Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Amsterdam and Thanksgiving x2

Friday's weather was not much better than Wednesday's. It was so cold that the field was beginning to freeze. The men's team was generous enough to end their practice a bit early so that we could still get some time on the field. We only got in about an hour and a bit of scrimmaging. It was nice to be done a bit early though because I headed off to Amsterdam with a few of my teammates post-practice. I stayed with Lauren Powley Friday night and it was nice to do a little catching up and story-swapping of our Dutch encounters! Saturday morning, Powley showed me around the markets which I love because you can always find cheap things! We stopped to get freshly squeezed juice, delicious ham sandwiches, and even better warm poffertjes! We were going to bike around the canal streets, but it was just so darn cold, so we just stopped in a café and got hot chocolates instead!

Later in the afternoon I got a chance to meet up with Kim and 2 of our former teammates at Wake Forest! Liza, who is currently a senior, was visiting Kim for her Thanksgiving break and Hilary was Kim’s year, and is currently au pairing and playing hockey as well in Belgium. I hadn’t seen either of them since earlier in the year (in March I believe it was) so it was great to catch up and explore a bit of Amsterdam together. I ended up leaving a bit early though because I had to catch a train back to Den Haag for a belated Thanksgiving dinner celebration!!


Although I did not get to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday, I did get to have a celebration on Saturday. One of my teammates graciously invited me to her neighbor’s house for dinner. The mother of the family is from America and they have a huge Thanksgiving dinner every year. They always do it on a Saturday because it is too difficult to get everything prepared on a Thursday here in Holland when everyone still has to work since they don't celebrate the holiday here. As all 20+ people gathered around the 20 pound turkey, we had lots of nationalities represented; not only Americans, but Dutch, Canadians, and Kiwis all joined the party. As the turkey was being cut, the cranberries, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn bread, and pies were all being placed around the table. The meal was set, and of course I had to try a little bit of everything! The spread was delicious and included all the dishes I enjoy at home! It was a great way to give thanks with some great people. It was also fun to introduce Thanksgiving and its traditions to a few of the new people attending. The best part though had to be the pie!! There were multiple apple pies, pecan pie, and of course pumpkin pie!!! You can't find pumpkin pie here in the Netherlands, so a lot of people got their first taste! It was delicious!

Fortunately, I live 2 blocks from their house because I could barely move after dinner! (As it should be on Thanksgiving!!!) I cannot be grateful enough for this family opening up their home to me and the many others to celebrate the holiday with them. They put a lot of work into hosting such a wonderful meal and made Thanksgiving fabulous for a lot of people. The whole night, the people and the food (and a little college football on ESPNAmerica!), was just what I needed. I was starting to miss home as the holiday season approaches, but I know I have met some amazing people here and will miss them as well once I do get back to the States.

So, for the last 2 weeks that I am here, I am going to enjoy it! I know it will go by so quickly and I'm going to make the most of it!

The Thanksgiving spread!

My plate :)

A bunch of us at Thanksgiving dinner

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