Back on the orange couch

Thanks to a 93mph tailwind, I am back in Amsterdam. We’re sitting here on the orange couch listening to the rain coming down. It is so good to be back with the little monsters and my Nespresso machine. Our house sitter took very good care of everything. It is always a plus when you come back and things are in better shape than when you left. 

I am trying to think about the best way to describe my trip to Seattle. On one hand, I knew where was I was going and driving through the same streets to go places was easily done. I went to my PCC, my Pharmaca, my post offices, the big house, the same parking garages downtown for the conference, etc. Even though they are familiar, I feel detached. I haven’t been gone long enough to view Seattle from the fresh perspective of a visitor and nor does it feel like “home”. At one point, I was driving through West Seattle and I was stunned at how big the yards are compared to Amsterdam. I realized I have become acclimated to the scale of things in the Netherlands. The idea of once having a big yard is now satisfied by a terrace with pots and a place to sit with friends on hopefully warm summer evenings. And having to drive places… what a big waste of time that is! There isn’t really an effective regular alternative to driving if you are living outside of the Seattle downtown core.

Things I love about Seattle are: my friends, the mountains, the volume of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, the vastness of water surrounding the city, the volume of recycling and composting, the hills and the winter sunlight. It would be so great if I could have all of my friends in a shrinky dink version that I could keep here in Amsterdam. Or if technology allowed us now to be holograms, Star Trek style. 

I brought back 9 packs of tortillas for the boys. I bought 10 but I ran out of room so I left a pack behind for their brother, Denzel. And also, chili – powder, anchos, chipotles. I should now be set for a while for Southwest cravings! And I can make guacamole for those summer evenings in the garden. That’s a major case of optimism considering how hard the rain is pouring outside!

This morning, when I came through passport control at Schiphol, I automatically went to the non-EU line. I learned this morning from the official that since I have a residence permit, I am allowed to go through the EU line! Bonus!!! So, from getting off the airplane, going through passport control, claiming my luggage and customs, it took 20 minutes. So unlike my experience in Seattle.

Our house sitter commented this morning that my mom must have been quite a man magnet based on her pictures and that she clearly had a very adventurous and glamorous side. It was fun to hear that. And of course, the boys are the super dogs that they are because of my mom, so when they get compliments on how sweet they are, it was all due to her.

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