Biking in Sunnyvale

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Biking in Sunnyvale is quite different than biking in Holland. I’ve been riding the Bakfiets around the neighborhood and to Charlie’s school, but haven’t ventured out much further. It’s actually not as safe to ride bikes here as it is in Holland. As you can see, there aren’t bike paths on the neighborhood streets and the main streets do not have clearly marked or separated paths to protect bikers from automobiles and buses. It’s actually not legal to ride your bike on the sidewalks where pedestrians have the right of way, but Charlie felt safer riding on this surface and to be honest, I think he liked the dips in the sidewalk where the sidewalk met the driveways and streets. He could pretend he was going over jumps, as if he were dirt bike riding. I think I heard a few “Whee! Whee!”‘s in there.

We are also back to wearing helmets again. Children under the age of 18 must wear a helmet by law and I wear mine too when on my cruiser bike, just to be a tad bit safer and to set a good example.

 

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Biking was fun this morning and I’m feeling a tiny bit better about letting them go out on their own, but not just yet! I’m still scared for their safety.  I wish that California shared the biking infrastructure and passion that Holland has, especially with our beautiful weather. But for now, it really isn’t very safe and is definitely risky when you choose to go out riding, especially during heavy traffic flow periods.

Two people were killed this week that I’ve heard about just in California. One woman, Joy Covey, was riding her bike downhill near Woodside when a van turned left in front of her and she died instantly. She was a mama, just slightly older than me with a young boy slightly younger than mine. My heart aches for her and her family and I keep reliving her experience in my mind.  And then today, a young 12 year old boy died while he rode his bike to school in Contra Costa County. He was riding on the wrong side of the road and was getting ready to pull into his school parking lot, when another parent from the middle school turned right and onto the highway, not even seeing him. Burgess Hu was an only child and was wearing a helmet but did not survive. The woman wasn’t even going 10 miles per hour! I can’t even imagine the pain these families and community are feeling. Wishing peace for these families as they experience the deepest grief.

Be safe out there, friends – whether you’re driving or riding, look both ways, slow down, make eye contact and be kind and courteous.

xo

 

Day 315: So Happy When the Sun Shines

I am a California Girl – it’s the place I’m happiest, but I have to tell you, today made me pretty happy to be in Holland.  Amsterdam is such a great city. It reminds me a bit of San Francisco, with all the charming neighborhoods with quaint restaurants, locals and tourists mixing, interesting architecture, and just a cool vibe.

My day started with sunshine, and a bike ride into the city.  I met up with Jen for my second pedicure since we moved here 315 days ago.  It was very relaxing and we had fun chatting about what it was like moving here and how many suitcases we brought with us on the plane. I think she beat me!! Just a tip – be sure to know how many suitcases you’re allowed, what the weight limit is and if they weigh your personal items. Otherwise, you might end up paying fees equal to the price of another international fare, right Jen?

After our pedicures, I figured out how to cycle into the centrum to meet Jeff for lunch.  We found a delicious Spanish restaurant with a table outside in the Jordan area.  I loved it because the food was different and new to us, the service was quick, and the streets weren’t crowded.  We tried Spanish tortillas made with potatoes and topped with goat cheese and mushrooms. So yummy and filling.

My orange bike parked in the shade by Jeff's office on the Keizersgracht

My orange bike parked in the shade by Jeff’s office on the Keizersgracht

A view of the Westerkerk near the Ann Frank house

A view of the Westerkerk near the Ann Frank house

Cool architecture in the Jordan

Cool architecture in the Jordan

Lunch with my honey

Lunch with my honey

Beautiful canal - Keizersgracht from Leidseplein

Beautiful canal – Keizersgracht from Leidseplein

Don't you want to be one of those people sitting on the terrace by the canal?

Don’t you want to be one of those people sitting on the terrace by the canal?  I love the bikes and boat and the guy sitting on the wall. Our friends live right here!! How lucky are they?

Ending the day out on my patio watching Charlie play outside and seeing Juliana bake. Life is good.

Ending the day out on my patio watching Charlie play outside and Juliana enjoying herself baking double chocolate chip cookies. Life is good. Cheers!

Day 73: windmill on a sunny day

windmill on a sunny day

Gorgeous day along the Amstel River

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I wrote a post for today and lost it while trying to post the above picture! UGH!! That part I don’t like.

So now I’ll share an abbreviated version – because it’s late and the pictures say it all. Thanks to the Holzers for inviting us to go on a ride with them. So much better than furniture shopping! They knew the way along the Amstel River and into Amsterdam, and we had a blast. Luckily for their weather app that predicted good weather from 1 – 7 pm too, because this morning, was rainy, breezy and cold! Who knew the sun would come out and stay out, especially since it was raining on us as we began?

I love days like today – where you don’t really have plans but have tentative plans, and then things just fall into place. We were supposed to meet some friends of Juliana’s, but Jeff wasn’t feeling well, so I had cancelled. Then Patti had mentioned the idea of going for a bike ride, and I was thrilled when Jeff felt up to it. We probably rode for 3 – 4 hours with a couple breaks in between.  The sun was shining and it was absolutely gorgeous and crisp out. So glad we didn’t stay indoors!!

We made thai curry and homemade pizzas for the kids as an impromptu dinner. I love when a short visit leads to hours of shared time together. Good times!  xo

gardening lady along our ride today.