We spent Thanksgiving in Amsterdam this year with the Rooijens, Meg and Jake. It was a wonderful holiday. We were fortunate to spend this uniquely U.S. holiday with our Dutch family. We did not know it would be the last holiday we would share with Rudy. But it gives us quite special family memories.
Amsterdam is a city of great beauty. the historic center represents elegance and power.
Even during Amsterdam’s winter season, flowers are in abundance. The varieties are endless and the prices are quite modest.
Laura, Michel and Sophia live in a lovely urban apartment, with restaurants, markets and retail shopping to rival New York or Paris.
In the center of town, adjacent to the canals, we came upon this wonderful caravan which is, or could be, a home for a Roma/gypsy family.
While nothing like the kind of housing we have come to expect in the states. It is quite lovely in its uniqueness.
It is with great sadness that our family deals with the loss of our beloved friend, father, husband and the world’s best “opa”. Born Roelf Michel Rooijen, but known to all as “Rudy”, he was one in a million. He was well-loved and respected by his family and friends. With his partner and equally wonderful wife, Evelien, he cherished his role as a grandparent and lived life to the fullest.
Terry, Meg and I met the Rooijens when Terry’s daughter, Laura, met and married Rudy and Evelien’s (also wonderful) son, Michel Rooijen. Thereafter we shared our lives with them as our children and then our granddaughter, Sophia, brought us together in Amsterdam and in Kansas City. We celebrated Laura and Michel’s wedding in Maastricht, Sophia’s birth in Amsterdam, Thanksgiving in Amsterdam and barbecue in Kansas City. Our lives are far richer because of our friendship with this special family.
His death was a horrible shock to all of us. A pillar of strength throughout his life, he seemed invincible. His death leaves a hole in our lives and our hearts.
Nothing reflects the personality of Amsterdam more than the canals in the heart of the historic city. Built during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the canals of Amsterdam are a tourist wonder and a local delight. The canals are also a constant reminder that in a city that sits below sea level, the sea and the land are intertwined.
The canals were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List effective 2010. Neighborhoods surround the canals. Swans swim on the canals. House boats on the canals are the homes of some Dutch residents.
Many of the homes surrounding the canals predate the canals themselves. This photo reflects the elegance of one Dutch neighborhood.
The canals extend through Amsterdam’s cultural center.
They reflect the history of the city for locals and tourists alike.
There are few more scenic regions of the United States than Northern California. Meg and I spent 3 glorious days driving through and photographing the California Coastline, visiting Carmel and driving along Big Sur. As a mother, life doesn’t get much sweeter. As an amateur photographer, even my limited skills are bound to capture some of the beauty of the area.
This photograph of the bluffs, the water and the sky , is my favorite photograph from the trip.
Evening in Carmel has its own beauty. The softer colors of the sun and sky at dusk are worth experiencing.
The Green Lantern was a bed and breakfast located an easy walking distance from the ocean and the downtown restaurants. Definitely a great place for mother-daughter bonding.
From Sea to Shining Sea
Have a safe and happy Independence Day.
Say it isn’t so! Seriously, Meg just doesn’t have time for a birthday. She is way too busy saving the world. Her life is in constant motion, working on Deb’s exciting campaign, protecting the environment and in all ways using her energy to make the world better, happier and more fun.
Meg In Overdrive
Her life is in constant motion. Meg celebrates life, not just on her birthday, but everyday. When she has free time she loves to:
Photograph her beloved California coast.
Hike with Jake and their beloved greyhounds.
And search for “made in the USA” clothing.
On your special day, Meg, relax and reflect on the great year you have had and the great years to come.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!