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Category: The Netherlands

The setting for my second novel, The Lover’s Portrait, and my current home.

Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands!

Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands!

While my American friends and family are preparing for Thanksgiving, here in the Netherlands our ‘Christmas’ has already begun! On Saturday November 18, Sinterklaas and his helpers (Pietjes) arrived by steamboat after a grueling trip across the rough seas. We know how difficult his week-long trip from Spain was because a special ‘Sinterklaasjournal’ – a fifteen minute news program for kids – is broadcast every night on national television, bringing us the highs and lows of his long and arduous…

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November 11 is Sint Maarten

November 11 is Sint Maarten

Last night, Dutch streets were lit up by hundreds of children carrying lamps, in search of candy. November 11 is Sint Maarten, or Saint Martin’s Day. Officially, it’s the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours, a Bishop who was a patron of the poor. One of his more famous acts was cutting his cloak in half and giving it to a beggar. Nowadays, it is a day for children – often dressed up as little bishops, Spiderman or whatever…

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The world’s first Homomonument turns 30

The world’s first Homomonument turns 30

On September 5, the Homomonument turns thirty! In the shadows of the Westerkerk is this unique and imposing monument which was erected to ‘inspire and support homosexual men and women in their fight against denial, repression and discrimination.’ It was the first monument in the world to honor homosexual victims of World War Two. The thing is, you may not even realize you are standing on the monument when you are there 🙂  Three pink marble triangles placed into the…

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Pride Amsterdam 2017

Pride Amsterdam 2017

Amsterdam is painted in vibrant rainbow colors this week! Pride Amsterdam kicked off Saturday night and continues until August 6. This is one of the most fun weeks to be here thanks to all of the celebrations, street parties, outdoor concerts and over-the-top outfits you’re bound to encounter when roaming around the city center. My favorite part of the week is the Canal Parade. Eighty boats representing a diverse array of LGBTQ-friendly organizations will sail through the city center on…

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Amsterdam: Family Fun for Everyone

Amsterdam: Family Fun for Everyone

Despite its reputation as Europe’s Sin City, Amsterdam is a wonderful destination for a family vacation. For starters, there are a plethora of free playgrounds and parks spread throughout the city you can let you little ones loose in. Most cultural institutions have created interactive exhibitions geared towards young children and several tour companies offer special family tours via bus, boat or foot. As a parent of an active six-year-old, I want to share three of my favorite places to…

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MysteryThrillerWeek: Mystery and Thriller Passport Theme

MysteryThrillerWeek: Mystery and Thriller Passport Theme

Welcome to the first of four themed posts about Mystery Thriller Week, an annual event celebrating the Mystery and Thriller genres! Over two-hundred authors are participating in this global event. To help readers and authors better connect, a variety of themed lists – sub-categories of both genres – have been created. Today I’m thrilled to share with you fourteen books from the Mystery and Thriller Passport Theme, mysteries and thrillers set outside of the United States. Authors Anne C. Carmichael,…

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Happy New Year from Amsterdam!

Happy New Year from Amsterdam!

Happy New Year from Amsterdam! I hope you and those you care about have a wonderful 2017. I know I have much to be grateful for. This month I’m celebrating my first year as a published author, which is something I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to say! I’m extremely happy to have connected with so many amazing and interesting authors and readers this year. I’ve learned so much from all of you. I am indebted to those who have bought…

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Parakeets of Vondelpark

Parakeets of Vondelpark

When I first moved to Amsterdam, the last thing I expected to see where flocks of rose-ringed parakeets residing in the city’s many parks. The beautiful pink and blue rings around their necks and in their tail feathers make them quite a sight to see. If you hear their high-pitched squawks nearby, go take a closer look. Thanks to their curious nature, they’ll probably check you out as well! The first official sighting was in 1976 in Vondelpark, the same…

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Is there a sculpture by Picasso in Vondelpark?

Is there a sculpture by Picasso in Vondelpark?

Scattered throughout Amsterdam’s largest city park – Vondelpark – are several statues and sculptures, including one designed by Pablo Picasso, Figure découpée l’Oiseau. Though Picasso intended it to be a bird (note the feet recognizable at the bottom of the sculpture), Amsterdammers have always seen it as a fish and locally it’s known as ‘Picasso’s Fish statue’. It was a gift from the artist to Amsterdam in 1965. That same year, the city organized an exhibition of artwork featuring some…

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