Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Farmer from Beerta

DeBoer means “the farmer” in Dutch. Naturally, having a Dutch name, we were delighted to travel north of Amsterdam to Beerta, birthplace of Shawn’s grandfather. To set the scene up, let me first describe the happenings of the night before.

We went to a lovely little pub and sat right next to a canal and enjoyed some hearty beer and an appetizer, I believe to be a special kind of meatball, amid the lights at night. We had warmed up with beverages at Brad and Aubrey’s, so by this point, we were really beginning to enjoy our evening. Afterwards, we headed to an Italian restaurant where we enjoyed some wine, some food and the company of a few stray cats (not mangy cats; healthy, friendly, right-at-home-in-Amsterdam cats). Note: Brad, Aubrey and myself all ordered some pretty common Italian food. Shawn, on the other hand, while he did order pizza, he ordered… seafood pizza. Mussels and everything. After everyone was finished, we went to the next establishment, had a few more amazing beers and then jaunted home while telling some really bad and cheesy, and at the time, hilarious jokes (ie What do you call a fish with no eyes? What are the two horniest animals in the barnyard? You get the point). We all went to bed, none the wiser. Come morning, almost everyone felt well. Everyone expect Mr. Mussels. At first it appeared he was just hung-over. However, as we were in the car, road tripping north to Beerta, we noticed his symptoms were not subsiding. Let’s just say, Shawn DeBoer left a little bit of him everywhere possible on the way to, and in, Beerta. He marked his heritage territory with “Gatorade” rather then with pee. Poor guy. We later diagnosed him with a combination of a mild case of food poisoning washed down with a decent, but not damaging, amount of delicious beer. By the time we got home late that night, he was feeling better and was up to eating some good ole fashioned Mac N’Cheese, shipped specially from the U.S.

Now, to recount what we saw on our journey. We headed out in the morning and leisurely made our way north. We stopped in some quaint towns and even stumbled into the most picturesque little town on the North Sea. Adorable little lambs roamed the hills, cobblestones roamed the streets and fake snow was covering everything. They were shooting a movie! Granted it’s a Dutch movie, but still, what are the odds? They were preparing for a scene set on a bridge. The cast and many, many extras were all decked out in charming, old, winter apparel and all stood on their marks. Finally, action was called and we watched them go through a very quick scene where an ancient car crossed the bridge surrounded by clapping people. It only lasted about 10 to 15 seconds, then they all backed up, returned to their marks and prepared to do it again. Very cool. After the scene was finished, we strolled through the rest of the town and found it to be nothing short of lovely. Too bad I can’t recall the name. Guess we’ll just have to go back someday.

After a couple more stops, we finally ended up in Beerta; birthplace of Shawn’s grandfather! Had he felt better, I’m sure he might have appreciated it more. Although he did get out of the car to take the obligatory photo by the Beerta sign. And then quickly proceeded to the neighboring house to upchuck some more. After he was finished, we drove through the very small town and came to a very large church. We got out to explore the cemetery and did come across a couple of DeBoer tombstones. Long lost relatives perhaps? Not sure, but we took photos of the headstones to see what information we can dig up. We’ll have to keep you posted. Having not much else to see or do there, we finally called it a day and headed the two hours home. Shawn enjoyed some fruit in the car and snoozed on and off until we arrived back at the Ragers. It was a good day and although it was tough for Shawn to go, it would’ve been tougher had he missed out on this chance to see and tell his family about Beerta, home of the farmer.

1 comment:

  1. I have really enjoyed reading about and seeing photos from your trip. It's just amazing. What an awesome trip to take!



You might also like: