Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthday Week

On Wednesday I turned 27. People at work were a bit surprised that I was under 30...I guess I make them feel old. Tuesday was a long day. We had a prospective parent workshop so I had to help out with that. This meant a 14 hour day of work. The day after I was feeling a bit sick. Naomi was a little disappointed about this because she had reserved for dinner at a fancy place. As it turns out, the lady phoned to say that she had no more reservations for the evening and didn't want us to feel uncomfortable being the only ones eating. We postponed for the weekend (yesterday) and she set us up with a deal where four of us could eat for the same price as two. This worked out quite nicely as Naomi's Dad and significant other were planning to visit.

Fast forward to Saturday - we barely had time to pick up some nice bike bags for Naomi's bike (so I don't have to haul her stuff around anymore) and our guests arrived. We had a nice lunch and afterward Naomi arranged a little excursion for the four of us. We visited the SS Rotterdam, a cruise ship built in 1957 for the Holland-America line that hauled about 2000 tourists or immigrants at a time. Its regular route was from Rotterdam to NYC but it was retired to a dock in the city center about 15 years ago. It needed an estimated few million Euros worth of renovation, and as the city owned the boat, agreed to foot the bill. The project became a bit scandalous as the costs mushroomed toward the 200 million mark and just recently the city sold the boat to a big hotel chain for a mere 20 or 30 million Euros. Quite the loss. The tour was interesting though. Amazing that they could carry enough stuff to keep 2000 people fed and entertained for 80 days at sea.

Our dinner turned out to be quite nice. A five course meal. We spent about 3 hours at our table. After that it didn't take long to find the bed as I was feeling sick still. Today was much worse as far as my cold goes. It is turning into something real now. Luckily I was able to relax for much of the day, so hopefully I will be able to make it to school tomorrow.

The amazing cranberry cheesecake that Naomi made for my Birthday.

The SS Rotterdam from the boarding gangway.

Sinterklaas arrived with his 'Black Piets'...long story.

Downtown Rotterdam in the mist.

From the edge of the bridge.

The steering wheel that lacks all imagination.

Captain's Quarters.

Smoke stacks.


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