Biking in Sunnyvale





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.



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.



Day 193: Rainy Day and Homesick


It was sunny this morning and then the rain came. A typical Holland day. The weather forecast predicts daily rain and cold weather. Thank goodness April and Steve and the girls are coming this week to bring some sunshine to this house, because there is a case of home sickness here today.

Even trying to make rotisserie chickens in our oven for the first time didn’t chase away the blues.

20130203-223710.jpgThey sure were tasty, although we kept missing our Costco rotisserie chickens! Aren’t they good??

For me, my symptoms we’re caused by missing all the Superbowl buzz!

It’s not that I’m even a huge fan of the Superbowl, it’s just that I love the camaraderie that it brings. I like hearing about the pools, the appetizers people are making, where they are going to watch the game and more importantly, the commercials and half time show! The entire process and experience is so American, and people dress up in their team colors and fly their team flags. People gather for the fun of it and I love it! And being here,we’re missing all of it, and it makes me home sick. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happy being here, I’m just more aware I’m not there. The same thing happened at Halloween time. Luckily the feeling doesn’t last too long, but it was and is definitely there. There usually is some “medicine” to fix the blues. Tonight my family is already asleep, so that they can wake up at midnight to enjoy the game here. We bought just a little bit of party food to celebrate, even though it won’t be the same as being in the States! Hopefully I’ll get to follow along with people’s Facebook status updates, play by play!

Juliana also has homesickness. She is ready to move back home and is struggling the most with our decision to stay longer than one year here. This surprised me as she was one of the most eager to take on this experience. Right now we are considering staying until the end of 2013 and possibly until next summer. This is hard for her to imagine, as she longs to be back in California. (If anyone has expat kids and has experienced this, I’d love to hear from you.) As she tells me her thoughts, I truly listen and try not to shine over her feelings. She is a very bright girl and her feelings are valid and real. I do not argue with her, yet I listen to and support her and hope that she’ll continue to see the good and not wish this time and experience away too quickly, even though she really misses her friends and the California way of life. It’s hard to look into the future to try and decide what is best for everyone, yet we are doing our best.

Speaking of best, Go Niners!! I’m feeling better now!