Archive for October, 2010

Cape Town Down!

Into and around Cape Town…
Jane and I worked on coming up with what our plan should be.  We have near 3 weeks in South Africa before we have to fly back out to Amsterdam, and only know what we are supposed to be doing for 6 of those days.  Those 6 days are in early November, where we will be at Zulu Nyala on a private game reserve doing Safari. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Jo’burg ahoy.

We stayed in the suburbs of Johannesburg, mainly called Jo’burg, for three days at a little farm guesthouse just 15 minutes from the airport.  The guesthouse was called ‘Airport En Route’ and is run by a couple named David and Marion, who were just a wealth of information an kindness.  For the first day, we thought we were in a town called Baloney, when in fact it is Benoni. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome To The Family Little Ada Dean!

Baby girl Ada was born on Saturday, October 16th. While we were enjoying the sites of Amsterdam, Warrior Mom Nikki was giving birth the old fashioned way….. au naturale. Guess what happens when you live in small town Idaho?? The hospital only has 1 drug doctor on call on a Saturday night, and when he’s in surgery and can’t leave to give a woman in labor her drugs, you end up giving birth without them! Truly a Warrior!

All is well with both Mom and Baby, and we are so, so excited to meet our newest little niece! Since we can’t give cuddles and kisses until January though, pictures will have to suffice.

Woodland Family

In South Africa!

We have been in South Africa for a few days, but haven’t had a lot of internet access. Will post more when we have a good internet connection.

We’ll be back!

Today wrapped up our last day in Amsterdam for this segment of our trip.  We will be back in November and January to freeze our collective butts off!  Its been quite chilly here, and neither Jane nor I packed for the cold.  I mean, its not like we are going to China in November or anything!  Tomorrow, we leave for South Africa, its going to be an early morning flight, and Jane and I have not been sleeping so well.  Yuck!  11 hours of air time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Thumbs Up!

Here’s just a few reasons why I love Amsterdam:

1. shoes, shoes, shoes!  Everywhere I look there’s a shoe store.  Mainly boots: tall boots, short boots, furry boots, leather boots, thigh-high boots, red boots, green boots, blue boots……every kind of boot you could imagine!  The shopping in general is fantastic here, and I will definitely be getting myself a pair of boots before leaving!

2. tea!  Everyone drinks tea no matter what time of day, and it’s always served with cookie.  Yesterday I ordered a cup of mint tea, and it came with several large sprigs of fresh mint…. possibly the best cup of tea I’ve ever had!

Read the rest of this entry »

Just a 2 hour nap…

Its funny how a 2 hour nap can turn into a 7 hour sleep.  Sometimes alarms aren’t worth anything.

Aside from that, today we visited the house of Anne Frank and roamed the city a bit.  Anne Franks house was interesting, its hard to imagine any of the events that occurred there.  I will be honest here, I didn’t ever read her diary, although I was aware of who she was and generally her story.  I wasn’t aware that her father survived to make this all happen, I had always thought that her diary was just found.  From everything that I saw there, it seemed that her diary really gave a face and narrative to the persecution of the Jewish people during WWII.   While there are hundreds of thousands of stories, only a few are really documented.

Read the rest of this entry »

Arrival in Amsterdam

There was nothing really unusual about the flight, neither Jane nor I got any good sleep on the plane.  We opted for the airline  pasta as our meal, instead of the chicken.  I had visions of the old movie ‘Airplane’ when thinking of airline chicken, although I think in that case it was fish. 

We made it into Amsterdam and it took us an hour and a half to get out of the airport, just because we didn’t really have a plan.  I remembered from 10 years ago that you want to jump on the train to get to town, and with a little  brain digging I figured it was Central Amsterdam that we would want to go to.  From the time I had been here before with Jhavid, I remembered fondly the hotel that we had stayed at.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the plaza it was on, or its name.  As Jane and I began wandering the streets of Amsterdam, it began to rain.  I felt kind of like the clueless leading the blind, but through following my instinct we finally found it.  Of course, my instincts got us to a nearby hotel where I knew we were in the right area, but couldn’t quite find the plaza I was looking for.  I asked the desk clerk, and she looked at me like a Moron and told me the plaza was right up the block.

We headed up the block, and indeed it was Rembrandt Plein, and the hotel was still there.  We checked it out, but they didn’t have rooms available for two.  We ended up getting an attic room in this other hotel, I think Im going to hate the stairs, especially if we stop and get a beer anywhere.

We’re Off!

Today is a day of firsts: my first blog(!) and the first official day of our trip ~ an exciting day all around!  We were up until about 3am packing; good thing we have a 10 hour flight to get caught up on sleep.  We are only taking our backpacks, which don’t fit much for a 3 month vacation, but somehow I’m certain I’ve managed to overpack! 

We’re about 3 hours away from getting on the plane.  First stop is Amsterdam ~~ again, another first for me!  We’ll be there for just 4 days, which I’m sure isn’t nearly long enough, but hopefully enough to get a bit of a feel for the city and be able to see some historic and memorable sites. 

Here’s my travel tip #1: if you ever plan an excursion that takes you around the world, it’s much, much cheaper to pick a city in Europe to use as a “hub” than it is to buy an around the world ticket.   Amsterdam (or anywhere in Europe, for that matter) wasn’t originally on our itinerary, and while it means we’ll be doing a bit of backtracking during our trip, it saved us thousands of dollars (literally!) and allows us the opportunity to see a city that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.  Double bonus!

See you in Amsterdam!

Last Meal(s)?

I’ll be the first to admit, I like to eat, and I like eatting things with different flavors.  Im a huge fan of Mexican and Mediteranean as well as what I see as American.  American being Pizza, sandwiches and hamburgers and other forms of convenient gluttony such as those.    While I admit that a Hamburger is a sandwich, I have to classify it as its own beast.   I also lump in things like Mac and Cheese, eggs over easy with hashbrowns, and the king…. steak and baked potato.

I hit Santorinis for lunch today.   Its my favorite local Greek place in the area.  I won’t be missing it too much, because they close down from Thanksgiving to sometimes February.  Im going to make sure I grab a good burger before I go… Im thinking Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Woodinville.  The name itself tells its story, you can pretty much tell them how to build your burger it seems.  Jane and I are making Tacos at home, and Meatloaf another night to fill those comfort food gaps.  Hopefully, it will be enough to make me not miss the food too much.  Don’t get me wrong, I am really forward to looking forward to eatting all the different food over there.  I just want to make sure I get the ‘classics’ of my regular menu before I go.

 So if you were going away for a considerable amount of time, and wouldn’t have access to your ‘favorite foods’ what would you make sure you would eat before you go?