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Jul 16, 2001

A WEEKEND IN MAASTRICHT WITH MAGGIE

A Fantastic Week End in Maastricht

I LOVE HOLLAND!

Every time I go to Holland, I don’t want to come home. That was even more true this year. I had a marvelous time. A great big thank you to Janny and Aadrian for their hospitality when I arrived. And to Laurie and Sonja for sharing their room at the Ducasque. Janny and Thea met me at Schiphol airport. It was so good to see them again. We drove to Thea’s house in Rozenburg, picked up Janny‘s car and went on to Terheijden. (Ter-hay-den) It’s a beautiful town, and I really enjoyed meeting Aadrian, and his daughter, Bianca. She is so much like my daughter, Robin, it’s uncanny. On Thursday, Janny and I drove over to Ambacht, where she and Wim had lived. It brought back wonderful memories of my visit there in 2005. She also took me to see a replica of St. Peter’s Cathedral, in a town near her, but I’ve forgotten the name of the town. Stepping inside the cathedral was almost like being in Rome, itself. Only it didn’t have Michaelangelo’s frescos.

Friday, we drove to Maastricht, and headed for the Vrithof. And it was party time from then on. A weekend in Maastricht is like getting on a wonderful merry-go-round, and there is never has enough time to get off and do all the things you want to do. There was the fan dinner at Charlemagne Restaurant. Ineke and Ruud did a fabulous job putting the dinner together. If it’s get any bigger and better, we might have to tell Andre to move over and share the square with us. It was great seeing so many old friends again. Especially those from Holland and other countries who I get see so rarely. I met many new friends, too. So many that the names are blur, but I’ll never forget the faces and look forward to seeing them again next year. After meeting by email ten years ago, I finally got to meet Ann Buch, from Denmark, in person. Hers was one of the first 10 pictures to go on my Andre Friends Wall. Now there are more than a hundred.

The picnic in the park on Saturday was great. Being a history buff, the lake and the fountain, accented by ancient walls and towers still standing from Roman times is like stepping back in time for me. Enjoying this beautiful setting, with fans from all over the world was truly an unforgettable experience

I went to Saturday and Sunday’s concerts, and could have gone a hundred times and never tired of it.I enjoyed Saturday’s concert, although I had a lot of heads in front of me that partially blocked my view of both the stage and screens. I sat next to a lady and her husband who were from Indonesia. She spoke fluent English, and we got acquainted during intermission. They had lived in New York for a while, where her husband had a job, but now live in Amsterdam. I have her email address and hope we can correspond. I also have her picture for my wall.

Sunday’s concert was fantastic with front row center seats. I’d saved my camera battery for that night, and that’s when the camera decided to stop taking color pictures. I was not happy, but did get a few good black and whites. Still, Andre, the orchestra, and special guest performers were thrilling to see and hear. Andre was in his element and superb. And, as always, the music was beautiful. But this year I was absolutely blown away by the Maastrichter Star and Melissa Venema. The choir is magnificent, but Melissa is nothing short of astounding. To get the mellowness and tone she does at only 13, with few years of study is incredible. You could see by the expression on her face she loves music as Andre loves it. And what stage presence she has! Not me – piano recitals terrified me and I only had to play before parents of students. Melissa played for an audience of ten thousand, and never batted an eye. She was born to do this. The piece was beautiful and played to perfection. The piece she played with Rene and Roger was incredible. The last time I heard it was years ago when Doc Sevrensin did it on Johnny Carson’s show. I can’t remember it’s name, and it wasn’t listed in the program, but I played it in band when I was a kid. NOT like that, and I played clarinet, not trumpet. But I know how difficult it is for trumpeters to play. Rene and Roger are professionals with years of experience, I expect them to be good. But she’s 13 years old and made it look like a piece of cake. I hope Andre will be able to bring her to America next year. However, I’m sure that will depend greatly on if she is able to travel during school time. I hated to see it all end, and say good bye, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the DVD, so I can relive that wonderful week end again and again.

The train ride to Schiphol was a different experience. Haven’t ridden a train since I was a girl. Anybody remember steam locomotives? Or streamliners? The difference is, they gave you plenty of time to get off. When we changed trains in Utrecht it was almost a disaster. Betty Stevens got off with her one little suitcase and was waiting on the platform. Sue had one big case off, when the door started to close. She grabbed it. I grabbed my two bags, strapped together, and started to step down, but her other two bags were in front of me. Sue let go of the door to get it, and it started closing again. So there I was, one foot on either side of her luggage, my arm stretched out to hold it open for her, and losing the fight. I didn’t think we weren’t going to make it, but a nice man from Germany came to the rescue. Sue got her bags and got off, then I did, and the man put my luggage out. We were made it after all. But thorough it all I had visions of Sue and me, headed for lord knows where, and poor Betty standing all alone on the platform waving good bye to us. At the airport, they had to go to their boarding gate as soon as they got through security, so they were gone by the time I made it, and we didn’t get to say good bye. My flight left a couple of hours later, so did a little shopping, got on my plane, and had a nice smooth flight home. Then there was Houston. Customs cleared and bags rechecked to Tulsa, I waited for my 7:20 flight. It was never called and I went to the desk to check on it. “Oh, that was changed to another gate,” they told me. It’s already left. The next flight wasn’t until 11:00 p.m. That put me in Tulsa around 1:00. By the time I retrieved my luggage, and drove home, it was 3:00. That’s 10:00 a.m. Holland time. I’d been up 30 hours. Needless to say, I didn’t unpack. I turned on Muziek Zum Traumen, and went to bed. I didn‘t hear any of it. I was asleep when my head hit the pillow. Was it worth it? You bet. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, only next time, I‘m packing a lot lighter.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your sharing your week-end with us all,via your report, Maggie.
Front row and centre must have been spectacular on Sunday!!
It's great to read the exploits of fans who were there. You obviously had a wonderful time.
Cheers
Bernadette

Anonymous said...

Very nice story Maggie what an experience. Thank you!

Martha

Alice said...

Maggie, thanks for the cute story and the tips....I shall not bring a big suitcase with me. I think it'll be much fun to include fans' pictures and clips in Behind The Scenes of André's DVDs....his Die Hard fans!

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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