We had a great first weekend here. It has been sooo cold (9-20 degrees) and another snow storm came pretty quickly and dumped about 5 inches of snow in a couple of hours on Friday, so that derailed our weekend adventure a bit. We decided to stay in town and explore some sites here instead of driving. On Saturday we went to the Daf Museum (a Netherland company that makes trucks and cars) and the downtown shopping area. Ryan LOVED the car/truck museum. It's a huge warehouse full of antique type cars and trucks they made (everything from fire trucks to tour buses). We then headed over to the downtown area and had a snack at a cafe that overlooks the train station. It was a really neat, very European cafe and the best part for the kids was to sit there from a few stories up watching the trains coming and going from the station. As Ryan would say "I saw 2 double deckers and 2 single decker trains". We could have sat there all day. We also got a coffee maker - it has been a long week without coffee - and a GPS!! I am totally fine driving now with this thing to help me back home!
Ryan started school on Monday. I got a little teary eyed - it almost felt like Kindergarten. :( He loves his school and teachers already. The first thing he told me when I picked him up was "Mom! They taught me in English today, not Dutch!" It is like a real elementary school (pre-k/4 thru 6th grade), so he is fascinated by all of these big kids that come around and all of the classrooms. We have to stop by every classroom to see what the kids are doing and he doesn't quite understand that he can't join in with them. I forget that his preschool in Beaverton isn't like this, so this is all really new. He has mentioned a couple of children's names and that one student speaks Dutch as well. Everyone at the school is so nice and helpful. They have a library full of English books and he gets to check 3 out a week, so that will be nice since it's hard to find English books here. I haven't met too many parents yet, but hope to soon. I had to laugh that on Friday's it's pizza day for lunch (this is the only day that they provide lunch as they don't have a cafeteria) and it's Dominos pizza. :) Amazing how much American culture/stores are actually here.
I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable navigating the grocery store and where I need to go to buy stuff for the house. I have been so confused on why Abby's whole milk seems to expire after a day (expiration date is still a week or so away) and smell so sour (almost like sour cream), whereas the other milk has been fine. She has been refusing it too with a terrible look on her face and I felt like she started not trusting drinks she was given. Well, today Troy's coworker's wife took me to the grocery store to help translate some things and I realized we've been buying sour milk. There is such a thing here!! So, poor Abby has been drinking sour milk and no wonder she has been refusing it! I have now found the right thing to buy for her.
Most people go to the grocery store multiple times a week depending on the size of their fridge. I feel like I go almost every day or every other, but it's been helping me to feel more comfortable in the store as well. There is a different store for most everything. Europeans, I think, would be astounded to see a Costco. Just so unthinkable here.
The Dutch tradition of Carnival (celebration before Lent) starts Feb 18th with a parade and some fun activities, so we are looking forward to seeing this. The schools also have the week off as a holiday week.
Here are some pictures of our house and our weekend...
Our house and very Euro car :)
Ryan playing in the snow
Abigail walking in the snow
Ryan in front of one of the Daf trucks