Thursday, March 31, 2016


Nicole seems to have been looking for something to do while the boys were at baseball practice tonight. Why not take pictures of her shoes on the fence? It will be 80 degrees here tomorrow but our first double header is scheduled for Sunday with a projected wind chill of 40 degrees.

Picking Up

Most of the tidal basin cherry blossoms blew off the day we got back from Europe but lots of other things are blooming now.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Great Trip

Th boys took this. We didn't get any photos of all four of us except a selfie in Ghent.

Fun Times

We got home right on time yesterday after an easy check in and flight from Amsterdam. We left for the airport 4 hours before our flight but had a 20 minute, traffic free ride, a 5 minute check in and a 10 minute security screening. I figured things would be slow based on what recently happened in Brussels but things went really smoothly. We also got from the gate at Dulles, past passport screening, bag pickup and customs in 45 minutes. That may be a new arrivals record as well. Home today getting ready for the school and work week to start tomorrow.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Heading Home

Las night in Amsterdam. Time to head home.

Deep Thoughts

We walked and rode bikes in Vondelpark today. Great day to be outside.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Van Gogh

The boys got a little something out of this museum but tired of it fairly quickly.

Canal Tour

We hit the Van Gogh museum early, had breakfast then took a small boat canal tour. It's been a little rainy today but we've gotten a bunch more sites in. We have the Holland v. French football game tonight then one more day of touring before heading home on Sunday.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happin Place

Dinner across the canal tonight at a fairly popular water hole. Lively place.


We got up early to get in line to get tickets to the Anne Frank museum today. It was mostly Nicole standing in
Iine. I took the boys to get breakfast. We got there at 8am and got not the place around 9:30. Probably 75 people in front of us at 8 and 2,000 behind us at 9:30. Nicole and I had both been there before but it was good to go back and the boys got something out of it as well.

We hit the Rijksmuseum after that then the bloom market and a few other things, like the red light district. The are crawling on the big Amsterdam letters below, time for a break.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Long day ends with a great German dinner. Time to get some sleep.


Not quite picnic season yet but we do have a nice little spot to eat outside.

This Boats a Rockin

This is a nice rental. The Brugge place was pretty nice and the tower was cool but this boat is badass.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The tower from the street without boys.

Tower Boys

This is the top of the tower that juts up in the middle our apartment. We are on the European 4th floor which really means the 5th floor. The entrance to the tower is in our living room and is another three stories to the top. The boys have gone up a few times a day to get a look around and make chicken noises to annoy the passes by on the street. I took this form the street about a half a block away. It's a great apartment, really old building, very modern interior.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Good Tmes

Time for bed after another good Belgium day.

Night Bridge

Around the corner from our apartment.


We followed up yesterday's long trip to Ypres and the Flanders WWI battlefields with a relatively short trip to Gent. I was a two hour train trip to Ypres, a stop at the In Flanders Fields museum, lunch, a four hour battlefield tour and a two hour trip home. The museum and tour were great. We have all been getting up to speed on WWI in many ways and the tour helped bring home the horrific experience that was WWI. We even saw a recently discovered artillery shell a farmer place on the side of the road. It's estimated that over 10 million unexploded shells are still in the ground in Belgium and France.

We took a short 25 minute train ride up to Gent today and saw the Adoration of the Lamb painting by Von Eyck, climbed the bell tower and toured Castle Gravensteen. Back in Brugge drinking wine while the boys are at the top of the attached medieval tower making chicken noises for the people on the street below.


The boys exploring the German trenches at Bayernwald. Great day in Ypres yesterday but we were tired after the 13 hour excursion. More later.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cercle Brugge

We got seated in the visiting team section which was not a good fit for us. They let us move when we explained we were not Excelsior fans. They game ended in a draw. 2-2.

Possible Holiday Card

...via PhotoToaster, using these settings.

Sent from my iPad

Late Start

We slept hard and long last night. I was the first one up at 10:30, that never happens. We didn't get out the door until noon. Walked a bunch and bought train tickets to Ypes for tomorrow morning. This is a great walking city.

Friday, March 18, 2016

In Brugge

A rather quickish flight that ended with a landing in pea soup fog. The wheels touched the ground before I saw it. Kinda disconcerting to say the least. Our driver was at the airport waiting and we made good time to Brugge. The apartment was ready when we arrived so we got all set up then went exploring a bit. Lunch, grocery store then a two hour nap. It's another great apartment. 5th floor with great views and our own private 8 story medieval tower.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Inside the Plane

Sam really hates long flights.

We're Off

Beautiful sunset over terminal C. Off to Belgium.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

San Diego

It's coming to the end of my 16th National meeting and the 2nd in San Diego in my eight plus years at ACS. Nothing all that new to report but happy to be heading home in the morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Early Summer

Another 80 degree day in ally March and a nice sunset.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

2nd Practice

The boys are now on the full size field and due to the warm weather, we are already practicing. Another 80 degree day tomorrow and more baseball.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Season End

The basketball winter season ending patty was tonight at Ledo's Pizza. We combined it with a fundraiser for the club. We have a few weeks off before practice resumes in preparation for some spring tournaments and the summer league. Basketball never stops.

Friday, March 04, 2016

15 Years

Nice dinner at Brabo and we are back home in front of the fire.


The finishing touch to our anniversary dinner.

Tug of War

We had our first baseball practice on a 65 degree day on Tuesday. Things changed quickly mid week and we woke up to this today. I think this is winters last gasp but I will give it to the season. It looked like a pretty weak winter in December but the next two months proved to be very wintery. We had twice the average season snowfall and a fair share of cold days. I'm going to miss winter but it's probably time for some spring like days.

Nicole and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary yesterday by hanging out with the kids and watching a movie. All of us in the same room in front of a fire was the perfect way to bring in our 16th year. We are leaving them at home and going out for dinner tonight, but back early for another movie.