Archive for the ‘The Netherlands’ Category

After our exciting day trying to visit all the megaliths, we took it easy the next day. We cant rent any tandem or bicycle as most of the shops were closed on Sunday.

So we checked out early of the hotel and decided to visit a few other places on our way back.

Enjoy the photos!


It is a small town and it was very quiet on a Sunday Morning.

The only castle in Drenthe is located in Coervorden which is now a restaurant. We were there to try see the city wall but there was nothing much left of it. From the map you can see the shape of where the city wall was, and maybe from air you can have a better view. ImageImageImage




The next city we visited was Kampen in the province of Overijssel. It was a really nice old city. The city is located near the river and there is a high tech bridge to cross over from the train station. The city has 3 city gate that is still standing and still used. I saw at least 3 bible college in the city. It is not really a big city as we walked around it in 2 hours.


After Kampen, we took the train back to Zwolle. We had to wait for half an hour so we decided to walk around Zwolle, and we liked what we saw. It was a nice little city and there were lots of people just sitting in the park and sitting on the terrace.ImageImageImageImageImageImage



Rachel Raymond






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During the week, we decided that we would go visit the province up North called Drenthe. It is a big area and the land are mainly used for farming. It also lays the oldest monuments in the Netherlands. The Hunebedden (megalithic tombs).

The Hunebedden were built more than 5000 years ago by people of the Funnel beaker Culture – the first farmers in Northen Europe, who burried their dead in the hunebedden. It has walls, a roof and an entrance.


Once Frank arrived home from work, then we cycled to the train station and took the train and the weekend begin!

We took the train from Leiden Centraal to Zwolle and took another train from Zwolle to Emmen.

From the train station we walked for about 20minutes to the hotel. There was a big sewage project going on and the road was a mess.

DSC_0322 With Frank reading the map, we always managed to find our way around. So we check in the hotel and we out for a walk with our Nasi Goreng and sandwiches.

We found a nice grass under the sun in front of a college, and we lay our picnic mat and we sat and enjoy our dinner. Being in a small town, everyone who passes by will greet you.



After our full filling breakfast, we went back to the train station to rent a tandem. It would be the first time I will ride a tandem and it was so much fun!!!! Something I dont mind doing again!

We arrive 45minutes too early and the bicycle rental shop only opens at 10am.

So we walked to one of the Hunebed site which is 15 minutes from the station. D45. It is one of the largest in Drenthe and it was built on top of a sandy hillock. For every hunebed, there was also an entrance and it is quite fascinating trying to imagine about how the hunebed really was back then.

D45 – Emmen

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Once we rent our tandem, we rode the bike from Emmen to Borger. Along the way there were many more hunebed sites and we try to stop at everyone of them!

We cycled for hours through the farms and it such a beautiful sight! I will let the photos do the talking soon enough.

We cycled through Exloo to get to Borger. Exloo was more touristy and it was slightly busier than other places. It was a nice weather for everyone to travel around.

Our Tandem

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Enjoy the photos!


D38, 39, 40 – A Trio in clearing

It is suggested that mostly one group of people use 1 hunebed. In this site, there are so maybe more than one group of people lived in the same area or later occupants building a new hunebed next to the old one.


In the 1st photo, you can see the biggest hunebed on the left, and 2nd biggest on the left and the small bump in the middle of the photo is where the 3rd one is.

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D35 – At the water’s edge

This hunebed is oriented exactly east-west and it lies at the edge where the water use too be. With the depression on the land, you still can tell where the water was.Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 170 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 169 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 155 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 160

D18 – A Neolithic Tomb

This hunebed was built between 3400 and 3100 BC. It is a prehistoric burial monument made of large boulders. These stones were transported to the northen part of the Netherlands by glacier ice from Scandinavia around 150,000 years ago.

In the olden days, people thought that hunebedden are built by giants. (hunen means giant)

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Hunebedden Museum

Here you can see the stones that was transported down from the Scandavia mountain. It was also mentioned that, for thousands of years, the province of Drenthe was covered by 1000m layer thick of ice.

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D27 – The largest hunebed

In the museum also lies the largest hunebedden in the Netherlands. Measuring up to 22.6 metres.

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D32 – A humble trio

There are 2 sites in Drenthe that has 3 hunebedden lying together. The one near Emmen D38, D39 and D40 and D32 in Odoorn.

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D21, D22 – The most elegant and the smallest together

Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 328 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 330 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 332 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 333 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 335 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 341 That was the last hunebedden we visited. We continued on cycling along the farm and eventually made our way back to Emmen. On our way back we stop at the 1st trio of the hunebed site and rested.

Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 351We thought it would take us another 20minutes but we were already very near the town and reached 15mins before 5pm. So we return the tandem and walk into the centre. Looked for a nice terrace to sit in the sun and went to a Greek Restaurant for dinner.

Was a good day! 🙂



Rachel Raymond


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Lat Tuesday evening, we rode our bike to Leiden to meet Maria. It was another beautiful day and the part that I am liking the most was the fact that it is still so bright at 10pm! There are so much things that could get done. So we sat on something that was like a barge in the canal, and had a few drinks. It was a nice evening and everyone was happy that the sun is up and shining.

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On our way back, an insect flew into my right eyes and now i have an irritated right eye.:(

The next day, I decided to go and ride my bike in the park that leads to the farmland. It was a park that I always walk by and with all the green leaves, it looked different to me.

I cycled along the small beach area, and sat there and enjoy the view. Looking at the water makes me want to be in the water so bad.

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Flowers along the beach.

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Then I continued on cycling into the farmland and passed a beautiful area where people were bird watching. It was a serene landscape and you can never get enough.

I also passed by a few farm house with their horses busy munching munching.


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As  I cycled into the farmland, I saw this beautiful heard of Galloways. I have never seen them before and there were already another lady standing at the fence just enjoying the herds grazing away.

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Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 038  CUTE LITTLE ONE!

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On the opposite of the herd of Galloways, was the Dutch cows. I always loved looking at them in the train, and that day, I get to see it up close!!!! Until one of them looked at me and mooed me away…. 😥

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After spending half an hour watching the cattle, I continued on cycling till I reached a golf course and decided to turn back as that was the end of the farmland.

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And yes, I am tanner here than when I am in KL!



Rachel Raymond



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We are almost half way of the year 2013, and when you work there is nothing much to post or blog about. I am sure no one wants to hear about my complains at work.

In January i got myself a new job. Got to work in the famous Twin Tower. It was a really nice place to work in and I thought you know, this is it. I will work here FOREVER! But that was not the case. The job was not the one that i was looking for, so I got myself another job last month, May.

I was on a 2 weeks holiday before starting my 1st new job and I spent it in Holland visiting Frank. It was another snowy winter in Holland and people were not too happy with snow, but it didn’t stopped me from smiling looking at the snow. It was also in fact the 1st winter that I made my first snowman with the help of Frank and Maria!


It was also the time we discovered panorama function in our phone. So everything after that was panorama view photos! 🙂

Train Den Haag Laan van NOI railway station.

Tholen Habour in Tholen

And of course the most important part was also getting to know the Dutch Football, we went to a Feyenoord game. Feyenoord

After signing the contract for the new job, I have a month in between before starting the new job. So I flew to Holland early June. This would be the first time I am in Holland for summer.

The day I arrived, it was a very sunny day, and according to Frank, it was actually one of the first day that they had a nice weather. So I guess I arrived at the right time.

My flight arrived 50minutes earlier than scheduled. The weather was really sunny and the skies were blue and it felt like an afternoon instead of a morning.

From the train, I could see that the fields are green, flowers are blooming, everything was so pretty. Of course they never fail to capture my heart…..FAT SHEEPS!!!!! The look so cute in the middle of the green field!

Walking from the train station to Frank’s apartment, the town somehow looked abandon because the grass was long and everything was green (a view I have not seen in winter), and at 7.30am there were hardly anyone on the streets! Not hardly, it was just the 2 of us in fact. of course I have to think about how it is back home. On a weekend morning, the streets will be filled with people lining up to eat their favourite dim sum in 2020! yum yum.

After unpacking a few things, then we went for a bike ride along the Vliet and rode our bike all the way to Leiden.

Cycling along the Vliet



In Leiden we parked our bike and we sat under the sun and had something to drink and decided to rent a rowing boat.

So we rowed our boat in the canal in Leiden. The traffic in the canal was so busy! With a big rowing boat and a long heavy oars that was not real ideal in that small canal with 10 more boats lining up to pass you! 😥


We managed to make it without sinking or crashing into anyone or boats. Then we stopped by the famous English Pub in town, and had our drink and cycled back home to go to Lindeboom to meet everyone.

On the way to the bar, we stopped and bought ourselves Greek food (I LOVE GREEK FOOD!) If it was not for Frank, I would have eaten everyday, from the day I discover that little cafe!

Arriving the bar, it was good to see everybody and of course Chiko the Boss, and met Amber the new dog from Bonaire, adopted by Fiona and Erwin. It was good to be back and everyone was in good spirit, with the sun up and shining.

The next morning was unclear to me, but I got up at 1pm! 🙂 I have got to learn to say NO!



Rachel Raymond


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The plan was to see summer or good weather in in May, but due to the work load in May, I had to bring forward my vacation instead, and got everything sorted out a week before I flew over! pheww…

I arrived early morning in Schiphol and Frank as usual, was already waiting for me at the gate! Oh and it was my BIRTHDAY!!! Smile

As Frank’s family discussed earlier the week, I will have my birthday 7 hours longer this year! Awesome!

So we took the train to Leiden which took 20mins and on our way, the sun was saying hello!

It was a really beautiful morning and the sun made everything beautiful!

For my birthday, I got a collection of DVDs and he got me one of my favourite movie, Conan The Barbarian! In the evening he gave me a bouquet of flower and planned to have a nice dinner at one of the restaurant in town.


We made a mistake to go to the bar first. Will come to that.

Sabine the owner put on a Happy Birthday song and they guys sang Happy Birthday song. Was a bit shy of course! Open-mouthed smile But I appreciate the welcome back greetings from everyone.

So we had too much drinks and when Frank told me to go for dinner, I was already feeling comfortable sitting in the bar and did not feel like walking out. Smile with tongue out

So lesson learned, always have dinner first before drinking.

On Friday, went to the market, and met up with Patni. So she bought a few things for us to cook at her house. She is a good cook! And I learned a few new recipe from her too!

From her house, I went to Frank’s office borrel. They were having Italian food. His colleagues were very friendly and I got to meet the people he works closely with daily. I thought that was cool. Visited his office and the company has 3 big building with few floors! When I arrive the office I was not aware that they have 3 different site.

On the weekend, we went to Sint Maartensdijk to visit his parent and sister.

On our way the train had some technical problem so we had to alight the train at Zevenbergen. With snow and ice, the railway station is always in a mess.



Normally the train company will organise a bus if the train have problems. So we waited in the cold but luckily the sun was shining.

We visited Frank’s parent first since Frank sister will only finish working in the evening. And don’t forget the train problem that she has to endure.

The next morning we went to Antwerp, Belgium. It was a 30mins drive to Belgium. It was not far at all!

This was also the first time I experience‘driving’ in the snow. Everywhere was white! Not so sure how people know which is the path with all the snow on the road.












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I visited Leiden and The Hague again since I could travel there using bus easily.

I was going to Leiden one evening and the plan was to meet Frank there after he finished work, but ended up in The Hague because I took the wrong bus. Confused smile

In Leiden we went to the English Bar and had dinner in a Greek restaurant. And that is when I fell in love with Tzatziki! The most delicious dip in the world beside guacamole!

The souvlaki tasted so good and I would recommend any Greek food to everyone!

The only Greek food I have before was, Greek salad and for some reason always assumed that they are all famous with their vegetable recipe which is not really something I would go to a restaurant and ‘try’.

Since I did not have much time in Leiden as I was lost in The Hague, I just walked around the centre and saw people skating in the canal!

If you look at my previous blog post on the trip to Holland last year, then you would recognise some of the place is in the same area for this trip too.



If the canal is not frozen, you will them all swimming instead of skating.




A windmill and a bicycle– I am definitely in Holland!

A few days later I went to The Hague and after Frank finished work we met up in one of the famous bar Schelemmer. Where politicians and journalist normally hang out. It was a nice bar and Frank saw one Dutch politician which I obviously don’t know about.





While waiting fro Frank, I spent time walking around The Hague. I went to the Binnenhof and the lake was also frozen and everyone was skating on it. So I went and walk on the ice and it was scary. When you walk on the ice, there are parts when it makes a sound. And for me who never walk on ice, of course was quite ready to die of hypothermia if the ice would break!

I then visited the Gevangenpoort(The Prison Gate). The entrance fee is €7.50.

It was the main gate of the Binnenhof then around the 15th centuries, it was used as a prison. The upper room was the room of the judges, and when the sentence is given, it will be announced from a window facing the Binnenhof.

The door to the prison was shorter than me. I had to bend to get into the prison room. There were different types of prison rooms. For the poor and for the rich. If you have money, you can have a bigger room and you can have visitors to bring you food etc.



Poor people Prison Room


The Knight’s Chamber – Prison Room for the rich


The Hostage Room – debtors imprisoned

This is where the people who could not pay their debts sleep. VERY SMALL place!


A drawing of a ship in the 18th centuries.

IMG_7790Prisoner’s writings on the bedsteads

ZMDWDVS -  are the first letters of the days in a week in old Dutch, so the prisoners could tell which day it was.






Above are some of the equipment in the Hostage Room which I did not want to know the usage!

Below are the photos in the Torture room.


The Delft blue marble tiles on the wall are the rejects tiles. If you see the pictures on the tile, some of it are upside down, because these were not used as decoration in the torture room, but it will make it easier to clean when something is going on in the room.




After the rich historical knowledge of the prison (!) I went to drink hot chocolate and spend my time waiting for Frank reading my novel.

When Frank arrived, after a few drinks we went to have dinner in a Turkish place. The food was not bad but the tzatziki was different from the greek place. Then we took a cab home. And yes, it was a Benz!

Most of the days were spent walking around Voorschoten. At night normally we go to the bar and managed to have good convo with some of the people there.

The canals in Voorschoten were also frozen and everyone was skating!





Bird foot prints frozen on the ice in the canal

Above are photos taken while we were walking on the frozen canal.


Above is how you learn how to ice skate.





The last Saturday I was there,Frank and his friends in the bar had a Boonake (Dutch card game) Tournament in the bar. The tournament was against another bar in a different town. So they came to the bar in Voorschoten and play. Not an easy game at all!

On Sunday afternoon I flew back to KL and it was a great trip and was good to meet Frank again. Till we see again!







Walking on the canal in Voorschoten!

Frank normally look good in photos, but the cold is affecting his looks while taking photos. Smile with tongue out



Rachel Raymond


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Are you going to see anything? What are you going to see? Are there any animals there? It’s the animal from Borneo!

Some of the remarks that I get when I say I wanted to go to the zoo. Believe it or not, it is one of my favourite place when I go to places when I have time. Just because I love animals. (Doesn’t stop me from eating them. Just to make things clear)

I was lucky that Maria, was kind enough to take a day off from work, just to bring me to the zoo!!! I was really happy of course. She is very knowledgeable and also she knows the happenings in the zoo as well. A very fun person to be with too.

So we met in Rotterdam Centraal and we took the bus from there to Blijdorp Zoo. The entrance fee was 19.50euro!! This is because the zoo is independent for the zoo maintenance.

On my way to Rotterdam in the train, it was a sunny weather. But towards Rotterdam, it looked a little bit cloudy. When we arrived the zoo, the disgusting dark cloud started to move and gave way for the sun and blue sky to show itself! It turned out to be a beautiful day!!!!

The first animal that we saw when we walked toward the zoo was, Storks! Guess what??? They were mating!!! Hot smile Not only the Storks, but also turtle! Now that was my first.




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle the Begin!

Enjoy the animals photos!

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This was the first time that I saw a Gorilla. It was a very funny animal. Same like the Oran Utan. Since it was in the winter time, it all preferred to stay in the house instead of going outside into the park made for them. So I could see them very clearly. The gorillas are really like human being. That make it so fun to watch. Watching it sleeps, as you can see in the photo, one the the gorilla took the rope and put it under its head to be a pillow. They also put make their own bed so they don’t have to sleep on the hard floor. The photo with the gorilla carrying the ‘bed’ with it’s left hand and the right hand is holding a baby that is breastfeeding on her!

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This is Bokito, the Gorilla. In 2007, Bokito made it out of it’s territory into the public and the restaurant in the zoo! There was a lady who was regularly visiting the zoo and also Bokito and she got attacked by Bokito.

There are different stories to it.

Some people say that it’s because she made eye contact with Bokito and that angers the gorilla.

Some people say that Bokito looked at her as one of his ‘woman’. But she came to the zoo only to leave him after that. And for gorillas, they want their woman to be with them. And for the woman to leave means that she is not submitting to him.

So because of the attack, now, as you can see, the glass window is being tinted to a certain level and you are not allowed to make eye contact to the gorillas.

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A family of elephant

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The 2 elephant was standing together and sucking the water together and it’s like they know that there were people around, and they were making performance and trying to entertain the guest! It was funny to look at.  The photo with the elephant showing it’s butt is when it urinate litres of water as you can see. It also do no. 2 but  I couldn’t take the photo as it falls down to quickly.Smile with tongue out

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Giraffes!! This was the closest I got to them. Just 30cm apart. These are very elegant animal. When it walk, if you watch, they walk like a super model. If you notice the last giraffe, the eye lashes are long and beautiful.

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Hyenas! These are funny animals. Their front leg is longer than their back legs. One of the Hyenas is pregnant and all of them seems to be scared of her when they all fight for food. They are given animal skin and they must have very sharp teeth because they tear the skin just in seconds!

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Crocodiles. One of the animal that creep the hell out of me!

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Penguins. Funny little birds. We waited for the feeding hour to see them eat. So we sat near the aquarium while watching them swimming in the water. Then suddenly they all jump into the water and were acting all frantic. So we both also jump of our seat and followed the penguins thinking that maybe it was already feeding time. But we didn’t see any fish being thrown in the aquarium. So we were thinking aloud. Then there was a guy next to us, telling us that the penguins know that its almost feeding time. Which we of course know.

But the funny thing was, when the feeding time start, we saw a guy walking into the aquarium and it was the same guy who was talking to us earlier on! The penguins actually recognise him behind the aquarium glass and was excited to see him! Hah!Blog Zoo12

Different type of tortoise. The tortoise in the second photo, you can find in the Galápagos’.

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Polar Bear! This was the second time I saw a polar bear. This was special because it was a big field and there were no fences or gates surrounding it. Just a deep drain in between the field and the road. We walked past it the 1st time to see the sea lion. Then when we came back for the polar bear, the fur was already brown. It’s a cute animal!

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Sea Lions. We also waited for the feeding time to see how they are. They are very active and very playful animal. The black one in the photo is the biggest among all of the other sea lion. When it swim, it swims like when we human are swimming breast strokes. When you see the head out of the water, the head and the mouth look like a rat.

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We were so lucky to see this. The tiger cubs was outside playing with each other. They didn’t seem to be bothered with the people walking by. They are so cute and also being fed very well as you can see. They are just so adorable.

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This is the tigress and it was sleeping while we get there. But then, when we walked closer, it woke up.

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This is a Chinese Salamander. It is a pre-historic animal and been around for hundred million years! This was the first time for me looking at it. It is a weird looking animal.





Pencil Swine




Colobus Monkey







A type of fox (I forget what it’s called)


Dwarf Alligator











The Great Hornbill




Poisonous Frog. If you touch it, your skin will burn. Normally they use this frog as a poison to put at the edge of the dart for blow pipe or something equivalent.


Solomon Island Tree Skink


Komodo Dragon


Labi Labi we call it in Malaysia


Gidgee Skink

That was my zoo summary. Special thanks to Maria for the birthday zoo trip.



Rachel Raymond


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On the morning of my birthday which was on the 2nd of Feb, Frank sang Happy Birthday song to me in English and also in Dutch! I thought that was very sweet! It didn’t stop there.

He went to wherever it was, and brought to me a bouquet of roses! I have never received so many flowers in my life! Twice in a week! I am not really a flower person, but every girl or women like it when their boyfriend send them flowers anyways! Open-mouthed smile

Then he brought me a plastic bag and handed me a present. When I open it, it was a natural nail polisher! I guess he must have seen me biting my nails a lot! Just the day before my birthday I decided to cut all my nails so I stop biting! So yeah, I didn’t have any nails to shape or polish for now. Sad smile


The present also came with 2 card. One is a birthday card, with a puppy sleeping on a chair! That was SO CUTE! He said it reminded him of me looking at the sleeping puppy because that is what I do on his boat most of the time.lol. Then the other card was a a card saying that I can have a hot stone massage and also a dinner for 2. I couldn’t stop smiling in the morning of course!

Then he left for work so did my normal routine for the day, then went online and saw all the birthday wishes from families and friends which made me smile. And of course I also saw there was a birthday wish in a photo of me made by Frank too! I didn’t even realise he was on the computer very early in the morning! Open-mouthed smile

To cut the day short, at night, around 6.30pm we went out to the fanciest restaurant in Voorschoten, so they say. Had a very fulfilling meal and there was no room left for dessert. Sad smile I ordered pork fry in butter with apple syrup and red cabbage and Frank ordered a vegetarian Lagsane and we ordered fries as a side order which we barely finish.

Then we went home and watched movie. Frank asked me whether I count the roses, and I said no. Well I don’t think I will be able to count it all when I receive it! But it was 27 all together same as my age! I would have never thought. aha.

Was an excellent day for me and thank you Frank for a wonderful birthday!!!



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