Walking in a winter wonderland

Dear reader,

Here in Holland we have the first day of Christmas on December 25th and the second day of Christmas on the 26th. Yes, we celebrate Christmas twice and we love it! No work, no shops, just relaxing, visiting family and food.
As we don’t visit family with Christmas, me and my mum spent Christmas in our pj’s on the couch watching Christmas movies.

But, we didn’t have a white Christmas. As soon as the second day of Christmas was over, it started snowing. So yesterday and today were the third and fourth day of Christmas, this way we still had a white Christmas this year! I love cheating like this.

I love snow. I walked to my work instead of taking the bike. And I loved every second of it. A coworker drove past me and stopped to ask if I wanted a ride, but I declined. It was still snowing and everything was so beautiful. I thought to myself; even if it’s gone in an hour because of the shovel trucks and the salt, I’ve still had my Snow-walk. I even wanted to take pictures, but my phone stopped working because of the cold.

Yesterday afternoon, most of the snow was melting and it started freezing at night, so now everything has turned to ice. The weather today was lovely, so I took out my camera and went for a stroll. It was like walking in a winter wonderland.

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Much love,

Sam

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Can we skip Autumn, please?

Dear reader,

Some of you may love Autumn. The leaves getting brown, orange and yellow, it’s getting colder so you can wear your jumpers again and what not. But I absolutely despise it. And not because it’s getting colder, I don’t mind cold. In fact, I’d rather be cold than hot, cause I love wearing jumpers.

I hate Autumn because of the spiders. Now, I don’t know where this phobia came from, but it only seems to be getting worse. When I moved to the other side of the country to study Journalism, my mom told me it would be fine and that it would help to lessen my phobia. Oh boy, was she wrong.

No matter how small or big, no matter where they are, no matter if they move or sit still, I will find them. Even without my glasses I see them. It’s like they find me and they know I’m terrified of them, cause they will haunt me down.

And no, saying I’m terrified isn’t me overreacting. I really am scared of them. No matter how big or small, I will call (or shout) for someone to get them away from me. I hate getting my bike out of the shed, because there are so many spiders in there. I always drag my bike out so I don’t have to go inside.

On every corner off the street, they’re there. In every bush there’s a spider and watch out where you’re going, cause you might step into a spider’s web! As if they own the bloody place.

And now everything itches and tickles and that’s what I get when I think of spiders. Ugh! Please tell me I’m not the only one? And don’t start telling me that I don’t have to be afraid because “they can’t hurt you”. I know that, Okay? And I don’t even know why I’m afraid, I just am. But isn’t that always the case with phobias? So if we could just skip Autumn and its creepy insects like spiders and slugs and what now, that would be great, thank you. Let’s just go straight to Winter where they all freeze to death.

Much love,

Sam

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Ballooning in Beesd

Dear reader,

My birthday is on August 14th but I’ve already gotten my first present. My mom gave me a ticket to go on a balloon flight. So that’s what I did.

On Friday May 14th I went to Beesd with my mom, at this point only Maxx knew about my flight and I only told her about two minutes before we left. So when I posted a picture of the field and the sign, people only found out about it right that moment.

It turned out, the balloon I was in, is the almost largest of Europe, there’s only one balloon that’s bigger than this one. This may be why we were the highest up in the air of all the balloons that went up. We were with four balloons. Two small ones, one with 22 people and us, with 32 people on board.

Our balloon was spread out on the field, vans blowing air into it and our basket was on its side. And as it got blown up, it was really surreal how big these balloons actually were and I wondered how we were going to fit in the basket with 32 people. It all seemed so small from the outside. It really wasn’t though. There were nine compartments. Four on the right, four on the left and one big one in the middle for our pilot. I was in one of the compartments on the right with two other people as some compartment were made for three people and some for four people.

The balloon was full of air and our basket was swinging from one side to the other as the hot air was making its way through the balloon. It wasn’t scary, it was just weird. I thought something might have been wrong, but there were people telling us that it sometimes happened and that it was because the balloon was so big.

And then we went up. I saw the people on the ground get smaller and it was amazing. At that moment you feel as light as a feather. Your flowing through the air and everything looks so beautiful. Not to be soppy, but as the emotional wreckage that I am, I got all teary eyed.

For almost 90 minutes I saw everything, it felt like I could see my entire country beneath my while the sun was setting in the distance. I saw sheep and mills and cars and trains and small villages. At one moment we all went completely silent, the pilot stopped pulling the gas, we were at 1300 meter height. You could still hear the cars, I heard a dog bark, there was a girl screaming all the way down. For a while it was just us, up there in a basket strapped to a balloon, watching the sun set with its beautiful colours. For my likings we started landing way to soon. It was already 9.30 pm, but still.

Someone told me that landing would be awful, but to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. For about a minute I thought we we’re going to hit the ground any second, but we were probably still a few meters above the ground. There were some small ditches in the meadow we were landing in and our first hit was only two meters away from the water. We bumped on the ground about three or four times and then we stayed still. Almost perfectly still. But we were balancing between laying down and standing up. Finally our balloon made a choice and pulled the basket down on the ground, so we all had to crawl out.

Everyone took their picture with the basket and then it was time to ‘clean up’. We had to work together to get all the air out of the balloon and to fold it. There was a cart to put it in and after about an hour of getting rid of the balloon it was time for champagne. Everyone was handed a glass, bubbles were given and our pilot told us the story about the first balloon ride ever. We toasted on our safe landing and amazing trip. We got a certificate and then we headed back to the spot we took off from. My mom and I got home at one am and I slept like a baby.

Sorting through the photo’s was a real pain in the bum, but it was all worth it. You can find them on my Facebookpage.

If you ever get the chance to go ballooning. Do it! I mean it, do it. It’s so beautiful up there and so quite. And it’s probably a once in a lifetime chance. So do it!

Much love,

Sam

Ballonvaart Ballonvaart

AmsterDAMN THAT WAS AMAZING!

I know, cheesy title, but I don’t care!

So last Tuesday I went to Amsterdam with a friend for 30 Seconds To Mars’ concert at the Ziggo Dome. And I can tell you, it was one hell of a ride. [FYI: If you want to see a bigger version of the picture, click on it. But it opens in the same page]

We arrived in Amsterdam on Monday afternoon after school. We met on Central Station, took the tube to Waterloo square and it all started there. We knew where the hotel was located, but we didn’t actually know how to get there. So we were standing on a square, asking people for directions, but no one could help us. After about five minutes there was someone who actually knew where we were and where we had to go, and it turned out we were looking for the square we were already on.

He told us where we had to go from there until we got lost again. That’s when we met a very friendly lady who guided us to the hotel. So after about half an hour we finally got there. The hotel lady thought we were Canadian, she told us the room was already paid for (that’s very nice to hear) and then she explained us where to find our room.

It turned out we had a balcony, a (VERY) smelly bathroom, a shared toilet where your knees would touch the door, we had one bed with a mattress that sunk in when you sat on it and a TV with one very bright light on it.

room

The next day, our alarm went off at half past six. We got ready and left for the venue around half past seven. You think we were early? There were already four people there! So Amanda and I got our numbers, sat in line and froze. It was so so sooooo cold!

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Something went wrong, the girl didn’t remember how to draw a five

At one o’clock, people from the venue came outside. “If you want to upgrade your ticket to an early entrance ticket, you can! Pay 60 euros and you can come in right now!” So you could literally buy yourself in. We didn’t, as we don’t have the money to do so.

It started raining at some point and the wind came up as well, so the line turned into one big puddle. So Amanda and I decided to go warm up and get a stool or something, so we wouldn’t have to sit on a wet plastic bag.

Doors opened at seven and we ended up on the second row, right behind a very tall girl and a girl with a hat. *Thumbs up*

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But the rain, the wind, the tall girl, the cold and the pushing crowd couldn’t ruin our night. This show was perfect. Absolutely amazing! Jared sounded good, the show was incredible and there were even acrobats! And like I mentioned in my last post: No concert post is complete without the crappy videos. Even though these aren’t even that crappy.

BirthThe beginning of the show

and
Acrobats!

He even did some talking!
Before this song:
End of all days Sorry about the zooming!

And off course my favorite song:
Do or die During which he runs around with the flag of the country he’s in

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There were even big balls filled with confetti!

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There are more HQ pictures on THIS website.