Well, I guess I better learn Dutch


I’m taking a break from the York posts to say…


I can't wait to get a bike!I am a little confused at how close we are to the Holland decision. Mr. DJ says “yes we are going” based on an email he received yesterday. But somehow that email seems a little too easy. Anti-climatic, even. 

When we moved to London, it was a BIG DEAL. We were jumping through hoops because not only was this a location change, it was also a change in companies for Mr. DJ. So when the decision was handed down then, it felt like a decision. 

This time it feels like someone just gave us the nod to go to summer camp or something. It feels a bit too easy. 

So, worrier that I am, I am asking Mr. DJ to please verify for sure, for sure we’re approved for this move. After all, this decision is the first domino. It’s swaying, but hasn’t tumbled yet.

I’ll bump our moving chances up to 75% (maybe more, but I’m trying not to jinx things).  Almost time to order that Rosetta Stone Dutch software. Maybe by end of day…


Roxi News

I went to a meeting at Roxi’s school yesterday about a trip she and 30+ students are taking to northern France next week. It sounds fantastic! They’ll get to go shopping at the weekend markets, do some touring, play games, and other activities. Speaking only French, of course. 

I must say I am especially pleased with the immersion language courses at Roxi’s school. I am not sure Roxi could have imagined that she would be speaking French so fluently after two years. Especially after her first day at her school here, plopped into a French I class six weeks before the end of 6th grade. But she speaks so beautifully now!


And a little Jane

I am SO excited. My good friend S wants to go to Chawton (Jane Austen’s House Museum) with me next month. I cannot believe I almost let this one slip by. Mr. DJ, Roxi and I went to Bath our first summer in England. I know Austen hated it there, but I loved it. Here are the highlights from that trip:

“I am for… for Bath”

The Roman Baths, England

Bath Abbey, England

Lunch at the Pump Room, Bath, England (ultimate girly squeal!)

The Last of the Bath Photos


Alright, more York photos next week. For now I need to do a little tidying up. Roxi has some friends coming over this afternoon before the second-to-last dance at school. Time is flying by. Only 28 more school days left.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!


Filed Under: BlogExpat Life


About the Author: JaPRA is an expat Texan living in Boston (by way of London by way of Houston) with her husband (Mr. DJ), their 19-year old daughter (Roxi), and their dog Trudy.

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  1. Looking forward to pics of your new country. What a terrific adventure!

  2. Laurie says:

    More adventures!! This is so amazing.

  3. Julia says:

    I love your bicycle picture! I wonder if bicycles would be a good requirement for living in a place…something like…I must live in a place where there are bicycles everywhere…as it is now I am frequently told “I saw you riding your bike…” I don’t really know what that means other than yes, I ride my bike a lot.

    So are you going to tuck yourself away in Roxy’s luggage. It sounds like so much fun! Maybe Roxy could be a guest blogger on her adventures there!

    • japra says:

      Julia, the first time we visited Holland in Feb 2008, we were blown away by how many bicycles there were. People were riding around in work clothes, no helmet, talking on their cell phones. It was such a sight! I did feel a bit sorry for them when it rained or was cold, though…

      I am so happy to hear you ride your bike a lot. Not only is it good for you, but I think there is much to be enjoyed at that pace.

      As for Roxi and France, I was thinking the same thing! I’d love to go… but it’s her thing, so I will have to live vicariously this time. I hope she will take some pics for me to post. I’d ask her to be a guest blogger, but it’s pretty busy at school now. Maybe she can at least give me captions ;-)

  4. Emm says:

    Yay! 75% good news!

  5. Maureen says:

    Ah @75%, I say it’s time to order the Rosetta Stone. Have a great weekend.

  6. Christine says:

    have a great weekend, sounds like you’re almost there, I know what you mean, like is there some written and signed confirmation anywhere?

    • japra says:

      Thanks, Christine! Haha–I am glad I am not the only one who thinks like this. It’s a big commitment and a huge change. It’s one I am willing to make as long as the “t’s” are crossed and the “i’s” dotted. Enjoy your weekend too!

  7. xoanwahn says:

    This is a HUGE deal! I can understand why you feel the way you do but seen from the outside, it’s pretty big. Still, it’s a good idea that you asked to get confirmation. I can’t wait! Congratulations! Good luck with the Dutch. I hear it’s more or less easy for English speakers, except for that ‘g, ch’ sound.

    • japra says:

      Xoan-Wahn, thanks for the encouragement! We are all very excited! We can’t wait to enjoy our new home, and yet we’re still trying to make the most of the one we have here. I am feeling very grateful right now.

      Glad to hear about Dutch. So many people speak English so well there, but it will be good if I can get by with some conversation Dutch at least. For shopping and things like that :-)

  8. Micheline says:

    That is SO exciting. The three of you are definitely living the life. I find the whole thing so inspiring. I’m also looking forward to all of those photos of bicycles you’ll be taking. Congratulations!

    • japra says:

      Micheline, thank you for stopping by my new blog! I’ve missed you and all of my Unravelling friends.

      And thank you for your kind and encouraging words. We really are trying to make the most of our time away from Texas and know how lucky we are to have this opportunity.

  9. Akelamalu says:

    Gosh looks like you’re going then? :0

    • japra says:

      Akelamalu, it is looking that way. It still feels odd to me, but I am looking forward to it! I will miss England, but I know it’s not that far away. XO

  10. maddog says:

    Quite exciting for you I imagine. Don’t only need to learn Dutch buit ride a bike. You can’t avoid saddle sores for the first week or so.

    Sounds like it is a postive move forward for you both. Good luck

    • japra says:

      Maddog, I know what you mean about those saddle sores! Owie! I’ll need to practice a bit since I haven’t ridden in two years, and I’ve never had to navigate in a place with so many people on bicycles. We are very excited about this move, thank you for your well wishes!

  11. Wow, I can’t believe you’re going to start a new adventure! I’ll make a deal with you- in exchange for stroopwafels I’ll send you any British treats you’re missing. ;)

  12. Your life is a non-stop rollercoaster!! I’m sure if you do go to The Netherlands you’ll make it work because you’ll see it as another adventure. Am very impressed Roxi is speaking French so well. My kiddies are half-French and they struggle with it! x

    • japra says:

      Maternal Tales, we are very lucky because at this point in our lives, everyone is still excited about living overseas and moving. I am sure there will be a point down the road when we say, that’s it for us, and we’ll want to settle down again. But yes, we are enjoying this wild ride for as long as it lasts :-)

      That is awesome your kids are half-French! Do you speak French at home? Roxi school really does an excellent job with their immersion classes. It’s only one class, but it’s everyday, which makes a difference, I think.

  13. Chris says:


    I say YAY!

  14. Chris says:

    I don’t know what that is in Dutch.

  15. Bee says:

    I’m just checking in, because we are about to go visit a school for little daughter.

    I am flabbergasted by your new WEBSITE! Big-time stuff. I need to come back and catch up with all of your recent travels and activities.

    Many comments here, but please report back on the Chawton house museum. I’ve meant to go there for ages; can’t believe I haven’t done it.

  16. anonymous says:

    Well, Rosetta Stone sounds like a good plan, but I’d suggest reading this
    book to get you in the mood.

    Congratulation, It sounds ;like a wonderful opportunity.


    • japra says:

      Anonymous Friend, great idea! I almost forgot about that book. I shall add it to my next book order. And thanks for the well wishes! We are all looking forward to this move.

  17. I found you surfing and am dropping in out of the cyber sky. Just wanted to tell you to enjoy your Holland adventure. I grew up there, married an American, lived in a number of developing countries and love the expat life. It makes you think and open your mind and see the world in a different way. Keep a journal and take lots of pictures! And don’t get too frustrated learning Dutch!

    Het allerbeste,

    Miss Footloose

    • japra says:

      Miss Footloose, thanks for dropping in! I love to hear from other expats :-) We are loving this life as well. Holland is our second adventure and we are looking forward to moving.

      My Rosetta Stone Dutch comes in today. I can’t wait to get started!

  18. It does seem amazing that one e-mail could change your life so dramatically. The first move abroad with kids is the hardest. Although the language will provide a new challenge. Lucky Roxi! Bath is lovely – my sister in law lives there. I’m impressed by how you keep the blog going with all the upheaval in your life.

    • japra says:

      Sarah, your lucky sister-in-law! I hope you had the opportunity to visit her lots when you were here last year. As for the move, yes, we are all very excited! I am just about over the deer in the headlights feeling. We can finally move forward with looking at rentals, visiting the school, scheduling the movers, etc. At least now I feel like I can do something!

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