Saturday, June 09, 2007

visitors! (koog-zanddijk molen)

hooray! more visitors!

back in march, my girl camille bought tickets to come out to visit, in order to not only see us, but also to celebrate her 30th birthday. she was calling it her "tiptoe through the tulips trip." i hated to ruin the excitement, but by the time she was going to be here, she would miss all the tulips. so she changed the name to "utter chaos tour '07." MUCH more appropriate, given how much we like to party together. (and, as an inside joke, referring to the movie superstar.)

shortly after camille announced the dates of her trip, some old college friends, joe and jj (dunn) tinguely, said that they wanted to stop by too! as it turns out, they were planning on being in europe for the EXACT dates that camille was going to be here! how convenient! unfortunately they were not planning on spending their entire vacation with us because they had "other friends" that they wanted to see (a likely excuse) in cologne and barcelona.

fortunately, our house is ginormous, so there was more than enough beds, room, food, and love to go around. we gave camille the spare guest room up in the attic since she would be here the longest, and then picked up an air mattress at a camping store for jj and joe. they slept in the spare bedroom that will eventually be the baby's room when we have one. i got vases for both rooms so that guests could have flowers: roses in camille's room, peonies in joe and jj's room.

(by the way, we know joe and jj from college. joe and adam were in the same freshman symposium class, as well as took part in a men's spirituality group together. joe and jj started dating their freshman year, and i started dating adam his freshman year, and so we've all known each other for about 10 years if you can believe it. as for camille, i know her because right after i graduated from the college of st. benedict, i joined the lutheran volunteer corps in milwaukee, working as a full time volunteer at a nature center, teaching inner city kids about trees and bugs and the water cycle and stuff. camille also did LVC the same year as me -- she was the science teacher at an alternative high school for primarily hispanic students -- and we lived in the same house together along with 4 other LVC volunteers. and we've been best friends ever since.)

so since camille was sadly going to miss out on the magnificent tulips, i decided to show her something else that was echt nederlands ("completely/genuinely dutch"): windmills! her flight was arriving in amsterdam in the morning, so jj, joe, and i all took the train out to meet her and along the way i gave them a list of things to do in amsterdam, and let them take along a travel guide that we had of holland. we all met camille at schiphol airport and after stashing her bags in the lockers there, we got on a train to see the windmills which were only about 20 minutes northwest of amsterdam. the mills at koog-zanddijk are quite famous in holland and there are all these cool exhibits/shops there that show you how to make cheese and how the mills grind pigment for paint and apparently there was supposed to be a clog making booth but we never found it. it seemed like the perfect activity to do on a sunny day when everyone is all jet lagged. standing inside an old museum, having to be quiet while you absorb all the culture, seemed like an activity that would only make someone even MORE tired after getting off an international flight. but being outside in the sun and wind, with dutch molen turning in the breeze, eating cheese and mustard and bread, and being able to climb up things and walk through pastures and past canals seemed like a much more energizing activity. so that's what we did!

joe and jj took off before camille and i did, because it was their only opportunity to see amsterdam while they were out here. so they saw the mills for about an hour or so and then caught the train back to centraal station. i'm not quite sure what they did out there (maybe they'd be willing to be guest-bloggers sometime and they can tell us all about their adventures) but they couldn't have rocked the party too hard because they were back by dinner time. i think they had a good time, though. amsterdam really is much more than coffee shops and prostitutes. it's a really beautiful, historic, cultural city, and it's always fun just to walk around and sit at the cafes.

and that's basically it. stay tuned for more great adventures!

ps -- i posted two videos of the mills moving: one of the outside with the sails, and one of the inside with the cogs. here are the links:

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