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Joseph and I went to the Netherlands  during his school's autumn break where we stayed at my brother's in Amsterdam.

Visiting Joseph's birth city, Almere Stad. Above  is Almere's central station, below is Jo's birth hospital. Back in February 2004 we left Almere with 3.5 months old Joseph. On 28 October 2009, he came back as a big kid (almost-six-year-old). Unlike other 'classic' cities in the Netherlands which basically look the same since the first time I set foot in Holland in 1978, Almere keeps on changing. It's a young city that diligently builds new infrastructures within a short time.

My brother and sister-in-law brought us to Afsluitdijk, the first layer of many dams that prevents the Netherlands from drowning. On the first picture, we can see how the dam separates  the sea water (on the left side) from the inner water (right side). On the second picture, Joseph and his auntie were posing on the wall explaining about the dam. My brother told me, our father brought the whole family to Afsluitdijk not long after we arrived in Holland.

Of course seeing some friends were part of the agenda. Above: some of my ex-colleagues from our office in Amsterdam (Susi, Ambar, Mieke) at a Korean Restaurant in Amstelveen. Below: Multilingual mommies (Christine, Ambar, Dian and Astrid) at Christine's home in Utrecht, lots of laughs, good chat and delicious Indonesian food.

Joseph and I also met some online friends, Lorraine of Chez Lorraine and the Pelopor clan (Jerry, Bonnie and Ingmar).  Jerry was the coolest grandpa, father and father-in-law I've ever met. Bonnie was warm and out going, Ingmar charmed Joseph the moment he entered the restaurant.  As for Lorraine, it's our 2nd meeting and I felt very comfy being around this wise lady.   Jerry, Bonnie and Ingmar: if you guys don't mind, I would love to include the picture of us here as well :D.

Of course, I cannot miss the chance to munch again at this Dutch broodje haring, complete with its smelly raw onion and pickles (as if the raw herring is not smelly enough). I missed it so much that I ate 3 at once. LOL!!

I visited Holland three times since we moved to Germany in 2008 (the previous two was in Oct 08 and April 09)  and it has never failed to give me good vibes. Last weeks' visit was a good 'closure' before we leave for Australia.

Bye2 Holland, for now. I will return, as always!!!


Last but no least, Joseph celebrates his 6th birthday today 8 Nov 2009. We put 6 magic candles on his birthday cake this morning and had a good laugh seeing him and Louise trying to blow them off. 



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
Belated congratulations on your birthday Joseph. You definitely are the most charming and liveliest 6 y/o who speaks four languages fluently and obviously even manages to conquer magic candles. The "clan" has fallen in love with you.

By the way: it was great to meet you. So I take the line "Bye2 Holland, for now. I will return, as always!!!" as a solemn vow! Really hope to meet you again.

As for photos: go ahead.

Nov. 28th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Colson, photo was taken with Lorraine's camera and I'm still waiting for her to send the file to me. I really cannot wait to see all of us again in a picture!
Nov. 8th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Joseph, great job trying to blow all the candles ;) I can imagine that he's been looking forward to his 'transformer' ... Gosh I miss you both already !

Nov. 28th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
Miss you to, A :D
Nov. 8th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
sweet video, happy birthday to joseph!

btw the next time you come to holland we should definitely meet up :D have fun moving to australia, i'm sure it'll be great!

Nov. 28th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
If you don't mind being with among tante2, yes we have to try to see each other in person!
Nov. 8th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday Joseph ! So funny looking at the kids trying to blow the magic candles off....especially Louise....hahahaha...
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah the candle did the trick .. we brought them from Chicago, LOL!
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Hartelijk gefeliciteerd, Jo. Semoga Tante cindy nulisnya bener ya :) Peluk cium buat Lu, kangen !!
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Dank je wel, tante Cindy :D.
Nov. 13th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC)
Selamat Ulang Tahun Jojo! Lucuuuu banget videonya! Oh ya, bon courage untuk sekeluarga untuk kepindahannya ke Australia. Kalian pasti repot ya, apalagi menjelang acara akhir tahun gini.
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you, tante. Iya nih lagi ngos2an ngurusin semuanya heheh.
Nov. 15th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA!! what city are you moving into?
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
I will keep it a secret until we're there :D!
Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Herring and pickles!! Wow, adore that too!
Your son is so beautiful! :)
Love the road... oh to be surrounded on both sides by water...
Nov. 28th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah .. raw herring is delicious for those who can enjoy it :D!
The dam looked nice indeed although there was lots of cold wind when we were there.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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