Sunday, May 1–We landed at Schiphol Airport, picked up our rental car (an Opal Corsa) and drove to Wijk an Zee for a walk on the beach. While we were living in Heemskerk we used to drive over to the shore on nice days to enjoy the breezes and watch the inhabitants out flying kites and playing with their dogs.
I'd always wanted to stop in a little hotel just near the beach but they were closed for the season when we were living there. This time they were open and we had a lovely brunch. I just love the European habit of serving a biscuit (cookie) with coffee!
We drove the short distance to the Akersloot Valk hotel where they allowed us to check in early (I made sad eyes at the reception desk and told them we were sooo tired from the flight). We took a nap and decided to just sit in the evening sun and drink beer for a while before dinner and bed. There’s something about the Dutch love of the outdoors and sunshine! I called our friends to let them know we’d arrived safely and to set up get-togethers.
Monday, May 2–We drove over to Akersloot (just a few minutes drive but we’re lazy Americans who would rather drive than bike–actually, bike rental was too expensive for just the short trip) to visit with Gre and Fons. I consider Gre to be my "Dutch sister" because we have so much in common and just chatter like two magpies when we're together. I wish we could see each other more often--maybe I'll win the lottery and be able to buy a small house in North Holland?
We spent the day walking in the bird preserve which borders the Alkmaardermeer and were almost run down by the local artist artist on his bicycle, who then proceeded to talk our ears off. What an interesting man.
It was lovely to spend some some with our friends' grandson who we hadn't seen in 3 years and to meet their third daughter when she joined us for dinner (we'd met their other daughters on our previous visits) We had wonderful macaroni and cheese with sausage and homemade banana ice cream for dessert.
Next up--Bloemendags and tulip fields