Sitting around, waiting for the phone to ring, drives anyone crazy. We’re going crazy. After 34 years in the army, applying for jobs, waiting for interviews, waiting for the phone to ring, is driving Dave crazy. We needed out of the house, Dave needed out of the house. Cousin Heidi to the rescue!

Saturday we drove up to Den Bosch, my mom’s hometown and the city of many of our adventures since moving to Germany. The home of my cousin Heidi, one of the few brave souls to happily welcome an invasion of Westberry’s. Luckily, this time it was just me, Dave, Tess & Dane. Poor Cole had to work… much to his dismay.

Even better than a warm, welcoming Heidi (and daughter Zoë)? It was kermis! The traveling carnival was in town and rides, candy, fish and treats filled the streets. Even better than better? It was a gorgeous, perfect couple of days. Blue skies, white wispy clouds, warm sunshine but not hot.

The kids literally skipped into town, immediately begging for rides. We stopped at the poffertjes booth first, filling our tummies with the delicious mini-pancakes (soooo not an accurate description) lathered in butter and powdered sugar, before letting them ride spinning, bumpy, flying rides. Amazingly no one got sick.

Dave & Heidi each slipped the kids a euro or two. All the euro’s went to battling a giant claw machine for a giant pikachu. Sadly no pikachu was won. While their disappointed faces were sad, Tess even managed a block of angry stomping, I was secretly relieved that no giant pikachu would be making the ride home. I was even more relieved that no one child won a giant pikachu. That would have left two devastated kids emptied handed.

Zoë & I stopped at the first fish truck we saw and begged for herring. Fresh, cold, raw. Best eaten covered in raw diced onions. Simply hold the tail and gulp it down like a seal. It is one of my favorite treats. Next to poffertjes, Dave loves the kibbeling best. Originally made only from cod, it is now more often made from pollack, hake, whiting or coalfish. Kibbeling is chunks of white fish, dipped in batter, deep fried, liberally sprinkled with seasoning salt and dipped in your choice of sauce. Ha! I lie! There’s only one real sauce. Ravigottesaus. A Dutch spin on a tartar sauce, simply mayonnaise with herbs, capers and onion. Kibbeling comes out of the fryer hot and delicious.

We roamed the streets, me soaking in the sights & smells of home, the comfort of my cousin, the kids trying very hard not to ask to ride every ride. We said yes more than no, and everyone left happy. We didn’t think of work, or not-work, a minute. At least not out loud. It was just what the Dr. ordered. A beautiful, perfect day away.

Dane, Zoë, Tess and Heidi

I love to take photo’s of signs, they are great in scrapbooks for “where”!

This guy! Longer story about why he’s really there… but a perfect representation of how I frequently feel!

Den Bosch is surrounded by water and canals are everywhere.

The claw machine. I want to own one and collect a big, hefty paycheck every day. They did not “win”.

Herring. Best eaten raw, with onions, held by a tail and gobbled like a seal.

Kibbling, hot, fried, spiced chunks of fish. Yum!

A spinning roller coaster. What could be better?

Dab. Still doing it everywhere we go. Sigh.

Despite the happiness.. the break dance is second to the spinning roller coaster.

He’s a very good shot. He won a turtle!

Everything about this is Dutch.

The contrast between the centuries-old, stately, Sint Jan and the rides fascinates me.

A wonderful day. Everyone happily posed for one last photo… Tess forgot to look my way.