TV + radio on internet in dutch

September 1, 2006

Some useful links for dutch speaking people who are homesick:

– TV on internet:

– Newspaper:

– Radio on internet:


Las madres playgroup

August 29, 2006


It is not always easy to make new friends when you come in a new country. Besides expat clubs (see my post on this topic), parent clubs or playgroups are very popular in California. A great place to meet other young moms!

Las Madres  is a playgroup organized by the birth year of the child and by neighborhoods throughout the South Bay. Members and their children enjoy regular park outings, Mom’s Night Out, parties, educational speaker nights, discounts,… and much more!

I’m member of Las Madres and I have a lot of fun to meet other mom’s and share our mom’s experience. Kids meet regularly other children of their age and become friends for ever!

Tip: You have a trial period of one month to see if you like the playgroup and how it is organised. Try it!


August 28, 2006

We love hiking and California is a paradise for that: all kind of landscapes, from easy trails to trails for experienced people,…

If you want to hike in the Bay Area, you will find here some information about the location, facilities, description and even pictures of the trails. This website gives detailed and accurate information.

If you are looking for maps, we found out that maps from Trail Center are excellent.


August 23, 2006
 Buy Back Guarantee

When you buy a used car, you want to avoid potential problems: totaled and rebuilt? Flood Damage? Odometer Fraud? 

a)      If you buy from a private: Order a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. It will protect yourself against buying used cars with costly hidden problems. CARFAX searches its nationwide database and provides a detailed vehicle history report in seconds. It will costs you $24.99 for unlimited vehicle history reports. Just enter your VIN (Vehicle identification Number) on the website. 

b)      If you buy from a dealer, always ask to see the Carfax report. They will show it you for free.Carfax is a very trusted provider of vehicle history information. Their unique database contains more than four billion records. They receive information from thousands of public and private sources including all Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in the
United States, as well as many vehicle inspection stations, auto auctions, fleet management and rental agencies, automobile manufacturers, and fire and police departments.
What can you see on a Carfax Vehicle History Report (see here for an example)?

  • The ownership history
  • Problems the car had (fire/flood/…)
  • Odometer rollback check
  • Accident check
  • Frame damage check

Our experience: When we were shopping from one dealer to another, we always asked to see the Carfax report. It was useful to check because dealers don’t tell always the truth. For example, we didn’t want to have a previous rental car. We were interested in a car but were worried why the car was only 1 year old and had a huge mileage of 25,000 miles. The dealer lied and told us that the car was not a previous rental car. I asked to check it on the Carfax and indeed, he was not telling us the truth!! So be careful and always ask the Carfax report.



August 22, 2006

Skype is an excellent way of keeping in touch while you are expat. Skype’s internet telephony solutions allow you to talk to your friends and family for free. Skype also allows you to make outgoing calls to landlines and cell phones (a service you pay for, but at much lower rates than the alternatives) as well as use its instant messaging feature. Skype lets you make free calls over the Internet.  It’s free to download and you can add on voicemail for a small fee.

Tip: All calls from Skype to landlines and mobiles within the US and Canada are also free till the end of the year.

Day trip: Point Lobos

August 18, 2006

You don’t know what to do this WE?

Point Lobos is a great State Reserve where you can hike, watch whales (when you are lucky – from January to April), look to sea lions or seals.

On the central coast of California in Monterey County, the entrance is located three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. Click here to see on the map.

When we were in  Point Lobos in February, we saw a group of whales passing along the coast. It was quite impressive to see their blows. There are several hiking trails following the shoreline and leading to hidden coves.

Tip:Don’t forget your binoculars to watch the sea lions and the grey whales.

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Belgian chocolate

August 16, 2006


So hard to find in California good chocolate and moreover Belgian chocolate!We are missing so much our “Cote d’Or” with delicious varieties as dark chocolate filled with Almonds, creamy milk chocolate, chocolate with Hazelnuts, …

We found an excellent Belgian chocolate at a reasonable price in Trader Joes (><Whole Food: $8 for chocolate pieces!).The chocolate is made in Antwerpen and has 4 varieties: milk,  72% dark chocolate, chocolate with almonds and bittersweet chocolate. This chocolate is made with  cacao butter and not other substitutes, definitely you taste the difference!

It looks like this: