Christmas 2015

While we are now days past Christmas, I can’t not write about it.  What was supposed to be a mellow week before Christmas with no sports, activities, etc, was anything but that.  But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time this past week – we were just busier than planned. Maybe that’s our defense mechanism keeping us from being sad that we are away from home for yet another holiday season.  Or maybe we are just too damn busy lately! Continue reading

Christmas Tree Fail

Today we went to get our Christmas tree.  We went to Intratuin – a gardening center in Almere – that we know sells trees before the 5th of December.  Most Dutch don’t buy their tree this early because they first celebrate Sinterklaas and then after he leaves, they then focus on Christmas.  Last year we got a lot of chuckles from people regarding how “early” we’d bought our tree. Meanwhile, it’s an American tradition to buy right after Thanksgiving. Ahhhh different cultures…always something! Continue reading

What a Difference a Year Makes – Thanksgiving 2015

Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving just the 4 of us.  Josh was still recovering from his knee surgery and we really didn’t have any friends.  It was the first time we’d ever celebrated “alone”.  And it sucked.  I hated it. We were alone in yet another country.  The anger took over me for a long time – especially over the holiday season.   Continue reading

Vrolijk Pasen – Easter in the Netherlands

It used to be that with every passing holiday that we were gone, a little piece of me died.  Sounds dramatic, I know. But being away from friends and family during any holiday has to be one of the hardest things about being an expat.  However, you’ll be happy to know that these days, instead of a little piece of me dying, a little piece of me is growing.  I’m finding pleasure in new traditions and for us to find ways to celebrate as our little family unit of four. Continue reading

Halloween in the Netherlands

While the increasingly cold weather is not one of my favorite things, I do love fall.  And I love it for several reasons.  The foliage, breaking out the jeans and cozy sweaters after a long, hot summer, apple pie, soups and the start of fire season (the last 5 years of which we didn’t have or need a fireplace and now we have one but it doesn’t work).  But what I really love is the start of the holiday season, starting with Halloween.

I’ve always loved the holidays but living in our neighborhood in Attleboro, Continue reading

Tres Reyes (Three Kings)

While we moved here on Three Kings Day 4 years ago, we actually have never attended any festivities surrounding this huge holiday up until this year.  Los Tres Reyes Magos is a HUGE holiday here in Spain, even bigger than Christmas (though the Americanization of Christmas is slowly taking over).  In fact, it’s the culmination of the 12 days of Christmas that leads up to this big day.  Stores are open til midnight (on a Sunday night this year believe it or not!) the night before the Kings make their visit to the children of Spain. Continue reading

Sant Joan

This post is waaayyyy overdue.  Like over a month.  I’ve been really slacking with my writing lately and I’m not sure what’s up with that.  But I need to get back on track.

Anyways, there isn’t a ton to say about Sant Joan.  It’s a holiday here where we celebrate the summer solstice.  There are festivities all around the city but the largest are held down by the water.  However, it’s my understanding (never having been to them) that it gets a bit out of control between bonfires, drinking and well, you get the picture – those two just don’t mix well.  So I’m not bringing the kids down there to add to that. Continue reading