Augie's 22nd BirthdayAugust 21 in the Netherlands
Augie's 22nd Birthday. We rose a bit early and made our way to Café Winkle around the corner for appletart and cappuccinos. Nancy headed off for her last haircut at the local hairdresser while Augie set off to the hardware for a piece of coupling to fix the toilet flush mechanism.
We then boarded the train for Haarlem to visit the Dolhuys Museum. The Dolhuys translates something close to 'crazy house'. It is in an old asylum and is set up to depict and challenge our present and historical assumptions of normalcy in society. Something mirroring my efforts in professional life. The exhibit was clearly done. The use of individual stories was powerful. It is worth a visit of one is seeking a bit of challenge in one's thinking in this regard. There is also an exhibition of Outsider Art in the building. The museum of Dr. Guislan in Gent was both more extensive and profound should one wish a more impacting challenge.
A link to the museum site is here: https://www.hetdolhuys.nl/english-information/
A link to the my photos from the visit is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZxZm4p2uxjFT95Lz8
A link to Guislan is here: http://www.museumdrguislain.be/en
We then boarded the train to Leiden; a pretty university city near the coast to the north of den Haag. Nancy remarked that the city has a pleasant feeling of civility and a history that she appreciates. The Pilgrims set out from this town to board the Mayflower and begin the British effort toward the eradication of the native people of the Americas. The Spanish effort had been underway for almost a century before this tardy undertaking.
Leiden is also somewhat unique in this part of the Netherlands as it sports a hill. We took some nice photos at the top. Granted it was a human compiled effort to defend the city, but a hill nonetheless. Besides, what room do I have to complain about fortifications as we hail from a country whose national sport seems to be war.
We found Leiden to be so pleasant that we decided to forgo our plans to head on to den Haag for burgers at Ich Bin Ein Burger and track down a birthday dinner locally. We looked on the internet (free wifi throughout the town btw) and found just the place. We even stopped by to make sure that they served something other than burgers. Unfortunately they didn't open for an hour or so and we set off to explore more of the city. We walked the canals for some time before looking down on an idyllic looking floating restaurant on the banks of the Rhine. There was our mistake. We checked and burgers were on the menu. We ordered and were presented with two hamburgers that Augie described as having come from 'a public school cafeteria kitchen'. Augie later shared his observation that idyllic tourist oriented places don't usually have very good food. I later observed that if someone puts a similar plate of food in front of me in the future, I'm just going to get up and leave.
Actually all (most of) of this grousing is just part of preparing ourselves for a return to the States. I keep having to remind myself that there are places in the States that are similarly civilized and have a degree of social fabric still intact. We actually had a very nice time and Augie had a really nice birthday. At least as nice as the one spent watching 12 Years a Slave and listening to his mom and grandmother engage in a long discussion about where to spread Granny's ashes.
(Now that was really some birthday!)
This was a birthday spent sharing time, laughter, and experiences while traveling together with people we love. This is what really made it some birthday!
Happy Birthday, Bub!Read more