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Living in North Holland

Living in North Holland Tourism

Cherry Blossoms in the Amsterdamse Bos

On the edge of the Amsterdamse Bos sits a circle of beautiful cherry blossoms. 400 of these elegant trees were a gift from Japan to Amstelveen in 2000. Of course Sander and I kept missing our time to go so we decided to use the sunny weather to head outside. I know we’re supposed to be in quarantine… But Sander and I could not resist the outdoors on Saturday. We’ve been in the house for so long and it was…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Social Distancing

Whew. We thought that 2019 was terrible but nothing prepared us for 2020. It’s only mid-March and it sounds like the world is spiraling out of control. Sander and I live in a small town in North Holland so we’ve been safe so far. But all our big plans for the spring crumbled due to COVID-19 and advised social distancing. Here’s an update on what’s going on with us and our situation here in The Netherlands. Staying Home Remember that…

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Living in North Holland The Netherlands

A Few Beautiful Dutch Words

Dutch words are hard to read and even harder to say. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a beautiful language. Dutch has its quirks and charms, and even those words that make you want to gag. I was disappointed when I first learned that duck was “eend.” However, if you add a -je to the end of it, eendje sounds so much cuter and is a ton more fun to say. I use -je for as much as I can.…

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Food Living in North Holland The Netherlands

How the Dutch celebrate Christmas

The Dutch enjoy the holiday season a lot and festivities begin early! We even saw Christmas treats in our supermarket in October! Sometimes it feels like Christmas season starts earlier each year but the traditions always stay the same. So how do the Dutch celebrate Christmas? Christmas Markets I’ve written about Christmas Markets before but it’s such a huge part of Christmas in The Netherlands. Christmas decorations hang from every store front in America. Outdoor house decorations get larger and…

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Living in North Holland

An inside look at the Dutch Flower Auctions

The Dutch are a huge exporter of flowers. Most of this trade happens in the Dutch Flower auctions and take place in only two towns, Aalsmeer and Eelde. Millions of flowers pass through the doors everyday! And I was lucky enough to get a look at the surface of what goes on. This time around I didn’t learn everything about the Dutch Flower auctions. But I do have a better understanding of what happens! A few weeks ago I went with…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Dutch Flowers: Behind the Scenes

We all know that The Netherlands supplies much of the world with beautiful flowers. But how much do we know about what goes on? According to the Royal Flora Holland website, they do about 4.6 billion euros in transactions and deal with 12.1 billion plants. There are over 30,000 species of Dutch flowers and plants involved. Those are huge numbers! I had no idea those statistics would be so high! It’s no secret that I enjoy plants. I can care…

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Living in North Holland The Netherlands

My experience with the Dutch ONA

The Dutch ONA is, in theory, simple. It’s the Orientation on the Dutch Labor Market. Meaning you understand how the Dutch job system works. You can also apply for a job, understand what schooling would is important and how to be a competent worker. Easy right? Especially for someone who had held a job. Ah well.. If only it was that simple. I was nervous about it so I bought the workbook to help me. I understand that they want…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

January’s first snow

It snowed yesterday and it was magical. I was sitting on the couch enjoying a cup of tea when the flakes started to fall. The dogs immediately went to the window to watch. It’s been a year since the dogs have last seen snow.   There’s something indescribable about the first snowfall of the year. It’s a soft way to transition into something new. The first snow will melt and help provide for the spring. But that’s all common knowledge. But…

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Lifestyle Living in North Holland

Second Christmas

Christmas time in The Netherlands is unique. They have not one but two Christmas days. There’s the first day of Christmas. And then there’s the second day of Christmas. Both are public holidays and most stores are closed. So what exactly is second Christmas and how did we celebrate ours? An extension of Christmas While the 26th has significance for Christians, many people spend the second day like they do the first. It’s a time for family and friends. Many…

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