zondag 18 mei 2014

A great day for a foodie!

I am sorry this is not a quilty blogpost (yet) as promised but I just have to tell you about yesterday!

We are both foodies, just love good food, so with hubs birthday coming up and never knowing what to give him, I was happy to find the answer here a few weeks ago: on Francesca’swonderful foodblog!

So I booked a table for the champagne brunch for yesterday at the beautiful ConservatoriumHotel in Amsterdam:


The lobby is beautiful with lots of glass and plants, so light and spacious:


The lobby was built around the old outer walls of the Amsterdam Conservatory:


Our table was booked in the Tunes restaurant,


Let the food fun begin!

In English:

First course, for me (I always chose this when I see it on a menu), eggs Benedict (with some caviar this time, mmmm):


Second course:

Third course:

Fourth course, my favourite of the day:


Fifth course, dessert:


There was live music in the restaurant (some light jazz)


Before we left the restaurant Onno was given a small gift, because it was his birthday, so thoughtful:

And as a quilter I could not resist taking this picture of the floor near the entrance before we left:

We had the most wonderful afternoon, the hotel and restaurant are beautiful, the atmosphere chique but still cozy, the food excellent and the service impeccable, friendly without being intrusive, I fully recommend this and we will definitely be back!

But then the foodie fun wasn’t over yet, because when I got home and opened my email I found an email from Francesca herself informing me that I had won one of thegive-aways she organised because of her 2 year blog anniversary (is it called a blogaversary?)!


And it is no small prize, a Cuisinart Juicer!  The first give-away I ever won, but it was worth ‘waiting for’!

The juicer will look beautiful on my kitchentop and will keep us happy with many tasty and healthy juices this summer, am looking up recipies already!

It was a great day for a foodie and a lot of it thanks to Francesca! Thank you again!


maandag 12 mei 2014

Houston, we've got a problem......

And that is that each time we are there we find it more difficult to say leave and goodbye….

For the first time in years Eline had a two week Easter break from school so we decided to have our yearly holiday now rather than in the busier and more expensive summer months and because our trip would be shorter than usual we stayed in Houston itself the whole time and made daytrips out of town.

We knew the weather would be nicer too and oh boy, it really was. A wonderful 25 – 30 C instead of the usual 35 – 43 C in the summer time. It made our stay in Houston even better than usual because we were able to spend so much more time outside:

we went for a walk in Brazos Bend State Park where you are sure of close encounters with the resident alligators

And this must be a girl alligator , she looked like she had just been to the hair salon ;-)


A baby alligator was sunning him/herself on our path, the mothers are never far away (we could hear an alligator really close by, never know they made these rumbling noises) so we decided not to go further and turned around.



Which is on the enormous campus of  Texas A&MUniversity. We had lunch at one of the restaurants on campus, great thing about visiting this time of year, lots of students everywhere, so it gives you a real good sense of the atmosphere there, we would not have experienced this in the summer.


We never cease to be amazed by the size of things, look at this store which has everything for camping, fishing, etc. etc.


The economy is booming, even more so than before, businesses are looking for personnel everywhere, you see this in so many places:

Of all those signs in shops and restaurants, this one was my favourite, at the BreakfastKlub:

The new, huge Exxon Campus which is being built between Houston and The Woodlands will bring thousands and thousands of jobs and new residents, so house prices are rising in double digits in some area’s:
And it means expansion of the already impressive Houston freeway system and here it doesn’t take years to make a decision, they do it before the Campus is finished (this is near The Woodlands, but everywhere you see improvements on the road system being made):-


Of course we enjoyed the wonderful food in Houston as usual, but this time – because it was not so hot – more of it was enjoyed on the many terraces:


We went on a few boat trips

The above in The Woodlands, the boat trip below was a dolphin tour out of Galveston, we did see dolphins but unfortunately they were too quick for my camera!

Of course I did visit a few quiltshops, they always have somewhere to wait for those who are not interested

But this time I guess I took a bit too long with my shopping, because they both fell asleep in the comfy chairs!

Sundaymorning something completely different, we went to church!
We are not religious people, but during past visits we were impressed by the sermons given by pastor Joel Osteen, which we saw on tv. He is the leader of Lakewood Church, apparently the largest church in the US and their services are broadcast on TV nationwide every Sunday morning (and in many more countries).
Lakewood Church is only a 5 minutes drive from our hotel so we thought we’d go.
And we were impressed, by the atmosphere, the nice and friendly people and the man himself. We will definitely return on future visits!

This was also a trip where we made new friends and of course met up with ‘old’ ones: Ranelle, Bruce, Barb, Clay, Tanja, Walter, Celine, Tammy, thanks for your company, it was fun, it was great and we can’t wait to be back!!


(Next time some quilt news on this blog again, promise!)