Friday, June 20, 2014

A visit with Geert and Berti

When Hendrik and I woke after my late night wanderings around the waters of Holland, we headed to Geert’s for my final puzzle party of this trip.  (For those paying attention-my few readers-this makes number 5) 

We arrived around noon and promptly set about looking at Geert’s collection.  I expected to see many many that I don’t have, but was shocked to discover few.  But the ones I did discover!  Oh boy!  I need I need!

Berti made Hendrik and I a sandwich and coffee. And Puzzle daddy arrived!  Yipee!  I was so happy to see Georges.  I knew he was invited, but didn’t know if he would show up.  You see, I’ve been playing with him online for years now but have only met him once.  This second meeting was truly wonderful for me. 

Chris, Jessica, Frank, and Thomas all came in.  We started chatting, but it didn’t take long for the puzzles to hit the table.  We dove into Franks bag, and Geert’s cabinets.  Others soon pulled out yet more puzzles and before long there was a table full of toys. 

Chris showed us a magnet and aluminum tube trick that I'd never seen before.  Even Berti got in on the puzzling after this.

We puzzled the afternoon away and puzzled some more.  Around 6 Karin started the BBQ.  My third this trip and each was unique.  Dinner was served along with a few more beers.  The conversation turned from puzzles to more mundane topics but was good all the same.  I really enjoyed myself.  At some point in the evening, the language switched to German and I was very pleased that I was able to follow most of it.  And even able to join in when they started talking about watching Bonanza in German.  A pleasant memory from my childhood. 

I finally began to feel the trip.  Around 10 I made excuses and begged Hendrik to take me back to the hotel my poor body had finally given up after 3 ½ weeks.  Needless to say, I slept in the next day. 

My final day in Holland was spent traveling from one beach to the next up the coastline.  A short walk through the woods and a final beer by the car before heading to the airport. 

And so my journey ends.  As happy as I am to see my family again, I’m sad to go.  I’ll miss my friends and the good times that we had.  But as usual, I know I’ll see most again in August.

I want to say a special thank you to all my hosts over the past month, Gino, Tomas, Timo, Vesa, Marti, Allard and Gill, Nanco, Maarten, Oskar and José, Guido, Wil, Geert and Berti, and especially Hendrik for putting up with me for so long-I know that had to be painful at times.  You all have made my long work trip worth going for.  I can’t wait til next years conference jaunt!  Denmark this time, but I’m guessing I can make a side trip or two.  Finland is a definite again, the Netherlands?  Or maybe I should go see friends in Germany? Who knows what the cards will hold.

And who knows, after IPP, I may be hooked on those boys and toys so much that I’ll travel back to Europe for one of the toy fairs

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