54 days left..

Hello there!

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote something on my blog. So, let me tell you what happened in the last few months. I’m also working on another blog, that will be up soon as well.

I just checked: my last blog was on April 1st (no joke) and was about extending or not. I told you that I’m not going to extend. I want to thank everyone who sent me messages after that blog. That was really nice! I’m happy with the choice I made and I’m sure it was the right one. I love this family and like the US a lot, but I’m done for now.
Although I’m excited to see my friends and family again, I’m not looking forward to leaving my American family. My little brothers and sisters, the cats and host parents. I’ll miss America, my home, my friends and the food.

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I cooked an orange dinner on King’s day (April 27th)

But, I have 54 days left, and I’m going to enjoy every one of them.

The last couple of weeks went pretty fast. I made some trips, we swam in the pool at home and the weather got better. Although, right now, the weather is not great for June. It’s raining (not as much as it does in The Netherlands) and it’s not as hot as June usually is here.

 

 

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The pooooooool

In April, I went to the Niagara Falls with Richella. We took the bus in New York and sat in the bus for 12 hours (?) (with stops). But it was so worth it! The first night we saw the falls from the NY side in daylight, and from the Canada side in the dark. The next morning, we went back and had the same view again, but in daylight. Later that day we arrived in Toronto where we spent the afternoon & night. The next day we went home and stopped by at the Thousand Islands, on the border of Canada to the US.
We had a loooot of fun and the Niagara Falls were amazing to see.

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Niagara Falls at night (Canadian side)
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Niagara Falls (on the boat)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Me ruining the nice view form the New York side of the Falls.
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Thousand Islands with Richellaaaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks later, I went on another trip. This was the trip to Montreal, the finale of the great classes (18 hours) I took about the city. The weather during this trip wasn’t great, but Montreal was pretty cool! 19073795_1411130992309774_330610887_n

 

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Besides those two trips I hung out with my friends, went to the gym 4/5 times a week and of course workworkwork. Last week, Ilka, the au pair of my host family before me, came here to visit us. It was soo good to see her again. The last time we saw each other was in October 2016, but it felt like it was just a week ago.
Also, the last weekend of May was Memorial day weekend, and there was a fair, here in Weston. That was cool.

It’s June 8th now. In 9 days, my hostfamily is going to Italy!! They’ll come back on my birthday, July 1st. I’ll stay home and have pool parties with the cats.

From June 28th, till July 6st, two of my brothers will be here to visit me. They’re going to stay at the house and I get to celebrate my birthday and the fourth of July with them YAY. If they want to celebrate if with me..

Yeah.. And then a few more weeks and then it’s over… Then I’m going home. Back to the Netherlands. Back to school. To a new school.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to move to Wageningen as soon as I start school, or if I’ll travel every day for the first months… (But all tips for rooms in Wageningen are welcome!)
It depends. I must do an internship on Monday’s and Tuesdays. Then Wednesday till Friday, I’ll have to go to school in Wageningen. So, if my internship is close to home, it’s not worth the money to rent a room. So, maybe I should find a place for my internship first. Or not.

Als iemand tips heeft voor een stagebedrijf, laat het me weten! Ik ben opzoek naar een bedrijf waar operationele processen plaatsvinden. Ik ga voeding en communicatie studeren, dus het moet daarop aansluiten. Bij voorkeur in de achterhoek of rondom Wageningen. 

 

Toedeloeeeeeeeeeee

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Am I extending ?

NO, I’M NOT

okay, that has been said. And now stop texting me Iris Rietberg.

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Five years ago, with Iris (On the right)

Remember my blog on January 1st, where I said that I don’t really miss “home”? Well, I start to miss a lot of things in The Netherlands. Like, my friends, family, vaulting and foooood. In that blog it seemed like I was going to extend. And it’s true: when I wrote that, I was more feeling like extending. But I also didn’t think about it carefully. And I wrote it down several tips and came to this conclusion. That I want to go home in August and start the next chapter of my life.

After that blog, a lot of people contacted me to give me advice. Thank you all, I appreciate it!
No one said: “come home”. No one said: “stay there”. What my friends and family told me was:

  • “follow your heart”,
  • “you’re young, enjoy your life”,
  • “there’s enough time to go to University”,
  • “any decision is right”,
  • “make sure you won’t regret your choice”
  • “think about it carefully”
  • “It’s your decision”
  • “I’m fine with anything, as long as you’re happy”

You were all super nice and you’re right. It’s my decision, I’m the only person who can make this choice. But, everyone who knows me knows that I’m not so good in making choices…………And how do I know what my hearts want? Or how do I make sure I won’t regret it?

I can’t imagaine how hard it’s going to be to leave this place.. This family, my family. I’m sure I’ll get homesick to here anyway. But I’ll keep in touch and I’m sure I’ll go to visit them as often as I can.

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But I thought and talked about it a lot and I’m sure.  I want to go home and I want to start University. I want to start a life. Not that I don’t have a life here, but yeah,  it’s hard to explain. Au pairs would probably understand this.  It’s like I’m standing still. It doesn’t feel like I’m learning a lot (like I did in school) and the new and exciting thing about it is kind of gone. I’m still having fun and I still do cool things, but a year is enough for me. This experience is amazing and I’ve learned so much. But it’s enough after one year. A second year isn’t going to bring me that much more. I want to do something different now.
I’m super ready and excited for university. I’m excited to see my friends and family again. I’m excited to do vaulting again. To ride a bike. To talk in Dutch. To see my Dutch babysit family again (who are expecting their fourth kid in July Yayy).
I’m looking forward to going home. But, home? Where is home?  I’m going to study in Wageningen, what is in the same province as Lichtenvoorde (mom’s house & friends) and Doetinchem (dad’s house). But the public transport (what is free as a student) is terrible in my area. So it would take me two hours from Lichtenvoorde and 1,5 hours from Doetinchem to get to school. I haven’t decided yet where I’m gonna live. Eventually I’d like to find a room in Wageningen, but not for the first weeks. I think I’ll be with my mom during the weekend and during the week with my dad. We’ll see.

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My room

 

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I also need to decide what I’m going to do in my travel month. My year as an au pair ends July 31st, but I can stay in the US for one more month. I get the change to travel through the States. But I’m not sure yet if and where I want to go. I kind of want to save money for studying and august is not the cheapest month to travel in. And I also would

like to be home for a few weeks
before university starts… But on the other hand, now I get the chance to see something I wouldn’t see when I’m in the Netherlands. As in, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Alaska from The Netherlands, because it’s really far.
The places in the US that are on top of my list are New Orleans and Austin, but both of those places are super-hot in August. And they’re not that far from the Netherlands, so I could go there in a school break.
Maybe California… I’ll see. Any advice, someone?

Soooooooooo, if you have any questions or anyting to see, post a comment below, email me, text me, facebook messenger me or find another way to contact me.
And if you’re a future au pair, or you know someone who is in the whole matching process: I know an amazing hostfamily and they are looking for a new au pair. If you’re interested, contact me!

 

Byeeebyeeee, thank you for reading this!

Heeeelloooo

Helloo there!

Yes! I’m still alive! It took me a while to write this blog,  but here it is!  I’m six weeks in a new host family now and I’m really excited to tell you about it.

 

As you know, I moved from New York to Connecticut. From Scarsdale to Weston. Weston is just a little bit smaller than Scarsdale, but they’re different. Weston has a lot of big houses and great backyards. Scarsdale has that too, but there are normal and smaller houses as well. I haven’t find normal houses in Weston yet.. The nature is beautiful, especially now in the Fall.
Weston has about 10.000 inhabitants. What  is almost the same as the village I come from (Lichtenvoorde has 13.000 inhabitants). South of Weston are Westport and Norwalk, what are bigger city’s with more stores and stuff to do.ccccccct

In my first week here, I was working with the old au pair, Ilk
a. She showed me the routine and told me everything I needed to know. The week went fast and we had a lot of fun. Ilka stayed until the next Thursday and then she went back to Germany 😦 In 1,5 week we became good friends and it was weird to be alone after that.

I’m 5 weeks in this family now, and it went so fast.  The kids are really nice, smart and polite and my host parents are great. Everyone helps me with learning the language and the country.
My day usually starts at 6. That’s when I wake up and I start working at 6.30. I eat breakfast with the kids, clean the kitchen after that and do some laundry. The kids are going to three different schools. The youngest girl goes to Intermediate school and the youngest boy goes to High school. The schools are in Weston and are all in the same place, but they start and end at different times.
The other two kids are going to a private school in Stamford. I bring them there basically every day. In the morning it takes an hour to get there, because there is a lot of traffic. After that I’m off and then I usually go to the gym.
Around 2 I start working again. I do the laundry and pick up the kids from school. Sometimes one of the parents get some of the kids from school and sometimes I pick all of them up.

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My hostkid is learning Chinese =D

If the kids don’t need to go to a doctor, dentist, orthodontist or whatever, we’re home and they do their homework, are watching videos or we do something.
I prepare dinner from Monday till Thursday. On Friday night we have a bigger dinner what my hostdad makes .
Usually on Saturday I work for a few hours, usually around dinner hours. Then I’ll eat dinner with the kids and we watch a movie or we do something fun.

When I was in Scarsdale I never stayed at home in the evening when I was off. Now I stay home more often. Because I work more now (what I really like), what’s exhausting of course. But also because I love it to be home here. Sometimes we watch a show all together, and if we don’t I also like it to be alone and watch Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden (a dutch tv show) , watch something on Netflix, read a book or go to bed early.

 

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Some people asked me when I’ll  start school. I came in Weston in the second week of
October, right after the Fall Semester started. I have no idea yet what I’ll do, but I’ll probably start school in January. I’m thinking of doing one normal course at Fairfield University or Norwalk Community College. And then I would like to do one weekend class ( a weekend full of classes where I get half of the credits I need) or a travel class.  For a travel class you meet three Saturdays or Sundays to learn about the place where you going to. (I can choose Washington DC, Boston, The Niagara Falls, New Orleans, Lancaster or Montreal). After the classes you’re going to the city or place for a weekend.  If I’m doing a travel class I’ll probably do New Orleans or Montreal.

These 6 weeks flew away, thanks to this amazing family and the other au pairs here. I went to Yale University in New Haven, I went to NYC, saw some amazing sights of Connecticut and had fun with other au pairs. The fall here is sooo beautiful. cttttttt
I get the feeling that I’m welcome now. My host family is interested in me and in The Netherlands and that means a lot for me. I really appreciate what my hostfamily does for me and I feel so lucky that I found them.

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Yale University

My mom and Hennie will come here to visit me at December 23th. That’s in five weeks! They’ll stay here at my home for the first two nights. On Christmas day I’ll go with them to New York City and we’ll sleep there, because the next day we’ll go to Washington DC by train. We’re going to stay there for a few days, then we go to Philadelphia for 2 days. On December 31st we’ll be back in NYC and in the evening we’re going to do boat tour through the Hudson River. My mom and Hennie will stay until January 4th. We’re also going to do a Gospel Tour and we’re going to The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I’m really excited to see them again!

Thank you all for your sweet messages and for reading this blog. 
My next blog is going to be really cool. While I’m writing this I’m in CHICAGOOO! I’ll stay here with my hostfamily until Wednesday. Aaaand Thursday is Thanksgiving!

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I moved!

Yesterday I moved from New York to Connecticut.
And why?  Because I did a rematch. Rematch? Yes rematch.  It means that I had to find a new to host family and my host family  another au pair.
My friends and family know the reason for the rematch.  Overall because I wasn’t happy in my family and I didn’t want to stay there for 10 more months. knipsel

I told my host family about the rematch two weeks ago. From then I had two weeks to find a new family.  Or well actually,  I couldn’t look for myself.  A counselor of Aupairinamerica (my agency)  made a profile for me. This profile is  sent to all the counselors in the US. They checked my profile and then they looked if they have a family who was in rematch and would fit with me.  If they had one,  they contacted me or they gave the host family my email. Then I could talk and Skype with them and see if it’s really a good fit.
I was really afraid to go in rematch.  I thought two weeks would be really short and what if I couldn’t find a good family? If I hadn’t found a new family after two weeks I had to go home.  And that’s the last thing I want to do now.

In the first days I got 4 interested families. I talked with two of them. Two of them were living in New York, one in the Texas and the other family in Connecticut.   From the beginning I had a really good feeling about the family in Connecticut. First I called with the mom and she was so sweet. I’ve Skyped with the current Au pair,  I emailed with the host mom and on Friday we talked on Skype and I “met”  the whole family.  The good thing about being already in the US: I was able to go there and meet them in real. So,  last Sunday I went there by train.  I was pretty nervous. I was so enthusiastic about this family and if they didn’t want me,  I wasn’t sure if there would be another family who  was as good as this family.
But everything went well. I had a really good day there and I was really happy when they asked me if I wanted to match with them.

The last two weeks weren’t easy. In the first week I was so stressed about finding a new host family. And I still had to work in my old host family, which was hard sometimes. In the second week I wasn’t stressed for finding a new family anymore, but I was really excited to go there.
But yesterday I finally moved. I’m happy to be here and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the next 10 months.

Yes 10 more months..  I’m here for 2 months already! Even though I wasn’t always happy, the time flew by so fast. I did so many cool things: went several times to NYC,  I went to Boston,  ate way too much Frozen Yogurt, learned about other cultures and religions and met amazing people. I’ve made some really good friends. Even though I live further away from them now,  I could see them in the weekends.

In my new family I’m going to take care off two girls who are 9 and 11 years old and two boys who are 13 and 15 years old.

I’m really excited and I’ll keep you updated!

Weekend in Boston

From September 16th till 18th I was in Boston to visit my Dutch friend, Daphne. The first time I met her in real life was on August 1st, at the airport. We started the same adventure, at the same time. We said goodbye to our families and walked into our new life’s together. We were sitting in the airplane next to each other and talked a lot. At the orientation days we met new girls, but we were still together a lot.
At August 4th, we said goodbye: she went to Boston and I stayed in NY. A couple of weeks later we planned my visit. Friday September 16th I took the bus to Boston.

After a 5 hour trip from NYC I arrived in Boston, around 11.30 pm.
Then I called Daphne.  She was waiting for me at the station,  but I couldn’t find her.  Half an hour later she finally found me.We gave each other a hug and I was very happy to see her again. We went to her home where I met her host dad. He was really nice, we talked for a while and got in bed around 2.

14330013_1146484312107778_5282846062827301876_nDaphne is taking care of a 4 months old little boy. On Saturday morning we walked with him to the river where we had an amazing view of Boston.  When we were back home we ate a delicious breakfast. Her host parents made French toast of really tasty cinnamon bread.

 

In the afternoon we had a cluster meeting (a meeting for au pairs/host families in the area). Actually, Daphne and her host family had a cluster meeting,  but I could join them. The meeting was at a place where you could pick apples.  First we drank something,  ate some donuts and talked with other Au pairs and their families. I met a couple of really nice girls,  but unfortunately they all live in Massachusetts. Later we (Daphne,  her host parents,  the little baby and me) went to the apple trees to fill our bag. We got a looot of apples. I took some of the apples home and Daphne and her hostparents made an apple cake.img_8559

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In the evening we went to Quincy Market: a place with a lot of shops and restaurants.  We ate dinner at Cheers. After dinner we wanted to get Frozen yogurt,  but the Frozen Yogurt places were already closed 😦 So we went back home,  talked for a while and went to bed.

The next day we left the house at 9am. We walked to the train and in the train we realized that we were a little bit too late.  We booked a ducktour at 9.40. So,  we got out of the train and walked really fast / ran to the place where the tour started. I also had to carry all my stuff I brought for the weekend,  because we wouldn’t go back to her house. So it was pretty heavy with my backpack and handbag,  buuuut we got there on time! We made a photo  with the bus/boat and then our 80 minutes trip began.
The tour showed us a lot of Boston, first from the road and later we made the splash into the water. It was a nice tour, definitely something you have to do when you’re in Boston.14322738_10205287968199004_5323057780753792979_n

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After the tour we walked into a kind-of-foodfestival. There were a lot of different stands and almost everywhere we could try some food. There was bread, chocolate, milk, maple syrup, salads, cheese and much more.

Unfortunately we didn’t have much time left after that because my bus departed at 3. So we walked around, I bought some food and drinks for in the bus and we took the metro to the station. I said goodbye to Daphne, got into the bus and late in the evening I came home.

It was a great weekend and I’m very glad to have seen and talked to Daphne again.
Daphne, Thankyouu! And thanks again to your host family !

ps: Daphne is a great photographer and also has her own blog: https://daphneverstijnen.wordpress.com/

Week 6&7: Yankees, school, gym

I forgot something really important in my last blog! During my 4th week there were two special days: the 26th and 27th of August. Those were the days were the reason why I wasn’t sure about leaving on the 1st.

lisabdayThe birthday of my best friend, Lisa, was on August 26th. I knew that I would go to the US for 12 months, so of course: I would miss at least one birthday. But maybe this birthday was more special than other ones. It was a really hard year, and Lisa fought so hard, stayed positive, graduated and became so much older in one year.  It felt weird for both of us to be so far away on this special day.
I sent Lisa a balloon of a cow on her birthday with a personal card. And Iris and I gave her a clock with a photo with the three of us.

On the same day in the evening started the National Championships of Vaulting. And my team and me qualified  for the Championships this year. So they were there, and I was here.
To be honest, I was already a little bit used to be somewhere else while my team had a competition. I broke my ankle last April, during our second competition of the year. voltige So during the 3rd competition, which was one day later, I was watching from the tribune. The 4th competition (7 weeks later), my ankle was healed, but I had to work on that day. So while I was at work, they went to the competition. And during the 5th competition I was on a holiday in the Caribbean.. But yeah, those were normal competitions. This was a really special one. A month before I left, I told my team that I had contact with a nice family, but if I matched with them I would miss the championships. They didn’t like that of course hahaha. They were counting on me and when I made the decision to go, they had to change the freestyle for the championships.
Eventually they ended at the 4th place at the Championships, which isn’t bad, but I know that they are better than the first, second and third team 😀

Back to my life in the US.

The 6th week here started with Labor day. Don’t ask me what it is, I don’t know exactly, something with for workers. I know that American people like free days, so if they can find a reason to be off, they will. Sooo, they came with Labor Day.
okay, I just found on Wikepdia what Labor Day is: It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.

I didn’t do a lot on Labor Day. Actually, I had to work for a couple of hours, but my host parents were both at home, so they came to the conclusion that they didn’t really need me. So I went to the park with some other au pairs. Oh, and there was a camp counselor sleeping with us again. Will, from England. The next day, I dropped him off at the train station, and he would spent the day in New York and flew back in the evening.

Tuesday was the first day of school. The kids had to wake up at 7 and we left the house at 7.45. The boy wasn’t feeling so well in the morning. Eventually, when I came home from dropping them off, I got a text of my host mom that he has thrown up at school. So I went back to school to get him and he spent the rest of the day in bed.

The next day he felt good and went to school. I went to the gym with friends on both days.  When I came home at Wednesday in the evening, there were two girls in the living room. Again! Camp counselors! And this time there were two of them.. and it were girls! And I didn’t tell you the best thing yet…..

One of the girls was Dutch and would stay with us for a couple of days. I already met her when I came to summer camp. Her name is Lisa and she’s from Oss. The other girl, Sophie, was from England and she spent one night at the house
The next day I already left the house before they woke up. So, unfortunately,  I didn’t speak a lot to Sophie.

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Chipotle with Rike!

The rest of the week I spent a lot of time with friends. We went to the park, to the gym and to Peachwave (where you can get Frozen Yogurt). The 6th week was really busy and I didn’t speak to my family and friends a lot. So, in my 7th week I planned to plan less 😀 And it helped, I finally got time to skype with my friends and family, to clean my room and to watch GTST (Dutch serie).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Sflagunday I went to a game of the Yankees with Lisa (the camp counselor). My alarm didn’t work.. so Lisa woke me up at 7.30, I showered really quickly, ate something and we left the house at 8. We went to Grand Central  by train and to Lisa’s hostel with the subway. There we dropped off Lisa’s baggage ( a big bag pack, a smaller bag pack, two suitcases and a handbag) at the hostel. Her fight was on Tuesday,  and she wanted to spent her last 2 nights in the city. From there we went to the Yankees Stadium. We went to the Memorial and to the Museum before the game started. Those were really impressive. After that we bought a popcorn, a big drink and we went to our seats. It was 9/11, so before the game started, they had a special ceremony. There was a big orchestra with bagpipes, drums and other instruments. They also had a big flag of America spread over the field, while someone was singing the National Anthe.
It was beautiful.
Eventually the Yankees lost.img_20160911_111720

After the game we went to the city. We didn’t know what we wanted to do, and actually it was already pretty late. So we walked through Central park and got dinner at Chickpea.  I ate a wrap filled with hummus, falafel, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and maybe something else. I don’t know haha. I didn’t made a picture of it. Every time when I’m eating something special, I realize to late: hey maybe I could have made a picture of this for my blog. But yeah, usually I’m to hungry to think about that.snapchat-710149710829065966

After our dinner I said goodbye to Lisa and went to Grand Central to get the train to home. img_20160911_212741My hostdad picked me up at the train station. His daughter had a party in Long Island, so we drove there to get here. From Long Island you had a good view of Manhattan (not in this picture) and we saw the two blue lights for 9/11. These lights were on the place of the Twintowers. We weren’t really close, so you can’t see it really good on the picture.

So yeah, that was the Sunday. The 7th week I spent more time at home to relax. And I went to the gym almost every day with Rike and Barbara. We also met a nice new girl, Anna and she’s also from Germany.

 

 

And now I’m in Boston! Daphne, a friend of mine, is an au pair here. We flew together and were at the same orientation days. It’s really nice to see her again, and of course: I’ll tell you everything about my weekend in the next blog!

Week 4&5: busy weeks

My 7th week has start today! As you can see in the title, this blog is about my 4th and 5th week. I’m sorry for this late blog. I was really busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to write. Oh, and when I had time my laptop wasn’t working… I really need to buy a new one..

Week 4& 5 s were the last weeks of the summer break. After 7 weeks of summer camp and one week vacation, the kids stayed at home for two weeks. I worked from 9.30 till 5.30 Monday till Friday. On Saturday I worked for 5 hours and I was off on both Sundays.

In the morning I’ve made breakfast for the kids (for the boy actually, the girls doesn’t really eat breakfast). I’ve made their beds and cleaned the dishes. Every day I’ve to do one chore: the laundry, vacuüm the bedrooms, the playroom or the tv room and clean the kitchen. I’m usually done with that before I’m making their lunch.

The kids are turning 13 in October, so they have a Bar Mitzvah Party at the end of September. It’s going to be my first Bar Mitzvah in my life and I’m really excited! They had to practice rhymes for the Bar Mitzvah and they went to the temple twice.

Both of them had to read a book before  school starts.  The rest of the time they were watching tv,  we played a game or he was gaming on his Xbox/Nintendo. She had a couple of sleep-overs with friends.
snapchat-5963655162993594653In the evening I usually go somewhere with other au pairs. In this two weeks I’ve ate a lot of Frozen Yogurt, but I compensate that with going to the gym! I didn’t went a lot, but 2/3 times a week. Hopefully I can go 4/5 times a week when school starts..  if I have enough time.snapchat-8533226177475805972
I went to The Cheesecake Factory with Barbara and Stephanie, where we shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake as dessert.

 

 

 

In the 5th week I went to Benthe. Her host family went on a holiday, Benthe stayed at home and her mom came to visit her for a week.She invited me and some other girls for a dinner at her place. We ate wraps which we filled with chicken, vegetables, guacomole and more. As dessert we ate ice cream, whipped cream and poffertjes !! We had a really great and fun night and her mom is great!

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Dinner with Benthe, Richella, Lisa and Kristy (Benthe’s mom took the photo)

In this 2 weeks I’ve also met Valeria from Mexico, Adrienne from Switzerland, Laura from Austria,  Melanie from Germany, Kristy and Josette from the Netherlans. And I hang out with the girls who I already talked about in previous blogs: Rike, Stephanie, Benthe and Richella

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Adrienne & Valeria

Last Sunday I went to NYC with Barbara. We left early in the morning,  so we’re in the city around 9 and walked from Grand Central to Times Square. There we met Barbara’s old match teacher, who was in the city. She’s been a couple times in New York and to other cities in America. She told us a lot about the city’s: what we have to do and good tips. Together we walked to Central Park. We walked through the park for a couple hours and it was great. Central Park is really amazing. It’s weird to realize you’re in such a big city when you’re walking there. There are a lot of people in the park, but it’s still quiet in some way..

 

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This isn’t my picture

After that we walked back in the direction of Times Square. A couple of blocks farther was The Brazilian Day. There was a lot of food, there was music and a lot of (Brazilian) people. There was a great ethos. It was amazing and special to be there.

 

 

 

After the Brazilian thing and a quick-lunch,  we took the subway downtown to South Ferry. There we went on the free ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.  We didn’t come really close, so I’ll definitely go back there to go on another boat.

We went to Wall Street, ate (way too expensive)  ice cream and walked around. In the end of the day we’re very tired and decided to go home.

I wore my activity-tracker-watch-thing and we made more than 25000 steps that day!  The only subway we took was to South Ferry and back to Grand Central. We walked the rest of it  and it was totally worth it.  NYC is great city to walk through. Believe me,  just walk and don’t take the subway for a couple blocks.

Now it’s already Tuesday and my 7th week has already started. The kids went back to school last week and I was really busy.
In my next blog I’ll tell you about the 6th and 7th week!

 

 

 

Week 3: Pizza, New Hampshire& NYC

This time I won’t say I’ll keep my blog short. Last week I did,  but eventually that blog was longer than I thought it would be… 

Monday was a busy day at home. My host Dad and kids came home from summer camp the day before.  They have been away for 7 weeks,  what means that they had a lot of stuff with them. Monday we had to wash all the clothes and clean up the stuff.  At the same time we had to pack our bags for the little trip to New Hampshire.

Because I’m here for just a few weeks,  I didn’t know where I had to leave all the clothes and other stuff.  But I’ve tried to help where I could.

In the evening it was time for my first cluster meeting! A cluster is a group of au pairs in the same area. The meeting was at Frank Pete Pizzeria  in Yonkers and we got unlimited pizza and soda. I don’t really love pizza, but this pizza was tasty!
Lisa,  an other Au pair who I didn’t meet before,  picked me up at home, and then we picked Barbara up. When we arrived, we had to sign in and we said Hi to Paula (our counselor).  I saw Stephanie,  so we went to sit with her at the table.  There were already two other au pairs at that table. Another Au pair, Luise from Germany, was also going to sit with us.

It was a really fun and cozy evening! I’ve tried to learn more German phrases. Almost everyone at the table spoke German.  I learned them to count in Dutch and some other words and phrases.
The new girls I’ve met,  are  super nice and we’re definitely going to meet again!

The day after,  around 10.30 am,  my host family and I left for the little trip. We had to sit in the car for 4/5 hours,  so it was pretty long  drive. Eventually we  arrived in Rye,  New Hampshire. After we settled in our room we went out for diner. We ate at ninety-nine, where I had a really normal,  boring but delicious diner.
After diner we went back to the hotel and went to bed pretty early.

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The rest of the week was really fun.
We went to the Seaside Science Centerwe swam in the pool at the hotel,  hplayed mini golf and went to the Beach. The coolest thing we did was the Water park where we went two times. They had really cool slides.
It was great to be with the family and it’s super nice that they took me on this trip!

 

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Around 4pm on Saturday we came home. Together with my host dad I did the laundry of the kids. I’ve called with my mom,  because I was a little sad,  and it made me feel better.

In the evening I went to Richella,  a Dutch girl who lives 20 minutes’ drive away from here. On Sunday we had planned to go to NYC,  so I’ve slept there.

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Next time I’ll say my name is Kim.. 

And than it was Sunday. We wanted to get the train from 8.50 am.  Buuuut, we missed the train, because we didn’t know where to park the car. We had to wait an hour for the next train..

Eventually, around 11 am, we were finally at Grand Central in NYC. But we wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History, so we must continue by metro.
After 15 minutes of looking at the Metro Map, we thought we knew which metro we had to take. Buuuut, when we were in that metro, we found out that it was an Express, and that it wouldn’t stop at 81st Street, where we had to be. So at the first stop, 145th street, we went out of the metro and took another metro back to 81st.dino
At the museum we bought the tickets and then we finally got into the museum. We started at theBernard Family hall of North American Mammals. The animals looked so real and it was very impressive to see.

In the rest of the museum we’ve seen meteorites, people from different places around the world (Asian, African etc.), dinosaurs and much more. It was really cool and if you ever go to NYC, you definitely have to go there!
Little tip:  when you first walk in, you will notice the entrance fees posted. Typically $22 per adult is the “suggested donation”. It’s suggested, not required for entrance into the museum. So, just go stand in the lane and pay whatever you want for your ticket.

 

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Later we had lunch at Cafe Piccolo,which was located atAmsterdam Avenue

. Richella ate a ciabatta with pesto, tomato, arugula and mozzarella (I think?). And I had a toasted ciabatta with grilled chicken, avocado, mustard and mixed greens. It was really tasty, but hard to eat properly…14114081_1124521017637441_1520582033_o

After lunch, we had wanted to go to 34th , to go to Macy’s (a warehouse). It shouldn’t take a lot of time to get there.. Buuut, meet Rich& Babs: we can take the wrong metro, get out of that metro and then jump in another metro, which is also not the right one.
That’s why it took us an hour or more to get at Macy’s. It was already 5 pm, so we just had a quick look and Rich tried some shoes on.

Meanwhile, it was raining really heavily and we wanted to go to Chipotle for diner, which was one block away. So we ran through the rain and we got there pretty dry. Chipotle is aMexican Grill where you choose what you want to eat. First you choose a wrap, taco’s, bowl or salad, then the beans, the meat and the toppings. Pretty simple, right?
Richella ordered a burrito with chicken, black beans and some other stuff and I ordered a bowl with chicken, pinto beans and some toppings. After diner we’ve been to one more shop, where I bought 3 blouses and a dress and then we went to Grand Central. 

Around 10 we arrived in the town where Richella lives. It rained very heavily and we parked the car 1 block away. Buuut, the car wasn’t in the street where we thought it was…..
We’ve found the car quite fast in the street next to it.
I dropped Richella off  at her home and I drove back to mine (really slow, because of the heavy rain)

When I came home, I took a shower and went to bed. I immediately fell asleep.

 

In my next blog I’ll tell you about week 4&5: my first real work weeks! 

Byeebyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Week 2: Meeting new people

It’s already Sunday! This week went veeery fast. I’ll tell you about it in this short blog 🙂
The kids and dad are still at summercamp and my hostmom had to work this week. So I had a lot of free time. My hostmom showed me some places every night.

Monday
Today I’ve met Rike. Rike is 18 years old German girl. She actually lived pretty close to where I lived in the Netherlands.
Rike is in the same cluster as I am.. A cluster is the group girls who live close to each other. We have one counselor: Paula. I haven’t met Paula yet, but I’ve heard from other au pairs and my host family that she’s amazing.
Rike’s host family is moving, so the whole family will live for a couple of weeks at the parents of her host parents. They live in Manhattan! After the move they will live in Scarsdale again. Actually, they went yesterday on a vacation for three weeks.
Buuut, the day was really nice! She picked me up at my home and we went to the centre of Scarsdale. We bought some food and a drink and just chilled and talked. Later we bought ice cream, went to the park and eventually she dropped me off at my home. It was really cozy, our conversations were funny and Rike is very nice.

 

Tuesday
Tuesday I went to Larchmont,  where Stephanie lives. She was my Swedish roommate at orientation. We went to the Starbucks for coffee,  talked a lot and ate a frozen yogurt. And then it was time to go back home.

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Stephanie!

It was a great day with Stephanie!

I’m not sure, but I think I went out for diner with my host mom that night. (we went out for diner a couple of times and I don’t remember which days exactly)

 

 
Wednesday
This day I’ve met Rike again. The plan was to go to the Walmart in White Plains and maybe to some other shops.  Buuuut Rike texted me in the morning that she had a little problem with her car. Sooo, she picked me up and we went to the car garage. The bumper of the car was broken or something.  Rike had to go back the next day to get it fixed. There was a really nice guy there who helped us.. Maybe I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks that Rike’s has a new boyfriend

After 2/3 hours we could finally leave and we still had 3 hours before Rike had to pick up her kid. So we went to the Walmart,  a couple of hours later than planned. Walmart is a shop where they have everything and it’s really cheap.  We bought some stuff (I don’t remember what exactly😂).  Wait,  I know what I bought: a sim card! I got a phone from my host parents with which I can call and text.  I used my own phone for internet and WhatsApp, but I could only use those when I was connected to the WiFi. So I bought a simcard with a plan and now I can use internet wherever I am.

13902627_1117539955002214_689636216027154475_nWe spent a lot of time in the Walmart and after that we didn’t want to any other shops.  So we rode to Hartsdale, where we ate a Frozen yogurt and then she brought me back home.

That night was the same as the others,  I think.. Next week I’ll  write down everything I’m doing, so in the next blog I can tell you what I’ve done 😀

Thursday
Another day,  another meeting. This day I’ve met with Barbara from Germany. She was also at the orientation days,  but I didn’t spoke to her so much then. We both want to set up a plan at a fitness center,  so we went to a fitness center here in Scarsdale.  She also lives in Scarsdale btw. My host mom told me about a cheap fitness centre (10$ a month) so we went there.  The guy there gave us a tour and told us about the plans. They have the 10$ and a 20$ plan. For 20$ a month,  you can sport at every location,  you can use the massage chairs and you can tan for free. I think those are the most important differences.
Barbara didn’t like the gym and I think she is going to look for another gym. I liked this gym,  but I also like the Planet Fitness gym in White plains,  so I’m going for the 20$ a month plan. I think that’s still very cheap. In the Netherlands I paid €30 a month.

After our gym tour we went to White Plains, where we went to Target. This shop is the same as Walmart: you have everything and it’s cheap.  I bought a simple black top and a scissors there. (and possibly some other things what I don’t remember)
Later we went back to Scarsdale to have lunch and then I took Barbara home.

In the evening my host mom and I went to Brazen Fox,  where we had diner. I ate a really good chicken wrap and we watched parts of the Olympics there. The USA is doing very well at the Olympics. They have 26 gold, 21 silver and 22 bronze medals.  It’s a lot more than the Netherlands, they have 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals..  But the USA is a lot bigger ofcourse..
After diner we went to a supermarket for foood shopping and we bought some tasty food.

14034874_1117539878335555_2166759571820957363_nFriday
Friday was pretty boring. Well, the evening wasn’t. I’ve stayed at home during the day #Netflix #Olympics.  In the evening I’ve met a Dutch girl, Benthe. We’ve met each other in White Plains, went to Starbucks and we’ve just talked the whole night (IN DUTCH YAY). And she is amazing! =D

My lovely mom has sent me a package with “forgot things what I really need”.  For example: I took my electric toothbrush with me, but not the charger.
I took the charger of my watch (with steps counter) with me, but not the watch itself..
Buuut, my great mom sent me these and some other things and hopefully it will arrive soon 🙂


Saturday
I’ve spent the whole day in White Plains with Stephanie. Oh btw, I’m realizing now that I’ve said a couple of times that I went to White Plains, but I didn’t tell you what or where White Plains is.
White Plains is a city just 10 minutes driving from my home. It has 57866 inhabitants, which is similar to Doetinchem (where my father lives, in the Netherlands). White Plains isn’t very big, but it has a lot of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s crowded, but not so crowded as New York City. I like it.
We went to a shopping mall, where they had a H&M, Forever 21, Victoria Secret and many other shops. I’ve lost Stephanie a couple of times in the mall..

Eventually I’ve bought 2 simple tops, a vest and a sweater (for those who know me: that yellow sweater I wear so often: I’ve bought the same in light pink)
And then we got hungry, sooo we went to The Cheesecake Factory. For me, it was the first time there and it was sooo good! I had these soft taco’s filled with chicken, avocado, tomato and sour cream. After this, there was no room in my tummy anymore for Cheesecake, but I definitely going to buy one some day.Naamloos

Stephanie bought some beautiful make up. She loves make up hahaha. And I don’t have any sense of make up haha. But Stephanie does, and it was fun to see her watching all that make up. She is collecting Mac lipsticks (right Stephanie?) I have no idea why they are so special, but she want to buy 10? or 12? of them this year, and she bought her 7th one, I think, last Saturday.
It was a very nice and cozy day with Stephanie. In the evening I didn’t do anything special.

Sunday
And then we had Sunday, the last day of this week. And it’s a special day: my host dad and kids were coming home!
At noon I went to White Plains to have lunch with two Dutch girls, Benthe who I’ve met on Friday, and a friend of her, Richella. It was very nice with them and it’s so cool to talk Dutch haha.

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Salad with chicken, pecans, strawberry’s, mandarin, pineapple and poppy seed & half of a turkey sandwich

Around 3.30 pm I went back home. Andrew, the boy, was already home when I got back. An hour later, Jon (host dad) and Melissa came home. They also took another camp counselor with them, who is going to sleep here tonight.
We ordered Chinese food for diner and my host mom had to do a lot of laundry and I helped her a little bit. We are going on a little trip to New Hampshire this Tuesday, so the laundry has to be done before we’re leaving.

Soooooo, this was my week! I hope you enjoyed reading this. I have no idea if this is really interesting or not. Let me know in the comments!

Next week I’ll tell you about my first cluster meeting, the trip to New Hampshire aaand maybe more.

Goodbye Holland & Hello America

Helloooo from Scarsdale, New York

It is Friday,  August 5th,  and yesterday I’ve arrived at my host family’s house.  I’ll tell you about my first days: the flight and the orientation days in NYC.

13680456_1091858214232481_3160106582658724134_oLast Monday at 4 am,   we went on the road to the airport. With me were my mom, her boyfriend and my  brother. My dad was also going to the airport. My best friend came to my house that morning at 3.30 am.  She was going on vacation that day. So she came with her mom  very early to my house to say goodbye. It was very hard to say goodbye to her. I hope she will have the opportunity to come over here.

My plane was going at 9:15 am. When I arrived at the airport I had enough time to check in my luggage ,  go through the customs and get in the plane.  When I wanted to check in my suitcase,  there was some girl walking to me and she asked me if I was Babette. The girl was Daphne.  I already knew her,   but we only talked on WhatsApp,   I hadn’t seen her in real life. A couple of minutes later we saw the other girl we’ve met on WhatsApp, Vera.

Daphne and I checked in our bags together. We had 23 kg for each suitcase and we had 45,8 kg together.  So that was perfect 😀😀

After we checked in our luggage it was time to say goodbye. This was hard,  but it went well. Then, Daphne and I walked through the gates,  they checked our luggage and we walked to our gate of departure. We had enough time,  so we drank a cup of coffee and we talked a lot.

Then it was time to go in the airplane.  We could take our seats quickly and everything was okay. The flight was 8 hours and it was good and went very fast.

We landed at 11.30 am in the US. After the passport check, we picked up our luggage and then we walked to the exit . In the arrival hall was a woman from AuPair In America waiting for us.  She was very kind,  asked us if the flight went well,  if we were thirsty or hungry and she send us to the taxi. After a ride of 1 hour we arrived at the hotel. The hotel was great. I had beautiful ballrooms and nice rooms.

In the hotel we received a map with important information. That day there was nothing on the schedule, so we could do whatever we want. I just hang out with some other girls and went to bed. We should be sleeping in the hotel room with 3 girls. But when I was going to sleep at 10 pm, my roommates hadn’t arrived yet. In the middle of the night, at 1 am, I woke up and there was my first room-mate. It was Maria from Paris. We had a short talk and I went back to sleep. A couple of hours later I woke up again and there was the other girl. I looked at my mobile and saw that it was 4 am. I’ve had a little talk with the girl, Stephanie from Sweden. Her airplane was delayed, and that was the reason she arrived so late.

13918555_1110445002378376_1753249920_oAt 06.30 am we got our wake up call and between 7 and 7.45 we had to eat breakfast. After breakfast we had meetings, lunch, more meetings and eventually the New York City tour. I’ll definitely go back to NYC, so I’m not going to tell you about that now. This blog is already pretty long.

The rest of the orientation days where almost the same: Breakfast, meetings, lunch, meetings, diner and chilling with the other au pairs.

Thursday in the afternoon at 2pm we finished the orientation. Right after that a lot of au pairs left. Some were going to the airport, some to the train stations and some, like me, would be picked up at the hotel by their host family. My host mom had to work yesterday, so she picked me up at 5.30pm. I saw a lot of girls be picked up by their host mom, dad or the whole family. It was really great and cute to see.

And then after a couple of hours of waiting (and writing this blog) I finally saw my host mom walking into the hotel lobby. I walked to her, said Hi and gave her a hug.  My host mom and I went to a restaurant to eat something. The restaurant was on the Hudson River and had an amazing view. My host mom told me a lot about the kids, her family and other things. Back on the road to my new home, she told me a lot about the places we drove through.
After a short drive we arrived at the house. My host mom showed me my room, my bathroom and the rest of the house. It’s a great house with enough space.

I unpacked my bags and went to bed. Today I had a long sleep, I ate something and now I will finish writing this blog. Later this day I will go out for a walk I think. And tonight I’m going to drive the car with my host mom.

IMG_6471_editedI’ve met a lot people from all over the world. I’ve learned things about other countries and of course about kids and other relevant stuff.  I’ve made friends with who I am definitely going to hang out this year.

 

 

My american life, my adventure, my dream has begun!