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Vancouver, BC

First, thanks to Jack and Cindy, they have been great hosts. First at their “cottage” on the Sunshine Coast, then at their home. They made our family visit fun. And not to forget Jude, their wonder dog..

And talk about food… first at the Cactus Cafe with their superb lettuce wraps, then Joey’s Shipyard for steaks and an amazing view of Seattle.

Now we’re in the airport, sad to leave but glad to be going home. Until our next adventure….

Victoria, BC

Our cruise was enjoyable, just 4 days of relaxing and of course eating. The ship has a passenger capacity of 1,900 but actual count was about 1,000 so no lines to worry about. There were no big production shows but there were some very good music performances to enjoy. Good weather and calm Seas didn’t hurt either.

We met up with my brother Anton and wife Ita, sister Anne with husband Dick, niece Cat, and nephew Louis in Victoria and had a nice visit. A good time to rehash some old family memories.

John, Anne and Anton. The last of this generation of Laningas.

Categories: Cruising, Family Tags: , , ,

San Diego

We found a reasonable priced cruise from San Diego to Victoria, BC and ending in Vancouver, BC. Thought this would make a nice short cruise and to visit family in both places. So yesterday we flew in to San Diego, and booked into a hotel within walking distance from the cruise terminal.

In December 2010 we cruised from Barcelona to San Paolo, Brazil. We met Linda and Rainer on board and had a great time. After the cruise, we’ve stayed in touch and visited their home in Laguna Niguel, about an hours north of San Diego. They drove down last night and we had a very pleasant reunion.

Our travels have allowed us to see some amazing sights, but just as important make new friends. We enjoyed our cruise 12 years ago and to follow up with Linda and Rainer. And had a great dinner thanks to the recommendation of Filippe’s from our our RV friends Susan and Ted…..

We cleaned up pretty well too

Holland, last day

April 27, 2022 Leave a comment

Our family is quite large and spread around the globe. Makes keeping up with many of them difficult, to say the least. In my early teens we lived in Holland, and we were fairly close to the Bolhuis family. This was my aunt Tine (my mother’s sister), uncle Jans, and daughters Hilda, Anneke, Ina and Aukje. Of these, Anneke lives fairly close to where we were staying and she invited us to their house for lunch.

And what a lunch. She made a real Dutch lunch, including Dutch vegetable soup, raisin rolls, krokets, smoked meat, cheese and more. She also gave me some very old family pictures to add to my collection. And yummy fattening things to take home with us.

My brother Chris was born in 1933 and died in 1987. Here are some baby pictures from then.

Left picture: my Mom, her brother Wietze, my Oma, her sister Tine and her brother Jan. Picture taken in Holland in the 1920s. My dad died suddenly when visiting Jan.

Right picture: my Dad, my Mom, uncle Jitse and aunt Remy. They lived in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. Picture probably taken in the 1950s.

My sister Inge, Mom, myself, Oma, Jans and Tina. Probably taken around 1957 at my Oma’s house in Ten Post.

Categories: Family Tags:

Holland, day 4

April 24, 2022 Leave a comment

Sundays is usually quiet in Holland, today no exception. But we had another beautiful sunny day. Met Miriam and Els on a farm/bakery/restaurant called “Vroeg” (Dutch for early) for brunch and a lot of tales about our family history. Making new memories and reliving old ones.

The rest of the afternoon was just relaxing, and tonight we’re looking forward to fast food Dutch fish and chips. They are really 👍 . Our favorite place is called “Manneke Pis”, after the Belgian statue. They have some of the best French fries!

I mentioned our Hampton hotel room is small, but it is perfectly located, actually inside an upscale shopping mall. It has an unusual shape, kind of all rounded edges and different color windows. It is right adjacent to the main station for train, tram and bus service.

I have been increasingly nervous about our upcoming COVID test. If you don’t pass the test one day before flying, you don’t go. That would really be a problem for us as we have to be back home this week. Holland is a crowded place, and now almost totally mask free. It is impossible to avoid others, even just walking down the street.

We brought two home COVID tests with us, and it was a real relief that we were both negative. Makes us feel much better about going for our “real” test tomorrow!

Holland, day 3

April 24, 2022 Leave a comment

This was mostly a family day. Jaap, Els and us started by going to a “rommelmart”, Dutch for flea market. This was in a small town named Benschop, their mart is famous for having household items. Not much for us, but Els found some things for her son.

We then had lunch at a very nice restaurant located on the river Lek. I had one of my favorite sandwiches as a kid in Holland called “uitsmijter”, this was my first one in about 60 years!

Later that afternoon we went to Hans’s new house, met up with the whole family for a take out Indonesian dinner. Sure, good food again, but mostly just good family time.

Holland, days 1 and 2

April 22, 2022 1 comment

Our 15 hr. travel day from Dallas to Utrecht was quite uneventful, except for for a mad dash in Heathrow. Got to the Hampton in Utrecht and checked into the smallest hotel room ever. But it’s got a good shower and bed.

Met brother-in-law Jaap and niece Els for a wonderful dinner. A new concept, a high end kitchen serving small gourmet dishes. Fixed price for as many as you can eat. Only limit was that you could order only two at a time. I recommend it, try http://www.deutrechter.nl for full info. Then to bed with a time zone interrupted sleep.

Got up this morning and a short walk on the market. Yes, cheese, fish, and street food a plenty. But didn’t eat much, still absorbing last night’s meal.

Took Els’s advice and visited the University of Utrecht’s Botanical Gardens (she works at the university). Site of an old army fort that is now preserved as part of the garden. The walk to the top, maybe only two stories high, did give a good view. Probably one of the few times we got above sea level 😀.

Back to the hotel with some fast food to tide us over until dinner. Transportation is so quick, easy and cheap in Holland….. no car needed. A relaxing dinner is planned tonight, then on to more family fun tomorrow.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Gormley, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, Serra, and Shapiro, among others. On view in the light-filled galleries of the Renzo Piano-designed building and amid the garden grounds is a rotating selection of works from the Collection, as well as important exhibitions of modern and contemporary sculpture.

The museum was designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker, to seamlessly integrate the indoor galleries with the outdoor garden spaces, creating a museum experience unlike any other in the world. The 55,000 square-foot building and 1.4 acre sculpture garden occupy a city block in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.

Romola and I even were able to be integrated into some sculptures. Can you find us?

After visiting the sculpture Center we walked to the Clyde Warren Park, built right over top of the freeway. Lots of food trucks, but we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Mi Cocina in the park.

Back to cruising

March 29, 2022 Leave a comment

COVID caused us to cancel two booked cruises, but it seemed safe to finally start cruising again. So we booked a simple cruise out of Galveston, along with our friends Naomi and Larry Shirey. Easy drive down, five day’s on board, and an easy drive home.

The ship was the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, a class of ships we were quite familiar with. The crew appeared very pleased to be back, and we were treated very well. The food was good, although we felt it was a little below what we were used to. But Romola and I each managed to gain 5 lbs, so it wasn’t all bad!

The entertainment was pretty basic, a mediocre comedian, a funny bolero gaucho, and the ship dancers and orchestra. This ship class has an ice rink on board, we rather enjoyed the ice show. We’ve seen them doing their routines in rough seas, and that is quite amazing.

We didn’t get off the ship, electing to go to the hot tub when everyone else was on shore. Good idea, we enjoyed the hot tub when we had it mostly all to ourselves. On sea days, the hot tubs looked like people stew. Wouldn’t want to go in them no matter how much chlorine they added to the water!

Fair Park Architecture

March 16, 2022 Leave a comment

Today was our third tour of Dallas Architecture put on by the AD EX organization. This time, we were accompanied by our friends Larry and Naomi Shirey.

Fair Park is a recreational and educational complex located immediately east of downtown Dallas. The 277-acre area is registered as a Dallas Landmark and National Historic Landmark; many of the buildings were constructed for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. Fair Park has been designated a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association.

Much of the complex was built for the 1936 Centennial Exhibition. It is still the largest single entity Art Deco facility in the country. It is the home of the State Fair of Texas, the Cotton Bowl, and a variety of community events.