Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Visit to the Country

To prepare for Nick's upcoming research he is spending a week at a University research barn in Ede-Wageningen a quaint little dutch village about 2.5-hours away. The research involves Nick and his lab mates taking care of three cows; Apple, Betty and Lucky. They are infusing the cows and taking blood draws and will be using Betty's milk and Apple's meat, poor Apple :(, for nutritional studies. Lucky is the control so she truly is, lucky! Nick invited me to take the train and come for a visit. I was very excited to see another place and Ede-Wageningen did not let me down. What a beautiful place! Perfectly spaced trees line the road to the farm. They have to be at least 100 years old. They were huge. Nick's dutch lab mate Bart told us that all the trees in the Netherlands have been planted for a purpose; either by the farmers for farming purposes, the engineers for the water ways/ dikes or the citizens for pleasure. He may be pulling our legs. He has a sense of humor like Nick, very satirical and very dry. So when I arrived by train, my first solo train ride :) They took me straight to the barns. A number of the houses and barns here have straw roofs. They call them thatched roofs and I promise to put up a picture when Nick gets home with the camera. A number of homes and barns in this village have them. Bart says that they still do them today. They are very expensive and are done for historical preservation. Very cool!
Nick thought we would be able to go and spend the evening together but science was calling and he needed to be there. I didn't mind at all. I like being on a farm and the visit was about being able to spend time together. I got to help out, pet the cows and sweep their feed. We did eventually get to leave and grab a late dinner. Of all places we ended up at a place called Le Steak. We thought it would have a lot of choices for a vegetarian :) Everything was closing and there weren't many options in this small town. When we stepped inside it was full of Hollywood memorabilia. It was dimly lit and packed with people, a good sign. We enjoyed one of the best meals I've ever had. Home made pumpernickel bread, fresh mozzarella cheese and tomato, was awesome! The next morning we went for a great run and found a beautiful track in the woods of all places, they call these sportparks. We had some breakfast and wandered around town. I bought some new running shoes and a toy for the cats. We looked for Wild Turkey but the closest thing we found was Jim Beam and the scottish version Wild Grouse. I caught my train in the afternoon and I'm back in Maastricht. Three sleeps until Nick gets back.

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