Buenos tardes, Buona Sera...
We are just back from a 5 day trip to the Netherlands. Wow! In only 2 hours from Rome you can reach Dusseldorf, Germany and start the parade of words in my brain and out of my mouth. Unfortunately, they don't necessarily come out in the right country for the right purposes. Like when we walked up to the Backerei and I asked for apfel kuchen and replied Si! to the nice man behind the counter. Rewind would be a great function for our mouths at times I think! But it generated a fun conversation with Mike and how he can speak (well, I might add) so many different languages. I, on the other hand, try my best to not make a complete fool of myself. I'm not always successful - there's the "noggin" story from our time in Germany and the "je suis pan" from Belgium. Not to be outdone, there's the fish tea story from Italy!
Our trip actually took us to the Netherlands for the Requiem concert at Margraten. We had the best time staying with our dear friends, John and Liz Nuyts. Visiting over meals and putting our feet up at night laughing and just visiting was the best of the best.
Saturday morning we drove over to Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery to visit with our friend, Caroline. This was our first cemetery to be posted back in 2001. It seems like yesterday that we lived there! Coffee and torta followed at Lou and Anna's home. English and Italian flew back and forth as we visited in our old home. Some changes have been made since we lived there but it brought back special memories just having a little time to spend with them.
On Sunday morning, we were able to attend Chapel in Brunssum and that was a very special experience for us since we aren't able to do that here in Italy. Seeing a few friends still in attendance at the Protestant service, sharing coffee and John's cookies upstairs in the American Room and finally getting to hug on a few friends from the Catholic service made for a full morning. We ran by home to pick up Iris and then drove to Margraten for the reception and lunch prior to the concert. Lovely food presented by the committee for these concerts in a tent on the grounds was very well done. The concert was performed by the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and Brabant Kor (chorus). Sgambati's Requiem Messa was not familiar to us but soon became clear that it is well written and an exciting piece of music. The orchestra and choir were in top form and it seemed like it could have been a recording for the quality of the sound. I can't wait to find a recording of it and listen again!
Sunday night we enjoyed a dinner of mussels made expertly by John and pizza (for 2 who didn't want to eat mussels - they missed a treat is all I can say!). Then football time with the New England Patriots which was a good game - nothing better than watching football with friends, right?
Monday morning rolled around too quickly for us as we prepared our suitcase and repacked to make the trip back home to Italia. The triborder community of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands will continue to be thought of as home in all of our minds!
Back to the normal routine and life goes on. La dolce vita in Nettuno...