Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Number 38: My Dutch Family

Last week I got the chance to cross another thing off my 100 Things  (Click)

38. Visit the Sassis in the Netherlands or have them visit me in Dublin

It's unusual to have something to look forward to as your holidays are drawing to a close but this Christmas in Tenerife, it was different. I was initially dreading the thought of returning to cold, dreary Dublin, but when I remembered what was waiting for me when I got back,  it changed my mood every time!
The Sassis awaited!!! 
We are an unusual set of friends... we could be the younger sisters of Elise and Sami, or the big sisters of Noor and Roos...either way, I love them all as family! I've had the pleasure to watch the girls growing up into beautiful young ladies and think of them as little sisters and will always watch out for them as such.

We reunited in a rather unusual place for the first time... the Guinness Storehouse. Unusual as most of us do not drink, or are way underage, but it is a major Dublin tourist attraction and a first for all of us. You go on a self-guided tour, but I'm not sure how much information we took in as most of the time was spent chatting and catching up...

The black stuff

Learning about Guinness.... 

The tour takes you step by step through how Guinness is made. You can taste it along the way, also taste the grains used...

As Sami and 'Uncle Khemaies' sampled the good stuff, the girls admired the wonderful panoramic view of Dublin from the top floor of the storehouse.....drinking cokes!!

Panoramic views of Dublin City - unfortunately the photos didn't show it too clear

When we were finished there we had a rather interesting taxi journey back into the city center........Karaoke taxi!!!!! ...Not the kind of thing you would want taking you to the airport at 0500 in the morning, but on this occassion - perfect!

I wonder is David free for Saturday night!

Ok... this video was without the music, but flashing lights still going!

I asked them for months before Decemeber what they wanted to do while on Irish soil, and the reccurring requests were for two things - to visit a traditional pub and see an Irish dancing show. With that in mind, we met Jacqueline in the city and caught the bus to take us to the highest pub in Dublin for a truly traditional Irish evening! Johnnie Foxes is the highest pub in Dublin and is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It lays on a 4 course dinner, as well as an Irish dancing show - perfect!
We caught the bus up the mountain, unfortunately no longer a Karaoke venue, and an hour later, were seated at our table ready for the show. I didn't really know what to expect, but the first thing which was perfect was the atmosphere! The place was packed , every table full with people ready to have some fun.


We had such a great night! Fun music, decent food but the BEST company!

It's amazing how much you can learn from children. (Noor, I know, you are a teenager, but you know what I mean) There is an innocence and a naivety that unfortunately disappears as we get older. And although most people are either made lose that, or chose to, I decide every day that I want to keep it.  I want to see the best in people, I want to trust people, I want to forgive people, and I want to dream because it's only when you dream, and believe, that amazing things can happen.
I watched in admiration last summer, as these girls played the piano and sang so elegantly. They are the reason I have Number 48 on my list and motivated me to start playing the piano again. (Ok, I have a ways to go, but the pieces are picked out, and the first lines underway!) Sometimes you need to look to different people for motivation...whether that be friends, family, boyfriend, celebrities, sometimes you need a kick start to make you realize your life is passing you by and you have to make things happen and DO things, instead of letting life carry you...

Here is a small part of the video:

I'm also starting to learn some Dutch...OK, it is a tonguetwister...but you gotta start somewhere!

Before we said our goodbyes on the last day, we decided to visit Funderland; a traveling theme park which comes to Dublin every December/January.

I hadn't been there for a very long time, since I was about 13 and all I could remember of it was a lot of rides I was WAY too chicken to go on. Now, looking back at it from last week, I can remember there were too many rides I was WAY too chicken to go on!! The one person who was definitely no chicken was Noor. I tried to make a video of just how EXTREME this ride was but it didn't record :(

Here is the face of fear BRAVERY !

Feet firmly back on the ground!!

Then we played a few games, and after the four of us yelling at her " come on, come on, COME ON, " Roos won herself a frog !!! Pure delight!!!


After a couple more rides, including bumper cars where I suspect Roos was secretly trying to kill me, we were rewarded with a candyfloss. (Until I was at least 14, when asked what my favorite food was, my consistant answer was candyfloss!)

These people are some of the most important people to me in the world. It was so nice to have them in Dublin, and I can't wait to go over to the Netherlands soon for a visit.
No matter how far apart, or for how long, they will always be my Dutch family... Love you all.

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