No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

30 November, 2007

Thanksgiving in Leiden

Last Thanksgiving I visited James in Sarajevo and got fogged in for 4 extra days. After 5 straight clear days, we thought this year might be different, but, just our luck, the fog rolled in and our flight was canceled the night before. Determined to make a break for Western Europe, we took an 8 hour overnight bus to Zagreb to catch our other connection. It was a brutal, smelly night, but well worth it. Our visit to The Netherlands was everything we needed to refresh. We rode our bikes, ate Thai food, shopped, and just enjoyed the ambiance of a quiet, friendly town. Leiden is the city from which the Pilgrims left for America--the perfect place for a Thanksgiving feast made by Cory and friends. These are just a few funny pictures from the weekend. Below, we are at the 4 story bike parking in Amsterdam.
A clothing store in Leiden pulled us in to try on clothing and do a "street casting photo shoot." Cory and I put on some funky clothes and posed in hopes of winnig a trip to Barcelona. The girls in the picture below remind me of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat.Leiden
Sinterklaas arrived! On December 5th, Dutch children place their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with candy by Sinterklaas and his helper, Black Piet. If you are bad, Sinterklaas will put you in his bag and carry you away.Swarms of Black Piets were all over The Netherlands this weekend--we saw them dancing, singing, playing instruments and even rappelling off a church. Black Piet was originally a term for the devil, then thought to be an African slave and more recently his black face and hands are told to be from chimney soot. To be politically correct, a move was recently made to change Black Piet to have a blue, red, or green face with the explanation that he rowed his boat through a rainbow. We didn't see any of these rainbow Piets.

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