I am REALLY not going to want to go back to the Netherlands and work next Saturday. For one thing, getting here was such a nightmare that I’m worried about the return trip. And it’s been such a nice vacation, with a good mix of quiet time to ourselves, time getting stuff for the house, and time with Ted’s parents and grandfather.

Due to snow in the Netherlands, the drive to Amsterdam that should have taken two hours took six – luckily we’d decided to drive up the night before and stay at an airport hotel. That was frustrating because there never was all that much snow on the roads – traffic just got inexplicably jammed and then cleared as inexplicably, as Dutch traffic is wont to do. At one point it quite literally took us two hours to drive 5 km. It was a good thing we had a prepaid reservation, as the trains weren’t running and most flights were canceled Friday night. On Saturday it wasn’t snowing, and we walked to the airport three hours ahead of our flight, but KLM and Schiphol showed gross ineptitude in managing the inevitable lines – they kept sending us to what turned out to be the wrong places and the queues were so chaotic no one knew where to stand, though a simple tape barrier would have fixed things. Thanks to them, we got to a gate agent at 10:00, to be told that the gate had closed for our 10:20 flight to Portland and we couldn’t get on it – particularly frustrating since every other flight was departing hours late. (Well, that’s not completely true – all the flights within Europe were just canceled.)

Ted got on the phone with Delta (an international call) and managed to get us on a flight to Seattle, with a connecting shuttle flight to Eugene, then called Avis and got our car reservation moved. That would have been just fine, except that we were supposed to be meeting his grandfather at the Portland airport, so my poor inlaws had to drive an extra two hours up there to get him. Also, by the time they bookednus on it, the 10:40 Seattle flight had been delayed to noon (or we couldn’t have made it, but it didn’t actually take off until 3. We were pretty sure we’d miss the Eugene connection, but once we got to the US our luck changed – it was slightly delayed so we had plenty of time.

Since all that sturm und drang ended, it’s been a lovely holiday. The family met us at the house, then headed home while we had a quiet few days here – this house is big, comfortable, and blessedly quiet. We finished up our holiday and US shopping, and I finished the Concept 2 Holiday Challenge. We drove a couple hours south on the 22nd to have Ted’s birthday on the 23rd with his family. I finished the sweater I’ve been knitting him (except for sewing the bottom hem) at 6PM on his birthday, just in time for him to wear it to dinner. We took over the cooking to give Ted’s mom a break, so between us we’ve made brisket, bow ties and kasha, steamed asparagus, almond flour crepes with pear filling, a few salads, roasted beet and fennel salad, applesauce and cranberry sauce from scratch, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, pan-roasted Brussels sprouts and chestnuts, baked plum pudding with hard sauce, and erwtensoep (traditional Dutch pea soup). It all seemed to be much appreciated, and the sweater was admired by all (even Ted, fortunately).

We came back to our house today – tomorrow we’ll meet with the architect who’s planning our dock for us (it’s a very simple dock – we need him because the permitting process is wicked complicated), then in a few days Ted’s family will join us here, weather permitting.

And Saturday we head back 🙁