Can you park you car somewhere else…..or not having a life..

Last year when Marius drove over from Limburg to the boat and brought the sofa cushions, he parked his car.  The moment he opened the hatch to Jan-kees, Daniel popped a bottle of Hertog-Jan for him.  10 minutes later a knock on the door and a stranger peeked in, pointed to Marius and said ” you were going to move your car”.   Bewildered looks from all of us, and Marius explained that the spot he parked on was next to a disabled spot, and the guy who lived in front of it asked Marius to move his car.  So we did.  Fast forward to this year……Every year when we rent a car we rent a small one, and some people commented on that so this year we rented the extra van of Daniel, one reason si to give him some $ and just because it would be handy to move stuff.  Because there was construction on the spot where we normally can park, we had to park in the same street as Marius did last year…do I have to continue…?

So 3 days later we used the van to move some stuff and drive to Renata and Remy.  When we came back we started parking the car in a different spot, and the moment I steered that car onto the spot, a male walked to us qnd asked how long we were going to park there.   I looked bewildered and said one day….he replied it was blocking his mothers view….which view was smaller passenger cars and the other side of the street.  He did tell us there was a BIG parking lot at the end of the street.  But I was too tired to bother, besides the street is PUBLIC parking.  The old lady was quite agitated, because…”YOUR BIG VAN was parked 3 days over there blocking part of everybodies view” The next day we stepped in the truck and started backing up..  I was barely out of my spot and 2 cars stopped, the driver stepped out and were reminding us that there was a BIG parking lot 100 meters at the end of the street, and they don’t like seeing big vans parked here.

Wow I feel sorry for these people who have nothing better to do .

Update…so we parked the car on the BIG EMPTY car lot, and after being gone the weekend…I parked the car there again……while driving into the lot I saw a pair of eyes follow me.   Locked the doors and started to walk away when I heard . ” Can’t you park this van in front of your house” . lol  wow

Can I see your Visa please….

So Deb and I prepared to go to Jan-Kees again.  This time for a longer period.  Luckily we were allowed each two suitcases.  So we packed our usual carry case and each of us packed also the new blue Jan-Kees duffelbag.  Mine was filled with spare parts, a nail gun, the usual dark chocolate M&M’s, pumps, electric and electronic parts.  And so we arrived at CVG as two pack mules loaded up in the high sierra’s.  A short wait and the passports and green card and boarding passed were handed to the Delta agent.  Some typing, some looking to the passports, and then ” May I see your Visa” .   A though like “is she NEW ? crossed my mind” , but I replied nicely…BUT I have handed you my green card!  Sir it is not for you it is Miss Richardson.  You are going to Europe for longer than 90 days so you need a long stay visa.  I nearly bursted out with laughing.  The reason the airline has to ask this, is because if entry would be denied to Deb, Delta would have to provide her a free return trip.  Now the Dutch immigration ( Koninklijke Marechaussee…Royal Military Police) do not use the same interrogation techniques as the INS uses when you return to the US.   They smile, they wish you a happy stay, make jokes.  Luckily I had enough papers with me to show the agent a dutch official letter and explained that Deb’s Visa was waiting for her in Amsterdam.  That was enough for the agent and all 4 suitcases vanished on the belt into the belly of the beast on tis way to the Planes.  The trip was uneventful, except when we arrived in Detroit and got calmed by the underground music and visuals we did felt it needed to grab a cocktail next to the departure gate.

So make sure you have your long term visa 🙂

Oh and just to share this …it is 10 pm and it is still light outside 🙂 . Love this long evenings.

Yes dear we do have storms in Holland

This was one of the wettest and coldest New years periods we have had in Holland for many years.  2 or 3 years ago, the Daffodils were blooming on Jan 3rd.

The boat weathered the first storm very well.  The second one, which became a code Orange it survived also very well.  Only ‘damage’ were the bike were moved by the wind, luckily they were securely attached to the railing, so they did not went into the water.  (Unlike the lock keys with Lew dropped when he visited.  Instead of using the designated keys with the floater, he used the emergency keys, and yes they went into the water, for a more peaceful and quiet life)

bike1 .

 

 

Before

 

fiets .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second storm was quite violent, trucks blown of the road, roofs separating from buildings.

 

 

 

Don’t you love banks ?????

Ok so….and this is Christmas, the sound of cheerful Christmas music and lights is showing all over the boulevard here in Altea, close to Benidorm Spain.  But off course your bank has to spoil the festive mood, “for your security”.  So my Itunes account is linked to my American Bank Account  (Huntington bank), because Itunes prefers American debit cards.   Being in Spain and buying an episode on Itunes, ticked of some kind of alert and they block the card!   Even though the days before I have bought a few episodes without problems.   But on Christmas eve you get ‘card declined, …so a minor inconvenience.   I can wait a month or so till I visit the US again, but this  also means any updates from Apple are blocked, because the card is ‘not valid’, which is a real pain.  You can not update apps, security updates etc.

I had to accept making a phone call to the US.  Fine you call, get all the info they need ready, tax ID,  phone number, last deposits etc etc.  I wonder why they don’t ask for color of my underwear?

You call the 24-7 # and the voice prompt first directs you that you NEED to set up a secret pin for “YOUR’ protection, (a.k.a. reducing their liability) . spending a few minutes dealing with that leads you to ……for other questions please call back during business hours.

You call the non 800 # ( which is published for people OUTSIDE the USA, so they realize the world is bigger than the US) and after the series of verifications……”Oh it is a business account..let me connect you ”  and when that answers ” for questions please call back during business hours.”

OK lets try it a second time, and when they started to ask all the security questions I blurt out.  STOP..I am overseas and you blocked my card, I need you to correct this and NOT put me through to a number that says call back during business hours”.  Now I get the security barrage.  BUT I need to say the exact days I am abroad, which is silly.  so after going back and forth I just say DEC 30 2018.   And the final surprise is ….”Sir it wil take 30 – 45 minutes before this is active” .   WOW they use post pigeons?
Gosh how much easier are ABN AMRO and RABO bank, they let you set your limits for your card ( the US bank says for your safety we limit it to $300, in case you loose the card, or you get robbed).   With the Dutch banks, I can set a limit as high as I have . balance,  I can set limits for Europe, or other continents.  Why is the US banking industry behind ?

Have a great Christmas !!!

Beach . Cleanup

August 16

Stared the morning with the second coat of yellow on the back part of the deck, it looks smashing now.  Yes I know I still have to do the edges, but we can not remove rust in the marina with a perago disk

fresh_top_deck

After this we stared the clean-up….closing the propane tans vent, putting the bikes on the top deck, putting some hose over the railing so the paint would not get scratched by the bikes, and finally walking up the bikes and locking them

We put the piece of wood over the skylight and secured the tan canvas over it, making sure the glass can not be broken and it is water protected.

In the afternoon we went to the beach, again Wijk aan Zee ( suburb at see)

We stopped at the beach place on the right this time, and had bitterballen and a nice sandwich

 

After our latish ‘lunch’ we went for a stroll along and in the water, nice feeling your toes sink into the wet sand and the waves rhythmically crash on your ankles.  The walk took us until  the little beach cottage.  We have to look to see to rent one next time.

And on the way back to the barge we see a familiar name    Dennis a waiter at the Pacific Kitchen, looks likes he has a sandwich shop in Amsterdam now

dennis

Sleep lost, conditioning, bribery paid of more, beach walk,

Monday August 14

“wake-up  wake-up” .  what ..I am dreaming so nice. it is 1 am and the water pump keeps cycling.  Bloody hell, water running, well just turn the pump off, and we wil deal with it later.  Naturally, getting back to sleep is hard,  thoughts are running through my mind, like….the water line is ruptured..need to remove the wall panels,  which could mean taking the radiators down, or moving the sofa.   After breakfast I turn the pump on and we listen for water gushing.  Deb hears it in the engine room, and yes, we find a hose clipped of the T made by the HVAC guy, I fasten it and we continue.

water_leak

I go to the wood place, across the marine and order some wood.  They come out and say ‘have a great day’ .   Hmmmm so giving . case of beer each time we go to the boat, does have perks…….discounted and free wood.

Later that day  our peace is are rudely interrupted by the local swans, demanding they need to be fed through the kitchen window.   A daily task Deb gladly performs, and reminds her if the night on the etang at Rogney le Sept Ecluses, where she hand fed the swans.

 

Because the sink was draining slowly, it shared a bottom hull through with the shower, I made an additional hull through, just for the sink.  It involves, drilling a small pilot hole, to make sure we are under the ‘stoot rand’ (bumper), then drilling the correct hole size. sticking a stick through it, stepping on the small stoor rand and pushing the outside part of the hull through over the stick in the hole.  Without the stick being there, it would be very likely to have the brass piece fall in the water.

We went to the beach, had a walk and some food.

 

Birthday and fuel problems

Friday August 11

Today was the birthday of Lindy,  Lindy and her family stayed with us in Ohio the week before we left to Europe.   Their last day, Sunday , they went to Vegas to start their camper trip through the west and we went to Schiphol to go to the boat.

Being up early I decided to text Lindy a happy birthday and to my surprise she reacted, while normally on a non school day, she would never wake up before lunch time.  Asking what she wanted for her birthday she replied Euro’s for the art supplies.  OK…But I also know she likes chocolate, so I got on shore, jumped on the bike and pedaled to Jamin to buy some chocolate coins.

Deb and I got ready after this to drive to  the Michielsen’s in Waddinxveen. When I stepped in the little Fiat 500, I saw that the fuel gauge was on low, so first stop ….Gas station.  pushed the nozzle in, pressed the handle and click , darn, move the nozzle, darn sensitive nozzles……press the handle and again after a few drops click …so I kept doing this until I had about 4 liters in.  At that point, 5 minutes later, I decide to give up and try another gas station.  I walked in paid, got back in the car and told Deb about it, and she said yes next station.  I stop at the exit, look to the dash and the gauge is 3/4 ….   I shake my head and think what the frell…I look closer . and I see it is the temperature gauge, so I mistook the temperature gauge for the fuel gauge, and putzed around trying to fill up a full tank.  I am needing to wear glasses more.

In Waddinxveen Linda was waiting for us to cut her Chocolate cake, which seems a bit of a problem 🙂

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BBQ

 

 

Rainbows ( no unicorns) on the water

Saturday August 5

Today is gay pride on the water, always a blast.  And like Deb says …”Dutch peopel seem to make a party of anything” .  Daniel told us it would start around 1:30.  Mint came to Jan-kees and we walked to the train station, used our ‘multi-pass”  (Like in the movie the Vth element, but in Holland it is called  OV kaart)

scout

proud of scouting with the following slogan

One of the scout management had to be . Trump supporter I saw him wearing the MAGA slogan on his hat

maga

Here are some more pictures of the parade.

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Once the parade was finished we just sat for another hour to see all the boats zoom and zig-zag and slowly flow away.   We then took the Orange electric sloop out of Amsterdam, and over the very busy Noordzee Kanaal to Zaanstad.

going_back

Deb in the sun in sloop

How cute……that’s adorable

Friday July 28

it is playing a song, is what I heard Deb say when the laundry was finished.  yes we did a load of laundry, and one thing VERY different…time….a load can take up to 4 hrs!    In Autumn we bought this Samsung washer/dryer, and have been using it sparingly.
We do have to move the Microwave from the washer/dryer when we use it, because when it spins it shakes more than …( Ill come up with the right word later)

I suggested to put up a clothes line from the new mast to the pilot house, and letting it sun/air dry, but Deb still very much American preferred to dry it on the drying rack inside the boat.

Quite windy today, but the sun keeps peeking out from behind the clouds, so a nice day to do some small maintenance, like finishing up the dimmers for the led strips along the bed and closets.

The weather was pretty Dutch……some clouds, then sun, then 18 drops of rain, then cloud, wind sun 12 drops of rain etc etc etc

I installed the 220V isolated cord through the mast, so we can finish it with the motion detector flood light for the bow.

Then it was time to go to the movies….We got our tickets and before we got our snack I had to visit the toilet, and yes there were special Urinals…..

cinema_urinal

….look…you see a flag in it, so guys , being guys will aim for that .

This ‘rage’ all started in the early 70’s in the concert building in Maastricht, a janitor saw that one of the urinals has less ‘spillage’ so upon inspection he saw a fly was in the pot. He went to the local factory and they made a line of Urinals now with all kinds of design , quite a few bars have them with their own logo in it.

 

 

So back to the snacks….Dutch people do likel their coffee..so there is even a special Starbucks stand in the hall for the one who need it.

 

.yes we got 2 Grolsch 1/2 liters and a nice bag of Popcorn, for E 10.35 ( $11).  Nice prices, unlike in the states.  Plus it is fun sipping beer during a movie.

 

 

travel and work

Tuesday July 25

So we decided that we needed more life preservers, since we were expecting Wilma and Timmy and a school load of his friends. Timmy wanted to show off, who can blame a teenager, that he had friends with a big boat, or any boat actually.

We drove off to the second hand boat place in Vinkeveen and were quickly frelled up by  a NO go sign.  The A10 was being worked on till Sunday August 13.  So no biggy for our departure date, but of course Homer our trusty voice on the TomTom kept directing us the wrong way,  with “make a U-turn” . or ” go right on the round about 3rddddd exittt”
When we finally got onto the road to Utrecht, he was able to guide us there.  We got 2 more life preservers and a throwing horseshoe shaped floater, some grease for the gland (totally illegal in the USA, but so much cleaner bilge). I also was able to find 2 led 24 V bulbs for the navigation side lights and we grabbed a pole to use with mooring lines).   Cost E 95.90

Since we were close to Vinkeveen, I decided that we should grab coffee and watch some of the boats on the water.

coffee_chic_chip

When we took the Vinkeveen exit, the sign read “pannekoeken” so yes we were ready, even though it was only 11:15.  When we walked up, it seemed closed/deserted. and yes they don’t open till 12:00, but the door was open. So we were able to get coffee, with a chocolate chip cookie. The waitress forgot the magnifying glass.  The cookie fit in the one open filling I have !!

 

By the time we finished that it still too early for service, so off we went to IKEA.

At Ikea I needed some food, but Deb was not that hungry.  I got the entrecote, and deb got tomato soup and a panini.  We went to Ikea to get a step stool to climb the boat, because of the batteries and the new fuel tank the bow has come out of the water a few cm’s.  We also looked for bungee cords, to mount the Horse shoe floater on the railing, but no success.

After Ikea Deb put on her ‘honey-do’ voice and got me to drive her to one of the thrift stores in Zaandam . ” then you can go to McDonalds and download the movies you wanted” . ( since we only have 20 GB cell data, we have to watch what we do, compared to home) .  Well McDonalds wifi was slower than frozen molasses, jumped in the car and drove to the boat to start working drilling a hole in the metal under the pilot house top, so I could mount a 220V outlet on the port top corner, and run the conduit from there to the top starboard corner.  Halfway through the hole Deb was done with the first Thrift store, and texted me.  Unfortunately the traffic lights had a long wait, so by the time I got there . I saw a new text,”started walking to the boat” . a few text later and she was on her way back.   yes the Dutch geography of shopping centers is dictated by canals, not logic.  We drove to the next Thrifts store and I just went to the little snackbar, run by the Chinese guy who described us last year as the foreigners.  I reminded him I was “ham Sap Lo” and needed a beer and a Kroket. Deb’s treasures today, a  summer beachy ice cube form, a blue plate and a little more plastic wares

bier_krojket

Once Deb was done it was back to the boat and drilling the conduit hole and the outlet hole.

Because the venus control unit was not showing the inverter, I tested the CCGX and it showed the inverter, so some emails back and forth and now they want to send a new unit.  I told them to wait and see if there were others things I could do to check.

I also filled the grease pot, which was delightfully messy and greasy, but we should be good for a few hundred km’s, plus I vacuumed the bilge and the little leak we made in April was popping in some drops of water, so I grabbed some liquid metal and pressed it in lets see how ling it will hold, just need to make sure the bilge pump wil be installed this time.  Now time for coffee and eierkoek . ( egg cake)