Wednesday, September 12, 2012

living a dream

3-6 september 
seriously. somebody pinch me. 
i know i said that at least twice this last week. 
someone did pinch me - it's not a dream!
the second full week of living here in Den Haag has been incredible - from the amazing sites to the incredible people that i have had the pleasure to be around. 
let me show you just why my life has been so fantastic. try not to be too jealous alright?

on monday the school booked a boat tour for us to show us around Den Haag from the water!
we briefly talked more about Dutch culture and what we could expect from the class and then we headed down to the water to see the city! 

this used to be the head office for the port 
the traditional symbol of Holland
guess who wants to move into a house boat?
our tour guide
the other boats in our tour
pretty boats in the canal
restaurants use boats for extra seating 
we even got candy! we passed an old candy factory and our guide had some for us. remember those candy necklaces?
photos on the canal of what used to be
oh look one of the 32 bridges we passed under
grote kirk
beautiful buildings
where officers used to live.
love beautiful bridges
learning to be a snap happy tourist. i need practice
where the soliders used to live
watch your head! 
go that way
it was a delightful ride. it was sunny, hot weather but cooled by being on the canal to a perfect summer temperature. we had interesting features of the city pointed out to us by our guide. adventure was even included! there are a large number of low bridges that we had to be sure to duck our heads or lose them.  we saw many pretty and historical sites. it was a fun change of pace to see the city from that angle. 
after a delightful ride we had the afternoon to ourselves and a few of us set out to get some groceries then figured why not go to the beach? 
only two of us had bikes so they set out to meet us there while my friend and i took the tram to the pier. 
we walked to the water and this was the beautiful site waiting for us! 

we walked down to the pier but everything was close to closing for the night so we walked down to the water. we hung around there for awhile chasing seagulls and talking before heading up to the mcdonalds (i was hoping to avoid going there this whole trip) to get ice cream. we enjoyed stroop waffel mcflurries and then headed home for the night. as two of us headed to take the tram home we caught sight of the city lights just coming on. 

can i live here forever?

the next day was a short day of receiving more information of the people there to help us with any problems we may have and opportunities around us. afterwards i took care of a few errands then chilled to save energy for the fun night ahead! 
i went over to a friends to eat dinner and get ready. it's fun to chat with these girls! we enjoyed wine with our dinner. maybe someday i'll learn to like it. one of the girls had some temporary tattoos so we figured why not! 

what do you think? should i get it for real? 
{mom stop the heart attack. i'm kidding.} 

we chilled on the roof terrace meeting more people before heading over to the pool party! i hadn't been planning on getting wet but all my friends jumped in {ok we may have thrown one girl in} and who am i to ruin a good time because it involves getting a little wet? so i jumped in and we all had a blast dancing and laughing. 

finally it was time to go and we all headed home to grab some sleep before the next morning of orientation. Gotta balance all the fun with some responsibility. 
the next day was filled with visits from each department and just tidbits of information on courses. after the overload of information we grabbed some lunch and then rested for the afternoon. that evening was the big event put on by the school Oh Oh Intro with stages set up for talent and booths of groups on campus. we went a bit late and caught a few of them but the only stage performing wasn't great so we went back to a friends to play some games and chill. we were having a good time but figured we should head back to check out more of the bands. as we were almost there some friends came out and told us it wasn't very good. so change of plans to another group hang out. we chilled there until the big after party the school was putting on. a group of us went and danced for about an hour but it was time to head home. course registration was in a few hours! 
course registration isn't an online ordeal like home. rather you have to get there at least two hours early to put your name on a list {if you want a good spot you have to get there at least that early} then wait for your name to be called to pick your time slots. i got there at the bright hour of quarter to eight and i was already down at number 63! i waited there until about 11 when my name was finally called. i got into every class hour i wanted then went back home to sleep! after a great relaxing time i got all dolled up and headed over to enjoy a good dinner of pasta, veggies and wine with friends before heading out to this little place named Havana for some fun. 

we made a yummy dinner and went to the roof to chill with people for a bit again. 
{if you had a roof terrarce, it was warm out, and had a great view you'd find any excuse to be up there too}
finally we made it to the party and i tried cider for the first time. it was really sweet and yummy! 
we tore up the dance floor and met more students from the four year program.

 i also enjoyed the lovely night sitting in the courtyard talking with a friend. after a great night we made our way back to our friends apartment and crashed for the night.

a great week with an even better weekend that needs its own blog post to tell you about! this one is plenty full the way it is! this has been such a great experience so far and it's only been two weeks! what else awaits?

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