Motorcycles and Canal Boats

Day 3 here in wonderful Holland was a more relaxing day, but just as fun as all the rest.

Peter had an appointment today, so he suggested I take his 2003 Honda Fireblade 954 out for a ride around.  Which was a prefect suggestion.  I love his bike and getting a chance to learn some of the roads here would be amazing.

I left Peter’s with a smile from ear to ear, at around 1:30 pm and started to follow the route he had configured on his GPS.

The route was pretty awesome, going along side a few canals, over bridges and even a few minutes on the freeway.   My thought during the entire ride was, how lucky am I to be living this life.  Here I am cruising through the Netherlands on a sport bike.  How many people from Canada can say they have done that?

A little over 2 hours later I make it back without running any red lights or running over any cyclist. 🙂  My smile is even bigger now than when I left.

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The rest of the day was relaxing with good conversation.

Day 4 and my last day with my family.

We left around 10 in the morning with Marije and Mariëlle, to go for a canal ride,  lunch, maybe some beers and then the airport.  The sun was out and I knew it was going to be fun.

The canal boat we rented was about 12 feet long with an electric motor on the back.  Maybe the top speed would be 1 KMH, I think.  Was the perfect cruising speed for this day.

A few pictures of us cruising along.

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Some of the highlights were when Peter stood up and rocked the boat, Mariëlle screamed like a little girl.  The next one was when I rocked the boat, Mariëlle yelled at Peter, and I can’t believe he did this, but he pointed at me and told her it was me.  I thought we were best friends 🙂 The next highlight was when I ran into the land, while looking at my phone.  Yes, texting and Canal boating is dangerous.  However, Marije said it was OK, we made it out alive.

These were some great memories.

We ate lunch at this nice little patio where I had a traditional dutch pancake with cheese and what they call syrup.  Not like our Canadian Maple syrup, but still full of sugar goodness. 🙂

After lunch we dropped off Marije at the train station, and Peter, Mariëlle, and I headed through the crazy Amsterdam tourist traffic to the Windmill were we will have a few final beers.

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The beers at this place are always awesome, and the atmosphere is just as good.  I could not have asked for a better last day, and to spend with with Peter and his girls made it even more special. I love visiting them, as they always treat me like I am a best friend and not a distant relative who they have only seen a few times.

Peter is truly the nicest person I have ever met and hope he never changes.

Peter, Karin, Marije, Mariëlle and all of my family/friends in Holland, thank you and I hope to see you all again, maybe in April 2017, if not, 2018 Island of Man TT 🙂

Little clip below!

Great times in Alphen, Netherlands

Day 2 was a pretty awesome day.  Peter, Marijie and I took the bicycles into Alphen for lunch and then a little tour around town.  As you can see below, Marijie had the hardest ride of the day.

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Selfie on a bicycle, and yes, I am still awesome.

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Peter treated us to lunch on a nice patio where you could sit and watch people attempting to water ski.  It was pretty cool.  There is a cable pull that goes in a loop that pulls the person.  I loved it when people fell.

Check out this kid ripping it up!

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After lunch Marijie showed me how to play Pokiemon Go.  She caught one on Peter’s head and one on my butt.  I see Pokiemon have no respect 🙂

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Peter told me this is a man made lake, and the sand was used to raise the land around Alphen.  All of this area is approximately 60 meters below sea level and how they use dykes and canals to mange the water is dutch engineering.

Our ride continued around the town were at times I thought I should have a sign on my bike that says “Tourist, Look Out!”.  But in the end I did not hit anyone or cause any accidents.

In Alphen, Peter treated us to ice-cream, and a walking tour of the streets.  He also showed me where his mother and father were buried.  A very nice little cemetery beside one of the churches.

One last picture of our ride, when we were waiting for the bridge to lower.

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Later that evening Peter and I went over to see Karin’s, her girlfriend and Mariëlle at their new house.  It was a nice relaxing visit, and again some good laughs and stories were had.

Another sunny day in Alphen!

Back in Holland

I made it with ease!

At 9:30 AM I say goodbye to Kris and thank him for letting me couch surf for the last few months.  Those are some great memories I will never forget.

My next stop is my sister’s house where she will join my journey to Pearson Airport in my vintage 1996 Honda Odyssey.

I arrive at Sam’s place right on time and we don’t waste anytime time heading back onto the road. I only left a 1 hour buffer for arriving at the airport, which isn’t the smartest thing to do in Toronto traffic.

As we approach Oshawa, the traffic is already slowing down to a stop and start, and I decide there is a better way to get to the Airport.  We pull off the 401 highway in Oshawa, and head over to the Go Train.  The Go Train is only $13 dollars to the airport with no traffic.  This will save us from driving through T.O. traffic and also shorten my sisters drive back home.

Here I say goodbye to my vintage 1996 Honda Odyssey, as I may never see her again.  I gave the car to my sister to use while I am gone, and well, she is a female driver, so who knows if the car will even make it a day in her hands :).  Good luck and goodbye my friend.

After purchasing my ticket I realize it is not for the Go Train, but for the Go Transit Bus and the arrival time is is 5 P.M.  Hmm, this should work out.

15 minutes later I am on the empty bus, and am heading to Pearson.  The driver tells me there is an accident so he is taking another route, but not to worry because I would never had made my connection according to my ticket anyways.  He tells me to stay on his bus to the end of his route and he will drop me off at the next bus, which goes directly to Pearson.

We make it to my connection right on time, as it is loading.  I jump into the front seat and ask the bus driver how long it takes to Pearson Airport and he tells me 30 minutes, which makes my arrival time just before 5 P.M.  Excellent.

The driver turns out to be a pretty cool guy and we chat about traveling.  At the end of the ride I toss him one of my cards and we say goodbye.

Getting to my flight was a breeze!  The counter lineup for the my ticket was full, but moved fast.  I then went through security in minutes and made it to my gate with 1 hour to spare.

I checked out the food prices and wasn’t shocked by the over inflated prices.  For $12.00 I can get a cheap burger or a pre made sandwich.  I thought we had laws about increasing prices do to demand in Canada?

Anyways, I grab a burger, head for a final poop poop, plop, plop, and walk over to my gate, where they just start to load, and for whatever reason they are loading zone 4 first.  What perfect timing, I have not had to wait anywhere.

I jump into the plane and within no time we are already taking off.  My flight is to arrive in Amsterdam at 9.A.M.  However, our plane is going over 1000 KMH, and we arrive at 8:19 A.M.  More than 30 minutes early. Saweet!

Hello Holland again 🙂

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The plane ride itself wasn’t all that comfortable and I did not sleep at all, but I am here and heading to customs.

I am second in line and do not even have to wait again.  The customs agent ask me only 2 questions. “Family or Business?”, I say Family, and then he asks, “Where?”, I say Alphen.  He says, have a great trip and hands my passport back.  I wonder, “Do you think my last name of Kruis helped?”

I walk over to the baggage claim and with great luck, my bag is coming right out. I grab and start heading to the exit.  As I am walking I try to connect my smart cellular telephone to the internet to let Marijie know I am here, but as I am connecting to the net I look up and there she is smiling and waving.  Wow, again perfect timing.

From the airport to Peter’s house doesn’t take long and to my surprise, Marijie doesn’t make vroom vroom noises while driving.  She really has grown up in the last 4 months.

Walking through the front door of Peter’s house is so familiar, it almost seems like I am home again.

I missed Peter and was very happy to see him again.  He and Bob the cat are looking great.

My visit here in Holland is only 4 days, so Peter tries lining up when I can visit everyone in a short period of time.  Tonight we are going to drop off  Marijie in Rotterdam later, for an appointment, and Peter and I will head to Honey and Lex’s house for a visit.

After dropping off Marijie, we head over to a cool apartment / indoor mall for a bite to eat.  Peter gets fries and mayonnaise and I get Croquettes.  My favorite dutch food to eat.

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It’s a one hour drive to Hannie’s and I have to say, I am starting to get really tired.  I think I have been awake for 26 hours or more.

Our visit with Hannie and Lex was really great.  Some good laughs were had, and a cool pint of beer was had.  🙂

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I love how in Holland everyone sits outside and enjoys the warm, not hot summer air.  Oh yeah, it is only 24 Celsius here.  A change from our 35 during the day in Ontario and 26 at night.

Back at Peter’s he cooks us a really yummy dinner, we watch a few minutes of the Olympics, and I finally give in at 7:30 P.M. and head to bed.

I can’t wait for day 2!