Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Friday & Flowers

Friday was our day with the Jansens.We spent the day with Jaap's parents and visited one of our favorite little places outside of Maastricht, Eijsden Castle. 
Eijsden Castle
The trip to Intratuin was a success! (Intratruin is the Ikea version of a floral nursery). We wanted to go with Jaap's parents because they are expert gardeners. The Dutch don't mess around with their flowers. Gardening in this country is serious business. 
Our balcony is now officially Dutch. Boxed plants of herbs, flowers, and Jaap's favorite, the hanging plant. Thank you to the Jansens for helping us and especially to Jan for planting everything!
Our leftover "tea-lighter" is now a potted plant
Father & son enjoying the flowers
After a nice dinner with the Jansens at one of our favorite restaurants, EetcafĂ© Ceramique, we went out for an evening of live music with our friends Jenny and Arie. 
This soul-funk-jazz night was actually hosted at our local library in Ceramique. Not bad for a library!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ardennes with Friends in St. Hubert

Two weeks ago we enjoyed a weekend away in the Belgian Ardennes with friends. It was a weekend full of relaxation, walks, cooking (and drinking), and of course games. We rented a house in St. Hubert with four other couples and friends of ours that live in Maastricht. It was an international weekend of American, British, Dutch, and French-Canadian fun. 
First night of games...Cranium!

Our walk into town
Basilica in St. Hubert
You know you've had a good weekend when you don't have many pictures to show of it. I was having too much fun with my friends to pick up the camera and capture the moments. Oh well! 
Dutch guys having fun
My favorite thing about!
Along with our friends, we rented this house in the Ardennes region in the province of Luxembourg. 1.5 hours from Maastricht and we're surrounded by beautiful forests and big rolling hills. It's a nice change in landscape from the Netherlands. 
We spent our weekend cooking for each other, playing board games, walking, hiking, and lounging on the couch. 
We had some great weather on Sunday, so a group of us decided to do some light hiking. 
My favorite photo of the day was four of the guys posing for this shot in the trees. I love the pose.
Times flies when you're having fun and this weekend went by way too fast. We're looking forward to our next weekend trip with friends!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter & the Paas Haas Taart

Vrolijk Pasen or Happy (Second Day) of Easter! Easter is celebrated with two days here in the Netherlands. First and second day, similar to Christmas. Today is the second day of Easter or Pasen and we're spending a relaxing day at home playing board games, drinking tea, and enjoying our day off from work.

In keeping with a Pardo family Easter tradition, I baked my mom's Easter Bunny cake. I had fun decorating the cake with Jaap's nephews and showing them how to decorate the Easter Bunny (Paas Haas) in my broken Dutch. It was a hit with the nephews and it made me think of my mother and family all day. :)
Tijn on the hunt
Baby Simon and Opa
Blindfolded Mees playing Jasper's Paasquiz