We’ve had over two weeks of beautiful summer weather here! There were a few really hot days, but this past week was perfect. Most nights the temps fall into the 50s, so we don’t even need a fan to keep cool. I’ve been able to ride my bike to work 10 week days straight and Dick has been out for several long rides on his road/racing bike (we’re learning to call them racing bikes here). Dick gets a kick out of being able to bike to Belgium or Germany. I need to get my bike tuned up so I can join him on some longer rides. 

Two weeks ago we spent a hot sunny day in Cochem, Germany with my coworkers. One of them lives nearby on a small farm, so we started there with a big breakfast and then hopped a train for a scenic ride. The village is picturesque with amazing views of the Moselle River. We toured the Reichsburg castle and did some wine tasting. The day ended with a decent Mexican meal. We’ve been craving Mexican food, which is hard to find in grocery stores and restaurants. 

Last Sunday, we made a last minute decision to attend a concert at the American cemetery in Margraten. The concert commemorates the liberation of Limburg during WWII. The South Netherlands Philharmonic performed and it was excellent. Over 8000 American soldiers are buried in this cemetery. The average age of these men was 20 and when you read the the names on the crosses, you can’t help but notice that most of the ranks are Pvt. When the national anthem was played, I got a little emotional and felt proud to be an American. That’s not a feeling I’ve had too much lately! One of the musical selections was Copeland’s Appalacian Spring, which also made me feel a little nostalgic for home. 

I love Fridays because I get out of work at 2 pm and the weekend begins! This past Friday was a gorgeous weather day and we decided to do a walking trail just across the Maas River in Belgium (25 min from our house). There are MANY walking trails in BE, NL and DE and it’s a very popular activity. The trail we chose was 10 km, though it seemed longer. It started at a castle and through a lovely tree arbor then picked up a trail past a corn field, along the Maas to some woods around a nice pond, to another field, through Leut village and then another field, past a pink windmill and then through yet another field back to the castle. Nice!

Saturday we met our friends Norm and Tricia and Tricia’s sister in Amsterdam. They had some time to see the city before embarking on a cruise. What fun it was to catch up with old friends in our new context! It was a picture perfect day and perhaps a little atypical for Amsterdam weather. We tried to show them a few of the famous sights and the highlight was a visit to the Anne Frank House. We’ve been unsuccessful obtaining tickets before, so we were excited to finally get in. It’s been many years since I read the Diary of Anne Frank, but it came alive to me during the tour. After lunch along one of the canals, we walked towards the Nieuwmarkt. I didn’t plan to go through the red light district, but it was the most direct route. Ugh, welcome to Amsterdam!

The forecast shows more hot summer weather this week. I’ll take it!