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Our agenda today was to squeeze a trip to Groningen in between family visits. The first family visit was to see Dick’s Tante Gre (his father’s sister) who lives in Drachten. She doesn’t speak English, but we enjoyed our short stay for some coffee and ontbijkoek. Dick’s parents continued their visit with her while we drove into Groningen.

Groningen is a fairly large city that has an interesting mix of old and new architecture. The only must-do for this stop was to see and climb the Martini Tower. We also needed to connect to wifi! We walked around the square and checked out the visitor’s center before taking on the tower. It was over 270 steps up to the top and the stairs were small in a spiral. There were a couple of stops along the way to look out a small window or see the bells inside. Near the top, there was a walkway around the outside where we got some nice views. The weather was dry and at times sunny.

After we accomplished our climb up and back, we planted ourselves at a café at the base of the tower for some lunch and wifi access. We were able to FaceTime with Jenna and sort of see her off to college remotely. She had to drop Sadie off at the kennel on Sunday, which was rough. I still wasn’t able to upload photos to facebook, but was able to post a message and download the newsfeed. It’s frustrating me that I can’t share any photos right now! We made a stop at a Kruidvat to get a few things and walked by some shops on our way back to the car.

We picked up the Smid folks in Drachten and then headed to Oldeholtpade to have dinner with Dick’s cousin Els and her husband Franz. They have a cute, cozy house and we had a nice relaxed dinner there. Els and Franz were also married last year and it’s also a second marriage for both. I found that Franz took a little getting used to, but I especially warmed up to him when we talked about faith and the state of the Christian church in Holland and the US. He and Els are both involved in world missions.

Curious sighting: Why is there an ugly VVV building right on the square?!