Climbing the tree one branch at a time
Thursday 4.28.11 – Fleeing The Country/Day 1 Tilburg, Netherlands
Yesterday we (myself, my mother and my grandmother) left Pittsburgh for the Netherlands by way of Boston and Iceland. In planning for this trip my mother was becoming sort a nervous wreck worrying if we had places to stay, enough to do, etc. Today she was worried about the weather affecting our flights since over the past week we have been getting storms around the time our flights. As we were getting ready to leave for the airport we received a phone call from Orbitz telling us our flight from Pittsburgh to Boston was on time which helped soothe her. However when we got to the counter at US Air (45 minutes later) we find out our flight is cancelled. Thankfully the agent was able to find us a new flight which left and arrived at the same time, but through Delta. On the flight to Boston my mother became friendly with the stewardess. According to her my mother looked 45 (I am 32.) When we arrived in Boston we met up with my grandmother’s friend Johnny whom my my mom calls uncle Johnnie because his wife was the sister of her grandfather’s 2nd wife Kathe. On the plane from Boston to Iceland I almost sat with two cute Icelandic girls but since my mom had 2 empty seats I sat with her. Other than that the flights were all generally uneventful though since I managed to catch a cold while biking to work the previous week the landings in Iceland and the Netherlands put more pressure on my head than usual. After we got off the plane in Amsterdam is where the real adventure started. We first ended up staying in the airport an extra 2 hours for various reasons. Once we finally made it down to the train station we ended up letting at least two trains pass us by before we asked someone which platform we were supposed to be on. He told us that the train could be on either of 2 platforms not just the one. Eventually we caught the train to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). In Den Bosch we came across the same problem of waiting on the wrong platform. Finally we made it to Tilburg where we quickly put our stuff in our rooms freshened up and joined the rest of the family for dinner where we did some minor catching up and talking about our plans and the ceremony. After dinner we walked to the synagogue where my family went when they lived in Tilburg. It was a small shul so there wasn’t much to “tour” but we all did walk around snapping pictures and listened to my grandmother and great aunts talk about their memories of the building from when they were children. Edith’s daughter Lena also talked about her memories from after the war when they would visit Tilburg. After that we had a short evening service and heard about the post-war history of the shul from the Rabbi. After shul we walked by ‘t Pakhuys which is a restaurant housed in what used to be the warehouse for my family’s hide tanning business.