Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer's Here!!!

We had a couple of hot days on at the beginning of this week. It was in the 90s yesterday. For here that’s extreme heat. Most places don’t have air conditioning, including most stores. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to leave the house those days! It was hot inside too, but when you’re sitting in front of a fan, it’s not so bad.

A cold front came through though (or the high pressure area moved, or some weather-related event), and now it’s much cooler. Today it’s in the high 60s, which is MUCH more comfortable, right? With the front, came the storms. Last night most of the country experienced thunderstorms. Some very big, hail-carrying, damaging storms.

fluffy bubbly clouds

Luckily we were spared the heavy storms here. We heard loads of thunder and saw lots of flashes, and had some rain, but that was it. Kind of glad, really. I don’t like bad storms. Scary!

Spook me out!!!

Flashback to high school...

What has everyone been up to lately? Not much is going on here. This FUNemployment stuff is getting old, though. There are so many jobs listed on the few websites that I search, but they’re for managers, or people with years and years of experience, or people who know Dutch, English AND yet another language (usually French or German). It’s discouraging. Plus I can tell that my Dutch is slipping too, since I don’t use it as often.

tsk tsk tsk.

I’m going to have to find something to get me out of the house on a regular basis soon to ward off the crazies. Maybe volunteer somewhere. I used to volunteer at an animal shelter. Cleaning out the cages and things. Maybe I’ll start doing that again. Or maybe the yarn store that is in my neighborhood needs helpers.

ooooohhh.... working with all that yarn.... ooooohhhhh....hmmm. Might have to look into that.

“Don’t you need someone to knit you a sample from that lucious soft yarn?”

yep, might have to look into that...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vacation Part III: Pittsburgh

We’ve been home over a week, and it feels like we weren’t gone at all.

We’re getting back into real life here finally. Ludi is back to work, and I am back to my FUNemployment. That vacation-state-of-mind is fading. So sad to see that go. But life has to keep moving forward, right? We can’t forget about our responsibilities forever. As much as we’d like to never vacuum again, the dust bunnies would eventually take over.

I keep sitting down to write the post about our Pittsburgh part of our vacation, but the words aren’t coming. Writer’s block. I wanted to do a whole post about it, like the other part, but perhaps that’s not needed. I’ll just say a few words here. And some pictures! Of course.

There’s always pictures.

Every time we’re in The States we go to Pittsburgh, PA. I lived there for 16 years after college, so it’s a given that we’d visit.  We (my mom, sister and I) love the shopping opportunities there. Target, Michael’s, Joann’s...

This year visited Heinz Field, where the (American) football teams Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers (University of Pittsburgh’s team) play. I hadn’t ever been there, but as you know, I always support ‘dem Stillers.

Gate A of Heinz Field - the backside of the score board

view from the cheap seats - though a view worth it's weight in gold

the bounce house

They designed the stadium's upper deck with shock absorbers (the yellow things in the picture above). When all the fans are jumping up and down after a touchdown, then the shock absorbers help keep it from collapsing.

Glad they thought of that.

It was an interesting tour, and it looks like a very nice stadium to watch a live football game. After the tour, we bought some Terrible Towels in the gift shop. Double Yoi!!! Bring on the next Superbowl, we’re ready!  Now if the NFL would settle their differences so we can have a season in September...

Another tradition when we go to Pittsburgh is a visit with my friends from my old place of work. We arranged an after work dinner at a local spot and had some good laughs. I meant to get a picture of us all, but we were having such a good time I forgot all about it until everyone was in their cars driving away. Darnit. Next time, someone remind me please?

On our way home we stopped at the outlet mall in Grove City. What a huge place. But it’s got everything! We even found the bread Ludi loves in the Pepperidge Farm shop they have there. Amazing. It wasn’t a great day for outdoor shopping though. We got rained on twice. But it was fun anyways. Shopping is always fun, right?

I always enjoy my trips to Pittsburgh. There’s always something else to do, things that I never did while I lived there. I hope there are many more trips to Pittsburgh in the future.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vacation Part IV: Home again

We got back home this past weekend. Back home in The Netherlands, that is. The trip back was a bit of a problem. We were delayed by almost 4 hours (3 of them after we were already ON the plane). I was very glad at the end of the flight to be on land. Any land. Anywhere besides on that plane.

It’s been difficult to adjust to European time. I have to think twice about what day it is. I’m still suffering from jet lag, I guess. I never really noticed/suffered from jet lag before. Perhaps it’s my age? Does everything have to fall apart after 40? Sheesh. I’ll eventually get back into the swing of things. Back to a regular schedule.

Back to reality. Bleh.

It’s overrated.

All in all, we had a very nice vacation. It had all the elements required. Long and tiring travel, getting rained on, spending time with family and good friends, cook-outs, beach time (very small beach, but sandy none-the-less), experiencing local wildlife, over eating, bug bites.

What more could you ask for in a vacation?

I promise info on the Pittsburgh portion of our vacation will show up soon. I haven’t forgotten about it!