Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sailing in De Kaag

Click for our slideshow photoalbum in De Kaag.

A wind-undertaking was our passion last Saturday. Despite of weather threats, we drove with few friends to Kaag (52°13′N 4°33′E), a town in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Alkemade, and lies about 8 km northeast of Leiden. Kaag lies on an island, Kagereiland, in the lakes "Kagerplassen". The lake Kagerplassen is connected with other large lakes like Braassem and the Vietlanden. All these lakes are connected with each other by a system of canals.

The complete crew on board while docking in the island.

A picturesque island which we need to cross accessible by ferry. Surrounded by ponds and lakes, the island is the perfect place for water-related sports, such as sailing, canoeing, rowing, wind surfing and fishing. You can check this site for more water attractions in De Kaag (Dutch text only).

De Kaag is typically Dutch village which is highly popular among tourists from the Netherlands and other countries alike. Peacefully situated at only 2 km from the A44 motorway offering a direct connection to Amsterdam and The Hague. Its central location in the green heart of the Randstad conurbation means that many attractions are within easy reach, including the Keukenhof flower show, Madurodam and Duinrell. Schiphol airport and the beach at Noordwijk are a mere 10km, the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague 30 km, and Leiden 12 km away.

Me and Lyn approaching the Zwanerburger windmill.

Today, for most people, sailing is recreation, an activity pursued for the joy of being on the water and pursuing the mastery of the skills needed to maneuver a sailboat in varying sea and wind conditions. We were six people on board in the boat and only one is the certified captain :-) However, for us three girls only charmed of sitting in the boat, and enjoy the scenic views around.

Uhmmmn...What happened? Hehehe...hubby is just resting while Don is smiling :-)

Our boys were the maneuvers how our sailing vessel propelled by the force of the wind on sails. When steering, the method for changing direction depends on the direction of the wind. And so, as the boat sailed smoothly with a strong wind blowing it, I was really scared as it sailed only in one side seemed turned to imbalance. Hehehe! But it turned out well, it was included of the sailing visual effects to rush more adrenaline of excitement.

We setted our lunch in the boat as we anchored in a quite part of the lake. It was a picnic atmosphere above water I should say. The day was ever bright far from expected bad weather forecast. The wind is not always in maximal speed but still it managed our boat to go to nice waterways. We saw little sailing boats for small kids as they have their sailing lessons. Ummmh...amazing, I think they were 4-10 years old kids who were very eager to sail.

One of the docking areas in the island.

As we proppeled, many boats were crossing against each other and guess what, the magical Dutch politeness were still in the water...:-) Greeting words and gestures among sailors were the most language along waterways...Ummmh. And so, one of our friends acted as the official ambassador of goodwill. Hehehe! ( joke lang Don ha!).

Our boat agency, Jachthaven Van Asselt, provided us a map of the island and so we tried to reach many islets. The island has many built hotels and restaurants where we can see piled alongside the water. Beautiful vacation houses and residential hubs are also proudly standing. The island really offers many things of relaxation.The island has several farmhouses, a marina, holiday cottages (private and commercial) and a very rich and famous shipyards. This is docking area for specialized charter and luxurious motor cruisers.

The Zwanerburger Mill dated from 1805 and was recently restored by the Foundation for Rijnland Mills.

Sports, dining, and of course sight seeing. Bicyclists were present too since the island has good bicyle pads built along the coasts. As we sailed, of course it's our eyes that get more satisfaction. For so many things to see, windmills, birds and animals were not the least in the list. Cows and sheeps were also starred in the green meadows of the island. As the wind had a strong visit to us, it brought us presents of imported scents of animal manure...Ummmh!

Only few inhabitants I observed but most were tourists. As the farm is on an isolated island, the people living there have to go ashore by boat or ferry. Everything, including cows, tractors, hay and milk is transported in this way. This provides a more "village" lifestyle that gives air soothing of peace and tranquility being afar from busy city. That's the nicest thing also of sailing. It unites you with nature :-) The water separates you from the land pressures and worries. While on sail, only you are intimate with the wind and water, well, aside only if you are sailing with your honeys like us :-)

Right image is during our way back to the starting point of the lake Warmond.

We actually sailed for almost 7 hours. We enjoyed it as our group shared some jokes, few lines of songs, pieces of intellectual inspiration and to nonsense buzz. It was actually a day of building friendship. Me and hubby are happy to meet these two love-bird couples and we're living just in the same city. After air breathtaking of daysailing, we drove to Lyn's house for a mouthering dinner.

A well-prepared gourmete served and that was very delighting. Thanks to the hosts.

It took us long time again to share the food and played a card after. The gamecard was a challenging digestive fun-activity :-)... Everything was setted and fall into place as we went home at 2am the following day :-) What a sailing day! The wind now brought us home and enough to fall asleep so loonngggg in bed... yesterday. We had a nice start of the week :-) :-) :-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Subject: How Engineers Describe Women

I was tired for the past few days. I also encountered web problems here in my web blog. I need to trouble shoot the errors :-( ...Sorry, I can't do it in just a split of second. I need days to research and enter the cyberworld. I was knocking some gadgetsites to help me...but no avail. I have to experiment it in my own. Helaas, I was still in nowhere of my blog template and my old shoutbox was gone.
Now, I have a new pop-up message box on top-right side of the page...To all my friends just bear with it and hope it won't disappear again.

I was and till now searching for a nice shoutbox untill I ended up to this message on my mailbox. What's this? Read it ....
Subject: How Engineers Describe Women.

Woman- As Explained by Engineers. That is the topic of the forwarded email. This is just a funny thing but focus my attention. This is supposed to be in my bulk folder but luckily escaped from the spam filter. So, just read it anyway, on the engineers's eyeview. It interests me actually çoz I'm an engineer's wife :-) Let's see.

Woman=Problem....Uhmmm.... I disagree. But for the sake of this email I continued to read. What a formula but I think time x money is right :-)On the next text is still a woman's property results. Let's read it...Ummmh, I think this is really a hazardous warning for men. Engineers are more analytic, now they found the reasons why women are a reacting agent.

Women and men are obviously different, and their behavior toward relationships is no exception.They possess the chemical and hormonal disposition and have the emotional drive for identifying subtle gestures that sometimes men not. Men possess candid intellect for relationships and usually overlook subtle gestures.

Below is a graph of chances who will win in an argument according to stages of relationships. Ummmh...during marriage period, man has the lowest chance, or shall I say, no more chance. Uhmmm again :-) now, I remember the rules of Happy Marriage hang in our toilet :-) that says, "If one of you has to win an argument, it must be your mate." No gender cited. Just one at a time I think :-) or both end as losers and winners.

I still have more experiment results here but I can't post it. I have problem uploading them here.

Engineers have compared women to a compact stereo. have only two switch buttons, the on-off power. According to their analysis :-) women have more buttons aside from the primary on-off. There's the volume point with minimum and maximum power mode, the equalizer with multi speaker system, with Am/Fm band, hydraulic capacity, low-high tone band tuner in kilo and megahertz set stations. Well, I think women are just too sensitive in every stimuli attracted to her sensors. A unique reactant that may not stand only to stereotype reactions but stand above every man's expectation. Maybe hypothetical, but really unpredictable that makes a woman simply attractive to negative/opposite poles like men.

Women are quite complicated but naturally affectionate. That's why they have many press buttons for every sensitive situations.Women are intimate about details.( and engineers too :-) They have intricacy in words, clothes and body language. Men should be conscious of how women express themselves. Women speak a different language than men. You should be well expert to operate her mechanism :-)

Another experimental study that a man and woman had given the same task, to buy a pair of pants in a certain shop. The result was, male took 6 minutes with humble cost of $33 while female took 3 hrs and 36 minutes to accomplish the mission spending $876. Hehehe! I don't know if I can relate...but sometimes it took me an hour in just one small shop ( 25x36 sq. m floor area) :-)

With the above mentioned cases, well, it's just a funny text, one can relate but this varies to one another or may not true at all. To all engineers's wives, don't be frightened or trigger your husbands. Stay calmed and think of your own piece of formula. This is not a real survey but then at least whoever composing this, it takes him time to think how special his woman is. mother in law is an engineer's wife too. Let see if she can relate :-) ...To my hubby, have you ever known this formula before 'jumping' of marrying me? Hehehe!

Well, of course there's no accurate science and mathematics that can help understand the origins of human feelings especially human relationships or should we just leave it to the poets? :-)

Well, for sure, I need an engineer to troubleshoot my probs.... :-)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Richting: Breda ( Direction: Breda)

My summer vacation is about to finish. The Netherlands' weather is now lowering down to its normal range. The magical sunny days is almost over and now welcome to the rainy and wet side of the flatlands.

Not to lose any single free time, I went to Breda, a small city in the province of North Brabant. The city of Breda is in the west part located between the Dutch Randstad conurbation formed by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht and the Belgian triangle formed by the cities of Antwerp, Gent and Brussels.
I always hear or read the word "richting Breda" in the train stations . This means "going or directing destination" to Breda. I always stepped out in Delft and left the train richting Breda. Then, I decided to make an endpoint to the city. To make the adventure complete, a filipina friend Lyn came along with me to visit the city.
"It takes two to tango," as they say. We were brave as knights though the rain keep pouring. Our umbrellas helped us and thanks that there was no wind velocity to keep them standstill.

We first had walked in the leafy woods of Valkensberg park. It has large pond and monumental trees, come rain or shine, we still pause for picture on the edge of the pond under the forest park. Tree lined avenues and street. Grass verges and public gardens. Spacious parks, little windmills and water canals. All these are present always in a Dutched city and Breda is not an exemption of these Dutch wonders. More of Breda.

Hands in our umbrellas, we can still managed to make a graceful walk going to the castle. Ooops...the thought of queens and princesses played in my mind again...I'm not sure with Lyn. ( I have to ask her :-)).
Fotos from
Foto from virtual This is the front view of tha castle inside.

The castle is closed for the public, still gotcha! We had shots at the gate. Had a ten meters thick wall built in 1510 for the protection of the castle area, this gate became the entrance of the castle and became one of the earliest home of the Orange Royal family.

At the gate of the castle. I'm pasting our pics together :-).

Currently house by the royal military academy and only arranged tour can be made inside by the city tourism office (vvvbreda).

The Grote Kerk (Big Church) or Our Lady’s Church in Breda is one of the oldest stone buildings in the city. We went inside, actually just right of the entrance door. We don't like to pay, so we managed to take shot just right where our camera lens can afford to. The church with its tower - an example of the Brabant gothic style - is a landmark for the inhabitants and for anybody visiting the city.

The tower of the Grote Kerk. I'm pasting again our picture together :-)

In any season, people throng into the streets and into the café terraces. We can hear the murmur of voices everywhere. The city centre hums like a hive. And as we wandered about the grey cobbled squares, number of shops aligning enough to cause neck pains or stiff as you keep your head up looking to the old city towers. We went on shopping crawl around the center and simply overwhelmed by impressions and depressions of some expensive-Eurologic stuff. Ummh...not practical...we mused :-)

Tagged as women...of course we simply went to corners where to spoil our interest and faves. From scents to fashion accesories, of clothings and bags, of tiny detailed things to nonsense stuff and to "food for thoughts" and stomach delights.

Trivia: We spent almost an hour in just one small dames kleding winkel (ladies dress shop). We bought something nice to wear. :-) and... we ended to buy the same :-) heheheh! Fun huh! And we thought of wearing it at the same time :-) Just wait and see!

We really had a leg exercise by walking the whole centrum. What we did most of the time is marching forward...sidewards and even backwards again. Few steps at a time then rest. Kkkrriiing! Few rings of our mobile fones and our Knights of shining armor reminding us that they are home :-) It was time to get back home. But...ooops...we need to remind them too that we will arrive home late. It was 7:46pm we left Breda by taking an intercity train. Kinda late huh...'çoz we spent time to find our way to station. We got lost :-) Just few hundred steps afar I think. We looked at our map like lost tourists in the midst of traffic lights. We enjoyed it. We had almost 45 minutes rest sitting in the train while blessed with a nice weather in the early evening.

Our view from the train going home.

What a day enough to have a good night rest :-)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My B-day!

Tsuk! Tsuk! I was not yet feeling well on my birthday. Thank God! I'm now 28 years old last first day of August. I'm not very well updated in posting of entry here. I'm quite lazy and tired when it comes to writing my thoughts especially when I'm not feeling well.

Well, forget of the body aches...I'll tell you what was my day. I had a long time lying in bed and waiting for miracle to lighten up my headache. Alas! A miracle! Hubby handed me his birthday presents with all the hugs and kisses of course that nobody can pay off :-) I received two-big Van Dale dictionaries with CDs from him. One is Nederlands-Engels(English) and the other is Engels-Nederlands....

It's a wonderful and helpful surprise...Hehehe! It seems that the Dutch language will always be my mate. me more headache I think :-) sorry honey!

Well, there is still one bonus...he gave me a Dutch musical CD that I can listen to :-) while I'm studying my Dutch lessons. Hehehe! It's my favorite then, from the BLOF band, a popular Dutch music band here.

I was just preparing for a brunch that I had a surprise knock in our door. Surprise! It was my parents in law. Yeah, it was really a wonderful time for me. My dear did'nt tell me about the visit.

A bright sunflowers greeted me and lots of stuff favorites. We had a nice moment of talks while enjoying cups of coffee with a yummy fruit taart they brought. Trivia: They ordered the taart from the same pastry shop where they ordered our wedding cake. Plus: A gift of Dutch verkeerborden.

What is this? A board of traffic signs here in Holland that I need to learn. Hehehe! You think that my Dutch lesson ends?

Now, seemed my pains where dissappeared. That was my morning, my earliest hours of being 28. My feelings of comfort living with my new family here is really wonderful. The day was worth satisfying and even blessed.
During the day, I was a little bit reminiscing my past birthdays. I always have a day with my family and other day treat with friends. It's always a simple feast with singing of birthday songs. I actually remembered when the last time I was serenaded during my day at early 4am. When I was a kid, I always like to be serenaded. I already forget what year was that, as I get older I already beg my family not to wake me up or else it will bring me a bitched morning. It's not only that, but everytime they are seranading, they are waking up the whole village because of the dogs' barks. I am already happy with a simple treat for myself, spend time with love ones which is more quite with pace of tranquility. I missed that.

With a sudden thought, me and hubby rushed to bike to the centrum after dinner just to spend the left few hours of my birthday. Without a single thought of what to do but just to go there and enjoy the rest of the night. As we biked through...we were stopped by rain and 30 min of waiting under a found shelter.

Then we continued to the centrum, biked around De Markt Square and found a cosy restaurant at the back of the old stadhuis (CityHall). We were gazing the cloudy-grey sky that amazingly turned to bright red sunset. Ummmh! It was nice and even vibrating as we ended with glass of Irish coffees...then my headaches started again but still managed to bike back home.

I'm actually had a busy week. A week-long celebration I think. Hehehe! The next day I went to a family member in Maartensdijk. I had a great time with sister in-law where we spent dinner too. I had a Dutch small talks too with their kids. It was an exercise for me to understand them with help of body gestures. Thanks that there was no need for acrobatic stunts :-)
Trivia: I received cooking utensils as their bday presents plus a Dutch cooking book. Now, I'm completely indulged with the Dutched life circle and food taste. Well, soon I'm becoming a full-pledged chef. Hehehe!

Then the following day, a sweet 9-yr old girl, a neece of my husband spent a night with us. Another day to test my Dutch fluency. Hehehe! She baked a cookie for us and that was special.

De koekjes in de doos. ( The cookies in the box.)

Then the following saturday night,we had a night out with few friends here. A bowling game was a body-warming treat for all of us. I think I'm going to post more about of this sooner...

Well, that was a day that turned out a week of energy bursting. I'm not exhausted by now...but I'm tired. Huh! Just need to re-charged I think for the next challenging week. Birthdays is everyday.

"Always live the day as if it will be your last." - Og Mandino.

So, I must keep going :-)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The day before my Birthday!!!!!!!

I'm turning 28 years old. It's my first time to celebrate my day here in Holland. Celebrate? Well, yeah... My partner decided to have a 2-day off starting last Monday to spend time together. However, we are not as game buddies as this week starts. I was already sick since Sunday and hubby is not feeling well too as his nose is like running in a marathon of colds.

In short, we were not feeling well during our most awaited mini-party (good for two persons only). However, last Monday was a promising and irrisistible bright day that we managed to go out and enjoy the centrum around Delft. What we did? We took a boat cruising the canals of Delft. Hehehe! We already walked and wandering around the city, so why not try a "grand" cruise in the city waters :-) We passed and introduced to the old water canals and bridges of Delft and also to their old achitectural houses. Delft's pictures and tourism.

Many things learned...but actually I forgot now :-( While we were inside of the boat, this captured my attention...

A cute dog...see? The boat has two dogs on board actually. I hope it's not their birthday :-)

Below were our taken photos from the boat as we were taking the Oude canal of Delft approaching closely to the
Oude Kerk(Old Church) which is about 800 years old.

Then here we are...

Left foto: We were inside of the boat.
Foto below: We had our dinner in Kobus Kuch (in Dutch text) restaurant. We decided to sit outside and had finished one game of Rummikub and I won.

We went to the centrum by bike. So, I had a little hard time to fold my skirt up that made me late to beat the green light at the Binnenwatersloot intersection.

After our dinner, we watched movie to Must See theater. We watched The Lake House, a time-travel romantic fairytale. A come-back movie together of Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves since 1994 in Speed , an adrenaline-pumping movie.
I'm not look sick huh!

At the theater restaurant. I didn't have time to comb my hair. Hehehe! The photographer was in a hurry.

Now, we will see how our energy will come back to life on my birthday. I'll post and tell you later...I'll just have a break to hang my laundry and run for groceries :-). Now, It's 19.5C. I'm back to coat wardrobe, actually a raincoat 'çoz its raining outside by now...tsuk! tsuk! Heavy huh!