A Random Day in The Netherlands

Today we took a boating trip through the Delta of the Ijsslel (ice•o) river. It was one of our free days today and it was a completely random trip, but the scenery was beyond beautiful. We left Meppel at about 12:30 because we all had a long day in Amsterdam the day before. We arrived a half an hour later, driving through a town in the country (I can’t pronounce what my professor said). Here the houses are bigger, the land is bigger and the scenery is still amazingly beautiful. Because our professor is from The Netherlands he knew all the places to go. This place was very low key, it was for people that knew this existed; and for some it’s a place to escape and get away from the hustle and bustle of the crazy city noise. This place is known as the “Venice of the North”, with waterways that connect to every house in the neighborhood, and boating ports at every “driveway”. It took us about an hour by boat to cruise around the perimeter of the town of Giethoorn (key•tor•en). It was soothing, serene and silent. 
After our boat trip we went on a mad hunt to find a French fry place. I’m not sure who had this idea but it was a good one! Their fries are amazing. We also visited the grocery store and it was so different than ours. It was literally like we went on a class field trip to the grocery store. Everything was so foreign haha I didn’t understand what anything was except by the pictures. 

We were in for the night after the grocery store. It was a typical Dutch meal for dinner this evening. French onion soup, potatoes, peas and carrots, one giant meatball, applesauce and for dessert a waffle and ice cream with cherries on top. After dinner I watched The Notebook on my iPad and then decided that we should take a walk through the park that was across the street from our place. One of my roommates walked back to go read her book and Amanda and I decided to walk into town because we were bored. We spent like 3 hours sitting by the bridge off the canal just people watching and talking about our goals and life after we graduate school. It was nice for a change to just to stop and breathe, enjoy the different scenery and appreciate life for a minute. After a few hours it got dark, and it was about midnight so we headed back. Our professor was waiting for us, he said he thought he would have to send a search team to find us. But we were okay. We just wanted to escape…

-KBoundsLife 

           

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The Dam Adventure

Amsterdam Trip #2 
We got to sleep in this morning … Hooray!

I woke up at about 8:00 am, made my way down the hall to breakfast which consisted of bread, cheese, meat and an Oj, “Koffee”, or “Thee”. After breakfast I threw on some clothes to go with my roommate to the phone store because apparently they ripped her off (whoops). We let our professor know that we were headed to town (downtown Meppel) before heading to The Dam and he told us he was going with us because he didn’t want them to rip her off further. So we got there and we’re currently sitting in the car waiting for it to open. 

Now we’re headed back to the hotel to get the others to go to Amsterdam for the day (again). 

We’re in Amsterdam !!! 

Basically Amsterdam is a foreign version of New York, it’s busy, buzzing and booming ! There are shops and people everywhere it’s a lot to see, it’s a lot to do, it’s the place to be! It has beautiful canals running through the city so it’s very scenic. I love it here. We went to all the shops, picking up gifts and souvenirs. Also, they have these freshly made Belgium waffles that they make and mine was a piece of heaven in a bite-sized piece. I feel like I couldn’t live here in Europe though, it’s not really for me. I think it’s too expensive and only should be for once-in-a-while visits or a treat for yourself. It’s a very different way of living to get used to, it’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just realllyyy different. It’s weird you know … going to a place where people can smoke weed and have sexual intercourse with prostitutes who advertise themselves on the streets. That’s the weirdest of them all! 

We went through HELL to get a train ticket back to Meppel (where we stay). The machines were weird for buying our train tickets; the machine wouldn’t accept my card or any of my peers’ cards either. Then we tried to get coins because it only accepted coins or cards and that didn’t work either. Then, we finally found out we can pay in cash, but we had to go on the other side of the train station to pay and then walk all the way back to catch the train.. All within 5 minutes ! Lol but we made it! It was a great day with a great group of people. And that was our Adventure in “The Dam” for the day.
-KBoundsLife 

                   

Vlieland Island Adventure

Day 3 Wake up call at 6:30 am (shoot me now)

My body is sooo confused at this point !

But I’ll be okay.

So today we are headed to the island of Vlieland.

We got to the Ferry station at 8:30. I have to say I’ve never seen so many people that are so fashionable in one place. The kids are even fashionable !!! Clothes that I would wear out on the town, maybe to try to impress a boy, were the same types of clothes that the natives wore on an everyday basis. I love it ! 

We boarded the ferry and right away we all find a seat on the top deck near the railings so we can see everything. When we settle down, we notice 3 tall teenage blonde Dutch girls are singing. It was the Phineas and Ferb song haha…in DUTCH!! How cool was that? I was sure it sounded familiar. What they don’t know is how awesome they sound speaking and singing in Dutch. It’s something so simple to us all… Our own language and culture. And when they take a pic of themselves, they scream, “Selfie !” I know it sounds stupid, but when you’re in another environment that’s new to you with different ways of life and a different language everything impresses you. Literally EVERYTHING! I’m most impressed with how tall and slender the Dutch are, especially the amount of alcohol they consume. 

After the ferry arrived we were finally on the island of Vlieland; we walked from the ferry to the city council office where there was a presentation for us by one of the city council people. I found out that more than 90% of the income the island makes is from tourism that occurs year-round. The population is 1,100 in Vlieland. At the age of 12 kids usually move off of the island to attend a higher educational institution. The religion here is mostly “free lance”. 40 of 1,100 people practice Christianity. 

Come to find out there is only 1 policeman for the whole island, and usually in the summer when most of the tourists come they may have 2 or three policemen. 

After the presentation we had until 5:00 until our Ferry came back to pick us up. That was practically 5 hours of riding bikes through the town on the island and visiting the shops of local Vlielanders. Of course I run across a pancake place that puts every and anything you want inside of a pancake… Yummy! I also ran across a place that sells hammocks and sure enough I tried to sit in it and it fell from the roof and broke. (A bunch of Dutch kids were laughing at me) lol I thought it was funny because of course it would be me !!! I like this island though, it’s really peaceful as I sit and people watch while I eat my pancakes.

Then of course after our time was up, we headed back to the Ferry and still had an hour ride back our Meppel House. We got back to the house and had bikers and old people there having a grand time. There was a 90th birthday party and the biggest motorcycle event happening on Saturday (tomorrow) so everyone was gathered at our “hotel” when we got back from our trip. By the time dinner was served the old people cleared out and the bikers where just where they were. For dinner tonight was a Malaysian dish (pictured below) with a nice peanut sauce drizzled on the top and Pistachio & Strawberry ice cream for dessert. I’m not one to try different foods, BUT it was GREAT!! I absolutely am proud of myself for trying something new, and the fact that it was actually tasty was shocking. 
Welp… Now I have the itis ! You know what that means. BEDTIME ! 
-KBoundsLife 

Day 2 …

*Day 2 is really day 3 because day 1 was spent all day traveling*
But .. Anywho Day 2 we are back at it again. Zwolle (swole•ah) is where we are headed on this fine day, leaving out at about 8:30. I woke up and felt terrible, headache, queasiness and all. The freeways were absolute chaos, we were in the middle of morning rush hour, everybody seemed to be leaving Meppel to head toward Zwolle. 

I notice that here the plates have no tags and the speed limits are digitally changed according to the flow of traffic. (So sweet !!)

What’s even more interesting to me is that I learned that schooling is free and so is healthcare. Taxes are super high but the roads are always kept nice and your health is is in good hands. My professor (Wagendorp) said that income tax can be up to 71% if in fact you make a 7 figure salary. And 21% in taxes are paid on non-perishable items. 

But he says that if you buy an item here, a diamond ring for example, you can take it to a place where they refund you the 21% back if you aren’t, in fact, from EU. 

And everybody here has a bike, scooter and/or a motorcycle !! And, not only that, everyone pretty much has a really nice vehicle (usually a car). I find it kind of weird that pretty much everyone drives a car and not a crossover or jeep, or truck. The roads are so narrow here! But the cool thing is they have a separate pathway for pedestrians and a separate pathway for scooters and bikes.

We went to Kampen next, to the city hall. Where the town is so cute, so bright and fun! There are little shops and food stands that reminds me of that little town named Dulac off of the Shrek movie. Here in Kampen, We got a chance to meet the counselor, (the Mayor’s right hand man is what they call him). 

We took a tour of urban land and new environmental developments, as well as the dikes, which are structured installments that keep the country from being submerged underwater. In addition to that, we got a presentation along the way and took a closer look into the farmland that Kampen has to offer. Also, new innovative infrastructure ideas were presented to us, they showed us exactly what will be built in the near future. 
After the tour we got back to sweet ol Meppel Inn. Dinner on the menu for the night was marinated baked barbecue chicken, baked potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and yogurt with fruit for desert (of course I got ice cream later that night). After dinner Amanda, Marissa and I went to do some exploring of our own. We went through the town to talk to some natives, check out some shops, restaurants and cafès. We got weird stares, but not much more weird than the stares I receive from people in Grand Rapids. Some were really nice to us. There was one guy who spoke Arabic, Spanish, Dutch and English! He was from Iraq originally, but came to The Netherlands. He said “Look on tv that’s where you’re from!” We all looked at the tv and it was some news clip about England. We were like, “We’re from the States!” And his face just lit up, “The United States of A F*ckin Merica!?” Haha he was either shocked that 1. We were so nice or 2. That we came there of all places in the world to come. I wasn’t sure. All in all it was a good and productive day. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s adventure has in store for us.

**Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that people can be a bit rude (I learned that quickly), so one of our guides said we had to be rude first ! Lol it actually works**
-KBoundsLife  

                   

Day 2 …

Day 2 …*Day 2 is really day 3 because day 1 was spent all day traveling*

But .. Anywho Day 2 we are back at it again. Zwolle (swole•ah) is where we are headed on this fine day, leaving out at about 8:30. I woke up and felt terrible, headache, queasiness and all. The freeways were absolute chaos, we were in the middle of morning rush hour, everybody seemed to be leaving Meppel to head toward Zwolle. 

I notice that here the plates have no tags and the speed limits are digitally changed according to the flow of traffic. (So sweet !!)

What’s even more interesting to me is that I learned that schooling is free and so is healthcare. Taxes are super high but the roads are always kept nice and your health is is in good hands. My professor (Wagendorp) said that income tax can be up to 71% if in fact you make a 7 figure salary. And 21% in taxes are paid on non-perishable items. 

But he says that if you buy an item here, a diamond ring for example, you can take it to a place where they refund you the 21% back if you aren’t, in fact, from EU. 

And everybody here has a bike, scooter and/or a motorcycle !! And, not only that, everyone pretty much has a really nice vehicle (usually a car). I find it kind of weird that pretty much everyone drives a car and not a crossover or jeep, or truck. The roads are so narrow here! But the cool thing is they have a separate pathway for pedestrians and a separate pathway for scooters and bikes.

We went to Kampen next, to the city hall. Where the town is so cute, so bright and fun! There are little shops and food stands that reminds me of that little town named Dulac off of the Shrek movie. Here in Kampen, We got a chance to meet the counselor, (the Mayor’s right hand man is what they call him). 

We took a tour of urban land and new environmental developments, as well as the dikes, which are structured installments that keep the country from being submerged underwater. In addition to that, we got a presentation along the way and took a closer look into the farmland that Kampen has to offer. Also, new innovative infrastructure ideas were presented to us, they showed us exactly what will be built in the near future. 
After the tour we got back to sweet ol Meppel Inn. Dinner on the menu for the night was marinated baked barbecue chicken, baked potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and yogurt with fruit for desert (of course I got ice cream later that night). After dinner Amanda, Marissa and I went to do some exploring of our own. We went through the town to talk to some natives, check out some shops, restaurants and cafès. We got weird stares, but not much more weird than the stares I receive from people in Grand Rapids. Some were really nice to us. There was one guy who spoke Arabic, Spanish, Dutch and English! He was from Iraq originally, but came to The Netherlands. He said “Look on tv that’s where you’re from!” We all looked at the tv and it was some news clip about England. We were like, “We’re from the States!” And his face just lit up, “The United States of A F*ckin Merica!?” Haha he was either shocked that 1. We were so nice or 2. That we came there of all places in the world to come. I wasn’t sure. All in all it was a good and productive day. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s adventure has in store for us.

**Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that people can be a bit rude (I learned that quickly), so one of our guides said we had to be rude first ! Lol it actually works**

-KBoundsLife  

     

            

Day 1 – The Netherlands

Wake up- 0800 hours Shower ✅
Brush teeth ✅

Breakfast .. (Still working on that)

Travel Monkey ✅

Luggage ready to go !

Leave the house – 1000 hours 

Report to Gerald R. Ford International Airport – 1100 hours 

Get tickets ✅

Breakfast ??? (Still working on that)

Call mom and dad ✅

***By the way … At this point it is 11:49 and we have only checked our bags!!! We’re waiting for another person with our group. The professor said to be here at 11:00!!! We still need to go through security and I still need breakfast ! ***

Okay finally it’s 12:03 and he shows up …(he still has to stand in the line to check his bag)

I need breakfast … Like now ! ✅

Up and away – 1:37 

On our way to Detroit ✅

Detroit to Amsterdam (took forever)

Arrive in Amsterdam at 5:00 am their time (11:00 pm our time) 

I feel sort of like I’m sleep deprived at this moment. But they’re just getting started with their day, or should I say we’re just getting started with our day. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane. I played a hand full of Bejeweled games and watched about 3 movies and a tv show. Worried about this guy sitting next to me because I feel like he’s an Air Marshal. I’m wayyyy too scared to ask him though. But deep inside something tells me he’s secretly a bad ass ! I think I could also be making stuff up in my head because I tend to hallucinate when I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I should have. Ohh well I’ll never know. 

I’ve been informed that we won’t be going to the hotel right away, we will actually be exploring Amsterdam as soon as we step foot into the Dutch soil. That’s perfect because my legs are sweating to the point that I feel as if my leggings were painted on, and now they’re slightly melting off of my body. 

5:07 am we arrived in Amsterdam.

From there on out it was NON STOP!

We walked off the plane and walked as a group to the car rental to get our vans. Man it looked like we stepped into the future ! Amsterdam’s airport was silver and futuristic from their chairs to the refrigerators in every store. Everyone looked oh so different, but everyone spoke Dutch. It was annoying, I thought I would see an American and then they spoke blahhh (that’s how it sounded). 

After getting the vans we drove to the city, went to Starbucks to meet our tour guides at the Central Station and headed to see everything there was to see in the city. We visited prostitutes in the Red Light District, which I tried to take a selfie with one of the women, but quickly found out she wasn’t too fond of that (LOL!) Weed plants growing in the windows of shops, cannabis being sold like lollipops at a candy store and bongs being displayed like liquor bottles were something that takes some getting use to.We walked to see Anne Frank’s House, got a boat tour of the canals (which I fell asleep on) and went to the top of the library to feel like we were on top of the world. 

The day was far from over ! We still had a 2 hour drive to Meppel’s (which our house was at). I slipped into a coma after being deprived of sleep, and not being able to sleep on the plane at all. When we arrived to Meppel’s we explored the town and now I’m calling it a night, and a very long day!

*At this point I feel like I’ve done 4 days worth of activities all in 1 day.*

-KBoundsLife 

   
             

T minus 1 Day til The Netherlands 

So meet my roomie for The Netherlands 🙂  Her name is Amanda ! We have one more day left and I can’t even believe it ! We’ve been looking up possible places to visit and stay for the weekend in Paris (typical girls right!?) I’m so anxious but excited and nervous and everything all in one! Right now we’re making sure our outfits are all in order and iPads are charged! I soooo hope I didn’t miss anything. It would be just my luck if I were to forget my charger or deodorant (wait …let me triple check). 

While I’m sitting at the counter taking all of this last-day stuff in, Amanda’s cooking up some Alfredo pasta… and me, I’m just in disbelief that I’ll be out of the country in less than 24 hours. You know that moment when you realize that you have no complaints in the world and God really blessed you with great people and even better opportunities ???That’s that moment for me. I feel like this opportunity is so awesome that it’s too awesome for my life, it’s unreal.

Enough rambling now … It’s bedtime !!! 

Nighty nighty my loves

-KBoundsLife    

T minus 2 Days til The Netherlands

So I’m sitting outside on the patio next to my mom enjoying the weather that God blessed us with and I can’t stop thinking about my trip.  Still have many things to do: I must must must get a mani and pedi, I have to figure out my flight information, I have to figure out how I’m getting to the airport… But most importantly I HAVE to finish packing for the trip. I guess I’m a bit of a pocrastinator! Anyways, never mind all of that stuff because it must get done !!! Two more days and I’ll be out of here. Adios ! What will I be doing first ? Am I going to sleep on the plane or watch movies all the way there? I hope my roommate doesn’t kill me in my sleep (joking but not joking). So many things running through the my mind. Should I visit London, Paris or Berlin? Where do I stay if we have a free weekend ? What are the dos and do nots there? What should I pack in my luggage !? I’m an anxious ball of bubbly personality just waiting to explore the other side of the world. 

-KBoundsLife