Saturday, May 19, 2007

American Football??

So the day started late for us. I can't remember the last time I woke up at 10:30am, but I'll tell you what it felt good. Nicole and I awoke to a full and bustling house. Willamijn and Carlijn were jumping around and pretending they were starring in a music video while Jasper intently focused on his computer game as he conquered level after level....he is a 10 year old gaming genius in the making!

The Dutch breakfast starts always with Douwe Egberts coffee. It is rich tasting and fragrant with a nice body to it. I am not the biggest coffee drinker, but when in Holland, it is a little irressitable.

We set the table and then are barraged with various types of bread like croissants, wheat bread, white bread, and baguettes. Then we have nutella, the famous chocolate and hazelnut spread, peanut butter (which Nicole and I imported from the U.S.), butter, Dutch cheese, Meijes (chocolate sprinkles), and various meats like turkey breast, chorizo, and a red wine salami. All of it was so delicious and also so different from the usual bowl of cereal or eggs and bacon that we have become so accustomed to in the U.S. We had another great meal sharing great conversation about the family and then a quick laugh when 5 year old Carlijn enjoy her bread with Sambaal Badjak which is an extremely spicy Indonesian chili garlic sauce! One thing to note is that the cheeses are not categorized so much by type, but more by age. Obviously, the younger the cheese the softer and milder and the older the cheese the more dry and sharp the cheese becomes.

Next we did a little shopping at the Langestraat and visited many of the stores located on this cobbled brick road. The streets were packed with the local Amersfoort community, tall and thin men, young teenagers eating snoopje (candy) and hordes of families eating soft serve ice cream and french fries with mayonnaise. We stopped at Dilla and Kamilla which is where Saskia once worked and is basically a playground for chefs. We found cooking tools and dishes galore, but we ended up purchasing only a nutmeg grater. We left there with some good ideas though.

Later in the evening we left for Amsterdam to go watch NFL Europe. We met up with a group of 12 (Nicole, Anthony, Saskia, Wim, Jan Willem, Betty, Ryan, Debbie, Michael, Eva, and two more friends) and watched the Amsterdam Admirals dominate the Hamburg Sea Devils with a score of 41-24. It was fun and definitely different. Nicole and I spent the better part of the game explaining the rules to all the relatives. The NFL is not that big here, but it is a fun event for everyone to do on a Friday night. What was amazing is that the Arena threw an after party for all the fans. It was pretty lame, but it was fun to see the Dutch culture enjoying a free night of drinking and giveaways. In fact, we got to see the new dance called the "Jump Style". Apparently it is spreading worldwide.

We then caravaned into Amsterdam to the Leidseplein Square where all the bars and clubs are located. The first area we went was a little seedy. We saw old punk rockers with double mohawks, ripped jeans, leather jackets and lots of many chains it would humble Mr. T. In fact, their was a mobile jail located right in the middle of the square as police practically waited for a fight to break out. We decided to make an about face and visit a more trendier club/bar called the Palladium. It seemed like a trendy spot in Hollywood with warm woods, a huge mirror behind the bar and attractive women as well as men. There we enjoyed plenty of beers, some fun photos and plenty of dancing.

We piled into the van and started our 45 minute drive back to Amersfoort. We finally reached the house and began our slumber at 4am. One sad positive discovery on fixing Nicole's computer problem. That has both of us a little bothered right now, so if anyone knows how to regain her work domain, please help!!


Anonymous said...

You guys are haveing so much fun and the way you discribe the food it just so yummy.. P.S bring back some coffee please..

love and kisses

Anonymous said...

Nice! I've been to the Palladium, too! Yahoo!

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