So for those that don't know, my last name is pronounced Zoot, and is Dutch for sweet.
My hometown is Holland, Michigan... and no, it is not a coincidence. Many of the towns in that area are named after the provinces of the Netherlands (or commonly known as Holland). Some examples of towns in the area are Holland, Overisel (Overijssel), Vriesland (Friesland), Drenthe and Zeeland.
Last weekend I went home for my brother Jason's wedding. While stopping in a coffee shop in Zeeland, I saw a little handout promoting Zeeland's new tourist campaign "Feel the Zeel". I found it humorous, but liked the thought that the little town was making an attempt to update things a bit. They have a website talking about different things going on in the area, links to local businesses, and a photo community. If you feel like it, go to feelthezeel.com to check it out.
After I walked out onto the street in this little shopping area, I noticed on the sidewalk they had all of the provinces and the crests to match them, as in this example of Drenthe.
I might not have ever noticed these things if I still lived there. But now living in a city with pretty much no other Dutchmen (and no, Pennsylvania Deutsch are not Dutch, they're German), I've become more interested in learning about my ancestry.
Monica and I plan to visit the Netherlands in a year or two, and I just hope I can find out a little bit more about where I came from before we go. So far I've tracked back 4 generations, but they were already in America at that point. The search continues. Wish me luck.