Zandvoort, Netherlands.

Traveling is such a privilege. Each place that you visit has such a distinct personality, and the longer you stay there, the better you get to know it. It’s almost like meeting a new friend that makes their mark in your memory forever. That’s how I feel about Zandvoort already. It’s funny how quickly you feel like you’re at home in some places. I’m sitting in bed, writing, and somehow am already sad to leave this little guest house by the seaside. It’s so charming- decorated with delicate chandeliers, vases of orchids, petite reading lamps, gold-framed mirrors, sofa beds and knitted blankets. And the people here match the decor. They are charming, bright and hospitable. The woman who owns the bed and breakfast, or the “Pension Corper” (Pension is Dutch for guest house and Corper is the last name of the family who owns it) welcomed us at the gigantic wooden door and handed us the silver skeleton keys to our rooms. She asked us all about our travels and made special arrangements to pack us “lunch packages” to take with us in the morning since we’ll be leaving around 6:30 am to take the 7:00 train. I’ve been here no more than 7 hours and I’ve managed to fall in love with the architecture of the buildings, the quaint shops, AND the hot chocolate. The temperature today was only in the high 50s, and because it’s shore hugs the North Sea, Zanvoort is windy and the air is brisk. I was managing fine until we walked down to the beach to get close to the water, and when I wasn’t looking (I believe I was smiling for a camera) a very cold and very large wave crept up behind me and soaked my tennis shoes. So, in desperate need of warmth, we walked a few more blocks until we found a cafe where I ordered a hot chocolate. It was worth getting my feet wet and nearly freezing just for the hot chocolate :). There were also several shops selling gelato, which is ironic for a small town that doesn’t ever get that warm. But I’m sure Africa will be a different story and that I’ll be craving ice cream after a day or two in the beautiful 80 degree weather that they’re predicting for our stay. It’s after midnight here, so it’s time for bed, and I’ll be off for Uganda in the morning! After today, internet may be unreliable, but I’ll do my best to explore and search for internet cafes. Can’t wait to be in Africa tomorrow! This adventure is just beginning.

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