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There was not even hint of sun this morning and we knew we were in for a rainy day. But we headed to Haarlem with lots of anticipation. When we got to our parking spot and tried to pay at the machine, Dick got a message that the balance was low. This didn’t seem right at all and sent us in search of the closest bank to see what was up. Our attempt to use Google maps to get there didn’t work out so well, but we finally made it to a Rabobank and got enough information to figure out the problem.

Up until this little trip around Haarlem, we had been using the car’s GPS which has a British voice that usually gets the Dutch pronunciation correct. Google maps has an American voice that slaughtered the Dutch language. I thought it was amusing; Dick thought it was disgraceful!

Our itinerary for today included: Frans Hals Museum, Corrie ten Boom House, St. Bavo, Grote Markt and Mama Smid’s childhood home. When we arrived at the Frans Hals Museum, we realized that it was closed on Mondays. Dang, we never thought to check the hours for a Monday! The Corrie ten Boom house was also closed. We had to come up with a plan B. We headed to Grote Markt where there were a few vendors, but nothing much of interest. We decided to have some coffee at the Grand Cafe and catch up on social media.

We happy to find out that St. Bavokerk was open. Yay! The interior is quite impressive — especially the organ which is really a piece of art as well as music. The middle ceiling decoration includes a clock, which I thought was interesting and perhaps practical.

We grabbed some Dutch pastries on our way back to the car had a quick snack. We then pointed the GPS to Zandvoort. On the way there, we made a swing by Dick’s cousins former residence in a lovely neighborhood. So it wasn’t exactly a beach day with rain and temps in the low 60s, but this was our best chance of seeing the North Sea. There were hardly any people around on a day like today, which was a plus I guess. We walked a bit and stopped for kibbeling and frites from vendors along the way. We saw the European champion sand sculptures further up the beach near the shops. They were kind of modern art sand sculpture.

We decided to drive back into Haarlem to find a nice cafe for a light dinner and open wifi for internet access. We drove around a bit and then just happened upon a cafe near the train station (we didn’t even use Google or Yelp!). Het Wachtlocaal van Haarlem was the perfect spot. It was inviting, cozy and had great food. Dick had leek soup and I had a ham & parm salad with pine nuts and pesto on top. Yum! The service was slow because they were short-staffed, but I won’t nick them in my review for that.

This is our last night at De Oude Tuinderij Bed & Breakfast. Ans was a wonderful hostess and we will definitely recommend this place. Dick tried out the sauna, but we didn’t get to use the other amenities because of the rainy weather. Bummer.

Today’s curious sighting: at the cafe I order tea, which came to me as a hot glass of water and a wooden tea box shaped like a book. Inside the box, were teas of many kinds in cute little boxes. I LOVED this and I want one!

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