Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meet the Parents

Meet the Parents: The Pardo Invasion has officially ended....sadly though. It was great to have family close by. Having the close contact is so nice and being able to make long conversations that don't have to take place over the phone. It's really great. Showing my family all of the places and people I've been talking and blogging about in person was special. I think my parents are more at ease now knowing where I live and that Jaap and I are happy together here in Maastricht.
When the family returned from Bruges we had a nice relaxing weekend planned. One of my favorite things to do in Maastricht is go to Markt on Friday mornings. Even if I don't buy anything I like to walk around look at the flowers, food, and clothing. I took the family there knowing they would be able to buy lots of Dutch goodies to take home. Lots of things to see at the market and we could have spent much more time there, but it was time to visit the Jansens! 
It's a rare moment to have the Pardos and the Jansens in the same house, let alone the same country. Our parents have met once before in New York and now we got to meet at their home. Trees and Jan hosted a beautiful day for us in Oirschot. 
My mother quilted placemats for the Jansens and they came out beautifully. I can't wait until we get ours. :)
First a delicious lunch at the Jansen home complete with Jaap showing my family parts of his Muppets collection, which was especially enjoyed by my mother.
Afterwards, we were lucky to have a private tour of the cathedral in town. Thank you so much to Trees and Jan for arranging everything. 
The Oirschot tour continued with a visit to another chapel and other Dutch things including an old water mill, a break for tea, and an old windmill. Here is a picture of everyone sitting at an Oirschot landmark. In the evening, we went out for dinner with the entire family and het was gezelligDank je wel Trees and Jan! We had such a special visit with everyone thanks to you.

Back to Maastricht....We could not have asked for better weather. Warm, sunny, and blue skies. For a minute I thought that we weren't in the Netherlands! One of my favorite places in Maastricht is walking around the old fortifications. First stop...Helpoort. Did you know it's the oldest city gate in the Netherlands? 
Next: Bisschopsmolen along the Jeker river...the oldest working water mill in Maastricht. The attached bakery has been around since the 15th century and they sell pastries that are out of this world. Of course we stopped for a quick munch. Lekker alert! After our snack break, we went for a relaxing visit at Onze Lieve Vrouwe basilica.
A quick stroll around the Vrijthof, St. Servaas, and St. Janskerk...

Pop admiring the sites...
Uncle Angel and Titi Vivian pose for the shot...
And off to Eijsden...
Eijsden Castle. That's Aunt Carol all the way in the lower right hand corner.
Exploring the gardens...
Pop admiring the water works...
Pop admiring the doors...
Lunch and beer in Mheer.
The final day of the Pardo/Dalrymple vacation was spent in Clermont, Belgium not far from Liege. Sunday was a special day and I'm happy that I was able to come along and share it with my family. 
My Uncle Vinny's father, Vincent Dalrymple, fought and passed away in the Ardennes region during World War II. He is buried very close to Liege in the Ardennes American Cemetary and Memorial. Being that my uncle was only nine months old when his father passed away learning more about his family's history is very important to him, as well as honoring World War II veterans for their service. It was recommended to my uncle that he visit the Remember Museum in Clermont. I'm grateful that I was able to come along for this trip. We spent several hours at the Museum with one of the curator's, Mathilde Schmetz who told incredible stories of survivors, war heros, and the effects of the war and living in an occupied  country. We could have stayed there all day and listened. The history and memories this museum holds is powerful. Thank you to our tour guide Mathilde who opened her home to us.
Afterwards we visited Uncle Vinny's father at the Ardennes American Cemetary. I'm glad we were able to pay our respects. Thank you Uncle Vinny for sharing this special day with us. 
The Pardo/Dalrymple tour of Limburg, Belgium, and Paris 2011 has officially ended. Until next time, whenever that will be. And in true Chris Pardo fashion, Bye bye--Buy bonds! Tot volgende keer!

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