Saturday June 11 – Amsterdam and Haarlem

I made it back to Amsterdam from the little tiny village of Zeerijp and stayed in a hostel near downtown, Hostel Slotania.


It’s pretty nice for a hostel. I had a good night sleep…slight headache. Now I’m headed over to Haarlem after I get some strong black coffee.

Most of the hostels seem to be booked for Saturday night, but maybe that’s because I am still in Amsterdam…People shop til midnight here. Amsterdam is a very busy place. There is a light rain which makes this beautiful city a tad on the cool side…seems like everyone rides a bike here…the most amazing cheese and bread. Yum!


Most of the buildings in Amsterdam were built in the 1600’s…when they didn’t have cars. I went to the Grote Market to get cheese, bread, and coffee for 18 Euros, which is about $20-bucks American money.


I’m going to walk towards the beach…Maybe I’ll end up in some cheap hotel??? Still feel like I am just trying to fit in which is hard because though my ancestry is Dutch, I don’t really speak Dutch. Most Europeans are raised from birth to speak 5 languages, and fortunately English is one of them. The first thing I learned to say was “Mon francais n’est pas bien. Parlez vous anglais?” (My French is not that good. Do you speak English?)

People are very nice, and helped me out when I got lost. I will write more once I find a hostel and a place to charge my phone. I went into Starbucks here and they did not have WiFi! Oh yeah, and so I went to another local little coffee shop in Amsterdam and they were selling drugs! I asked if they had coffee, and they said, “Sure we have coffee!” And they also had lots of other stuff, if you know what I mean. I just wanted coffee and to get headed back on my way to the beach!


A Few More Words About Zeerijp (Friday June 10, My Birthday!)

I was extremely tired from the plane flight and wound up getting lost on my way up to Groningen and Zeerijp.

I did meet a real nice couple on the plane from Haalisleevgen the southern part of the Netherlands. The lady’s name was Christine Westerdop. We had a wonderful visit.

Also,  my first night in the town of Groningen was very nice…had a nutritional dinner salad with smoked salmon.

Then a wonderful sleep at the Hotel Bastion in Groningen near the town of Zeerijp…I was so very tired by the time I arrived there…but I did make it to my family’s ancestral home. (My family name is Zeeryp, named after the town in Holland.)The village of Zeerijp

I was thinking it was 40 kilometers from Amsterdam. Instead it felt like 400 kilometers (probably because I was still so jet-lagged from the long flight from San Francisco). The scenery was so beautiful…there are no fences in the countryside.

The cattle graze freely and the air smells so sweet; maybe that was the North Sea…at some point many, many years ago this was under water.The beautiful countryside outside Zeerijp

I feel like I live in the wrong place…on earth.

Additionally, the small towns we so clean and so well kept. Red brick everywhere. The flowers and the gardens are all so beautiful…Fields of Lisle and Hillegon


Zeeryp Goes to Zeerijp!

It’s my birthday 7:30 a.m. Netherlands time. Feels like it will be a great day. I am off to the town of syrup so maybe that’s why I was called “syrup” growing up.

When I text Eric using voice, the phone translated zeeryp into “syrup.” Now that is funny!

I spent the night in Groningen, which is very close to the town of Zeerijp, where my family back in Michigan is from.

I think it’s midnight back in California . My phone is still set for 11:42 p.m. California time. Looking forward to finding some hot Dutch coffee for breakfast maybe a Dutch Waffle too.

I am now in Zeerijp, Holland, which is the ancestral home of my family, the Zeeryps, who migrated to the United States several hundred years ago from The Netherlands. I think I am the first person from my family to visit here.locmap_ZEERIJP_6.5986667X53.23X6.9346667X53.47

As you can see from the map, Zeerijp is in the northeast corner of the Netherlands, which is mostly water.  My family name, Zeeryp, means literally “the sea is ripe.” It means that there are a lot of fish in the sea to be caught. Seafood is very popular here. Amsterdam is not shown on this map, but it would be in the bottom left corner if it were.

There are also lots of windmills up here.

Windmill in Zeerijp, Holland










And tulips, of course, which I love!

Tulips in Zeerijp, The Netherlands



Journey Janet au Jardin

This is my blog about my walking tour from Amsterdam to Paris in the summer of 2016.

May 30, 2016

I am very excited! After getting everything ready, I am finally packing to fly from San Francisco to Amsterdam on Wednesday June 8.

All I am taking is a 15-pound backpack, so I will literally have my home on my back. I plan to eat very simply–fruit, nuts, and, of course, coffee. I might indulge in some of that wonderful Dutch cheese and other Dutch treats when I get there.

This is the culmination of a long-time dream of mine, and I am ready.