Miss Dulce was here

From London, Mich Dulce followed me to Nuenen for some quality time. It was Easter Monday. The town was deserted.

Mich Dulce in Nuenen

Signs that Miss Dulce was definitely in town: the Mac screen that could use some Windex

Yup, MIch Dulce is here

The compact that begs a replacement

Mich needs makeup

The groceries on the floor

Mich's stuff

While I would’ve wanted to stay indoors during the 5-degree weather, Miss Dulce wanted to have dinner at the predominantly pink Puff Inn.


We were the only two customers

Mich Dulce

The food wasn’t the greatest but Mich seemed to like her pink pork chop


I loved the Dutch “spork” called florkje, which came with the Crème Brûlée


The bill came with heart-shaped mints, which she liked

Puff Inn

Mich Dulce

I love old mirrors. And you?

Cecile van Straten


Piet Hein Eek, Part 1

Biologically I am 70% Filipino and 30% German/American/Spanish.
Inside I am 50% Filipino, 40% Japanese, and 10% Dutch.
Whenever I see great Dutch design, I am proud of that 10% of my heritage.
They say all Filipinos can sing. The way I see it, all Dutch are artistic. Well maybe most of them.
I’m lucky to have a father-in-law who appreciates art and design. He was the one who gave us our own Rietveld chair at home.

Rood blauwe stoel/ Rietveld, 1918

For his 70th birthday, my father-in-law chose the Piet Hein Eek events space to accommodate 100 friends and relatives from all over the Netherlands. (more on this later)
As an added treat, guest were treated to an informal tour of Piet Hein Eek’s massive showroom and workshop, where you can buy anything on display.
Let me show you some of my favorite pieces.

Cecile van Straten

The Dutch designer works a lot with rough, distressed, and recycled wood, with touches of bling

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Aside from mixing all kinds of wood, he softens the pieces by adding cushions made from all kinds of mismatched fabric

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

The beds look so comfy

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

I love that they sell the log cabinny woolen blankets

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

And the pillows

Piet Hein Eek showroom

The lamps


Jeroen loves this chair

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Ben, too

Jeroen loves this chair

Here’s a crib

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Kiddie beds

Piet Hein Eek showroom

and kiddie chairs

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

A magnificent bookcase

Piet Hein Eek showroom

and iconic Piet Hein Eek closet

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

Piet Hein Eek showroom

My favorite thing: the Bless Wallscapes

Bless wallscapes

Bless wallscapes

The Piet Hein Eek wallpaper

Piet Hein Eek wallpaper

The nieuwe natuur wallpaper

Nieuwe natuur wallpaper

I’m not nearly done. More in a bit.


Eat, Pray, Sleep

NUENEN, THE NETHERLANDS—I made a change of plans and decided to stay in Nuenen while the boys spend two nights at their Opa’s house in Winterswijk.
Nuenen is the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh, and I’m staying at the charming Auberge Vincent Parkhotel.

Auberge Vincent Parkhotel

Outside, the church is very near

Auberge Vincent Hotel, Nuenen

The bedroom

Auberge Vincent

The brasserie at night

Auberge Vincent

The banyo is small but clean and new.
I decided to stay for two more nights so I can get some work done.
Yesterday I heard mass by myself at the church next door

St. Clement Church, Nuenen

This is St. Clement Church

St. Clement Church, Nuenen

I think there were three Asians inside, including myself.

My bag

Lots of old people

Easter Mass in Nuenen

Easter mass in Nuenen

A few young ones and very little kids

Easter mass in Nuenen

It was the first time I saw a church full in Holland.


Bikes everywhere outside the church.

All these bikes

Mass ended at 12. I walked around the village and looked around for something to do, but the entire town was deserted.




I really felt sad and missed my family. Ended up eating alone at the hotel.

Auberge Vincent Hotel restaurant

Not much choice here, so I had the beef carpaccio salad

Carpaccio salad

and thinly sliced roast beef and eggs

Roast beef and eggs

And then I went to sleep.


Life in Utrecht

“Forget about The Hague, forget Rotterdam, it’s Utrecht you are heading for after visiting Amsterdam.
At first sight, you may not see the charm of Utrecht. Arriving by train or car, you’ll probably think it is just one of those cities taken over by big companies. Can you be more wrong?
Utrecht, the Netherlands’ most centrally located city, has so many faces that it will leave you flabbergasted.
The city canals cleave the centre and contribute to the specific character of the inner town.
Along the canals, you’ll find packed terraces in the summertime. The shopping heart beats throughout the city and nearby is the Museum Quarter, a collective of six impressive museums.
When you don’t know where to start, just go to the ‘Domplein’ (Domsquare), take a deep breath and climb the 465 steps of the Netherlands’ highest church tower and observe Utrecht’s hustle and bustle.
Be sure to visit the Maliesingel as this is the most beautiful place ever seen. Many, many old houses there with great views, people who live there are blessed.” — triposo.com


We are now in Utrecht.
From Schiphol, we drove over to Jeroen’s hometown and settled into a rented apartment, which we’ll have for two weeks. I actually found it online after days of Googling.
At first Jeroen wanted to stay at the Hotel Karel V, but some of the rooms look like they have mumu. Besides, we needed a kitchen to cook rice and Marky’s sinigang.
This is our neighborhood


and the living room where I’m sitting right now. It is 10 AM and everyone has left to go to the zoo.

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

This was Opa on the first night. He lives in Eindhoven and just slept over for one night.


Jeroen bought me 40 red roses on our first day. That’s Php 280 pesos for 40 roses—can you imagine? And they are still so fresh. I want to have fresh flowers everyday while I’m here.

40 red roses for me

This is the kitchen

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

Our little chiller

Our chiller

And Marky’s sinigang, prepared by Yaya Bhing on the first night

Yaya made sinigang

This is Dutch bacon, or spek


I like the floor

Floor peg

The banyo I am not crazy about. The toilet is separate from the shower area and both rooms are tiny.
Luckily Yaya Bhing tidies up a lot. Plus it’s Holy Week, so I consider this a sacrifice.

Havaa Apartments, Utrecht

The bedrooms I find creepy. I have to take Sleepasil to forget I’m in this room with a rough blanket. But this is just me. Everyone else is OK and cozy. Thank God I am the only high maintenance person in the group.
I do wish we have time to tour the Karel V Hotel for next time.
Meanwhile I have to hit the shower to get ready, as the boys come back at noon to pick me up for another adventure in Utrecht.

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