Monday, July 4, 2011

Mom and Dad come for a visit!

Happy 4th of July everyone! No fireworks here today...

We had a whirlwind of a tour in Holland once my parents arrived in Rotterdam last Friday. We headed to Delft on Saturday--one of the most darling cities in all of Holland and only a 12-minute train ride away. The story-book town is the home of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer ('Milkmaid,' 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring'), the original site for the production of 'Delftware' porcelain and its famous color Delft blue, and also the the burial site of H.R.H. William of Orange, circa 1500s. A gorgeous old city with classic canals, arched bridges, gabled houses, and a lovely main square.


Saturday evening we had an incredible meal at Mangiare in Rotterdam. My neighbor is one of the chefs, so we just had to try it. Everyone loved it--Elliot and I both agreed that it might have been the best meal we've had since coming to Rotterdam in December. Their produce is organic and local, and so delicious. We had an enormous antipasto with sliced cured meats, sundried tomatoes, marinated olives, cheeses, aubergine and peppers. For the main we all split the fresh-made spinach ravioli and lasagna. Just wonderful.

De Ijssalon gelato
After Mangiare, we were so stuffed but managed to walk off a bit of dinner and still have room for some gelato on one of our favorite streets (the Meent) in our neighborhood. So good!

Since my parents had a rental car, we took advantage and finally went to Kinderdijk on Sunday. Kinderdijk is a small village in the countryside, about 30 minutes from Rotterdam, famous for its 19 UNESCO-protected windmills. If you've seen a postcard of Holland, it's very likely that these windmills are featured on it.

These windmills were not used to mill grain; they were originally built (1740s) to help drain water and create the polder. Kinderdijk has the highest concentration of old windmills in the country and a few of the windmills are still used today to control the water levels. 

On Monday, Elliot went back to school and Anél joined us on a tour of Utrecht--another city I never tire of. Unique bi-level canalside streets, thousand-year-old canals, and the tallest church tower in the country make it easy to fall head over heels for this university town. Since it was a clear day, we all headed up the 467 steps of the Dom Toren and could see Amsterdam from the top. Lovely and 30º!!

The unique two-level streets on the 1000-year-old canals; from the top of the Dom Toren; Oudegracht canal in miniature
My parents were leaving out of Brussels and since they were driving, Anél and I joined them for a day outing to Brussels on Tuesday. We all scavenged the antique markets for treasures, and found a few great buys. After some delicious quiche and rosé we all bid our farewells in the Grand Place and Anél and I ran to catch our train. A sad good-bye and I left feeling a little bit empty--since we're not sure when we'll see each other next. Perhaps at a wedding... or sooner!

Quiche and rosé (and our waiter) in Brussels


  1. Great pictures! I like the one from the Utrecht dome of the town and the one with the mole and rowboat most.

  2. Yah, the view of the city makes it look like Madurodam. Very very cute.
    We have a magnificent adventure on Rotterdam. Thank you, M and E.

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