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Sorry

Hello readers,

I wanted to leave a note that free Flickr accounts are going to have a photo limit. I have passed that limit, so some of my photos will be deleted. That means some of my blog photos will be gone. Bummer. I predict most blog posts from 2013-2015 will be image-free. If I ever get the energy, I will find somewhere new to host images and they will be restored. But I kinda doubt that will happen, so I’m just going to apologize. I’m sorry.

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And there goes 2018

Another year down. It went a lot like last year, with a little less dolly love. What did you do this year?

January 7. New dress.
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January 12. Meet Luciana!
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January 14. Taking Luciana home.
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January 21. Luciana settles in.
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January 24-28. Disney World (last trip before pass expires)
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January 31. Logan tries on girl clothes.
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February 11. Ready to travel.
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February 11. Practicing.
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February 16-20. New York!
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February 21. Snowy.
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March 10. My dad got a kitty.
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March 22. Lambs!
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March 25. Maryellen’s trailer.
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March 29. New Maplelea outfits.
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April 4. This is what 120 tablets of Albenza looks like.
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April 8. Cattle escape (they live two houses down–about a quarter mile!)
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May 12-13. Victoria.
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May 15. New Fluevogs.
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May 19. Half marathon.
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May 20. Orchestra concert.
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May 25-28. I missed Disney World, so I went without park tickets. Just hung out at the resorts.
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June 19. New neighbors.
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June 24. Shaw Island.
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July 1. Birthday in Disneyland (Paris!)
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July 1-8. Paris.
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July 27-29. Back to Victoria.
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August 2-9. England.
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August 5. Land’s End.
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August 8. Birling Gap.
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August 8. Canterbury Cathedral.
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August 10-12. Disneyland (not Paris)
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August 20. Air pollution, courtesy of California wildfires.
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August 24-25. House guest.
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August 26. Fluevogs.
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August 26. Lego Disney Castle.
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August 30. I ate my neighbors! They were delicious.
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August 31-September 3. Disney World, new annual pass.
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September 6-10. Yosemite.
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September 15. Fluevogs.
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October 5. Fluevogs.
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October 5-7. Salt Lake City.
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October 19-21. San Diego.
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October 24. Chili cook-off (I didn’t compete; I provided the prizes)
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October 29. Halloween Costumes.
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November 15-19. Disney World.
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November 26. Christmas Tree up.
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November 30-December 2. Vancouver.
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December 12-16. Disneyland.
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2017 in Review

So, this post is 6 weeks late, but here’s a review of my 2017!

January 6: Meet Gabriela!
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January 13: Meeting Rick Steves
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January 27-28: Toronto
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February 3: Snowy Day Photo Shoot
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February 6: More Snowy Friends
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February 8-12: first trip to Disney World
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February 14: Jam Session
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February 17-19: volunteering at Girl Scout camp
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March 4: New Maplelea outfits
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March 14: Pi Day
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March 17: Puppy Love
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March 29: Sun! Maybe spring is coming!
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March 30-April 6: Peru
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April 6: my neighbors had babies!
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April 20: fun with kittens
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April 23: Tulip Festival
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April 28-30: Oregon
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May 3: Mismatched Shoes Day
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May 5-7: Salt Spring Island
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May 11: Book Signing
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May 12-14: Zion National Park
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May 26-29: second trip to Disney World (Flower and Garden Festival)
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May 31: clearance price on Lea’s Rainforest House
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June 9-19: Belgium and the Netherlands
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June 30-July 4: a Disney World birthday
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July 8: a little picnic
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July 14: Pho
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July 17: new dress! Flying Space Unicorns!
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July 19-23: Caroline goes to upstate New York (eventually I’ll write a post about it)
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July 25: weird stuff we sell at our store
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August 5: oooh, Grand Hotel
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August 11: Welcome Nanea!
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September 1-4: fourth trip to Disney World (Food and Wine Festival)
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September 19: I join the Sinfonia
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September 20: more weird stuff we sell at work
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September 28: Autumn is here
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September 29-October 1: Salt Lake City (that’s where I bought Z!)
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October 5: Z’s off to the doll hospital
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October 6: I got Tenney
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October 20-22: Chicago
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October 25: Z is back from the hospital
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October 27: a group photo
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October 31: Happy Halloween
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November 4: we did glass fusion for my sister’s birthday
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November 10-12: Olympic Peninsula
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November 13: power outage
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November 27: Christmas tree’s up!
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December 8-10: San Diego
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December 15-17: tree lighting in Leavenworth
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December 21: Last day to work before Christmas (I made all the snowflakes!)
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December 22: Four cheese spaghetti
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December 25: awesome Christmas gift
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December 29-31: New Years in Disney World
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In memoriam

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Good news: I got some new dollies! Here are a new Samantha (an ebay find, she has a pre-Mattel body and a Mattel replacement head), #37 named Patti, and #26 named Pearl.

Bad news: I got these dolls from my Mommy. She died in October. She was my biggest ally in doll collecting, and now it feels like a bit of me is missing.

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I didn’t make any plans for my last day of vacation. I wanted a cushion day in case I needed more time to see what I planned to see. Well, I didn’t need any more time, so I had to decide where to go on a whim. Since it was a Sunday, I started at church.

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I went all the way out to The Hague so that I could attend a service in English!

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But the Netherlands Temple is in The Hague too, so I didn’t mind the trip down so I could go see it (Amsterdam to The Hague is about 45 minutes on the train).

Temple Grounds:
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And after church I went a little further on the train to Rotterdam.

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Rotterdam felt completely different from the rest of the Netherlands, and I’m so glad I went! Rotterdam was bombed by the Nazis in WWII, so the architecture is much more modern than that in Amsterdam.

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This shopping center was delightfully mid-century. I don’t have a lot of photos of it, but it was like time travelling back 65 years and going to the mall!

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And check out this really cool modern architecture! My guidebook named these buildings “the pencil” and “the UFO”

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This weirdly-shaped building provides shelter for a market, and actually contains apartment homes:

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And here’s what it looks like from beneath:

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These are apartment homes too!

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And I walked along the riverfront

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Parade of Flags:

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and more weird buildings:

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Rotterdam was cool. I didn’t do anything other than walk around and take photos, but I had a great time. It was so different from the other 8 days of my vacation; such a colorful end!

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And it really is the end. Back to Amsterdam for a little dinner, and left for the airport early the next morning!

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We’ve been home for a few months now, but how fun is it that American Girl’s new travel outfit features an Amsterdam-like city?

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and this Seattle backdrop?

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This trip was amazing. Longer than my usual vacation, full of beautiful weather, beautiful landscapes, beautiful art. And it was just the beginning of my fantastic summer! 3 trips to Disney World (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends) and a trip to New York that I’ll tell you about soon (I brought Caroline dressed in Caroline clothes and she looked adorable!) But now it’s time for the weather to cool down and for tourists to get off my island, which isn’t so bad either.

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The eighth day of my vacation was another day to explore Amsterdam. I started my day with some pancakes in a building that used to hold a grand carousel! Now it just has a little one:

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I continued on to the Tropenmuseum (In English, Museum of the Tropics). The museum has an intriguing history. It opened in 1871 (and has been in its current building since 1926) to showcase artifacts from Dutch colonial holdings. Sounds like a promising collection, but I didn’t find it very engaging. Maybe because there were parts that weren’t in English. The most enlightening exhibit was a photograph collection from Aleppo, Syria.

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Next stop, the Dutch Resistance Museum. This one was quite engaging, teaching that the Dutch are not Nazis, and sort of apologizing for things that happened during WWII.

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The resistance museum was a nice prologue for the Big Daddy of all Amsterdam attractions, the Anne Frank House.

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Even with a time-reserved ticket, I waited in line with tons of other tourists to walk where Anne Frank and her family hid for more than two years. I’ve read Anne’s diary and seen several different films, so I don’t think I learned anything I didn’t know. But I’ve been in the Secret Annex!

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And in the evening, I wandered the streets and canals behind my hotel, with the guidance of another audio tour. Vacation is coming to a close–just one more whole day!

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Sorry to leave you hanging for a few weeks, but it’s time for me to tell you more about vacation. On this 7th day, I left Haarlem for Amsterdam. I checked out in the morning, dropped my luggage at the hotel, then followed an audio tour of the city.

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The tour pointed out many highlights, like Dam Square

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and this hidden church. Catholicism was illegal for quite a while, so the churches had to be pretty inconspicuous. This one is sandwiched between retail shops.

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I paused the tour to check out the Amsterdam Museum.

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then continued the tour to the Begijnhof

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and the flower market

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The tour ended at the museumplein, where I paused briefly before a museum-packed afternoon.

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By museum-packed, I mean that I visited three art museums. First the Rijksmuseum, a grand collection of the Dutch masters, like Frans Hals

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Jan Steen

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Rembrandt

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and more Vermeer!

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This angry swan, painted by Jan Asselijn, is quite eye-catching

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Beyond remarkable paintings, the Rijksmuseum has a gorgeous library

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and a couple dollhouses!

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Upstairs, the collection gets more modern.

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And if you look closely at this one, you’ll find another dolly sighting!

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I explored the Rijksmuseum pretty thoroughly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a lot; it’s huge!

Next stop, the Van Gogh museum! The museum did not allow photography, but I snuck a photo in the lobby!

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And the final stop of the day was Stedelijk Museum of modern art.

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It had pieces by Andy Warhol,

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Chagall,

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and Piet Mondrian. This is a well-known Mondrian:

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but he also painted all of the paintings on these walls. I had no idea he had such a range.

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I stopped for dinner on the way back to the hotel, but this was a full, exhausting day. I loved the art. In fact, when people ask me now what I saw when I went to the Netherlands, I say “canals and art.” Both were beautiful.

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