22 September 2010

Amanda Heads Back To Boston

Andy's mom reporting again: This morning we are preparing to go to the train station with Amanda so she can get back to her studies in Boston. We will miss her our last 2 days here! She has been a delightful tour guide, and (unlike Andy at times) she consults the maps so rarely steers us wrong.

Yesterday we stumbled on to a delightful cafe for lunch. We had walked quite a ways on our way to a museum we wanted to see while looking for a spot for lunch, finding none but a "greasy spoon" looking place. Then we spotted "Zizo", a small cafe with gift shop/copy shop attached. The menu from the window looked okay, so we went in. It was possibly the most delightful surprise of the trip. The waiters were young men with Down Syndrome (for those of you who don't know Andy's family, his younger sister has Down Syndrome as well). They took our orders on notepads with icons for the various menu items and served us with great seriousness and style.  The gift shop was stocked with art work and crafted items made by others served by this same workshop. The lunch was wonderful--roasted red pepper soup and a great bread as well as sandwiches. It made our day. It was a grace-filled experience, although it made us miss our dear Ellen. It seems every time on this trip we feel we have taken a wrong turn or been led on a merry chase to nowhere, it ends in one of the more memorable experiences of the trip. We are blessed.

Amanda and Andrew planned to climb the 465 steps to the top of the Dom but we arrived there just as it closed. The only disappointment I can think of from the whole trip. They went out last night to see the light shows in the streets of Utrecht while Bernie and I rested in the apartment with our feet up. One has to make a few concessions for the old folks and it was a pleasure to just "chill" in this beautiful apartment for an hour or so.

This morning we were surprised by a beautiful basket hanging from our door and a display of colorful confetti on the step. We think it was a salute from our landlords in celebration of Andrew's graduation. Whatever, it was a fun surprise.

Today we are off to Arnhem to see a heritage farm-type outdoor museum after Amanda leaves for Amsterdam. Tomorrow is the graduation and Andrew may leave Bernie and me to our own devices as far as returning to the apartment from Wageningen. We've been practicing and memorizing landmarks, so we might just be able to pull it off. If not, he'll watch for two Americans sobbing on a bench at the bus stop and guide us home! :)

Touring the canals of Utrecht.
Some houses have very nice decks.
Amanda and Dad peddled for awhile.

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