rhi and i also took a quick trip to groningen in the netherlands (where i did an urban planning exchange with some friends…two years ago now!) – this first photo is actually from the end of the night, but it has all of us in it, so:

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that’s jaapi, ming-yi, rhi, me and ian at tante truus, my old group’s favorite hang-out spot. (ming-yi and ian are two of this year’s uw students in groningen). we liked this place because it was pretty low-key, with regulars like a crazy pilot and a bar cat…and it had board games like carcassonne (the quintessential urban planner’s contest of professional skill) for us to play! it was nice to be back at truus with our heinekens.
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jaapi (who was my friend diego’s landlord/roommate in 2005…and our eventual bar buddy) was nice enough to let us stay at his house AND he cooked us a ‘typical dutch’ dinner of stamppot boerenkool (mashed potatoes with kale, gravy, sausage, and bacon on top…it’s a hearty meal for those cold dutch winters…). it was very delicious, and it was fun to hang out at jaapi’s house again.

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here’s my plate before i tried to eat it all/partway through my struggle to finish…

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jaapi offers marmite to an unconvinced rhiannon – it’s often served as a condiment with stamppot, but…it’s an acquired taste. i’ve got to mix it in until i can’t really taste it anymore… ; )

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the next morning in the grotemarkt, we happened upon my very favorite dutch snack – fresh stroopwafels! (stroopwafels are “syrup waffles,” or two thin cookies joined by delicious caramel or sugar syrup). here’s the stand in the market, and here’s rhi enjoying her first stroopwafel : )

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see how fresh?? those cookies are still warm, and that big bucket in the back is filled with hot caramel…yum… this is the same stand that i used to come to on market days when i was living in groningen.

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and here’s me feeling very happy about my fresh stroopwafel… _______________________________________________________________________

and…a mini-groningen-slide show:

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