Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holland: Day Four

Let’s talk about Xanax. This drug is my new best friend. I took half of a Xanax my sister-in-law gave me prior to leaving the states. Soon after, the arm I was using to hold my book light slowly caved and hung like the Leaning Tower of Piza. I put on my lovely cushy eye-cover and slept clear through 7:30 this morning. Ahhhh.
Showers and madness resumed today, piling into the car promptly at 9am after a hearty breakfast of, you guessed it, meat, bread, and cheese (not necessarily in that order). We headed off to Alsmeer, a city housing the worlds largest flower auction. This place was unreal. First of all, it took us about a half an hour to find the “tourist” entrance, and in the mean time we found ourselves in the middle of a HUGE and non-stop flower operation. Workers sped past us in go-carts and bicycles and every kind of flower you could think of flew with them. The auctions themselves were amazing and very organized. Hundreds of men and women sat in raised bleachers staring at a conveyor belt of huge carts carrying every kind of flower you could think of. Outside, a mile of warehouse stretched out in every different color. videoThese carts, drawn by electric scooters, were dragged in a veritable ballet of tulips and hydrangea past each other, never crashing or even taking note. It was a long walk and after a time, all the flowers started to blend together in a hypercolor t-shirt sort of way. We shared a croquet and some coffee after Deb needed a little break (on account of the LIFE she’s carrying inside of her).
We left the flower auction and drove into the main town of Alsmeer to have a lovely lunch. I had “Grandma’s Vegetable soup” and a tosti. It was excellent soup; the broth in Europe is so much better than the broth in America. I can’t explain why, other than it’s cleaner. A tosti is pretty much a grilled cheese sandwich. The kids were thrilled because the restaurant had American ketchup. You’ve never seen a pile of ketchup so tall.
Next we went to the Keukenhof in Lisse, a huge piece of land where they have fields and fields of flowers. Keukenhof itself is sort of like a flower museum. Every kind of flower you’ve ever heard of, thought of, created in a picture, or dreamed of growing is there, and several hybrids thereof. Tulips the size of my HEAD people. It’s not natural. There is only so much flower museum I can take. I’m interested in getting flowers, that’s about as far as my interest takes me. So I ooed and ahhed as much as I could until the vomit started hitting the back of my throat and I gently nudged David (apparently at the same time as Deb) to encourage his parents to end the day. Ha. End.
The hour car ride home turned into 2 hours (and longer, considering I had to pee since the 15 minute mark). Traffic is unbelievable some days, and totally clear others. On this day, everyone in Holland was on the road.
Again today, by the time we got to dinner we were all so tired that we hated each other until the beer and lemonade arrived at the table. I had a salad for dinner, followed by everyone else’s frites and chicken. Deb made Corey sit on his hands at the dinner table as a “game” so he would chill out. She once told him he was disqualified for moving his chair. “Corey, this will get you disqualified from this game.” I cracked up.
David and I walked home from dinner, which was very nice. Romantic, even. His voice is almost gone from a small cold, so he has been extra sexy-sounding.
We played Nutso once we got home and let off some steam. Exhausted again, but a good day.

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