windmillWe spent a lazy morning at home and then met up with some of our friends and family in Haarlem, a city about 15 minutes from the edge of Amsterdam.  Jeff's dad had planned a walking tour as well as an information session at De Adriaan windmill.  I must say that I was very interested in the inner workings of the windmill!  Our guide was very informative and took us on all the levels explaining how it works as well as going through some very detailed models so we could get a better understanding.  Our kids did not enjoy themselves… but we did.  (We went for popsicles afterwards and redeemed ourselves).  It was really fascinating to have an understanding of how the very resourceful Dutch of the 16th century managed to empty the water and claim new land.  Genius.

We walked for a bit afterwards but it was so hot that we had to cut it short.  haarlemThere was a really nice sounding jazz festival going on downtown and the cafés in the square looked like fun, but with the heat (and already boring our children enough) we thought it best to get home for a short break before heading out to our next event of the day.  This evening there was a church ceremony for both Jeff's parents and his aunt and uncle in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversaries.  Both couples were married in this church so it was particularly meaningful for them to have everyone gathered in the same place the nuptials took place.  The service was in Dutch (with a sprinkling of English) so it was a little difficult to follow along!  Afterwards we went to one of Jeff's cousin's house for coffee and dessert (crazy good cream puffs!) and all of the little cousins had a fabulous time playing together and speaking some form of Dutchglish.  As we drove home they declared it 'An excellent day!' so I guess the cousin fun made them forget about their fight on the deck of the windmill and the bench wiggling during the church service.

Tomorrow is the big day - the reason we've all gathered together in this country… the big anniversary party!  Just to make it interesting the weatherman calls for 35C tomorrow.  Yikes… luckily the party is on a boat and I hope it goes fast enough to get some wind!


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