I (Anna) was lucky that Dad and Aunt Betty got homesick for the “Old Country” (which they had left in about 1910) and decided to visit family and friends in the first significant tourist year (1955) after the end of World War II. Mother, who had been there in 1934, was no less enthusiastic to see it again. And I was excited to be the first among my cousins and school friends to travel so far.
We crossed the Atlantic by ship and started the adventure in the Netherlands, where Dad and Aunt Betty were born. We walked their Westerpark/Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam; visited the Wassenaar area where the van Raaphorst castle used to stand; visited the family of our Dutch friend Netty in Almelo; and rented a VW bug and drove through Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. My mom and I also took a train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen and a short bus tour of Southern Sweden.
On the way back we went through a hurricane in the North Atlantic.
I also went to the Netherlands in 1973 (along with Dick, Ellen, and Tim), in 1978 (along with Dick, Ellen, Tim, and Gillian), by myself on a business trip in 1994, and to professional conferences in in 2006 and 2010 (along with Dick). Dick also did some technical consulting in Paris and Geneva in 1984.
In 2013 Dick and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary by showing the Blomquist and Livengood families around Amsterdam. It was a thrill to introduce the city of some of their ancestors to the youngest generation!