice with the molten chocolate cake I had selected for dessert.

I’m not sure I remember exactly what was in it, but it involved Hershey’s syrup making the stripes down the sides, Godiva liqueur, some vanilla liqueur, maybe Kahlua? cream, whiskey and God knows what else. It was wonderful. In the course of the discussion that led to the creation of this drink I mentioned I don’t like whiskey, and he flung his hands in the air and said in a despairing voice, “Forgive the girl, she knows not what she says.” So when he came back I challenged him to give me a whiskey I did like. He thought about it and said “Wait. I’ll get you something else to eat, the whiskey won’t go with that at all.”  Off he went and came back with a small dish of grated apple and cheese, and a couple of sips of whiskey. It wasn’t bad, but I much preferred the other drink. He was a great lot of fun to have around during a meal.

While walking through the Amsterdam airport, we spotted this odd pile of items.

We went home, to our newly painted house and a very happy dog. And the flowers. Did I mention the flowers?


3 responses

  1. romer

    That is a very nice collection of djembes that you found at the airport. I suspect some sort of African drum touring company coming in to or leaving town.

    March 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm

  2. I miss you and can’t wait to see you again!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

  3. yetanotherfoodpr0nblog

    Entirely mutual, Merf.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

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