Monday, July 19, 2010

After a tearful goodbye from my mom, and a tearful walk through security, and a pretty long tearful walk through the terminal to my gate, which was at the very end, i finally find a seat in a corner in the back. I finally can stop sniffling and my mom calls me, which starts everything again (thanks mom haha). But i quickly get ahold of myself this time, and it was time for me to start boarding.
I get to my row. Its only two seats long and i have the window seat. After the plane finally took off, i tried to fall asleep, but it was pretty loud and uncomfortable, especially because the seats did not go back. And the TV screens were only in the middle of the plane, so it was hard to see. The flight attendants handed everyone this little bag and it contained a little toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs, a pair of socks, and a thing to cover your eyes (can't remember what its called). The stuff had a weird smell of it, though. A little later, they handed out dinner. I got pasta with some vegetables, a little little bit of tomato sauce, and cheese, a roll, a small peice of cheese cake, and some sort of coleslaw. It was filling, but definately not the best meal. During dinner, i talked to the guy next to me. I found out that he is studying abroad in Berlin for a semester and i told him im staying in the Netherlands. Then he told me about when he went to Amsterdam and what it was like. Then we talked about colleges. He was nice, and im glad i didnt get put next to some weirdo. We'll see about the way back. For the rest of the plane ride, i attempted to sleep. Oh and on the TV screens, it would show where you were flying over, the speed of the plane, how high we were from the ground, and the temperature outside. And the flight attendents spoke German to you until you said something in English. I flew over the northern part of the US and then into Canada, over the bottom of Iceland, over England, and Rotterdam, and then we finally landed! The total trip was just about 11 hours.
I leave the plane and start walking, following everyone who was on my plane. Luckily, there were English under the German signs. I go through customs, and then get to the baggage claim. The same four bags went around for about ten minutes, then more bags finally started to come. Mine was one of the first. I grab it, thanfullybeing able to pick it up because its pretty heavy, and then try to pull the handle wouldn't budge. So i awkwardly held the handle and rolled it, trying not to have it my heels. I walk through the doors and see Ninon, holding a beautiful flower, and her Mom with their big smiles.
We finally make it home and the front of the house is decorated for me. I looved it! After i got settled in, Ninons Grandma and cousin came and i got to meet them. And after that, i took a very nice long nap. Later that night, some of Ninon's friends came over. The girls gave me this package of some Dutch food: Some chips, a little bottle of wine, stroopwaffles (delicious cookies) and gum. And then a guy named, Rutger, gave me a HUGE Dutch flag. They are soo nice and funny, and i loved the gifts.
On friday morning, I went with Ninon and her mom to the aunts house to get a bike for me. They brought out the bike and started fixing it up for me, then brought it out to the front for me to test was so embarrasing. I just met these people and then they are all going to watch me test ride a bike, and on top of it, I couldn't really ride it or stop it. It was later decided that i wasn't going to ride it. In the afternoon, Ninon and I went to her friend, Bram's house. Ninon rode her bike, and i sat on the back. His house was huge! He had a big lawn, a pool, a trampoline, and a tree house. It was very nice. It was fun, although i can't really talk or understand anyone. After that, Ninon and I babysat her little cousins Finn and Hailey.
The next day, the whole family and I went to a birthday party for Ninon's cousin, who was turning 16. That's where i met the whole family, and i felt really awkward at first, but then started feeling more and more comfortable.
On Sunday, the whole family and I went up to Northern Holland to vist a fortress called Bourtange. On the way there, we stopped at this windmill to eat. It was soo nice, and we had some visitors, Chickens! They were hilarious. Then Erno, Ninon's dad, read some of the Bible. Overall, a great little time. After that, we were back on the road. The fortress was SO cool. When we first got there, they were celebrating a 100 year old womans birthday. They exploded something out of the cannon of her, it was extremely loud. Then we explored. We went to a museum, a Jewish Synagoge, and they showed a little film in English! (One of the only things in English) They also had a little play in the center of the town with people dressed up like they would if they lived in the fortress. Again, it was in Dutch. But before we saw the play, we were walking and saw the jester. He was soo funny. After i took a picture of him, he ran up to me and i cowered back laughing because i had no idea what he was going to do and shocked that he did that, then he went after Sheren, Ninon's younger sister, and Ninon. Sheren screamed and ran away from him, while Ninon just stood there laughing. Then we went to the center of the fortress and sat down at a table. After the play was done, the jester came over to us and hugged Sheren, and of course she was freaking out. Don't worry, I got pictures. He sat and talked with us for a long time. He eventually found out i was from America, and he spoke English for a little while, which is always nice. Then we found out that we were the same age, and he was my long lost Dutch brother because we had the same hair color. Another cool thing is that i got to get to know Sheren a little bit more, which was very nice! After we got back from that, we went straight to a family bbq at the grandparents house, and then after that, Ninon and I met some of her girlfriends, and we hung out with them for a little bit.
Today, Ninon, her mom, and I went to a market in another town for the morning. It was nice, but it was more for Ninon and her mom because it had a lot of fabrics, which were nice, of course, but not something im as interested in as they are. However, as we were walking to the market, i was told that the town we were in was very religiously strict, and you can usually tell who they are by the way they are dressed. So as we walked around, I picked out the women who looked like that. Just a little entertainment for me haha. After we got home, i took a nice long nap, and now i am writing this.
Here is a couple of things that i find funny here. First of all, you almost always have to pay to go to the bathroom here. So this would be an expensive place to live if you had blatter control problems. And you can ask random strangers for ibuprophen and they will give it to you. That's all i can remember right now, but im sure im forgetting stuff. Overall, im having a great time! I'll upload some pictures on facebook soon! Bye!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Well this is my first blog ever, and im kind of nervous how it is going to turn out. The whole day yesterday, i thought as if i were writing a blog. So, here it goes:

The trip started by my dad jumping on my bed, waking me up at 3 in the morning. All of us quickly got ready and were out of the door by 4. We had to walk to the front of the gate, and wait for the two taxis that were to pick us up, and take us to the airport. Im sure it was a funny sight to see a line of kids walking with suitcases through the neighborhood...if anyone was awake that early to see. The taxis finally came, we loaded our suitcases up, and then we were off. Im not sure about the other driver, but in my taxi, no one could understand what the driver was saying. We, Jonah, my dad, and i, just nodded and smiled. When we arrived at the airport, everything went fast and smooth. Then, all of a sudden, they called our plane, and we lined up and walked right onto a small plane. For those of you who do not know, i was very nervous about flying because i haven't flown since i was very little (so basically it was my first plane ride i can remember). So, i sat down in my seat, which was next to my brother, who had window seat. The engine knuckles were white as i squeezed the arm handles. Then we lifted off. It was a weird feeling, but i liked it! It took a little while for me to look out the window with out being nervous, but i eventually did. I couldn't see much in the flight to LA because it was really foggy, but the clouds looked really cool. Almost like an ocean of...whipped cream. The flight between LA and Fresno was really short. We landed, and almost immediantly looked for food. We ate McDonalds....yummy...Then we sat and waited about two hours for our airplane. I fell asleep curled up on the seats, then was woken up by Kenzie and Max, surprise surprise. Luckily, it was almost time to board. Suddenly, i heard a man yell can i have your attention please. I turned around and saw the pilot of the plane we were going to go on standing there. He explained to us that because of the fog, they might be delayed so he wanted to get off the ground as quickly as they could. He told us to put our stuff away and get out of the ilse as quickly as we could. He emphasized that the main isle was his and the seat isle was ours. He then said that if we didn't follow his rule that he would use his marine voice and make us do push ups. It was quite funny. Apparently, pilots never do that. So, we quickly got on the plane. Right before i stepped on the plane, the pilot asked me what my seat number was. I told him and he says that my seat is on the other part of the plane and i have to get off and walk around and get on on the other side. I have never been on a big plane sort of made sense to me so i started to turn around and my dad looks at me and said "What are you doing, keep walking." Confused, i turned back around and kept walking, passed the laughing pilot and crew, to my seat. Fortunatly, we took off quickly. I had the window seat this time, and i got a really cool view. In my seat row was my dad and my brother. During the flight i found out that they played music and movies! I found this one music channel that played my favorite music! And then they showed The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, and How to Train Your Dragon! Life was good for me. I took a lovely nap and examined the landscape through the window. I got to see the Grand Canyon, too. I thought it was interesting to see the different types of colors of the landscapes. During the flight, i somehow managed to hit my head three times really hard. Once on the wall, and twice, really hard, on the tray in front of me...don't ask me how haha. Towards the end of the plane ride, which was around 4 hours, the pilot came on, interupting The Office. He told us that we were ahead of schedule, and that we have several young men and women who are joining the Navy and will be going to the school in Annapolis. He said that since we are ahead of schedule, we are going to fly over the school so they can get a view of where we will be living, once on the left side and then on the right so everyone can see it, and we will still arrive ahead of schedule. The view was amazing! I was on the left so i saw it first. Then, the pilot did a figure 8 so the right side could see it. It was really fun, but my dad's stomach didn't think so. Later, Beth and my dad said out of all the times they have flown, they have never experienced a pilot doing that. So i guess my second flight was pretty special. When we landed and were waiting to get off, max was stading on his seat, talking to me. He was two rows in front of me. All of a sudden, he fell off his seat and everyone who saw it, including me, started laughing. Then he popped right back up. After we got our luggage, we got on a shuttle that took us to the rental car place. That took a while, but we finally got our two cars. We drove for about an hour and then stopped for dinner at this place called Bob Evans. We found out that Bob died a couple years ago. Anyways, we were super hungry. Noelle and I ordered grilled cheese. When our food finally came, our plates contained a little tiny grilled cheese and random fries scattered around. Mind you, we ordered this off the big menu, not the kids. We easily scarfed it down and ordered pie. We continued on the drive for about 45 minutes more and finally arrived. Oh, and on the drive, we drove across the longest bridge in America.
After saying hi to everyone, i went and took a shower and then went to bed. The house it 96 years old and doesnt have any air co. so they have one of the air co. that are a box and stick out from the window...i don't remember what they are called. But Kenzie and I shared a blow up bed on the floor and we were freezing! But luckily i slept through most of the night. This morning as i was going through my suitcase, i looked up and saw these two medium sized cloth doll thingys. On one of them there was a piece of paper safety pinned to it. It said (excuse my French, but it is soo funny to i have to tell it):
Damet Doll
When you think you want to climb the walls
Or stand right up and shout
Here's a little Damet Doll
You cannot do without:
Just grip it firmly by the legs
And find a place to slam it
Then as you whack the stuffing out
(exact copy)
So this has been my trip thus far. I hope you enjoyed my first blog. Please ignore my grammar and spelling mistakes because i don't want to reread all of this and fix the errors. Ill right another one soon!