Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays 2007 from Rich & Rochelle!

Happy Holidays, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weinachten, Prettige Feestdagen!

If you’re reading this, you know that this year, we decided to put our holiday letter online. If we don’t have your email address, please drop us a note at rochelleandrich@yahoo.com.
Feel free to click on any link in this post, which will take you to a post on one of our two blogs: our travel blog http://www.rr-netherlands.blogspot.com/ and our “daily” blog http://www.wassenaardailyphoto.blogspot.com/.

When we started to review all that we’ve done this year, it’s truly hard to believe that we’ve been able to see so much of Europe. Many of our trips were weekend trips, and we were lucky enough to spend some time with friends for some of them. If you’re interested in learning more about one of the trips mentioned, you can click on the link and it’ll take you to our blog.

Our friends Joan & Jim paid us a visit in March/April, where we experienced Queen’s Day in Amsterdam and continued the party in Dublin. Last month we visited Prague, with our college friend Cathy, celebrating Thanksgiving with cheap beer & pork knuckles, and enjoying a friendly city.

Our “big trip” was the two weeks that we spent in Scotland. We started out enjoying the wonderful hospitality of friends Laurette & Colin and their clan. Then we ventured further into the Highlands, taking in the incredible scenery and visiting historic castles. Highlights were the two boat trips we took, where we experienced an island full of puffins and a group of dolphins.

This year, we visited Germany more than anywhere outside of The Netherlands. In Berlin we met up with friends Jon & Scott. We also visited: Cologne, home of the beautiful cathedral and one of Germany’s best Christmas Markets; Dusseldorf, for a concert that was canceled but a great time in the festive Old Town; Munsterland, famous for it’s moated estates; and Aachen, once the seat of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire.

In Belgium, we made return trips to Brussels and Antwerp (meeting up with work colleague Shamiel & seeing Sting in concert). We also spent some time in other Belgian areas on our trips to Aachen and Luxembourg.

We twice visited the southern part of The Netherlands, where there are actually hills, ruined castles, and the only American war cemetery in the country. One of our favorite daytrips was to Giethoorn, a nice small village where you get around by electric boat.

By the end of the year we’ll have returned to London twice: once for the Chelsea Garden Show in May (one of the most famous --and crowded—in the world), and once for a weekend in December to see one of Rochelle’s favorite 80’s band, Madness.

Touring around Luxembourg, we stumbled on a nice wine region, an adventurous restaurant, and a mélange of languages. In Barcelona, where we rambled on Las Ramblas, enjoyed great food & wine, and discovered the unusual Gaudi architecture. For our second weekend trip to Paris, we visited the Musee de Orsay, returned to Rochelle’s favorite seafood restaurant, and watched Scotland play France in rugby at a Canadian bar. Touring Normandy we paid a visit to Monet's famous garden; we hope to go back to see the war memorials at the beaches.

Our “home trip” in the summer was very busy, seeing some of our family around the Detroit area and friends in Chicago.

So ... other than travel, what else is new? Rochelle continues to be busy at Unilever as Project Leader, Spreads and Cooking Category. She’s working on a major new technology in the margarine category that will be rolled out first in Europe. Next year looks to be even busier for her as the product launch nears. Rich has been busy travel planning and blogging. He’s participating in an international photo club in The Hague, where he is newsletter editor and even won 1st place in one round of the Photographer of the Year contest (with the photo on the left).

There’s always some bad news to report. In March, Rochelle’s mother passed away, having never recovered from a fall last Christmas. We said goodbye to our cat Tracy, who died after giving us 16 years of joy. And as we write this, Rich’s mom is in the hospital after breaking her hip. We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

We miss everyone and look forward to hearing what’s new with you. Remember to email us at rochelleandrich@yahoo.com.

Best wishes for happy holidays, or Prettige Feestdagen as they say here (just don’t ask how to pronounce it)!

1 comment:

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Sounds like a wonderful year. WOW! Such adventures.