Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lelie and Loulou Forever

There is no better friend than a sister.
And there is no better sister than you.
~Author Unknown


Picnik collage of Leslie and Angie



Happy Birthday Sister.


I sat here for 30 minutes trying to put into words what you mean to me. It’s not that I can’t come up with a thousand things about you that I love. (Okay, a thousand is a LOT to come up with, so I guess yeah, I can’t come up with that many. How about 100? What’s 1 zero?) It’s just that you are so much like me, yet so yourself, that I can’t explain our relationship to the world with just a few words.

So I’ll just say this.

On this special day, 40 years ago you were born. I didn’t come along until 2 years later, but I’ve loved and admired you since I could remember. I still want to be you when I grow up, m’kay?


I love you more than caramello gelato and my black kitten heals.


Love and birthday wishes,



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nebermind herself…

When my daughter was about 3 years old she spied her Daddy coming out of the shower. Questions were asked. When an answer was given, she loudly proclaimed, “No, I da peanut!!”  I’m sure you can figure out what question was asked.

This same daughter just turned 14 on Sunday. Fourteen!!!

Time has flown by and she has grown tall.  She no longer relies on me for everything, but still needs me.

I see so much of myself in her green eyes and brown hair. She has my chin and my sense of humor. She’s so smart and inquisitive, I sometimes feel inferior in her presence. Sometimes she even looks at me as if I am.

She’s a teenager, so that’s to be expected.  We’ve butted heads and yelled at each other.

We’ve hugged and cried together. We’ve comforted each other. We have a bond that a lot of Mom’s want with their daughters. Her friends think I’m cool and the best Mom ever. They might be on to something. The jury is still out.

She’s the type of person I want to be friends with. She makes me want to go out of my way to form a friendship with her and keep that friendship going. She has my heart.

She wants to move to Seattle when she graduates from high school and go to school there. My heart has already broken at the thought of her being so far away from me. Maybe by the time that comes to be, I’ll be ok with it.

Until then, she is mine to hug and comfort. To help grow into a fine woman who loves Jesus, people, kids, and owls. Who sings loudly in her room and laughs at her own jokes. Mine to fight for the spotlight with and put her ego in it’s place when need be. Mine to make sure she grows up to have a happy life. A job I am happy to have.

She’ll always be my baby girl. Happy Birthday Brenna! I love you more than shoes.




Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cuz her birthday is too bootylicious for you, babe.

Being the jealous type, I can’t let my Sister have the only birthday bucket list** for this year (see left sidebar for list and progress). So in honor of my bestest friend and Sister, I am going to list 38 things I’d like to accomplish before I turn 38, which is in 117 days.

photo (2)

  1. Read 20 17 decorating magazines.
  2. Eat pizza at least 7 6 4 times.
  3. Go to the bathroom ALONE 38 34 1 times.
  4. Eat an entire package of Oreos by myself and not gain a pound. Ok, it wasn’t an entire package. Just about 10.
  5. Shop at Wal-Mart Target Dollar Spot 10 5 times in honor of Debily. (Because if I shop 10 times at the Target, I’ll spend all my money.)
  6. Go to Utah for my Sister’s birthday.
  7. Read my Pioneer Woman Cookbook all the way through.
  8. Make buy and send 3 cards.
  9. Have lunch with 4 3 2 of my friends before October.
  10. Host a bible study in my house for 7 4 weeks.
  11. Make a red tie or a black vest for Lauren’s costume for A-Fest.
  12. Eat 3 2 pieces of cake. (A cupcake can count for cake)
  13. Buy 10 new songs from iTunes.
  14. Talk to my parents on Skype once a week until the end of the year.
  15. Hug my Sister 10 15 5 times. In person.
  16. See my Auntie Dana. In person!
  17. Sleep 702 697 655 hours between now and my birthday.
  18. Lose another 21 lbs or 320 319 oz. which ever comes first.
  19. Attend WW meetings every week.
  20. Make homemade bread.
  21. Cook dinner at least 6 5 nights a week. Cereal counts.
  22. Laugh until my stomach hurts.
  23. Eat at In and Out Burger and El Pollo Loco.
  24. Paint my bedroom.
  25. Paint the hallway.
  26. Paint the bathroom.
  27. Paint the boys room.
  28. Take 10 5 naps.
  29. Re-paint the Lady of Castile painting for over my bed.
  30. Blog every week.
  31. Finish blogging about my trip to Europe.
  32. Take each of my kids on a date.
  33. Fly in a plane. Again.
  34. Drink at least 10 9 frozen Dr. Pepper’s.
  35. Go out on 7 5 dates with my husband.
  36. Get a pedicure.
  37. Walk the boy to school 5 times (when the weather cools down) May be never at this point.
  38. Save $1000 dollars in the bank.

So there ya go! I wonder how many I can cross off my list by December 26th??

Love and buckets,


** This list is intended to be light hearted and playful. I am NOT making fun of my Sister and her terrific 40 before 40 list. I just didn’t have anything interesting to write about and even I don’t want to hear my own self complain anymore. Love you Sister!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

August: a month in review


I’ll just do a quick list with the good and not so good things that happened this month. It’s all been a giant jumble of one thing after another. I’m frankly surprised I’m still alive. (Dramatic much? Why yes, thank you.)


Good Stuff:

  • I made the most amazing brownies. They were topped with a cookie dough type frosting. I blogged about it here and there.
  • We watched a bunch of good movies. Old Dogs, Dear John, Shutter Island, and I’m sure there was one more, but I can’t remember because my brain melted in the triple digit temps we had this month.
  • I was able to get on a pair of bright turquoise leggings I bought back in March as my 20 lb. goal/reward. They looked pretty cute if I do say so myself.
  • Gelato. We discovered this place called Paciugo here in town. My favorite is the Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel! OMG, so good. Not as good as the caramelo we had in Italy, but a close second.
  • Cooked for Baseball Camp. It was fun but exhausting. I miss cooking in the kitchen at church, but don’t miss the aching that comes from it!
  • IKEA! The boys killed their bunk-bed, so we went and did a crazy thing by not only buying the girls (boys got the old bunk-bed that they can’t break) new beds and redecorating their room for Lauren, but we spent all weekend painting it! All this because we didn’t want to take apart the old bunk-bed and move it! Boy are we LAZY!
  • My Daddy came to visit us for a week! He bought us a new car battery! He bought the kids new school clothes and filled our fridge with food! He even took us bowling!! He put up with our shenanigans for 6 whole days. We enjoyed his visit. I’m not sure Penny was has happy to be here, but MJ sure was glad to see “his favorite dog”!
  • While my Dad was here, I cooked two pretty yummy meals. I learned my Mom’s recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken. It was so SO good. Then I made an awesome Lime marinated grilled steak. I was in love with the pineapple salsa. I may have considered leaving Jon for it. Then I changed my mind. Jon is a much better kisser.
  • I’ll put it here on the “good stuff” list, but really, it was just “ok stuff”. School Clothes shopping. ‘Nuff said.


Not so Good Stuff:

  • Car battery died. Over and over and over again.
  • Bunk-bed broke.
  • Paint fumes made me sick.
  • Eating 5 lbs of veggies made me sick in another way. Note to self: go easy on the veggies, your gut can’t take it.
  • Frustration with the boys. Back talk, defiance, and down right nastiness. I hope puberty doesn’t kill me.
  • Heat index. The most stifling, oppressive heat we’ve had in…well I guess a year. Triple digit temps for like 21 days + ( I lost count after 19) in a row. Our windows don’t keep the heat out and our air conditioner could only handle so much, so most days it was at least 80 in the house. I was kind of cranky.
  • My favorite KEEN sandals fell apart. (I guess I walked the heck out of them in Europe?) The sole started to come away and I returned them to REI for a refund. Turns out they don’t sell them anymore and the KEEN website has only one left in stock in my size and Zappos is also sold out in the size and color I wanted. I can still get another black pair, but they turn my feet black. Oh well. Live and learn.
  • Jon had/has to travel this month for work. Tomorrow he leaves for 5 more days. He has been gone 7 days so far. I’m all alone with the kids and some days I cried. No details necessary.
  • My wallet died from having to pay out money for school supplies. Good thing we like ramen noodles! Just kidding. We like hot dogs too.
  • I’ve had a tension headache for like 4 days now. I know it’s from like tension. What I don’t get is the chills and cold sweat, the pressure, and nausea. Sleep makes it better, but I can only do so much of that. Also, food and caffeine make it better for a while, but then it comes back. Hmm. Mystery.



I tried to keep the good to not so good ratio even. I don’t want my blog to be a place I bore people to death with my complaining. Everyone has times where they want to pull their hair out. This month was one of those months, but a lot has to do with finances.

Without the help of my parents, I don’t know where we would be. Thanks Mom and Dad! You mean more to me than all the money in the world! I’m so grateful for their love and support. I am truly blessed.

I hope next month will be better! It has to be, because we are celebrating 3 THREE birthdays this month! My precious Brenna will be 14 in exactly one week (OMG!) and my best friend/Sister  will be 29 (+11) in 10 days and I get to go see her for 5 days! I’m going to hug her a lot while I’m there. And then my youngest son and cutest (shhh don’t tell the others) will be 8!! Wasn’t he just born?

I have lots of cakes to buy and tables to decorate so they celebrate their special day. I can’t wait!


Love and cupcakes,



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It’s a Hard Rock Life

Long post ahead. Lots of pictures and lots of mouse scrolling.
**End Warning**

I’m sure I’m getting my days mixed up. I didn’t do so well keeping the pictures dated and in folders. I made the mistake of labeling all my downloaded photos each day, “Amsterdam 2010”. My computer, while smart didn’t sort them by day like I was expecting it to. How rude! I feel like my brain is aging at an accelerated rate because I can’t seem to remember what came next!!



Oh yeah! 

It’s all coming back to me now. It was the last day of the conference, workshop day; Wednesday. Dad and I didn’t have a whole lot to do, so we took a stroll to the Pharmacy and decided to explore a little.


038Remember all the bikes? Bike shops everywhere. I saw this beauty and really wanted one bad. It is the perfect color!

041I could buy some of these Hydrangea’s and carry them on the front of my perfect blue bike!



CIMG5898 Dad and I in front of one of the many canals. I thought we could just go around the corner and it would take us back to the hotel. No deal! It took us about a mile out of the way and so we took in the sights along our detour!



044I have no idea where we are, but it’s pretty no?


CIMG5909On our LONG journey back to the Hotel, we found the Aldi food market I saw on our way to the Hotel from the airport. I had no idea it was down the street this whole time! We giggled as we walked through the store, looking at all the familiar foods in Dutch packaging. I purchased some cashews and peanuts. It cost me less than 4 euro for both bags! You can’t buy cashews in the states for less than 4 dollars! I felt like I was getting away with something. Hee-hee!  

Back to the hotel to end our day, clean up and get ready for the Staff dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe! We were all going to take the tram over to the restaurant, but someone suggested it was closer to walk! OMG, more walking! I was kind of grumpy about the walking, but ended up leading the pack, so that was cool-yet sweaty.

It was farther than I thought, but the view was awesome. Lots of great buildings and architecture. Lots of people/tourists walking. It was very crowded on some of the streets!




A huge spread was waiting for us. Cocktails, appetizers, and several things to choose from on the menu. I think we all chose the steak for dinner! We were tired of fish!






We laughed, sang rock songs, and had a great time. Galen, Leslie’s boss and friend went around the room and thanked everyone for their hard work and service that week. At one point, (“Who the hell is Lisa?”) Dad had me laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face and Leslie’s friend Lindsey was looking at me with such concern. She thought I was emotionally distraught for some reason. NOPE! I was being a goon and laughing uncontrollably!  You can dress me up, but you can’t take me out!






Don’t we look like we’re having fun?? We were!!



I love this picture of my Dad. There is never a dull moment when we are together. Ok, well maybe there ARE dull moments, but even those are funny.





Here I am in front of the Hard Rock Entrance. 

(When I get done telling you all about each day of our trip, I’ll have to include the other pictures from each day in an album or something. This post would be boring long if I included all the pictures we took!)

We had a great time at dinner. I bought some souvenirs for the boys and my friend Natalie and we headed over to the I Amsterdam park to look at the huge sculpture.





We were all annoyed because the boy sitting on the “t” was jumping all around and getting in everyone’s picture! My Dad was I think the most annoyed. Then some guy who was totally high was asking everyone for money. It was a quick visit to the park! In Amsterdam you never know what or who to expect!




The Travelocity Gnome was a funny photo-op on the walk home. This was a bakery that was all dressed up for the World Cup and tucked among the brood (bread) was the gnome in a Dutch flag hat and orange shirt! Haha! It was so cute! Below is my attempt at “being” the gnome! Bah!




Leslie is pretty funny too! She didn’t even drink and look at her! She’s gone all wack-a-doo! This was a cool little cake shop/tea room called Cake Under My Pillow or in Dutch, “De Taart Van M’n Tante”. I loved it!





This picture was on the wall just on the sidewalk of the store. I think she has a cupcake on her head. Ooookay. Those wacky Dutch!090



There were tons of fun shops along the Ferdinand Bol Straat. We seemed to be walking forever and at one point I thought my legs were going to fall off, but we marched on!

The first picture is a re-sell shop of nothing but junky parts. I took it because it was a perfect example of Reverse Logistics and that’s what we were doing all week at the conference! We joked that we should put that on the RLA Website! Cute clothing shops with red polka dot shrugs, vintage Mickey Mouse record players and local stores decked out with World Cup fever! I think you can pretty much find anything you want in downtown Amsterdam!!

093 099092  091


This shop made us all laugh and use this line over and over.

I’ll translate for you: “Nieuwe Collectie Topmerken BROEKEN en JEANS 2 voor 35.=”


“New Collection! Top Marks, Broken in Jeans! 2 for 35. euro!”

Dad kept asking us if we wanted some broken jeans. It was funny. If you knew how the Dutch said broeken, it’d be even funnier. I think. Maybe it’s just me?




Our night ended with fun memories, sore feet and legs, and back where we started from; The Hotel Okura.


                                     Home Sweet Home away from Home.

Back to my remote controlled lights and curtains. Back to giggling and sleeping pills. Sort of like now, only my remote has two legs and is named Jon. But all the rest is still the same.



Next up: Amsterdam the country of Windmills and Cheese.

Sneak Peek:
Amsterdam 2010 037


Love and shin splints,



Monday, July 26, 2010

What’s that noise in my head?

I was sitting here at my computer this morning and I was musing about a few things.  Like…

  1. I can’t wait to see my collarbone. Sooner rather than later. I think I feel it-it’s getting closer to the surface, but still not fully visible.
  2. I’m sure Jesus will come before I see my hip bones. I’m just sayin’.
  3. Why does the store fool me into buying a four pack of yogurt that is supposed to be consumed 1 day after I buy it? I can’t eat 4 containers of yogurt in one day! Dumb me for not looking at the date. I was distracted ok?
  4. I wanted to make Cookie Dough Brownies the other night. I didn’t succumb to the craving. It was like the moon pulling in the tide… see what I mean?
    The recipe can be found here: Cookie Dough Brownies . I didn’t make them by the way, but oh how I wanted to!cookie dough brownies
  5. I have the next 5 days with only 2 children. Not sure what we’ll do. I want to feel completely lazy and do nothing, but I do that already. Maybe we’ll go bowling, go to the library, make brownies… Maybe a sudden urge to have them help me make dinner will come over me? I doubt it, but one can dream.
  6. We moved furniture around this weekend. Every 6 months or so, we move the stuff around so we can clean up under the couch and get a deep cleaning Well, not really for the cleaning benefit, but more for the “I’m bored of this layout and the kids are destroying stuff when it is like this” benefit. It’ll change again at Christmas to accommodate the tree and seating for the whole family.
    Jon used to hate it, now he just does it. I love my husband.
  7. My sunburn itches. You know that phase? About a week after a sunburn, it starts to get super dry and itchy?? Yeah, I’m there. It’s on the front of my legs, so I have the added bonus of hair growing thru the sun burnt skin. Yay me!
  8. Our neighbors house is up for sale. I am grateful that the previous owners are gone because they used to play loud music and park their gigantic truck inches millimeters away from our fence or park it of the street and block the view of traffic. It was a commercial vehicle parked in a residential neighborhood and it chapped my hide that they got away with it.
    However… what if the new neighbors are just as bad? What if they can see me sitting at my desk in front of the window in my pj’s and laugh?
    That so reminds me…I really need to put curtains up.
  9. I lost 1.2 lbs this week according to the scale at the gym. I must be crazy to put this out there, but here goes. 22 lbs lost. Lots more to go.
    angie at gymI’ll only brag a little bit on myself. That shirt? Used to be tight on me, like a sausage casing tight. I know, eww. Those workout pants? They have been my tried and true wear at anytime pants. You know the ones, when you are feeling fat, or feeling skinny. Well, they are baggy on me. Almost to the point of being ridiculous. So…I don’t feel like I look smaller, but my clothes are telling a different story. That’s all. I’m done bragging.  Thanks for listening. :o)
  10. I’ve been inspired by many people, but putting it all out there; that goes to my cousin Tricia. She is opening her life up to us and her struggle with weight. Go visit her at One Fat Chick’s Journey to Health.
  11. My Son, Dan is taking lunch orders, so I must go. I think I’m in for a treat. Maybe we’ll play restaurant?! I wonder if I’ll get a tip??

Until next time…

Love and dangly earrings,

angie transparent


Thursday, July 22, 2010

To Amsterdam with Love?

001I didn’t think it would be so easy and so hard. I forgot what it was like to say hello to people with a warm smile. I spend a lot of time at home by myself since the all the kids are in school, so I was looking forward to greeting new people everyday, especially in a new environment.

I didn’t know it would be so physically and emotionally hard to work the conference and expo with my Sister’s company.

Physically because I was up with the sun (not something I EVER do on purpose and the sun comes up in Amsterdam at 5am) and so tired by the end of the day (remember the sun going down at 10pm? yeah…).
Emotionally because I wanted to be a good worker bee, please my Sister and not embarrass her in front of her co-workers and boss, and also because I was away from my family. I have never been so far away from my husband and kids before. I did better than they did I think; I tried to be strong.

I only broke down once.


It was a long, long day of greeting, putting out fires, following directions, and fighting jet lag. I was out of patience and my body was done being brave. It hurt and I was exhausted. I lost my temper and lashed out, then broke down in tears up in the room. I missed my kids, I was tired, I was frustrated, and did I mention I was tired? I really tried to keep the complaining down to a minimum. I think I did a pretty good job. Except that one day. I got the emotions out and had a good cry. I may have freaked my Dad out a little, but he knows how I am. He’s known me a LONG time! Once I let it all out, I’m good. Reset. Move on.

I think I am more connected to my Sister than we both realize because I could feel her tension and frustration. It was palpable. She warned both my Dad and I that until the 17th of June, she was NOT going to make decisions about where to eat or what activities to do until AFTER we got to Florence where she was officially on vacation.

She kept her word. Let’s just say, between the 3 of us not wanting to make a decision, we might have walked around in circles looking for dinner a few times. I’ll never tell.


amsterdam mosaic dinner

It felt like we didn’t eat many places, so I don’t know why my pants were tight.
From right to left: McDonalds, Hard Rock Cafe, Sicilia Pizza,
Argentinean Grill, Room Service, Sicilia Pizza


We ate breakfast in one of the restaurants downstairs. They had a breakfast buffet. It was different. Most mornings, I had cheese, a soft boiled egg, and bacon. I tried their yogurt. Um…it was sour. I snuck a couple of bags of chocolate granola out during our stay. I still have one, but I haven’t tried to eat it yet. I think it’s stale now.
Room service was nice. We all ordered Wagyu Beef burgers and fries. It was a delicious burger! Like Kobe beef, very tender and expensive! The second time we ordered in Room Service, Dad and I went back up to our room completely exhausted and ordered two Chicken Caesar Salads; Okura Style. They were unlike anything I’ve had before. Soft boiled egg on top of romain lettuce and “rocket” salad, with chicken. There was barely any dressing. It tasted good, but was weird.

Both times they sent up the cart, it was draped in linens, with sterling silverware and a sterling silver ice bucket. I felt like royalty.  Each time there was a flower arrangement on the cart.  Orange Gerbera daisies the first time and these gorgeous roses the second time! I kept both arrangements next to my bed. How could I resist?

amsterdam and italy 022 

In addition to the flowers, I also got shin splints. We did a lot of walking. Everywhere.


Next time I’ll tell you about where we walked, until then…


Love and windmills,



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Because I’m unoriginal…

If my Sister can direct her readers here so she doesn’t have to blog about our trip, then I can steal her random confessions and put some of my strange thoughts on “paper”. So here goes…


  • I really want a pair of cowboy boots. To wear with a cute little dress like this one below. (Except I want to wear mine with a chunky coral necklace and maybe a leather belt. Who knows, I’ll be skinny then, so I could totally pull it off!) So cute huh??


                 image         image
                        via Mighty Girl                                                 via Chictopia

  • I really need to hang up some curtains in  my craft room/playroom/office/crap holder. The sun is just brutal in the mornings and I want to hang a flag banner I bought in Amsterdam. The one I want to hang is polka dots, but I have this one too:



  • I am completely out of nail polish remover, so I am one of those women who I look at and think, “Goodness girl, ever heard of a manicure?!” ( I don’t really think that about other women, just myself. Anyone want to get me a manicure for my anniversary? Inquire here. )
  • I told you they were random thoughts!
  • I have lost 22.6 lbs since I started my get healthy journey in March. I celebrated on Facebook with all my friends and family, but I came to realize that losing over twenty pounds means my jeans look HECKA better on me than ever! I don’t have that post baby (yes I know my youngest is almost 8, but it’s still a fact!) tummy hang over anymore! (at least when I’m standing and isn’t that what’s important here people?)
  • I like to use a lot of parenthesis to emphasize rationalize my weird and random thoughts. Don’t judge.
  • I really dislike when I insert a picture on my blog, live writer decides that I can’t make a numbered list anymore and starts my next entry at 1. again. Grrr…then I have to put it in bullet form. A techno geek I am not. Guess I don’t care that much or else I would know how to get around that. (Should that have gone in parenthesis?) Parenthesis paranoia, it’s real. Look it up.
  • I really love mashed potatoes. I’m serious. I don’t eat a lot of desserts (hard to believe I know, as much as I talk about chocolate) but I could eat me a whole bucket of mashed taters. In fact  I ate the last of the mashed potatoes tonight for dinner. I am sad.
  • When ever I look over at my box of HAPPYDENT gum that I got in Florence, I smile. It’s all in Italian, I love that.  And it’s supposed to make my teeth white, but in Italian.
  • I want to write notes to people. Thank you notes. Not sure what I want to thank everyone for, but I’ll come up with something. Send me your address and I’ll thank you. For sending me your address, but with a card. Deep no?
  • After two weeks of recovering from two weeks of walking EVERYWHERE, I think I’m ready to get back in the gym. (Mom if you are reading this, you may or may not have had an influence on my decision. I’m just sayin’, maybe it was you telling me to get my ass to the gym, maybe not. I’ll never tell. ;o) )
  • I bought stuff to make chocolate chip cookies. I may or may not eat any. I’ll never tell.
  • I have no idea what I will do with myself for 6 whole hours a day for 5 WHOLE days next week during the kids Mission Kids Day Camp. Any suggestions? Anyone who mentions going to the gym will be asked to leave the premises immediately! NO BLOG FOR YOU!
  • I read my Oprah magazine cover to cover and enjoyed an hour and a half of “me” time. I was only interrupted 7 times. That’s a new worlds record for least number of buggings during “me” time. Good job kids! Mama feels brand new.
  • I want to make some cards (maybe thank you notes) but I’m out of adhesive. You’re welcome, I knew you wanted to know that. Feel free to send me some. I like the Hermafix brand.

imageThanks for playing along. This concludes the random thoughts/confessions portion of the blog. Please stay tuned for the next episode of The Harms Family Globetrotters, coming to any day now. I must go eat some chocolate chips.  Or not.





Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When I last checked in with you, I was coming to you live from the air!! In a plane! Over Canada/the Atlantic somewhere…


in the plane


That plane ride was seriously the longest I’ve ever been in a seat, but we made it safe and sound and touched down in Amsterdam at 7:45am. That’s a 7 hour difference between Texas and there. It was 12:45am at home! Just about the time I would be going to bed.


I mentioned breakfast (that was pretty lame and tasted worse the “second” time I tasted it if you know what I mean) on the plane. We were not impressed, but I think they were just ready to get us off the plane and on our way.


We made it to baggage claim and gathered all our bags, hit the bathrooms (which had orange toilet paper! I thought that was pretty darn weird, so I took a picture of it. Later I was told it was because of the World Cup and Holland’s color is orange) Imported Photos 00060


and after going through customs, we headed out to the “mall” area of the airport. These aren’t even a tiny portion of what is there. I snapped these two photos as we were walking out to the taxi’s. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I wanted to go shopping!


 Imported Photos 00008Imported Photos 00006


Out side of the Schiphol Airport is a whole network of transportation. Buses, taxi’s, and cars picking up and taking you anywhere you need to go.

 Imported Photos 00014amsterdam day 1 00015

Below Dad and I as we all met at our gate in Detroit. Fresh as a daisy! Ready to fly the friendly skies! The next picture is in the taxi in Amsterdam, a little worse for wear! Nine hours in a plane will do that to you!!

CIMG3791         Imported Photos 00024


We found our taxi and all piled in! It was a weird van ride to the hotel. We must have taken the scenic route because we went through a lot of trees, and lots of canals. After we took a bunch of strange turns and I saw an ALDI grocery store near our Hotel, we arrived!



Dad and I shared a room on the 7th floor. It was a suite that had 2 twin beds and a sitting area with windows on each wall. The curtains and lights were controlled by a remote, so you didn’t have to get out of bed to turn off the lights. It was all very fancy-schmancy! I felt like a celebrity (because deep down inside you know I am- in my own fantasy world)!


amsterdam and italy 023


Here is the view from our room. Gorgeous canal view with rooftops as far as the eye can see. It was really cool to look out at the people riding their bikes and boats along the canal. The whole time we were there the cottonwood trees were releasing their seeds and it was flying through the air like snowflakes! It was quite a strange site!


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After we got settled in our rooms, we went downstairs to view and coordinate the set up for the Conference/Trade Show with Reverse Logistics Associations (who so graciously allowed my Dad and I to be a World Travelers with their company).

We walked down Ferdinand Bol Straat (straat is dutch for street) and took a look around the local neighborhood. Most of the shops were closed. They close at 6pm daily and all day Sunday. The sun rises at 5:15am and sets just after 10pm there, so needless to day, my body was sure turned around as far as when to wake up and especially when to eat!  This night we found a Sicilian Pizza place and had a great meal.

Here, Dad, Leslie, and I are posing in front of the canal by our Hotel. It was about 7 or 8pm at night. Crazy huh? It’s still light outside!!


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Here is a horrible google map street view of the restaurant we found for dinner. I didn’t really know it’s name and I don’t think it does either. So we’ll call it Sicilia, the Pizza Place. They were sort of friendly and the food was really good. Cheap too. Only 34 Euro for dinner.


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In Europe, if you want a Diet Coke, you have to ask for a Coca Cola LIGHT. If you say Diet Coke, they look at you strange. Everything in Amsterdam came in tiny wee glass bottles. I loved the little drinking glasses. They were so European! (I’m a dork, I know!)

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Here are the three of us waiting patiently on our Italian dinner. I guess we couldn’t wait to get to Italy to have Italian food! I had a pasta dish with anchovies and capers in it (which didn’t taste anything like it had anchovies in it, but whatever, it was good), Leslie had tortellini with pesto cream sauce, and Dad had a prosciutto and anchovy pizza I think. I was so tired I forgot to take pictures! But I got pictures of my two favorite traveling companions!

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We enjoyed our dinner, stuffed ourselves silly, and had a nice walk back to the Hotel. Fascinated by all the canals, I stopped to take one last picture before heading back to our room. It’s 9:30pm here and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was 4 in the afternoon! What a mind bend! Lovely view though, don’t you think?


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All in all, we had a good but long day of travel. This was the start of a hard week of work and tension, but one experience I wouldn’t have traded for anything. I knew this was going to be a vacation of a lifetime!



Stay tuned for the upcoming installments of The Harms Family Globetrotters take on Europe!



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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I never do anything in order so this should be fun!

angie behind tree

Peek-a-boo!! It’s me again! Did you miss me?

I wanted to warn all 4 of my readers that for the next couple of weeks or so, I’m going to chronologically blog about my trip. I’ve left the flying to Amsterdam post up much to the chagrin of my readers (all 4 of you!) so that I could organize, gather my thought, and really give good detailed posts about my wonderful vacation. I’m currently going through vacay withdrawl and feel like my Dad and my Sister, a little depressed that it’s all over with and that it didn’t last longer. I’m not assuming I’ll get to go again next year, but it would be more than cool to be able to experience more of Europe and the new adventures it brings!

Stay tuned for some really long winded, picture laden, laugh yourself silly blog posts from me because we sure did have fun creating the memories!


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