Oh my goodness…

Beatrix and I made it safely to Vught. Of course, it would start to rain this afternoon and it didn’t show any signs of letting up so around 1515, I had an Elvis moment and said to the boys “It’s now or never” and got out the bungee cord to secure my suitcase to her basket, with my laptop bag underneath, hoping to keep it dry. With a hat on my head so that I could see in the rain since hoods always fly off, we were off. The boys were a bit clingy all day. I tried to keep them from seeing my pack but they were having none of that.

I caught the Maastricht bound train at Amstel and there were only two train cars for bikes. With the three bikes in one car, we made it work. Forty-six minutes later and it was time to get out at s’Hertogenbosch station. The nice thing about travelling with your bike here is that people recognize how unwieldy it is to lift a heavy bike out of train car and down two steps to the platform so they hold doors for you. They don’t always do that if you don’t have a bike which proves the importance of the bike in the Dutch consciousness 😉 Here’s my girl before heading off to Vught. And if you are wondering what is in the orange bags, I carry the standard equipment of a plastic shopping bag, bungee cords, my Great Pumpkin rain cape and a couple of rags. And today a bottle of SPA.

Travelling, Dutch style
Travelling, Dutch style

From the station, it was about 5 km to Vught. Unfortunately, it was raining so I didn’t get a chance to take pictures. I will try on Friday when I head back because it is beautiful here and in a very different way than Amsterdam. Eventually, my rained out and no longer freshly pressed self arrived at where I am staying for the week.

Madame, so glad you have returned.
Madame, so glad you have returned.

However, since I am American, I am staying in the coach house where all slightly unruly guests belong in the old rooms of the grooms and the coachmen. The tiny window on the top right is my room.

So as not to disturb the grownups in the main house!
So as not to disturb the grownups in the main house!

Not bad digs at all! I can still smell the horses a little and all the hay from over the years. I think it is just settled into the building’s very walls and bones. It is super cute and I love the fact that the bathroom has radiant heat flooring so I can dry all my clothes from the journey. I feel certain I will crack my head against the beams at least once this week. The room is literally built into the eaves of the roof so there are not so many areas that you can actually stand up right. Maybe I should have brought some reflective tape to mark of the beams. It is completely charming.

Tomorrow morning, my day begins with a grammar lesson at 0800. We are at the school from 0800 to 2100 every night except Wednesday when we are finished at 1945. And Friday we are done at 1745. At they do not mean a minute earlier if I remember correctly from last year.

Today is the anniversary of Opa’s death. Tomorrow is Herdenking Day or Memorial Day for all of the victims of World War II. Then Tuesday is Bevrijdingsdag which commemorates the Liberation and how important it is to celebrate freedom and honor the costs of it. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in WW II. I am sorry to be missing it because especially in my neighborhood there are places you can go to meet with the people who lived through the war and hear their stories one on one. The generation that experienced it first hand is getting progressively smaller and their stories are so important. I wish I had more of my Opa’s stories and of course, more of Mom’s.

Speaking of family events, last night was the jazz concert. My aunt has a rollator now and she is quite speedy with it. She says it helps her walk a lot easier. And we all noticed that it has a insulated cooler pack built in so we were teasing her about bringing the beer from now on. We had quite a nice time together and next month when Dylan is here for three days we will gather together again. My aunt was intrigued by my Fitbit so I might have to get her one 😉 it might motivate her to start walking more!

I went to yoga this morning, thinking it would be a nice and easy class. Okay, no, it was tough and following along in Dutch was comical. I am going to do it again though but this time I will know that it is still a workout delivered in that no nonsense Dutch style rather than hippie love and gentleness! It wasn’t a bikram class and yet I was still sweating like it was. Thank goodness I didn’t eat garlic yesterday!

Marianne and I are celebrating our birthdays on the 30th of this month. And apparently I have been slightly behind in sending out my invitations. Oops. That scheduling a month in advance thing is still hard for me. I guess I better get busy with that. Otherwise, I am sure I will get some teasing about it. I really don’t know that many people yet so perhaps I should put it on LinkedIn 😉

This is a great place to stay. I wish Mom could be here to see it. When I go to celebrate her birthday in Maastricht with the Andre Rieu concert, I am staying in a castle! I think that is one of the great things about the Netherlands, there are so many old buildings to stay in! I don’t have princess issues, I just have history issues 😉

Wish me luck this week. I hope I will meet interesting people. After all, I met Eliza here last year. I will miss the pets a little but they are in good hands.

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