We had a fun weekend braving the last few days of the cold storm. We went to the largest Saturday market in Eindhoven on Saturday, but it was still so cold (I'm sounding like a broken record with the cold!) that Abby lost it walking around, so we had to cut it short. It's very similar to a farmer's market except the vendors have a ton more fruits and vegetables to choose from and there are textile merchants as well. We'll definitely be checking it out when the weather warms up. Troy and Ryan then had a little outing together for lunch and a train ride to a neighboring city (about 20 min), so Ryan was very excited and talked all afternoon about it.
All of the ponds were frozen so it was neat to see all of the kids and parents ice skating and playing on the ice. There were so many people at any pond or canal frozen! Abby was just a little too small to be able to go.
On Sunday we decided to take a drive to a town in Belgium called Antwerp. It's about 45 minutes away, which reminded us how amazingly close everything is! We didn't know what to expect of the town, but were pleasantly surprised on how neat and European like it was. Very old architecture and tons of outdoor cafes, lots of places to walk, a castle, and a few churches. After driving by the castle, and for those who know about Thomas, Ryan's blanket (Thomas the train), who has now become his imaginary friend, we learned that Thomas has a cousin Erg who lives in a castle. We never know who we will learn about at the new places we see from him and it cracks us up. It always starts with "Did you know, Thomas has...." and then the story expands. Most things were closed on Sunday so we didn't get out too much, but another place that will be so fun in the summer to check out. Of course I forgot the camera, so no pictures. :( They also have an American grocery store that we checked out. We bought a few things (Troy has been missing tortilla chips :) ), but it was very expensive. I have a list of the things I will be bringing back with us! The one thing we bought was a big thing of regular mustard. Their regular mustard is more like dijon here, so I can't imagine how strong their dijon mustard must be. Way too spicy for the kids.
Ryan is starting to settle into a routine with school. He was sick on Monday, so he was home from school. I think the excitement and newness of being here has passed and he is now realizing we aren't going home for awhile. It has been a rough week with him being tired from transitioning to full day of school and not being at his house with some familiar surroundings. I am also not use to full day school and a routine here and Wednesdays are half days and I totally forgot! I am suppose to pick him up at 12:30 and got a call from school at about 12:50 wanting to know where I was. I felt horrible!! Ryan was not phased by it at all because the teacher let him play a computer game.
Today is the start of carnival, so school is having a big celebration and all the kids come dressed up. It's almost like Halloween. Ryan picked out a Cars racing suit. He looked pretty cute and was really excited. All the teachers were dressed up, so it should be a fun day for him. The parade is tomorrow, so I will take lots of pictures of the festivities this weekend! It's also a holiday break from school, so Ryan has next week off.
We joined a gym this week and I know the Dutch people love their coffee, but they actually drink coffee at the gym too! They have an espresso machine for everyone to use. It is crazy to see people drinking coffee before and after they work out and I think I saw someone drinking it as a break between their work out! They have a whole seating area where everyone socializes after a class or working out and has a cup of coffee. Kinda neat they make working out a social thing, though.
Lastly, we are both in shock with how much gas costs here! I knew it was expensive and we don't have that big of a car, but it costs about 88 euros to fill the tank, which is equivalent to $117!! No wonder most people bike!!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!