Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alaaf til you drop: Part II in Maastricht

Carnaval in Maastricht was a blast, but I'm glad it's over! Day into night partying takes a lot out of you. Year 2 in Maastricht and I still love this lively celebration. The costumes, bad music, and happy people in the streets. It's all good fun. I can't believe how much time and effort people put into their costumes. Bright colors, huge hats, headpieces, face painting, costumes that light up or stand 5 feet in the air! It's always fun to see the creativity. 
Here is one of my favorites. I saw them last year, so it's gotta be an annual tradition. A group of people made costumes that replicate some "Carnaval" artwork that's publicly displayed in the Vrijthof. 
One of my favorite costumes
Actual artwork in the Vrijthof
The Mooswief
Despite the bad weather which included: snow, hail, and sunshine, we partied on!
It was pretty chilly so heading inside was a must. Here I am with my "gypsy sister" Angela.
Another one of my favorite costumes
What a great 5 days! Til next year Carnaval... Alaaf!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Alaaf til you drop 2012: Part I

My favorite thing about living in the southern part of the Netherlands has to be Carnaval. Hands down, it's the most exciting and unique thing about Maastricht. Brabant and Limburg come alive with costumes, parades, all day long partying, and bad Carnaval music. What's not to love?
Even though Maastricht is THE place to celebrate, I really enjoy celebrating in Jaap's hometown. We went to Oirschot on Friday night along with our American-Dutch group of friends from Maastricht. Seeing the Redtband is a great way to get the festivities started. Thank you to Trees & Jan who hosted us for the night. It was nice to spend time with you. And one of the best parts, we got to see Jaap's party band live. Always a good time!
Here's some footage of our Friday night with the Redtband. 
The Redtband
Jaap's parents met us out for a drink
Pete, Jacob, Arie & Jenny ready to party
Carnaval isn't over yet. We still have one more day of partying, drinks, and good times. I'm glad that I took today off to recover. I "alaaf-ed" til I dropped. But, the fun continues tomorrow for the closing night of this wonderful holiday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One more day...

Carnaval 2011
It's almost time. Carnaval is right around the corner and the celebrations will commence tomorrow. We're spending our first night in Jaap's hometown with our Kolonisten (Settlers of Catan) gaming friends. (We've grown quite close to our American/Dutch crew of friends here). I'm excited they get to see Jaap's party band in action. So veel plezier to everyone in Brabant, Limburg and places in the northern parts of the Netherlands that wished they lived here this week. :) Alaaf!

The Mooswief: A Maastricht Carnaval icon

Jaap's party band in Oirschot, Carnaval 2011
Kolonisten gaming friends: Pete, Arie, Jenny & Jaap
Me, Pete & Jacob

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nijmegen, Simon, and the freezing cold

Last Sunday we spent a sunny and very cold day in Nijmegen. We caught up with one of Jaap's friend, Joost, from university and our new nephew Simon. We attempted to do some light sightseeing before catching up with Jaap's family, but it was freezing and we opted for hot tea in a café instead. We managed to catch a few shots of the the market square before heading indoors.
Market square
This is my favorite shot of Simon. I like how he's waving hello. Too cute. It was nice to catch up with Mieke and Willem. We're happy that Mom and baby are home from the hospital and doing well. Thanks for having us visit again. 
Best part of the day
Happy Mom & baby