Saturday, 30 January 2010

Dutch Stories: First Three Days

...continued. Previous Post, click HERE.

The couple of days before New Year's celebration were quite lazy and quiet.
Our ride home from the airport was long but not boring at all! Sonia and I started talking right away, trying to catch up with our lives after being six months without seeing each other. Her mother was very patient and endured our crazy laughs and sudden squeals, our loud talking and our excitedness in general. We stopped once at a gas station to fill up, and we both got out to walk for a bit, and it felt soooo good to be together again! It felt perfect, and my heart felt ready to burst with happiness.
We got out without our coats, so it was quite freezing. Sonia and I went running to the restrooms because it was a bit warmer, and tried to arrange our messy hair, but we soon had to go back and all of that time we hadn't stopped talking. We had so much to tell and we had so much to laugh about!
Snow, snow, snow all over the place. I couldn't get enough of it all! It was so beautiful! I was already in love with Holland, and I'd only spent maybe an hour or an hour and a half in it. I knew I was going to enjoy myself so much!
Sonia's father and brothers were at home when we got there. It was sooo exciting to get to see them again! I hadn't seen her older brothers since Christmas '08, a year ago, and I hadn't seen her younger brother and father since June '09, six months! So happy so see them all.
It was J's birthday that same day too, although I didn't remember it till the next day, and so had to say Happy Birthday one day late. Oh, well! At least I hadn't forgotten altogether! Better late than never!
We'd eaten lunch in the car (lunch consists basically of sandwiches in Holland), some delicious cheese sandwiches, so once we got home, at about three or half past three, I don't remember the exact hour, we didn't have to worry about eating. We had a whole afternoon ahead of us!
Sonia and I teased each other from the start, it's what we do best as Best Friends (JK!). For instance, there was this thing called Team Work we teased each other about, because we always did things together, we "helped" (or tried to, in the end we usually were making things more difficult for the other :P) each other in everything. When it was time for me to take my big, heavy suitcase upstairs to Sonia's bedroom, it was very funny because Sonia grabbed the front handle and I got the middle handle, and this way we took the suitcase up the (very) narrow stairs. I must add that we almost killed ourselves in the process, because we both lost balance and almost fell down the stairs, but in the end, no harm done, and we had such a laugh! Oh, I laugh just remembering it... how I miss her.
In Holland and during winter, it gets dark pretty soon. At half past four it's already dark, so when Sonia's mother came up with the suggestion that we should go for a walk and visit the city, I was a little bit surprised, but then, we weren't going alone, so since I really enjoy walks at night, we both readily agreed.
On went the wraps once again: jumper, gloves and scarves; hat; thick leather boots; and finally, my coat. I felt so fat and huge walking in that, but then everybody had to wear that over there, so I wasn't looked at as if I had green hair and purple skin.
The city at night was beautiful.
Correction: The city, at night, in winter, during Christmas holidays, was beautiful. Dark, snowy, and full of Christmas lights. (Okay, this last part and the first doesn't really make sense, but you know what I mean...). Everywhere we went was more beautiful than the last. We walked through ice-covered parks (it started snowing again the day after I arrived... that day it was green with ice covering it), we crossed bridges over rivers and canals, we visited the old city (old stone buildings, SO beautiful), we walked across the exterior mall, we went to visit Sonia's school, and we walked the whole city. Nah, but we did walk a lot, till half past six or so.
What I remember best was a huge, tall fir planted in the middle of the old city, near where the outside mall was. It was so big, and it was all decorated with Christmas lights. I fell in love with the tree at first sight, and I was so sorry because I didn't have my camera with me. I wish I had a picture of that tree...!
By the time we went back home, we were quite tired, but it had been worth it. We had talked so much during our walk, we had poured out our hearts to one another in Catalan so no one would understand us, and I felt fresh and alive, although tired... and late. They'd already had supper, and had started to worry about us!
Supper was truly yummy, and Sonia and I had fun eating on our own at the table while the rest of the people sat on the couches and chairs. S and J had left early that afternoon for France to pick up Sonia's older sister and her family, and they would be arriving next day in the afternoon. I was looking forward to meeting C very much, she was the only one in Sonia's family I hadn't met yet! But we had to wait till the next day.
I remembered to phone my parents that day. We talked for about five minutes, and (blush) for the next two weeks I was there I didn't phone them again. I guess I just forgot. But it was nice to hear them and good to be able to say, "I'm in Holland, and the flight was amazing!"
I don't think we slept much the first night we were together. Too exciting! I wore my red Christmas pj's for the first time that night, I remember, and I didn't wear it again while I was in Holland. I don't remember, though, what time we went to sleep that night... I can assure you, it was very early in the morning... :P When two best friends get together, and share all their stories once again, remember old times, uncover forgotten memories, listen to and sing songs they've both known for a long time... well, you get to go to bed either pretty late at night or pretty early in the morning.
Consequently, you wake up late next morning. I slept in till half past ten, or eleven, on Wednesday, to LOTS of snow! Sonia and I woke up to her mother hurrying us about because it had snowed a lot during the night! We jumped out of bed and hurriedly (and sleepily) but also excitedly ran to Sonia's parents' bedroom because it had such a big window, and sure enough, it had snowed a lot while we were happily dreaming under the covers!
I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get my feet into my boots and go outside for a walk. I had this childish wish to see my footprints on the snow, to make a big snowman and have a capital snowball fight with Sonia and her youngest brother (I have a problem here, because Sonia's oldest brother's name starts with an S, but so does her youngest brother's... any suggestions?)
My walk had to wait untill after lunch though, and I wasn't able to have a capital snowball fight because... mwahaha, I had my camera with me! Yep, beware, because I was roaming about the place with my camera to capture... a picutre. =) I went with S, the youngest. He's a sweet, active twelve year old who didn't mind my frequent stops for a picture, nor was embarrassed by my laying on the ground or my asking for him to pose in such and such a way, etc. I took plenty of pictures, and most of them came out pretty nice. I discovered that sometimes snow is difficult to capture.

These are my two favourite pictures from that walk: Registered & Protected Registered & Protected

When we started to go in the woods you can see in this picture, the cell-phone rang! I instantly felt happy and excited, because that meant that the boys were back with C and her family! That was the last picture I took, and we didn't get to walk in the forest that day, but I didn't really mind it that much because... well, because I was finally going to know Sonia's whole family!
Back we walked, hurrying, puffing and huffing (not), and indeed, there they were, sitting on the couch and talking and laughing! I was so happy to meet them, they are so nice and such happy people! C and I hit it off right away, and since then we talked a lot when we were together about everything. Mostly about babies, though. Hehehe.
Afternoon turned slowly into evening, and it met us talking and just about spending time together. There isn't much to tell about that evening, other than S (oldest) and C getting a hold of my camera and starting to take pictures of all of us (Sonia and I washing the dishes after supper, or youngest S and T playing on the computer...). These kind of quiet evenings are the best... =)

 Sonia ^^ ♥. This picture was taken by C.

Next day was New Year's Eve Day... waking up in the morning was lovely that day, because once Sonia and I had gotten our sleepesness out of our heads, we heard that it was pretty noisy in the room next door. Curiosity got the best of us, and when we popped our heads in we saw that everybody was in C and I's bedroom, either laying lazyli on the bed or sitting on the floor or leaning on the windows, chatting and being together. Ahhh, I like that family so much!
They invited us in, and so we plopped ourselves on Baby T's bed and followed the chats. That was when I first held Baby N... the sweetes little baby girl ever! I was so happy to hold her, and the first thing she did was smile at me! I could hardly keep myself from squealing in delight! *Sighs in contentment* My time there was unforgettable... I miss them.
When we decided that it was time for all of us to dress and go downstairs, once we went downstairs, what do you all think we did...? Yup, plop down on S(oldest)'s matress and resumed our chatter. And took pictures with my camera, too. I also discovered that S(oldest) had really, really huge hands compared to mine.

See what I mean?

There's not much to tell about that day... J left that afternoon, and later, I went outside in their small garden and took some pictures. They have a canal running right behind their house, and it's so cool because during spring and summer they get their boat out and go up and down the canal. Can't wait till May!
New Year's Eve was amazing, we had so much fun! But that's another story...
For the rest of the pictures, click HERE.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Dutch Stories: My Flight To Holland

Nothing much happened during the first couple of days in Holland... it was all very relaxed and family-like. Writing now about them makes me miss them so much... those comfy times sitting all in the living-room, talking, playing and (yes!) laughing together... getting to know Sonia's older brothers better, and getting to meet Sonia's only sister and her husband and children.
Honestly... looking back and writing about them and our times together makes me feel so bad, and makes me miss them so much... but I made a promise. =) And I know that if I have something to write, is because I made so many precious memories over there. What's best, I'll have them to treasure for ever.

My flight over there was very exciting. It was my first time on a plane since I was a little girl, and I was looking forward to it very much. Although at first I was nervous, the airport from where I left was small, as well as the one where I landed, so I didn't have much trouble in finding my way around. It was fun to qeue behind people (Dutch, Spanish and Indian), watch all the different coloured suit-cases, and (yes!) at all the people's shoes.
At first I was a bit shy about taking pictures in the airport, but I soon lost my shyness and started snapping around. I decided I wanted to sit at the back of the plane, so I climbed up the steps to the back door, with lots of people before me and behind me. It was so exciting to me! I was able to sit in a very good seat, not too far away from the end but not too far away from the middle, either. The perfect place, really.
Then the plane was taken to its take-off position.
I will never forget the sensation I felt when the engines started to roar and the plane started to run, and when it took off! It was so amazing! I felt everything at once, happiness, exuberance. I wanted to scream and laugh and jump and cry, it gave me such a feeling of power! I guess I had a rush of adrenaline. It was incredible, everything was boiling inside of me.
And I was on my way to Holland.
Right after the take-off I took my camera out and started to take pictures from up the air. I felt so awed at all I could see from my window! I had flown before, but when I was three years old and under, so I had no idea what could be seen from up there. And I was sooo amazed!

"I saw everything from up the air, and it was breathtaking" Registered & Protected

It was sunny all the time up there because we were all the time flying above the clouds. And once, it snowed up there! It was so amazing! The crystals were so tiny, but so beautiful! Registered & Protected

Sitting by me was a little girl and her mother, and across the aisle her father and brother. The girl was lovely, with greenish eyes and blonde hair, and a freckled nose. They were Spanish, but had family in Holland. I smiled at her often, and soon her mother and I started talking. We talked about Holland, about Spain, we talked about winter. I told her why I was going to Holland, and we had a very pleasant talk. She was a very smiley lady, and had a very pleasant voice which soon calmend me down, because I was nervous about the landing.
The almost-two-hours flight flew by me (haha!) way too quickly, and soon enough, we started to penetrate the clouds. They were gray, ugly clouds, but when we got a little lower, I completely forgot about them when I saw what was under us. Big patches of white were all over the places, and all the lakes and rivers were frozen. It was so amazing! I was all the time whispering, "God, your creation is so amazing!"
Then the captain announced that we were about to land, so click went the safety belts, and off went the camera. Now I just had to watch and enjoy.
Once again I got this feeling of exuberance and adrenaline when we landed. The engines started to go the other way around, and the air breaks on the wings came up. Such a noise!! I again felt sooo full of energy!
And so we landed. I was in Holland.
A gust of cold wind welcomed me, and as I climbed down the steps from the plane, I felt how tiny, icy drops of rain were falling from the sky. Welcome to a cold, Dutch Winter!
I remember how I looked up to the sky and breather in the cold, clean air deeply, thinking, "Thank you", and I started walking towards the building. Then, surprise!! Sonia and her mother were waving happily from the top of the building, behind a glass.
When I saw them, I started jumping and waving like crazy, but after receiving a couple of amused looks, I stopped showing my excitedness and started walking quickly toward the exit. I had to wait another ten minutes, though, to pick up my lugagge, and that was almost eternal to me. But wasn't it worth it...!
Sonia was waiting for me right outside the door, and I didn't even have time to drop the big suit-case before she gave me a bear hug! It was a precious moment.
Sonia's mother took a picture just as she hugged me, so we have that moment in a photo... and I am thankful. We were both so happy to see each other... I think we drew a lot of attention because we squealed and hugged and squealed again and then hugged once more, and it was like this all the time. I also hugged Sonia's mother, in case you were wondering.
My flight there was great. I really enjoyed it and I am so thankful that I had such a warm welcome once I got to the airport.
We had a long car-ride home... a two hours and a half ride...


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Answer From Above

Dear all,

I am right now in a way too hyper mood to write anything that is coherent.
So I will leave you with a very exciting bit of news:


God is SO GOOD!!! I still can't believe my parents have said yes!
I'll leave you right now before I accidentally break the computer in my excitement. Once more, THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who have been praying for my parents and I!! I am SO grateful!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

From All Over The World

On Monday the 4th, Sonia's whole family was able to gather together. It was such an unusual occasion that Mr. V. prepared a banner with all the nationalities that were present that day.
The nationalities that gathered that day were: Dutch, Colombian, German, Catalan, English, Spanish and French.
That day was amazing. I had a great time with all of them, and what's best is that they made me feel like part of the family. =) But Monday is a story I will post about soon, hopefully.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Something To Chew On While You Wait

Note: This picture is NOT mine.

While working last Friday, one of my superiors showed me this picture and asked me a question I'm going to ask you:

If this picture was taken on USA's coast, would you be able to tell me in which coast, if East or West, was it taken?

Obviously, there is no researching permitted, and if you've been at the place, don't say anything, please! Just look at the picture, and tell me how you've come to your assumption/conclusion.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Feeling Melancholic...

I've started sorting out the pictures I took in Holland. I have more or less over 1500 pictures in 6 GB, more or less. But it makes me feel so melancholic, I miss my friends over there in Holland so much.
I like snow. I like winter. I like Holland. I love them. ♥

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Dearest, wonderfulest readers,

I'm home! My trip home was safe. This time, I did get my ears plugged (it hadn't happened on my way to Holland), and they still hurt, but I'm starting to hear better.
I'm not feeling up to writing right now, and I don't think I'll feel like it for a while. You know... post-vacation depression and all. I just feel like sitting in the darkness.
But soon, I hope, I'll start posting stories. I have most of my days written down on my Scrapbook Diary, because... well, you'll know why... and whenever I'm able to steal a little free time I'll write them down for all of you to enjoy. Pictures are coming too! I have over 6 GB full of pics!
Hope you aren't too mad at me because I haven't commented a lot. I just hope I still have readers!