Friday favorites: Get to know the Netherlands (or Holland)

As many of you know, I live in the Netherlands. What you may not know is that I don’t live in Holland.

The lovely @_ClaudiaGC tweeted me this video which is the probably the funnest geography lesson I’ve ever had. I learned that I was a lot more ignorant of the country I live in than I ever realized.

Watch it for the knowledge, so you can explain why people are wrong when they refer to the whole of the Netherlands as “Holland”. Or just watch it for its lovely photos of canals, windmills and tulips. (Yes, we’re surrounded by all three of those here. It’s a cliche, but it’s true.)

This video’s so fun that I’m going to explore the rest of that YouTube channel. If you do too, I’d love to know which videos you like best.

Did you learn something new about the Netherlands? Did you find any other videos you like on that channel?

Next week I’m taking a blogging break. With seven weeks till the baby’s due, I’m working on four different to-do lists and need to focus on getting some boring stuff done (like taxes and cleaning out my closet to make room for baby clothes). But I’ll be back on March 18th with an interview and giveaway from Ruthie Knox, so stick around!

A birthday weekend fit for a romance novelist

My birthday is tomorrow. I know, it doesn’t give you much time to shop for me. But don’t worry – my husband’s already given me the best gift ever, so you don’t need to get me anything.

Almost every year since we’ve been together, my husband has taken me away for my birthday weekend. Each time he’s made the location a surprise. This year, I had a couple of clues: we were going for one night and driving, so it had to be somewhere near London.

On Saturday morning, we got in the car and that’s when he revealed our destination: Rye in East Sussex. You might not have heard of it before. It’s a very small town just inland from the south coast. Henry James lived there for several years. My husband said he chose it because it looked like it would appeal to an American (in other words, it’s got really, really old stuff) and to a romance novelist.

He was right on both counts.

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