The Exchange

amarins6990 may just some ordinary numbers to most, but not to me. When I see this number combination it bring back so many memories.

You see 6990 is the number of the district in which I spent a year as an exchange student: Rotary district 6990 SouthEast Florida, The Keys & Grand Bahama Islands*.

When I was browsing on fb today i landed on the Rotary District 6990* page i had to ‘like’ it of course. And scrolling through the posts I came across a picture* of a group of people holding a banner welcoming an exchange student to the US, to their club and their homes.

Of course I don’t know the exchange student, but I can imagine what she was feeling when seeing the banner and the group as she was coming out of the gate. Tired, a bit scared but mostly excited about everything that is coming her way this exchange year.

Or at least that’s how I felt exactly 19 years ago today!

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* clickable links

 

Lets go the Movies

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Lets go see the stars*

When i was on holiday in Miami i decided to go & see a film at the theater at CocoWalk (aka The Grove). The film (Post Grad with Alexis Bledel, Rory from Gilmore Girls) had been out for a while so i didn’t expect a lot of other people in the theater with me. But i didn’t count on being the only one (!) there when the film started. Hmmm okay, never experienced that before. Heaven! You can laugh when you want, comment on stuff out loud and just do what the heck you like, within reason of course.

After about 15 min. a guy came in, decided he needed to sit only 2 row’s away from me & he kept looking at me over his shoulder, at one point he just stared at me for over a minute. Weirdo alert!!! I could see he was holding a beer and even if i didn’t see the can, i knew he was/ had been drinking ’cause you couldn’t miss the oder he brought in with him. Thinking this was going to be a dreadful experience, the film started & luckly the guy just watched the screen and laughed at the most unfunny moments in the film (just like i said weirdo!).

When the film was done he quickly left, leaving me alone in theater again. Perfect, because i just wanted to just stay a little while longer. Not to think about & reflect on the film (it was good just not great), but i wanted to take in what it feels like to be in a theater all by yourself. The theater wasn’t so spectacular looking as the one on the photo above, but an empty theater has a magical feeling. It’s like Lyn Gardner of The Guardian describes it, it’s like a netherworld between real life and the life of the film or an eerie twilight world between everyday life and a make-believe one.

Walking out trough the doors & out into the foyer, that magical feeling was instantly gone. Only the beer smell was back… together with the smell of old (rotting) popcorn & sweaty feet!

* A song from the musical Annie

– Post inspired by Nsmbl

♥ Family Time

6416208835_e9b21d8e59_oChristmas is over & New Years is just around the corner. Can you believe it?

Time has gone by so fast! My Christmas day’s have been spent in the company of some my favorite people; my family. Christmas is a holiday that is traditionally spent with family and i have no problem with that at all; my family rocks!

Christmas Eve was my alone evening, no plans, so i just relaxed on the couch and went to bed early because i had the work on christmas morning (on Wednesday & Thursday morning too). 

On christmas day we had a great traditional diner over at my parents house with my mom’s side of the family. Unfortunately not everyone was able to be there. Some were celebrating with other relatives & my oldest cousin was/ is still in the hospital. Hopefully next year we’ll all be together again, but we all have our family weekend in may to look forward too!

Boxing day i spent the afternoon/ evening with my dad’s side. For many years we spend it at my aunt & uncle’s, but they are retired now and are spending the winter months in Spain. Luckily we did get to Skype! So for the second year now we went over to my other uncle’s, now in his new house. It was so fun because we sort of had an introduction round before we pigged out on all the delish food. The ‘introduction’ of course wasn’t because we don’t know each other (duh we’re a close family) but just to get up-to-date with what is going on in everybody’s life. A great idea that my mom came up with!

But i’m afraid that all that fun and eating took a little toll on me. Yesterday and today i’ve been having a sore throat, earache and a slight fever. No fun, but it’s no as serious that its overshadowing the last couple of day’s. Because despite the aches this christmas was great!

Almost Halloween

!!! It’s only a few day’s before Halloween !!!

Love the teeny Audrey Hepburn

And that always gives me a feeling of exitment. Don’t know where that’s coming from, we don’t celebrate Halloween here, we have our St Martin’s day. On November 11th Dutch kids don’t dress up, they go door to door with there (homemade) paper lantern and sings songs for candy.

The only time i celebrated Halloween was during my exchange year. And honestly i don’t remember a lot. I was dressed up as a witch and i was wearing a pointy hat, thàt i do remember.  Together with my 2 host sisters I went trick or treating  in the neighborhood. I know that if you’re 16 it’s not really considered cool to go trick or treating. You to old to do that, you’re supposed to go to a party. I don’t know if there were any parties organized by friends of where friends of mine were going to, but i’m glad i went trick or treating. Beside all the candy, it’s an American tradition i had to experience, because that was what i was therefore, experiences.

Pictures found on babble.com via Prudent Baby

Flashback moments

Sometimes the littlest thing you see or hear can trigger a memory & takes you back in time. For example today while walking to the car to go to swim practice i smelled the neighbors BBQ, heard kids playing in the playground down the street. That in combination with the heat it was like i was back in France with my parents and brother on our one of our vacations. Or when i read a blog by an girl talking about her exchange life, it makes me think about my exchange year.

Well last week i had another flashback moment. Walking past the non-food section in the grocery store, i saw a very cute travel mug. Now me, i wouldn’t know what to do with a mug like that. I don’t drink coffee (tried it once & not liking it one bit) and that’s what the mug is usually used for right?! But instantly i thought of someone who does use it. I’m talking about my first host mom Eveline. She worked at Martinair and i remember her in her red uniform and filling the mug with coffee just before heading to the airport. I know it’s not a very spectacular memory, but it gave me the warm homely feel. I loved staying with them for the first 3 months of my exchange year. It was home to me and i have always felt part of their family, still do in a way. You can understand that i had to buy the mug, if only it was to let me remember my first host family more often!

The mug shown isn’t the 1 bought, but love & want it !

Appiepiepieces

I think it was about 3 or 4years ago i first saw something of Applepiepieces, well then it was called Applepiepussy. I was walking from my room on the Alexander Kazerne (where i was staying during the week while working in The Hague) to Scheveningen. Almost at the end of my walk i passed a row of linked houses and a pretty pink colored sign on the front wall caught my eye. I love pink so i had to stop and stare for a second. The pretty pink sign said Applepiepussy. I didn’t think anything of it, just admired it for a second and went on to where i was going.

For years i hadn’t thought of that sign, until i saw a post by someone (i have no idea who it was) on twitter i think, saying that they were in Scheveningen and that they had seen the Applepiepieces sign. It was linked to or by Mrs Applepie. At that moment my brain finally put 2 and 2 together; she’s the owner of the pretty sign i saw back then!

Mariko has been Mrs Applepie since 2007, so when i had seen that sign, it must have been pretty new. She makes ‘feel good’ jewelery, accessories and other cute stuff that is to die for (not literately of course). The jewelry she makes isn’t only very cute but ab-so-lutely original and exclusive as well. And the crazy thing is i have ordered from her before; for myself and as gifts for friends.

After receiving her newsletter saying she was having a sale, i ordered from her again. Since i love discounts and sales i couldn’t help myself and clicked away. I had to wait a couple of days before i could pay and that they could send my order. But when i got home last night , i got my package in the mail! Some new greeting cards, the sweetest earrings, a memory locket and cupcake. I am over the moon and  couldn’t be happier!

So if you wanne be just as happy, go to Applepiepieces and click/ order away!

Camping dreams

For years we (parents & brother) went camping in France. We’ve been all over that country, never coming back to the same place. A tent was what we called home for 3 weeks. First we all slept in the same tent, but as my brother and I grew bigger, we got our very own.

But I’ve always loved looking at caravan’s and campers. I could dream about how it would be like to go on vacation and ‘life’ in them. And when I came across an article showing these caravan’s and classic gypsy caravan’s I was over the moon. They are so sweet and girly, totally me! It instantly took me back to my daydreaming days. Maybe someday I will get the chance to spent a night or more in them… I know where to go now!