We have officially left for "vacation"! It snuck up on us but Mark finally was released from work on Thursday afternoon after a wonderful send off by the plant out here. I went to work with him that morning and one of the head guys at the site took us out to Delft to see the Delft Blue Factory (http://www.royaldelft.com/). "Royal Delft is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century still producing entirely handmade Delftware." So we had a quick tour of the factory there and they were generous enough to buy us a piece to show their thanks for Mark's hard work. It is being shipped to our house as we speak.
They were all so nice and accommodating to anything we could possibly need. One of the guys even gave us a small suitcase to use for our trip thru Europe because he heard we were going to buy one. Amazingly friendly people. I'm excited to be on the road but very sad that we had to leave Holland. There was still so much in that little country we didn't get a chance to see... Oh well, I guess we'll just have to go back!! :)
So, as I was saying, we are officially on our vacation. We left this morning at the Godawfull hour of 4:30am to go to Amsterdam and turn in our rental car and catch our train out of the country. We of course (true to us) got about 3 hours of crappy sleep before we set out. After his send off at work we went to Madurodam (http://www.madurodam.nl/default.php?language=1&sqlmode=1&fid=479) in Den Haag; its the amazing miniature replica of Hollands top sites and it has a really cool ice sculpture section too.... AAAAGGGGHHHHH.... man I can't stay focused. (<-- that was all very cool but ate up our afternoon and then spent 1.5 hours going home -usually takes about 30-40 minutes) We met our Englishman, Danny, for dinner and a few beers to say good-bye at our local restaruant and bar there in Citta Romana. Of course one beer rolls into three and before you know it its 9:30pm and we have to get home an pack!!
Thankfully Danny is staying a week longer than us and is doing us a huge favor of mailing off some of our belongings that we just didn't have room for in the downsizing of our luggage.
*~*~*~Man, I have so much to say that I haven't even touched on and just not enough focus or time to get into all of it - its going to take me a year to finish by vacation blog for this trip*~*~*~
He's a saint, that one, we kept adding the famous, 'Oh, and one more thing... Oh, and if you don't mind, could you...oh yah we forgot, whatever...' and he just kept nodding and assuring us he would take care of it. Hell of a nice guy!
So after we got finished packing it was damn-near midnight and we laid down for our 3am wakeup call - UUUUGGGGG! We got up about 3:25am, grabbed all of our shit and were out the door. Surprisingly once we got the tickets validated we did pretty good with the whole train thing. A very nice stranger found us looking lost at Central Station and stopped to offer some assistance and guidence to get us off and then we sat accross from another very nice gentleman that we spoke to at the end of our 1st train who offered up some nice vacation points and some basics on train travel throughout Europe. Incredibelly nice folk out here!!
We arrived in Berlin this afternoon about 3pm. Our only actual plan for this city was their zoo. Zoo Berlin (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.zoo-berlin.de/&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2Bsite:www.zoo-berlin.de%2Bberlin%2Bzoo%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DX) is noted as one of the biggest and best zoo's in the world!! And us being the freaks that we are, if we only have 1.5 days in the city what do we want to see??? Yeah... I hope that doesn't make us shallow. We are truely interested in the crumbling of the wall and all of the history associated with Berlin (and there is tons of it) but... they have Pandas!? I can experience the zoo in one day - I can't truely experience the WHOLE city in a single day - so, you make choices!
Unforturnately Mark and I have come down with a small cold and I have been battling some kind of stomach 'upset' off and on for a couple weeks. I don't know if I keep eating something icky or I'm just picking up stomach viruses but it definately sucks and Mark definately caught it this morning as we were leaving! :( He woke up feeling crappy and it has progressed all day. So, although we have been able to push off a cold with out modern medicines such as Nyqui & Dayquil (they have never heard of it) I have found that the only remedy for this stomach crap is lots of water, pepto, advil and sleep. So as I type to you on our 1st night in Germany, my love sleeps 10 feet from me trying to fight off somekind of Holland Bug. Keep your fingers crossed that he wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed!!
Yeah, so, although we finally hopped the boarder via train I don't have much to report. The countryside is definately more rolling - Holland is pretty flat - but the houses and farms we saw on our way were pretty simular. I snapped some pics but I'm not sure if I'll be able to paste them in this post or not. We were both surprised - although Holland had begun to warm up to around the 50s the last couple days when we got off the train here it was almost hot! Too warm for our jackets (although some still are wearing them - habit I think) I never caught an actual temperature but wow! I shouldn't have sent my capri's and sandles home with Jason and Ashley! Maybe southern Germany will be cooler! We don't have room in our luggage to buy new clothes! Traveling this time of year (at least for us) seems to be a great big Catch22. The city obviously isn't as noticibly old as the other places we have visited but it was all but completely leveled at one time or another in its history, so its easy to forget, as we walked from the train station to our hotel, that we are indeed in another country.
Before Mark laid down he asked me to tell everyong hello for him. So, 'Hello"! Well, I too, am exhausted - It has been along day. I'm going to go curl up with my husband and will him better by morning. Due to computer difficulties I'm not going to try to post pictures now - it would cause too much frustration. I'll try to get some attached tomorrow evening if we don't go do anything.
I'll talk to you all soon, wish us luck!
p.s. just so you know, I rarely reread these before I post them (I didn't read this one), you are lucky if I remember to spell check the thing, so don't judge to much on the flow of the document, take it as a glimps into the workings of my mind, no matter how frightning that may be!! Good night!