We finally got a car last Thursday! This turned out to be a three week long process. We made a verbal agreement to buy the car from an American who is posted at the air base and thought it would be fairly easy to transfer the registration within the organization. There is a drop off/pickup arrangement at the registration office, but you have to drop off on Mon or Wed. I was out of town the first Monday, then Wed didn’t work because the car was making a noise that needed to be checked. The following week, the seller was out on duty on Monday and Dick had to pick up Kathryn on Wed. An appointment for the inspection and registration was made for Thurs., but the car failed inspection. The brake lines had to be replaced and the seller was great about getting it right in the shop for a fix. We were away the third Monday and then the seller was away on that Wed. Following this so far? Dick begged for an appt. on Thursday and they grudgingly agreed to squeeze us in. That morning, the seller picked Dick up at our house, but realized that he didn’t have his documents with him. Ugh. So he had to go back to his place to get them and we crossed our fingers that the registration office would still do some squeezing. We all met at the office an hour later and waited . . . 45 min later, the man let us in. He was a bit grouchy, but he got the job done and we were finally on the road that afternoon. Yay!
Dick took Kathryn to Arnhem on Friday to see where he was born and visit the Open Air Museum. Dick reported that they had a great day; Kathryn reported that Dad had to see everything (sounds like she lost patience). We went to Cologne on Saturday and Dick got to drive on the Audubon. We can get there in about an hour (I won’t tell you the speed, but other cars were passing us so we weren’t the fastest!). Our visit went at a fairly relaxed pace. We did a free walking tour that gave us a nice overview of Cologne past and present. The cathedral deserved a second look (wow, just wow) and then we walked towards the Belgian Quarter, which took a little navigating to find. A bit of shopping and a bit of snacking next and then an authentic (?) German dinner al fresco. Kathryn liked hearing and reading German and she interpreted a little for us.
Sunday was a packed day. After church at the chapel in the morning and a quick lunch break at home, we biked into Brunssum to watch a parade featuring dance troupes from all over the world. Every four years, Brunssum hosts a dance festival that lasts a full week. The parade was slow starting and slow going, but we stayed to watch most of it. Sunday evening we met up with my coworkers to have dinner at a pannekoeken house in Valkenburg. It was good food and good conversation! I’m glad that Kathryn got to meet and interact with these intelligent young ladies.
Summer seems to have arrived this week. It’s been mostly dry and temps have been in the 20s and 30s. We had to acquire some fans today to keep cool and some insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away since there are no screens on the windows. We also found a great gelato place closeby for cold treats!