My eyes popped open this morning at 3:00 am, and although my body still feels dog-tired, my brain thinks I should rouse myself and get on with the day. The seven hour time difference between Mexico and Holland has yet to sync itself – so I guess this will be another day of jetlag.
I traveled on a CCC (a cheap, cramped charter) flight from Cancun to Amsterdam return, and I am sorry to say that my days of sitting for 11 ½ hours, with my knees bumping up against the seat in front of me have gone the same way as tenting holidays – I am too long-in-the-tooth for either. And if I felt sore at the end of the ordeal, the 6 foot 3 Dutch guy sitting beside me was in agony by the time we finally creaked our way out of the plane.
But no matter! Memories of my three weeks in Holland are still swirling around in my mind – making me smile and feel extremely grateful – for the opportunities this the trip brought to me.
My final week was as full of serendipitous surprises as the first two.
On a final day in Amsterdam, I took my friend Hanneke to see the house where my grandfather was born. The family moved away in about 1925, and on past visits to the city, I’ve seen the building closed up, with a “For Sale” sign tacked to the wall. But this time, the doors at Herengracht 280 stood wide open, and builders were running in and out. I introduced myself and learned the house has been sold to an investor who is renovating the space to lease as offices. Nonetheless, the new owners want to conserve as many of the original appointments as possible.
We also spent an afternoon in Naarden, a town that dates back to medieval times. It was a walled city with dunes – built in a star-shape – to fortify the town. Moats encircled the place to further protect it from attack.
And now, it will be back to the computer for me. This fall, I hope to finish writing my book about Aunt Gisele, with publication slated for the first half of 2015… Stay tuned!