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On April 22nd 2006 I travelled to Haarlem, The Netherlands to spend a
week with my close friend Lucy. While there I posted to her blog
instead of my own..after all, I was on her side of the pond! I saved
these excerpts so we wouldn't have to go digging in the archives for
them. This page is in blog format with the beginning of my trip at the
bottom, the last day at the top! (I'm too lazy to switch it around!) It
is wonderful to meet other quilters from around the globe! I have
learned something I have probably always known...Fabric is the
Universal Language! :c)
I took about 175 pictures while I was there, I need to sort through
them and write about them, hoping to add to this page the other
thoughts and memories of this wonderful trip. Right now.....I'm still
dealing with jet lag and unpacking. I hope you enjoy your sneak
peek at my visit to The Netherlands!
These first posts were on MY blog to direct readers to Lucy's where I
Goat Farm Adventures :c)
Lucy and I had a fun day taking her little girls to the goat farm! We
also had a wonderful evening with her quilting friends and collegues at
the shop where she works.
You can catch up with both of us on Lucy's Blog!
Too Small for Stash Shopping!
Just putting a quickie pic over here because there was no more room
over on Lucy's Blog!
I have hogged it all! I wonder if space on her blog is like "roll over
minutes" My posts are long, hers are short...so she has more room for
When I read "The Davinci Code" a couple of months
back, I was curious as to what a "Smart Car" was. Today I found one! I
think I can even put it in a SPACE BAG and bring it home with me :cD
Today's installment IS over at Lucy's Blog
, so please
stop by and follow our travels through the Waterland!
A Week In Holland...
This week my installments of my trip to The Netherlands will be found
on Lucy's Blog!
you will come to her page and find out what we have been up to!
I will give you one hint....no sewing has happened yet at ALL..although
we have talked about it a bit :c) This fun pic brought to you by " The
Junior Birdman Chapter of Haarlem!" My only regret is that Lucy isn't
in the pic...she was behind the camera!
Bonnie & Lucy
These posts from Lucy's Blog:
can tell that my time has been winding down by how the posts are
running out of steam and energy! There are other things to post about,
pictures to share, but today instead of being on the computer too much,
we spent time with the kids at the Kermis (carnival rides) and do some
much needed sewing. Need we say more than these pictures say about the
good day we had making a mess with our scraps and working on our
My next post will be from my OWN blog! I am returning
home to South Carolina tomorrow, leaving here at 8am for a 12pm flight
Nederlands time....and getting home in Columbia, SC at 11pm Eastern US
time! It's going to be a very long day! I have had a wonderful
memorable trip and I will cherish the time I have spent here with Lucy
for the rest of my life! I can't wait until August when she brings her
whole family to MY HOUSE :c)
This mess brought to you by Bonnie & Lucy!
St Bavo Kerk, Haarlem
got to town pretty early, and we had time before the next tour of the
ten Boom house was available, so we walked over to St Bavo church
(kerk) in the town square. It is HUGE and magnificent with stained
glass, and the floor is paved with grave markers of people actually
buried beneath the kerk floor. Some of the stones are very ornate! This
picture is from above looking towards the center of town. You can see
all the red tile roofs and the old buildings. The old buildings are SO
next picture is down by one of the canals looking towards town. You can
see the spire of St Bavo behind all the rooftops! I enjoyed looking at
the stained glass.
organ is GORGEOUS..we got to listen to the organist playing for some
school children, and that was a treat. There is just this "timeless"
feeling when you are standing in a place that is so old and has so much
history. I also loved looking at (mind you, not reading..because I
can't understand ANYTHING, but looking at!) all the old dutch
inscriptions on pillars and other paintings on the walls. So ornate and
so beautiful. I wonder what those people's lives were like...
This organ has been played by Mozart in 1766 when he was 10 years old.
Handel played this organ too!
fascinating thing is that the floor consists entirely of grave stones!
In total there are about 1500 grave stones, the oldest of which dates
back to the 1400's
And that is it for this installment of
"Bonnie goes to Haarlem!" We will post about Queen's Day and Amsterdam
some more when we come back from taking the children to the "Kermis"in
town...a carnival !
Bonnie & Lucy
Friday morning was spent in Haarlem. We
had made plans to bike down town to visit the Corrie ten Boom Museum
hope you will take time to click the link and read the story, because
it is a lovely story about the "hiding place"in Corrie's house where
they helped many Jews escape the hands of the nazis.
tour guide was very knowledgeable, and gave a great presentation on the
history of "the hiding place". Unlike the Anne Frank Museum, the Corrie
ten Boom house is furnished with period furnishings, so you get the
feeling of what it would have been like during that time. All the
houses I have been in are very tall, and have narrow climbing stairways
which helps you understand how things were for people hiding there.
There is a false wall built into Corrie's bedroom..they did build it
with brick that they smuggled in in the cases of grandfather clocks
from the clock shop (so neighbors wouldn't suspect they were building a
brick wall in the house) and the hiding place was through the closet,
behind the wall.
was a great place to visit, especially because Lucy had not been inside
before either. She knew the story, knew the place, but had never been
in. So it was a first for us both and we really enjoyed it.
Everybody! I am catching up on the weekend...It is Saturday night here,
and there have been emails "where are our updates?!?" So I know it is
time to sit and rest a bit and fill you in on the goings on here in
We left off last with the quilt shop gathering on
wednesday night....which leads us to thursday morning! Biking biking,
more biking! Thursday is the day that the open air market is available,
and you can buy ANYTHING under the sun (or under the rain depending on
the weather) There were booths with cloths, booths with upholstery and
curtain fabrics (no quilting fabrics, darn!) fish, cheese, tools,
dollar store type items. I bought a pair of sunglasses because I forgot
to bring mine, and I bought a bunch of black licorice "drop" at one of
the booths. Oh, I love this stuff. If they cut me open, I bet by now I
would be BLACK inside!
I also bought some SMALL tiny teaspoons
for use with tea cups. All of my spoons are cereal spoon sized american
teaspoons, and they are too big with a pretty cup of tea. So this will
be fun to bring home. It has been fun just going through the stores,
seeing what they have that is different than we do, and also things the
the market, we had to pick up Lucy's daughter from school for lunch.
Here the little children (elementary school age) come HOME for lunch
instead of eatting at the school. So that means a lot of coming and
going on the bike for Lucy, no matter what the weather! When we took
Isis back to school, we headed over to her friend Karrin's house for a
meeting with Lucy's quilt friends!
was a lot of laughter and talking (they tried so hard to speak english
for me and it was so appreciated. My dutch is nearly non existant and
atrocious!) Karrin also showed her quilts, and I got to see what
everyone is working on as well. It was great! And yes, I sewed! This is
that (*&@#($*&(*@#&$ hexagon project that has been a 6 year
albatross so far. But...I'm making headway on it. I think I need to
keep it as a hand work project when I have time between clients at the
clinic, but that is ramblings for another day...
Evening we stayed home. Lucy's husband plays guitar, and he and another
friend have a band. Rene's friend Henk came to practice, so Lucy and I
got to sew at the table while the men played guitar and bass. It was
So there ends thursday....next post will be about friday!
Bonnie & Lucy
A Quilter's Evening!
night (wednesday) was the quilter's gathering at the quilt shop! There
are not a lot of machine quilters in the Netherlands. Space comes at a
dear price, and not many people have garages or room for a large
machine, so quilting by longarm here is quite a novelty!
I had 5
quilts that I have quilted for a lady in Amsterdam, and she let us use
the quilts for display for the evening so I could talk a bit about
machine quilting, how it is done with a longarm machine, etc.
was a very special evening for me. Everyone was so nice and welcoming.
Food was even provided...Everything was so good! (yes, I was trying
Lucy lives about 6 kilometers from the shop
and rides her bike to and from each way. I have loved riding bikes here
so much, I wish things were more like this in america. There are bike
lanes on both sides of the street....and just like driving a car, you
have your own traffic lights for the bike lanes....bike traffic on
either side of the street also goes only in the same direction that the
auto traffic is going...You don't ride against traffic, either bike
traffic or car traffic!
left the quiltshop at close to 11pm at night! So this was my first
experience in riding home in the dark. The streets are well lit, and
the bikes are also equipped with headlights and tail lights, just as if
you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle. It was fun to ride at
night! It was a bit chilly out, but riding the bike warms you up fast
enough, and it was refreshing after spending several hours in the shop
with chatty quilters and so much good food :c)
Today we have
been to the outdoor market....It was fun to walk through the vendors
and see what they were selling. I bought a pound of black licorice in
different shapes and varieties. They call it "DROP" here, and I love
it. I've always loved black licorice, and it amazes people here that
someone from america does! The salty stuff though? That takes a bit of
getting used to, so I stick to the sweet!
This afternoon is
Lucy's small quilting group, and I'm looking forward to meeting
everyone and getting some actual quilting done! I brought my hexagons
to work on them...we will see if I will actually sew anything! So far I
Bonnie (who is being called by Lucy to come eat lunch!!)
Bonnie Can't Say Geitenboerderij!!
But in dutch it means GOAT FARM!
afternoon the younger children are out of school early, and it is a
good day for a trip to the Geitenboerderij! We had a lovely time
walking along the trail the leads through the trees and out into an
open area where the farm is. There is no admission to the farm, but
they count on the consession sales of fresh cheese, hand cream (made
from the lanolin from sheep's wool) baked goods and dairy items like
ice cream (either from goat's milk or cow's milk) to help with the
costs of running the farm. What could be a better afternoon? Kids,
sunshine, goats and ICE CREAM!
were all kinds of animals in a petting zoo atmosphere. Chickens, pigs,
cows, goats (of course) a pony that pulled a cart that the children
could ride...it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon with the
little girls. There is also a play ground with swings, jungle gym type
equipment, so they can get all their wiggles out before the long car
ride home too!
can buy feed for the goats, as well as little bottles of goat milk for
the babies. It was so sweet to watch the girls feed them and pet them.
It definately was spring at the goat farm with all the darling babies
was funny as we sat around the table for dinner though. Natasja, Lucy's
teenage daughter said "I smell GOAT FARM!" I had washed, but I guess
our clothes and shoes had still taken on the aroma. I was sure to
change before we went to the quilter's meeting Wednesday night. The
last thing I wanted was for anyone to think: "That american was sure
nice, but you know, she smelled like a goat!"
was a treat! We had dutch pancakes...almost like crepes, and filled
with apples and cinnamon, or chocolate (OH MY WORD!!) or plain served
with powdered sugar or syup (stroop) Of course, I had to try
EVERYTHING! (Good thing we biked to the quilter's evening...so I could
work it all off!)
A great day was had by ALL!
Bonnie & Lucy (who don't smell like goats anymore!)
Week In Holland, Day 3!
beautiful weather we have had! Everyone keeps remarking on how
beautiful the weather has turned out and I am glad I was here for it!
Have a seat, a cup of coffee, tea, a diet coke, a lemonade, a large
glass of water, whatever suits you, this post is going to take a while!
I go any farther, I want to make a statement on yesterday's pictures. I
didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, or to think that this is all we
saw in Amsterdam. We were only in Amsterdam for a few hours yesterday,
and the pics are what we saw walking from the train station, to the
Anne Frank Huis, and back to the train station. We have more time to
spend in Amsterdam on friday, including Den Haan en Wagemakers. They
were not open on monday, and that is why we did not go there. We were
in a hilarious silly mood when we uploaded yesterday's pictures.
we were more traditionally directed! We drove to Marken! Lucy took me
to Marken because she loves it so much. They have a sailboat,and have
sailed to Marken. When she went last summer she told me about it and
how special it was to her and I wanted to see it so much! So today was
the day. Maybe you can look at this picture of the boats in the harbor,
and imagine Lucy and her family here! I was amazed to see people
dressed in traditional dutch costume here. I am more and more in love
with the color orange! (yeah cheddar!) and preprations for Queen's Day
are well under way with flags hanging all over the little village. A
very nice man at the Kerk (church) told us that we were here a few days
too early because it is wonderful to experience Marken on Queen's Day!
That was okay, we were going to make the most of it, and make the most
of it we did!
walked around the cobbled streets....and everywhere the houses were so
unique and beautiful! Flowers are everywhere, in pots by the doors, in
window boxes in little manicured gardens. We toured the harbor area,
toured a little traditional dutch house set as a museum, sat and drank
coffee and tea at an outside table enjoying the view.
walked every street across bridges and little canals....We went to the
museum, and there were pieces of antique clothing for sale...plaids!
prints! oh joy! They were about the price of a fat quarter, but these
fabrics have a life and a history all their own. So....I can't wait to
make a dutch reproduction quilt with them! An Antique store down the
road had more pieces of fabric, lots of wonderful items...I looked at
each and every and wish I could be bringing home them all! I bought a
small antique pair of wood shoes, after watching a man there carving
You can buy new ones, but Lucy and I liked the old pair in the antique
shop better..they have history.
grabbed a quick lunch on the go at a little bakery. Ham & cheese
cooked inside a yummy croisant, and a filled cookie with choclate on
top that was out of this world! So good. This little town also has a
grocery store, so it was fun to go in there and see what items they had
for sale. It was a very enjoyable day....and we left just in time as 3
big tour busses were pulling in and letting off hoards of...AMERICANS!
you can see the man carving the wooden shoes from a log! It was so fun
to watch, and it didn't take him long at all before the log was looking
more like a wooden shoe. Of course, the silly pic above is of me
sitting IN a shoe, because Lucy said so. :cD After Marken, we drove to
Monnickendam also part of the Waterland, strolled the streets there and
stopped in an antique shop. Not a lot there, but I did buy a fun pastry
cutter that I had never seen before. We had a nice dinner at an italian
restaurant called La Fermata. Lucy ordered a pizza, and I had a calzone
that was out of this world (and I couldn't finish it! Our nice waiter
took our pic for us. It's a bit dark, but then you can kind of see the
city street outside the window!
was a wonderful day! There are also many pics that I can't upload them
all, so I will plan on loading them MORE after I get home next week!
And for dessert...a pic of the treasures we found on Marken.....all
antique fabrics, and the little jacket and two little headcoverings,
and wooden shoes! (can you find the wooden shoes? Aren't they perfect??
They are old and wonderful and have a history!)
we are staying home in the morning to rest and maybe do some sewing
(sewing?? What is sewing?!?) and in the afternoon we are going with the
little children to the GOAT FARM!! The children are excited to go and
we will have fun spending the afternoon watching them have fun with the
goats...feeding them, petting them. Laughter and smiles are the same in
Lucy & Bonnie!
When In Amsterdam
Monday! Amsterdam! Need I say more?? :cD
rode our bikes this morning to the train station in Haarlem. I should
have gotten a pic of the SEA of bikes. It looked like a tangled mess of
tires and handlebars everywhere with no end in sight! I only regret
that I didn't get a pic of the bike mess, but I was so overwhelmed I
couldn't think straight. This picture is of the train station in
weather today was springy and lovely, perfect for even being out later
in just shirt sleeves or a light sweater, but early in the morning we
needed our coats. We had so much fun walking from the train station to
the Anne Frank Huis (museum) and it was an amazing experience. I first
read Anne Frank's diary when I was 12 and in the 6th grade. It has
stuck with me all my life so this was one place I really wanted to see
on my trip to the Netherlands.
problem though...we got there only to find out that we were not allowed
to take pictures there (verboden!!!) so we had to find alternate photo
Here I am in front of one of Amsterdam's many
cultural highlights and tourist traps! Mind you, this was attracting
people at 9am in the morning..I'd hate to see what it is like at night!
is also known for the prolific availablilty of medicinal herbs. :c)
This pic is for my sons who were teasing me about why they really
suspected I wanted to come to Amsterdam. (But I really would rather
have the fabric!)
this a beautiful topiary tree? All the houses in Lucy's neighborhood
and in the cities have beautified their small corner by planting
beautiful flowers. I suggested this one might look good in LUCY's front
garden?? She says "NEE!" I'd take it home with me but I don't think the
customs officers on the other side of the pond are going to let me back
in the states with this beautiful flowering bush, so it will just have
to stay in Amsterdam and beautify the sidewalk where it stands!
our plan is to go to Marken, a little island fishing village, famous
for the people, the buildings, the traditional costumes, and the way of
life. When Lucy is on the sail boat with her family, it is one of her
favorite places to sail to and visit. I am really looking forward to
Bonnie & Lucy
Our Bonnie Lies
Over The Ocean.....
sitting here at Lucy's desk uploading a pic that Natasja just took of
us sitting on the couch...the same couch I have seen in pictures for
over 2 years....today I SAT ON IT!
The flight was long.....I
slept a little bit, but there was a man 2 rows up who would snore and
snort intermittently and break the silence. Just when I was finally
getting some better sleep, the pilot came on announcing that we were 1
1/2 hours from Amsterdam, and breakfast would begin being served, Good
I have had a wonderful time meeting Lucy's
family today, being treated like a queen with wonderful food (You
should smell the indonesian delicacies marinating in the kitchen
downstairs for dinner! mmm!) and we went on a fun bike ride through the
old part of Haarlem to see the bloemencorso....it is a bunch of
"floats"covered in flowers that are on public display through the
weekend. The fragrance of the flowers was wonderful! (have pics, will
post more later)
Right now I'm really running on almost no
sleep. It's just past 3pm here, hard to believe it's just past 9am....I
feel like I'm ready to go to bed to sleep a whole night through! My
goal is to stay up at least until it is DARK with night here..and sleep
the whole night through and then maybe by morning I will feel semi
Lucy just asked me to write about the most amazing
thing I have seen so far...... I would have to say it is the BUILDINGS.
They are incredible....all brick..several stories high, and many built
in the 1600's. The architecture is wonderful.....There is a cathedral
in the center of the down town area where we were that was SO
BEAUTIFUL...and everywhere There are things on buildings like dates
written in the mortar, or things like gargoyles, pelicans (made out of
concrete?) men's heads....just amazing detail. I'll post pics later to
my own blog.
Riding bikes here is amazing....special paved lanes
for the bikes, and the bike lanes have their own stop lights too...when
you come up to a stop light, you have to push the button to get the
light to turn green so you can cross the street...kind of like american
crosswalks, but these are for bikes, and the green light is a green
bike image :c)
We went into a couple of antique shops. I found
an old apron....from a traditional dutch costume. It is hand made, with
smocking at the waist......a wonderful traditional stripe fabric. I
also bought a cute antique (?) travel iron that is really small, and
will be a decoration piece next to the old toy sewing machine that Lucy
gave me last year when she came to visit.
The old basket quilt
top hanging over our heads in the pic is one I brought for Lucy as a
surprise. It has been in my hands for the past 10 years and I know I'll
never get around to hand quilting it. I think it looks great over "the
or Comments? I would love to hear from you!!
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