Friday, May 1, 2009

Going Dutch

Where I come from, the term 'going Dutch' means that everyone pays for themselves. This phrase most likely originated from the characteristic stinginess of the Dutch people. However, on our recent visit to the Netherlands, the Van den Heuvel family gave us a whole new perspective on what going Dutch really looks like.

The Van Dens, (as we have come to know them), are very much like my own family. Apart from having 7 children, they are also conservative, they enjoy sports, and they love the United States! In fact, it was just like being home for a couple days, except they wouldn't let us do the dishes.

The whole time we were together they gave us the royal treatment. Anna was our full-time tour guide. She led us to the Dutch windows and candy shop in Gouda, the cheese shop and the butchery in Bodegraven, as well as some delightful evening bike rides through the countryside. Mr. Van Den took time off work to transport us to the beautiful tulip gardens, and to a Dutch art museum in Den Haag. Alexander graciously let me beat him in a game of basketball, and kept us all on edge with his bicycle stunts! Mrs. Van Den bent over backwards to make us feel at home. She let us sleep in, fed us like kings, and even did our laundry for us! Elena, Isabella, and Lawrence also added to the enjoyment by joining us on our excursions and keeping the house bustling with activity. They also helped make sure we were well stocked with grillworst and gouda cheese when we left!

I think my favorite part of our holiday in Holland was the evenings we spent chatting over a cup of tea. The genuine conversation was a delight, and I don't think I'll ever be able to say the words 'nice,' or 'silence' without thinking of my friends in the Netherlands!

One thing I know for sure, if this is what going Dutch means, I'll be happy to 'Go Dutch' anytime.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry in Europe.

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