H/B/F 2017: getting to know Haarlem

Andrew and I arrived in the Netherlands bright and early on Saturday morning, having had no sleep on the plane over.  (Take-off was approximately 6 pm, we landed at 7 am local time; there is a 6 hour time difference.)  We’ve learned from past trips that jet lag is FOR REAL and that your first day in-country is often spent on a roller coaster of caffeinated highs and head-drooping lows.

Our hotel was, shockingly, able to put us in a room when we arrived around 10 am, and we napped until almost 2 pm.  As someone who doesn’t normally nap, I can tell you that if I hadn’t willed myself out of bed, I’d have passed right back out for a few more hours.  But, the best thing for jet lag is sunlight, so we got ourselves up and out in search of food.

Highlights from the weekend:

Grote Markt and the Grote Kerk (Great Church):  On Saturdays, the square is filled with stalls selling food and trinkets, and there is a smaller market on Mondays as well.  Otherwise, it’s filled with cafe tables and a couple food trucks selling sugared donuts and pickled herring.

Monument to Monument walk: We started our morning with a walk we found in one of the brochures we got from the tourist information office, which started at the Grote Kerk and hit all the biggies (Teyler’s Museum, De Adriaan Windmill, Nieuw Kerk, etc). It was an excellent way to stretch our legs, bask in more sunshine (see jet lag, above) and check out all the local architecture and food options.

Poffertjes: We sampled sugar donuts on the Grote Kerk before our church tour.  They’re very much like swedish pancakes, simply topped with more confectioners sugar.  Delicious.

Who’s that handsome man taking photos??

Lunch at Native: While on our walk, we passed a hoppin’ place the locals seemed to like, so we made sure to stop in.  I got a salad with pistachios, pomegranate arils, oranges, lima beans and fennel, served with bread and chili butter (delicious), and Andrew had the beef empanadas with chutney. Sangria to drink.

How beautiful is this?!  We haven’t had a chance to go up in the windmill yet, but we may actually hit the windmill MUSEUM, which is in Leiden.  We’ll be there Sunday when I run the Leiden half marathon!

Compared to the pack-it-all-in pace of our usual trips, we ended the weekend feeling like we’d barely done anything (again, see jet lag, above).  But, Andrew felt like he was ready to work Monday morning, which was one of his big concerns (and–obviously–the whole point of our trip).  Plus, we do have the evenings to try to see a few more things while we’re here.

I’m already enjoying my time on my own here…spoiler alert: I joined a gym! Check back to see what I’m up to while Andrew is at the office!

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