Update on our travels ......

Trip Start Apr 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It has been awhile since we've updated you on our travels and living situation, so here's a year's worth of events in one quick recap!

Last fall, Melanie accepted a job working for one of the companies that she had worked with in her old job.  This has allowed us to remain in the Netherlands, which we have not regretted  in the least.  As we had been here for 5 years, we qualified for permanent residence (equivalent of a green card), and are free to work in the Netherlands and Europe without special company sponsorship.

In brief, here are our adventures since last winter......

From January through March, we moved the bulk of our household goods back to be stored in Chris' parents place near Baltimore, MD.   It was somewhat of a challenge to pare our household here in Amsterdam down to just the basic necessities.  After filling up 1/2 a 40 foot sea container (a typical 18 wheeler trailer), we realized we had quite a bit of stuff.  And, you can't really tell that we moved that much either!

What else have we been up to? 

Melanie traveled to Bangalore, India on business in October.  This was a part of India she had not been to before and is known as the Silicon Valley of the country.  Melanie found the people to be friendly and hard working.  The sites were an interesting contrast to those we had seen in Northern India.  

Just before Xmas, we traveled to the Cologne, Germany Xmas market.
Cologne, Germany Xmas market, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We spent the holidays in MD and OH, USA with family. 

At the beginning of April, just before Easter, we traveled to Verona, Italy where we met some friends and enjoyed the Italian wine show there.  We went to Milan for a day then flew to the UK where we explored Bristol, the Costswolds and spent 5 days in London.  We met friends in Brackley, UK and a friend from New York in London.  

Here is a picture of us in a stone circle located within the Costswolds:

Rollright Stones, UK, Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 30 was Queens Day in Holland.  As usual, this was quite a celebration.  

We went on a boat cruise around the canals of Amsterdam to celebrate a friend's Birthday in May. 

We also traveled to Berlin for a 4 day holiday weekend in May.  This city always fascinates us with how much it is transformed every time we go back.  We explored several neighborhoods we had not visited on previous trips.  The city is very easy to get around on foot and by an excellent mass transit system.  As luck would have it, we were there on the day that the 60th anniversary of Germany's constitution was being celebrated.  We got to hear the Berliner Philharmonic perform Beethoven's 9th Symphony as part of the celebration next to the Brandenberg gate:

Chris & Melanie @ Berlin's celebration, Amsterdam, Netherlands
In the early summer, we were lucky to see John Mayall at a small venue of several hundred people near Amsterdam.

We linked up with some American friends of ours in Ghent, Belgium for a arts festival.  Ghent is one of the most scenic and mellow places in all of Europe.  Our friend used to live in Amsterdam and moved to Brussels last year.  They moved back to the US to Florida just a couple weeks ago.   

04. Medieval Ghent, Ghent and Lier, Belgium

Ghent photo link

 In mid-August, we had the chance to see David Byrne at a small venue here in Amsterdam.  We had to wait in line for 30 minutes and ended up being in the 5th row center:

Here are more David Byne photos.

Last weekend we took a weekend trip to Paris, France, one of our favorite places to just wander around and enjoy the atmosphere.  

Later this week, we will be traveling to Oslo and will meet Chris' parents there.  From there we are traveling across Norway via train and will be taking boat cruise up the west coast of Norway into the Artic Circle. 

An interesting article written by a fellow American expat here in Amsterdam recently appeared in the New York Times. It discusses the Dutch style of living and collectivist society. The article provides some interesting insight on some aspects that may be helpful in the US:

NY Time Amsterdam article link

Finally, we'll be in Ohio and MD in October as well as at the holiday season and hope to be able to catch up with many of you then.

Afternoon in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Amsterdam, Cologne, Ghent, Finksburg, Mansfield, London, Bristol, Brackley, Milan and Verona
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