So exciting to see Beyoncé now a third time! First in Antwerp, Belgium, second time in Düsseldorf, Germany and now a third time with Jay-Z in Amsterdam, Netherlands for their On the Run II Tour! And for all three times I was with my sister-in-law Barbara ❤
Koen recently purchased a book on foraging, so we were ready to go on our first adventure! When we looked up possibilities in our area, we decided on oysters in Zeeland! Koen was especially excited to see that Colijnsplaat is a good place to go foraging. His grandparents had a house here when he was growing up, so it was very special being able to see the place Koen spent his summers.
This year was a special birthday for Koen’s mom, Els – she turned 60! So to celebrate it in a special way, we wanted to surprise her with a party! We were very sneaky, telling her that we planned a lunch with the children in Zeeland, but to her surprise we invited family and friends to surprise her at Sand & Pepper Beachbar in Burgh-Haamstede!
For Christmas this year, we gathered in Breda for a potluck Italian dinner at Sofie’s apartment. Everyone prepared a different dish to bring for dinner. Koen made sourdough focaccia and I prepared pasta lazio, a penne dish with chicken, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.
2015, what a year! Time for a look back…
I’ve said it before, but I’m so happy my best friend is also married to a Dutch guy! This means that from now on she will be headed this way on a fairly regular basis to visit Rafaël’s family. The first being now to celebrate the wedding in the Netherlands with Dutch family and friends.
For Els’s birthday this year, we celebrated in Amsterdam. We started out at our favorite café in Amsterdam – Beter en Leuk – for a delicious and healthy lunch. Beter en Leuk just so happens to be owned by Koen’s cousin Hanneke, and you can find organic vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc dishes and drinks for breakfast, brunch and lunch, as well as great cookbooks, clothing, jewelry, and other treasures! If you are in Amsterdam, Beter en Leuk is a definite must-visit!
After our feast, we took Els on her first metro ride to the center of the city to Dam Square. We visited the History & Royalty: Journey In Time exhibit at De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) where I learned a lot about the history of De Nieuwe Kerk and its relationship with the Dutch Royal Family. After the exhibit we walked a bit more through Amsterdam before heading home. What a fun day!
My parents happened to be in town for Sofie’s birthday. Also in the Netherlands was Koen’s cousin Andrea and her boyfriend Ethan from Canada – so my parents didn’t have to worry about people speaking English. I always love getting together for family birthdays because it gives me the chance to catch up and see everyone! We celebrated at Sofie’s apartment in Breda and enjoyed delicious cakes and frietjes!