Before I joined the Census Bureau in the late 1980s, my youngest son John and I spent several weeks in the Netherlands at this time of the year. John, in his 20s, quickly made friends with students he met in the pubs. One of the fellows he met one night was a curator with the Jan Six museum, a private collection in one of the oldest houses in Amsterdam. He arranged for us to see the famous Rembrandt painting of Jan Six.
After we returned to the States, John went back to Amsterdam and lived for six months with his friend, the art curator.
Later, John became itinerant, and using his skills learned in restaurants he supported himself as he moved from pillar to post. Finally he spent the last six months of his sojourn in Spain living near his older brother, who was stationed in Rota with the Navy at the time.
While in Spain, John reported that he “ran with the bulls,” and owing to the sprinkler system had been run out of a Madrid park at 5AM where he and a group of kids were sleeping on the lawns. Most importantly, John learned Spanish, a skill that has served him well as today, he works with English-language challenged children in a rural Virginia school system.