Monday, December 29, 2008

Year in review

1. Have you had any relationships this year?
of course- im married! I have also made new friendships so that is also relationships

2. Have you had your birthday yet?
a couple weeks ago

3. Kissed two people in the same night ?
not that i recall

4. Been on a diet?
not really- im fine with me this way.

5. Pulled an all nighter?
I dont think i ever have

6. Drank Starbucks?
only if i have to

8. Bought something(s)?
Just bought a freezer today

9. Met someone special who changed your life?
Dave is always changing my life :)

10. Been out of the province?
yep- to Honduras, Europe and then moved to the states.

12. Hugged someone?
Yup quite a few ppl

13. Slept in someone else's bed?
not often

14. Got a job?
nope- left my job and now i cant work!

15. Loaned out money?
Nope but the bank loaned me some for our house

16. Gotten in a car accident ?
yep- hit a tire- air bags went off and everything

17. Gone over your mobile phone bill?
nope- but they didnt cancel it for me so i had to pay for 4 months i never used it!

18. Been called a bitch?
nope- not to my face anyways

19. Done something you regret?
Not that i can think of.... i try not to have those

20. Where did you begin 2008?
In Brampton with Friends

21. What was your status on Valentine's Day?
having fondue with dave

22. Were you in school (anytime this year)?

23. Did you have to go to the hospital?
nope- thankfully

24. Did you know anybody who passed away?
not personally

25. Did you move anywhere
to North Carolina!

26. What concerts/shows did you go to?
to Corb Lund band and Bon Jovi

27. Describe your birthday:
Quiet day at home, dinner out

28. What has been your favorite moment(s)?
oh boy- ummm i donno.

29. What was your best month(s)?
I think Oct. - got house, got dog, ryan and christine got married

30. Overall, how would you rate this year?
Very good

31. Do you have a New Year's resolution?

1. Who did you kiss on new years? Dave
2. Did you have a new year's resolution this year? nope
3. Does it snow where you live? not here to much :(
4. Do you like hot chocolate? yes
5. Have you ever been to time square? nope- it would be fun though!
6. Do you ski or snowboard? i dont think so :P

1. Who was your Valentine? Dave of course
2. When you were little did you buy Valentine's for the whole class? yup
3. Do you care if the groundhog sees its shadow or not? i dont care but the whole thing is kinda funny.
4. What did you get for valentines? umm- flowers im sure

MARCH 2008
1. Are you Irish? nope
2. Do you wear green every year on St. Patrick's Day? If im working and sometimes even if im not.
3. What did you do for St. Patty's Day in 2008? nothing
4. Are you happy when winter is pretty much over? kinda sad but kinda glad

APRIL 2008
1. Do you like the rain? yep
2. Did you play an April fool's joke on anyone this year? i generally dont
3. Do you get tons of candy on Easter? nah
4. Do you celebrate 4/20? never have
5. Do you "love" the month of April? sure- love spring

MAY 2008
1. What is your favorite flower? Love daisies, love the smell of lilacs as well
2. Finish the phrase "April showers": bring may flowers
3. Do you celebrate May 24th: I dont do much for it.
4. Is May anything special to you? well this year e left for Europe at the end of may

JUNE 2008
1. What did you do for Fathers Day? I was in Ireland- so nothing
2. Did you do anything fun during this month? well- Ireland for 3 weeks then off to Germany and then Holland
3. Have a favorite baseball team? nope

JULY 2008
1. What did you do on the 1st of July? I was in Amsterdam... so i wore my canadian necklace and earringd and did whatever
2. Did you go to the fireworks? nope
3. Do you tan in the day? nah

1. Did you do anything special at the end of your summer? met new people in Belgium at a church
2. What was your favorite memory of summer? that there were too many memories.
3. Did you have a sunburn? i think so - but it was mostly cool
4. Did you go to the pool a lot? the pool in Belgium was too cool most of the time :(

1. Were you attending school? nope
2. Do you like fall better than summer? yeah- most of the time
3. Anything special about September to you? Came home from Europe and got ready to head to the states

1. What was your last Halloween costume? mexican
2. What is your favorite candy? umm- sweedish berries
3. What is your favorite thing about this month? the colours

1. Whose house do you go to for Thanksgiving? first time with thanksgiving in the states- didnt do a thing- well went to a restaurant for turkey dinner
2. What is your favorite thing about November? umm- not sure

1. Do you celebrate Christmas? Yes! and the commercialism of it too a bit
2. What are you thankful for? Great friends and family
3. Have you ever been kissed under the mistletoe?have i seen real mistletoe?
4. Get anything special last year? im sure i did
5. What do you want this year? more of the same!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
May it be a blessed one!

Friday, December 19, 2008

car accident

here is a brief report of our car accident

it was foggy and we were coming home from puppy school. there was a large tire in the middle of the lane that i couldnt advoid and i hit it(must have come from a tractor trailer) - but the airbags went off and we had to pull over. because of that the hwy patrol came and we got a tow truck so now we dont have a car.

the tire hit the from drivers bumper and went away from the vehicle - so we didnt have much damage to the car. It could have been a lot worse! We are Thanking God that it wasnt!

EDIT: Friday Dec 19 10pm
here is some conversation i had with my mom:

mom: so how did you make out with your car? much damage to fix, is it fixable?

9:28pmDebbie: well- we were told the appraiser will be by within a week too look at what they want to cover.
who knows- maybe they will write it off- air bags are expensice

9:28pmNelly: thats a long wait! is it at teh garage waiting for the appraiser?

9:31pmDebbie: yep

9:31pmNelly: everyone asks if the tire still had a rim on it

9:31pmDebbie:yep- it was the whole tire like it was off a truck


9:32pmDebbie: but not much damage. maybe i will post a couple pics
we were on 321 its the main road- divided 4 lane highway

9:34pmNelly: where the big trucks go


9:34pmNelly: did the cop just happen by or have to call him?

9:35pmDebbie: I was going slower then the limit not much- but much more then i would have been - it was 55 and i was going about 50

we called, and he called the tow truck

i think we were going much slower by the time we hit it.

9:35pmNelly: slammed on the brakes?

9:36pmDebbie: both dave and i actually dont remember the moment we hit it. we both saw it at the same time, i hit the break and then loud poof and i was still hitting breaks, pulling over and stopping. and then dave just remembers being on the side of the road. the poof was the air bags

9:37pmNelly:instinct takes over

9:37pmDebbie: it filled the cabin with smoke stuff and was very stinky!
we got out quick and there was a lady behind us that called 911 for us
she saw the tire go away

9:37pmNelly: they says its bad stuff

9:37pmDebbie: its nasty, couldnt hear for a bit after either

9:38pmNelly: did anyone else hit it?

9:38pmDebbie: not that we saw- we think we hit it across the road and off the other side

9:39pmDebbie: but neither dave and i can get those split seconds when we actually hit it. in fact dave doesnt remember til we were stopped on the side of the road

9:41pmNelly: but the worst part is that its a pain in the butt to have to go through all the hassel involved

BUT the best part is no one was hurt!!

9:42pmDebbie:it easily could have left us and hit someone else. or many other things!

9:42pmNelly:angels watching over you & other on the road that night

9:42pmDebbie: no kidding
there were many thankful prayers going up

9:43pmNelly: you bet.
and bailey didnt have a clue what all the fuss was about

9:44pmDebbie: actually bailey took it well.she was a bit subdued today shes ok

9:45pmNelly: she proablly sensed some tension in the air, haveing to decide what to do next etc

9:45pmDebbie: she rode home in the car atached to the tow truck- i think she liked it- she fell asleep- the tilt must have made her comphy

9:46pmNelly: thats cute

how did you get around today before you got teh rental?

9:47pmDebbie:the tow truck guys came and picked us up and the when we had to leave the car there- they drove us to the car rental place- and waited til we were sure we had a car we could get- they were very good to us
they dropped us off last night with the car attached

9:50pmNelly:they are nice!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Christmas Letter

Welcome to my blog- those of you who have never been here before.

Well, My mom likes to write a letter up every year and there is always so much in it. I have decided to make a short letter on my blog for everyone to see if they want. So much happened this year so we will see how short it really is.

so lets start at the beginning of the year. At the end of January, I went from full time work at Shalom to causal. This was because of the long commute and the bad weather that usually comes in Jan and Feb. I did work quite a bit before my end date of May 17.

We then went to Honduras for 2 weeks to visit Dave's friends there. They are school teachers in a Christian school there. We even took a vacation in the vacation by going with the school on a trip and getting a different hotel.

I was again in charge of organizing Alpha at church. It went well with a small but good group. One of the highlights was the weekend "retreat" on a boat in the Toronto Harbour.

Not much happened until April when my friend, Amy, and I went to San Francisco!
This was an excellent trip until we learned we couldn't sleep in the same bedroom! Luckily the hotel had another room for Amy to stay in. We did all the touristy things there.
Many of you know (especially if you have been to this blog before) that Dave and I headed to Europe this summer for Dave's work and some vacation. So the end of May we were OFF. Our adventures are recorded here in this blog but I will give a brief recap. We had to pack up all of our stuff from our apartment and have it sit in storrage so we could leave and move right away when we got back.

We arrived in first in Ireland for a 3 week stint. We did weekend trips to the countryside and while Dave was working I toured around Dublin. Its a very rainy city and cool. We also celebrated our 1 year anniversary.

From there we went on a one week vacation to London, England.
Then a week of work in Munich, Germany. This was followed by 4 days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for vacation and then 3 days in Paris, France where we met up with Steph (a friend)
From there we started the 3 months in Mons, Belgium.
Some of the places we visited from there include: Berlin, Germany; Luxemburg city, Luxemburg; Salzburg, Austria; Brussels, waterloo. Brugge, Antwerp, in Belgium; Nantes and Normandy in France

We went to Nantes to visit my sister (Melissa) who was just starting her Exchange Program school year in France.

We arrived back in Canada for only 6 days before we had to cross the border for our move to North Carolina. While in Europe we had bought a house that we had only seen one time before.
This house closed on Oct. 3, 2008. Its an older house and needs a bit of work but it so far so good.

Shortly after moving in we found ourselves on our way back to Canada for Ryan and Christines Wedding where Dave was a groomsman and I was the MC. WE are so happy for these two and wish them many years together.

On Nov. 2nd we got ourselves a puppy. Bailey Shatner McGee.

We have had both sets of parents come and visit us already and look forward to having my parents and Amanda (sister) come here for Christmas.

I look forward to your comments below (click on comments to add one)

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love Debbie and Dave

Friday, December 5, 2008

normally I dont do this

Normally I dont post articles but this one made me laugh due to the issues with the Canadian government right now:


Leafs Just Won The Cup

National Post Published: Friday, December 05, 2008

Canada was stunned on Monday when it was announced that the Stanley Cup will be awarded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The cup will be taken from the 2008 playoff champions, the Detroit Red Wings and be awarded to the Leafs, who didn't even make the playoffs.

How is this possible, Canadians ask?

Well, the Leafs have formed a coalition with the Eastern Conference semifinalists, the Montreal Canadiens, and the conference quarter finalists, the Ottawa Senators, meaning they now outnumber the Red Wings for on-ice victories.

According to current Leaf coach Ron Wilson "The Red Wings have lost the confidence of the league and should hand the cup over immediately to our coalition."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is cutting short a European trip to try to resolve the unprecedented hockey crisis that could force a second playoff series, or see an opposing team coalition take the cup.

Jeff Pitt, Calgary.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Thanksgiving Weekend

My Thanksgiving weekend didnt start out so well.
Dave left me sleeping when he went to take the dog out for a walk. (we drive to a nearby walking path thats pretty flat and paved and no cars;) ) He came back in looking for his I-pod so that woke me up. Then about 6 minutes later he was back again!! He noticed that the front passenger tire was flat on the car!

not bad- you can just put on a spare and get it fixed right? Well maybe on a day thats not a holiday! Well I had remembered that Walmart was open so dave gave them a call and yes they were open and would love to serve us!

Sweet!? yes and no. the spare tire was also flat and as we only have 1 car, we had no way of getting it to the shop. So I tried calling the neighbours to see if they had a pump (no). No answer. Humm- now what? I walked over and knocked on the door (turns out they turn their phones off at night) since it was 10 am i figured they would be up (and they were hosting thanksgiving dinner there). Well they were willing to give us a ride into town as soon as they got dressed.

We got a new tire, pumped up the spare and life was good.
The rest of the day we hung out and went for a walk with Bailey and then for lunch at a restaurant for turkey dinner.

woke up early for Black Friday sales. We were at Walmart at 7am (opened at 5) and the store wasnt that crowded. It was like going on a Wednesday afternoon. We got most of the deals we went for. We then hit up Lowes which also wasnt that busy to get a shop vac for $25 down from 90! score!
I think everyone went to the cit for deals, leaving the deals in town for us!

We came home and I did some cleaning up. I had the girls come to my house for crafting in the afternoon. After which Aaron and Deborah stayed for supper and watching the Arrogant Worms DVD - which i believed they liked :)

Slept in a bit, took dog for a walk, went and saw the Santa Clause Parade in town. it was ok- typical small town parade :)
watched a DVD at home, not too much (that I can remember)

Went to church
Fixed the eaves troughs
Lunch out led to discussion of Wii and the purchase of one. It boiled down to me saying i wouldnt argue with the purchase of one and Dave wanting to blame it on me and we agreed. So we were off to Toys R Us to get it.
We bought a few games right away and spent the rest of the night doing that :)

that was my weekend. Expensive then good deals, cheap entertainment then expensive Gaming system.

check out my pictures below

Christmas season 2008

new poll

check out my new poll on my blog :)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Here is the Picassa album which has pictures of our house.(from moving) I do not have the new living room pictures posted there yet.

Some pics are before and after ones.


moving in

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the parents

well we have been blessed to have both sets of our parents come to visit us. Each of them stayed 5 days and that was nice. Both were able to attend church with us and they also did work around the house.

Daves Parents arrived just after we brought home our new puppy so we had a lot of fun with that! Daves mom did a lot with me including visiting the downtown while Daves dad got to work. We left his dad with a gift card to Lowes in order to complete projects around the house. Since his dad is a handy man this was excellent! Some of the things he did included replacing a toilet, changing the locks, and sealing the garage door. We appreciated all of this.

My parents are handy but creative. Dad enjoys decorating and has excellent taste. So while they were down we went shopping one day and then got down to painting the Living room. This room was white and we had the furniture the first way we thought of. After the painting was done (well i have some to do yet) Dave and I had a baby shower to go to. We left mom and dad with permission to buy accessories for us. This included the curtains and carpet etc. Dave was a bit nervous but i knew what dad could do. We just a have a few things to do and hang paintings and its all done.

We are very thankful that we were able to have both of our parents come down and help us out.

Thank you!

Here are a before and after picture of the living room.

Monday, November 10, 2008

we have an announcement!

We would like to welcome a new girl to our family.

She joined us on Nov 1st as a cute 4 month old.

She is of a mixed heritage but we think she has the best qualities of them.

She has been very good and hardly making any noise.

She loves to be near us at all times and sometimes gets in our way!

We named her Bailey Shatner McGee.

Here is her photo:

She is a puppy of course! What did you think??

She is a beagle cross but we dont know with what.

She is a cutie and very entle and love to run.

When we are in another room that she not allowed n she will often curl up with our shoes!

a picture with Nana

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

This Past weekend was a wonderful one. We were able to go back to Canada and see our friends get married!

Ryan and Christine are perfect for each other!

Dave was in the wedding party as a groomsman and I was the 'Mistress' of Ceremonies for the Reception.

I think i did a good job as people were thanking me for it later. (most of them were the older bunch though.. humm....)

A few jokes fell flat as any good marriage joke might- but I had a fun pass the gift game. I was happy to see that the gift went back and forth across the room a few times.

We took a long weekend to get there in time to preform our duties.
We left Lenoir on Thursday morning at 6am! We arrived at Amanda's hair shop in Welland around 5 (that makes it about 12 hours to mom and dads)
We spent the night at mom and dads and left early Friday to pick up Dave's tux in Mississauga at 10 am. From there we headed to Colbourg which is a further 2.5 ish hours.
We were able to have lunch with Ryan while Christine and the girls were at a spa.
Friday night we met many of their families at the get together. There was no rehearsal because they were not able to get into the hall til 9am Sat. Afterwards we all went back to Christine and Amy's room with some drinks and hung out til 10pm. Ryan tried to get back to the room they would be using on their wedding night but he was followed (apparently they are bad for tricks on the new married couple in his family) so he came back to our room and we chatted til 11 or so. Then it was time for bed!

Saturday I didnt have much to do so I went to the Hall where the Reception and Wedding were taking place. I helped with the decorations as well as trying to keep Chris' mom calm (success in first but not second). With a few minor things it was all set for the wedding. I headed back to the hotel to change and then go get lunch where Christine was getting ready.

Andrea (my best friend) was there as the Photographer so I got to spend some time with her. I helped her later with some photos too.

The Ceremony went off with only a glitch or two (the person playing the CD couldnt see when to change the song ect)

Pictures went well and so did the Reception.

really- im just running out of things to say.
so here are a few photos :)
(i have more on Facebook)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

moving hassels

well we made it!
we are now living in Lenoir.
It has been quite the experience and we still dont have internet.

ok- here we go
Friday Oct. 3
We signed for the house on Friday at 11 am.
We got to the house and then left to so some errands.
We spent the night in the house on our air mattress.

We woke up at 8am and realized that there was cleaning and things to do but our stuff wasn't coming til Wednesday. We decided to to to Myrtle Beach to visit Dave's parents. They go there every other year or so for the month of Oct.
We also wanted to surprised Dave's sisters family since they were also coming up that weekend.
It was a good day, apx 4 hour drive. (but it took us a bit longer due to stops)we had a good time swimming in the ocean, shell collecting, and hanging out. We did surprise his sisters family! They did not expect to see us at all!

We went to the ocean after breakfast, went swimming. After lunch Jenn and I went shopping. We got back home just after 4 pm and Dave was ready to head for home.
We arrived after dark and discovered that they power was shut off!!! (I keep wanting to call it hydro)
When we had called them on Friday and paid our deposit- they said there would be no disruption of power. We couldn't blow up our air mattress.
So it was 9pm and we didn't want to meet our neighbours(im going to have to learn how to spell the American way soon) this way so we went to the hotel another night.

Dave brought me back to the house and he left for work while I cleaned (sweeping dusting etc). We still had water though- I like being on City water!
While I was taking a break on our screened in porch I saw our neighbour(-u) letting out her dogs- so I said hi to her. After she put the dogs back inside she came over to chat and found out that we had no power. She drive me into town to see if we could deal with it. (in the end we got power on Tuesday)
A bit later in the afternoon she came by with a cold pop (soda) and crackers and an invitation for Dinner.

We had chicken wings (done on then BBQ, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and buns... soo soo yummy - esp after eating out!!
We found out that they just got married this past year and that their house is just as old as ours and needs a bit more work.
They let us use their power to blow up our air mattress.

I had my first visitors. A couple Google wives came over (MC and Deborah)and brought some yummy treats.
while they were over I got a phone call tell me that our furniture was arriving that day! that was very exciting!
So after they left I took some empty house photos and will upload the full house ones later. Dave came home from work the same time the people arrived. They had a huge truck! All our stuff did not fill it though.
Check out the photos.

The guy to turn on our power also arrived as they were unloading. The whole process took 4 hours? not even.

The last few days have been mostly unpacking boxes and putting things away. I would say (one week later) that we are 90% done. I think that is very good! now all thats left is the little stuff that never seems to be unpacked.

We also found out that our hot water was heated by gas and not electricity. So we had to call them and we got our gas turned on on Wednesday.

On Friday I went scrap booking at MCs house. I also got to meet her neighbour and see her house- its huge!

on Sat. more unpacking and Dave worked on the fence. He wants to get a dog in Nov. We have discovered that he is allergic to Caylee. He started to break out in a rash again once we started to unpack all the stuff and cat hair was flying around again. That really sucks cuz I love cats, oh well. That evening Dave and I went to a movie in Hickory. (30min away)

Sunday we went to a Presbyterian Church, Excellent preacher but boring music. we will keep church shopping

Monday we went to the pet store in Hickory to get stuff for Dave's fist tank.

Tuesday I went for a walk with Deborah and Courtney and am now sitting in the library for 3 hours catching up on things and doing some research for my role as an MC on the 24th

so thats my life til now.
We hope to get internet soon. We cant right now without a social security number. That should be done by the end of the month.
I also cannot get a cell phone without a SSN either. So right now I bought a pay as you go one. It will get me through this month with out racking up Dave's Toronto phone bill.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

what a week!!

Well this has been quite a week...

We flew to Ireland and spent the night there and flew home. If we translate all times to EST we woke up at 2 am and got on an 8 hour flight to Philadelphia. After a 3 hour stop over we landed at just after 10 pm and arrived at may parents house just after midnight and to bed at 1 am. Dave's parents picked us up from the airport and brought us all the way to my parents house.

Here is a short breakdown of what happened in the last week.

Found out that starter in car is busted
My grandparents came over for coffee
Had lunch with Andrea
Found out that Dave's credit card number was used at Staples in Calgary $1500
Dinner with mom and dad and Amanda

Drove to Mississauga in mom and dads truck
Stopped at Chapters to get books
Went to Christine's Bridal shower and totally surprised her!
After the Shower we went bowling and out for dinner with Annette, Aaron, Amy, Ryan and Christine.
Went to dinner at Kelsey's (and Dave finally had the 4 cheese spinach dip and wings that he has been craving!)

Drove mom and dads truck to Dave's parents
Went to CrossPoint CRC (our home church)
Went to Dave's sisters new house for lunch
Got Enzo back
Went to meet Dave's Uncle for coffee

Dave drove to work in Toronto
Amanda was over and we went shopping in town
Had lunch with Dad and Amanda at Bobs place
Picked up some groceries with Amanda
Picked mom up at her work
Picked up Dave's car from the mechanic
Had supper
Dave came home from work
Went for drive and hit a raccoon.
Damage control at Mikes

Visit to our banker
Dave stayed home at mom and dads and did some work and cleaned car
I went shopping at Seaway mall and got pants
Hair cut at Amanda's
Back to Dunnville and shopped at Giant Tiger and I got socks and a shirt
Picked up Godfathers Pizza for supper
Packed car

We left mom and dads at 7am and arrived at 6:30 pm
This included 3 gas stops and a lunch break and an hour at the border.

the border crossing went very well. We had to wait in line for 40 minutes and then only 20 min of paper work for moving to the states. Thats it!!! and we are good to cross the border til 2011.

it rained all the way til we got to the border of West Virginia and Virginia

So we ahve been driving around and checking things out. We cannont get me a cell phone without US credit or a SSN (social security number) and we also cannot get Internet to the house without it either.
We are also having to pay a lot of deposits for things since we dont really exist in this country apparently.

We are hoping to sign the papers to get the house at 11 am Friday.
Our furniture doesn't arrive til maybe Wednesday.

We will be camping in our own house! yay!

hope to see you all down here sometime soon!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

this is it...

Well today is our last full day in Belgium.

I know that there are a few that will miss us (as we will also miss them)but that there is also those who cannot wait for us to get home.

Its kinda of a bittersweet feeling. I know Dave is so ready to go home (and has been for over a month) but i have just gotten into a grove with friends.

Tomorrow we are checking out of the hotel around 10 am. Dave will go to work for a short day. KC is picking me up and we are going to hang out until 4:30 when Dave will pick me up and we will head off to the airport in Brussels. The flight doesn't leave until 9:30 or something like that.

We are flying to Ireland and staying overnight there. Our flight to Philadelphia is at 2:30pm(8:30 am EST) and we will arrive (finally) in Buffalo at 9:45 pm. We are being picked up by Daves parents and taken to my parents house. This means that there will be social time and late to bed!

So these next few days are going to be very busy for us.


Wed sept 24 - fly from Belgium to ireland
Thursday 25 - fly from Ireland to Philly and then to Buffalo
where daves parents will pick us up and bring us to my mom and dads
Friday 26 - chilling, 2pm lunch with Andrea, Dinner with Fam
Saturday 27 - visiting with family
sunday 28 - to church at cross point then of to beeton to visit with Daves family
Monday 29 - dave to work, haircut for me in evening
Tuesday 30 - bank appointment, dave to work, me to shopping with mom?

Wed Oct 1 - cross to the states

and then our next adventure starts!!!
signing on friday. we dont know when our furniture will arrive

so sorry to all my friends that I am not able to visit this time around.
I will always remember the goodbye party that we had before we left.

Its such a short time and we have a lot to do.
Please pray for safe travels for us on our many adventures.

also- feel free to leave comments (I like to know that people are reading my blog- not just my mom :) )

Monday, September 22, 2008

.....Continued from Daves birthday blog

so this is the next part of our weekend.

Saturday morning we work up at the early hour of 7am and got ready to go. At 8:30 we were on our way to France to meet my sister Melissa. (family nickname- Missy.)

We discovered that France is VERY expensive to drive quickly across. All the main highways seem to be tolled (prices like the 407). It cost E44.70 to get down to Nantes.
We got to the hotel around 2:30 pm. It was a decent room, especially since it was the cheapest one we stayed at in all of Europe (apx $77 CAD- cheap!)

It was difficult driving through the city since there seemed to be many roads blocked for some kind of protest that had bag pipes playing and signs that said reunification now (in French of course). But we made it to Missys with not much problems. We found her and after she attacked us we went to the car to get the stuff we brought her ("Christmas presents" lol ). We walked up 5 flights of stairs to the 6th floor where Missys room was.
She was so excited to get all the things we brought. We had gone through our stuff and the things we didn't need or didn't want to take home we brought to here.

List of some things Missy got:
Google travel mug
extra towel
a coke cup from McDonalds
extra Canada things
some school supplies
Easy Mac
storage containers
hot chocolate mix from hotel and many other random things.

After "unwrapping" her gifts we headed out for supper at an Italian place that was very good. Nantes was the first place that we went to that didn't get a lot of international visitors and were very interested in us being Canadian. The first time we saw the difference that Canadians and Americans can get when in Europe. This was Missy's "birthday dinner". We went over to a store that is like the Carrefour (which we found out from Missy means crossroads)- kinda a Wal-mart store.

We went back to her room and hung out til after 10 and then it was off to the Hotel. It was so hard to sleep since my cold (that started as a sore throat on Friday night) went to my head and out my nose. It also was a Saturday night in a university town and our window was open. It got a bit loud.

Saturday we got up at 7:30 am to head over to Normandy. We stopped at a McDonald's for breakfast. We got most of the items off the breakfast menu. Which wasn't much. They had pancakes, flattened toasted buns, and yogurt. They gave you syrup, strawberry jam, apricot spread, and chocolate spread to go on the items. Of course I got OJ for the Vitamin C.

We went to Pointe du Hoc where there was a great battle that took place in WW2. It was very interesting and humbling to see the pits made from bombs and the bunkers and all kinds of other war evidence.

From there we drove along the coast and saw some of the other beaches that were taken by the allies in WW2. We stopped at Omaha beach where the Americans have a large Cemetery. We walked down to the beach. It was very strange looking up and seeing what had to be taken with no cover. We also stopped at Juno beach (were the Canadians battled) We then headed back home. We paid E28.30 in tolls on the way home. We arrived at 9:30 pm and went right to bed. Again we didn't get much sleep as now Dave was getting my cold and I still had mine.

Its now Monday and Dave came home from work at 2:00 pm because he was getting nothing done at work and is now napping on the bed.

Here our our trip details:
Total Time: 16H 48min
Moving time: 15H 31min
stopped: 1H 17min
Moving avg: 92.8 km/h
Overall avg: 85.7 km/h
Max speed: 148 km/h

again I dont know what the KM was- but it was a lot!

Daves Birthday

The beginning of a busy weekend- and what a busy weekend it was!

It all started on Friday.
I was picked up by KC and did some errands that included picking up people, going for lunch, and getting groceries. This was all done in preparation to return to KCs house so we could help her go through clothes and cook Dave a birthday dinner.

We were unable to enter the base when we got there due to an exercise that closed it down. So we went for lunch first. This was a good idea that everyone else had too, they were out of over half of the items on the menu. Just before we were done lunch we could see that the line of cars was moving! We were able to get in and out of the grocery store in good time so we ended up going to the Zellar's type store that was there. We met the past youth intern-Matt- (as we were out with the new youth intern-Hannah) and he was also invited to the birthday dinner. KC found some pirate themed birthday plates and napkins, it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Dave's birthday.

We finally got back to KCs place around 4pm. This didn't give us much time to get things done- but you should have seen us go! Right away we started unloading the groceries while KC dealt with the kids and getting the clothes ready to sort. Hannah went to help KC with changing kids diapers and then sorting out the clothes while I tackled the kitchen duties. It started with the cake. Dave wanted a chocolate cake with no icing. I got the kids to help me with the cake and therefore had spilled oil and egg shells to deal with- but it worked out well and cooked beautifully in the Pampered Chef round pan!

Then it was on to the potatoes and carrots. KCs husband was going to take care of the fried chicken (soo yummy)
The Menu:
Srikant's Fried chicken
cheesy garlic mashed potatoes
sweet baby carrots
Chocolate cake
mint chip ice cream and strawberry ice cream
and added in case we didn't have enough food:
fried rice
beans -the kids love em!

So this dinner went over very well!! everyone enjoyed it (and the kids who live with mostly rice- loved my potatoes!)

KC got a picture of the cake and Dave blowing out the cake and the lighter when I tried to relight the candles for a picture. I hope to get them from her at some point.

We watched a Christian comedian as the kids fell asleep.
We then took Hannah and Matt home and went to sleep right away as we were getting up early the next morning.

(read next blog for more weekend hi jinks)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trip to the Alps

wow- look what i found in my unpublished drafts!
that was almost 2 summers ago!

Dave's co-workers were going to go to Switzerland but it is like herding cats ;) to get plans going.
Since Dave took a long a weekend already, we thought we should go somewhere. Dave wanted to stay in the EU.

Friday morning I woke up to Dave on the internet looking at what to do.
He suggested we drive to Munich and stay over and then go to Salzburg on Sat, retuning to Munich and then Drive home on Sunday.

So within in an hour after breakfast we were starting to pack. We left on an 8 hour drive to Munich. It was a bit of a rainy day and we were hoping it would get better.

After breakfast on Saturday we headed off on a 1.5 hour drive to Salzburg. It remained cloudy all day. It did start to clear a bit later in the day.

Final Stats:
Total Time: 22 hours 47 minutes (plus an hour we forgot to have the GPS on)
Moving Time: 21 hours 18 minutes
Stopped time: 1 hour 29 minutes (including gas but not eating)
Max Speed: 164 km/hour (in Germany)
Overall avgerage: 83.6 km/h
moving average: 89.5 km/h

Trip to the Alps

Dave's co-workers were going to go to Switzerland but it is like herding cats ;) to get plans going.
Since Dave took a long a weekend already, we thought we should go somewhere. Dave wanted to stay in the EU.

Friday morning I woke up to Dave on the internet looking at what to do.
He suggested we drive to Munich and stay over and then go to Salzburg on Sat, retuning to Munich and then Drive home on Sunday.

So within in an hour after breakfast we were starting to pack. We left on an 8 hour drive to Munich. It was a bit of a rainy day and we were hoping it would get better.

After breakfast on Saturday we headed off on a 1.5 hour drive to Salzburg. It remained cloudy all day. It did start to clear a bit later in the day.

When we got there it was time for lunch. We stopped at a little cafe that was close to the parking lot on the way to the river (we both had to use a bathroom- so we stopped at the first one we saw)

We walked along the river towards the town center with my need for a jacket in mind. We walked along the oldest street in Salzburg and found many places that we could have bought something at. But they all were quite expensive and then we found a tourist shop. They have the sweaters with Austria on them etc. But we did see they had a wind breaker (they said it was for the rain) that was less money and not as warm. It was perfect for what I needed. I was so happy to have found it!

We were noticing many bands in the area and then saw where they were all going. In the square by the Cathedral there was at least 6 different bands there that were playing together. They sounded really good. But we have no idea why they were there. (I saw a guy dressed up in the Austria outfit)

From there we went to the Cathedral - which was nice and bright in the main area as a bomb landed there in 1944. The rest of the Cathedral was a bit darker. Its neat to look at them but they all seem to blend together after a while.

We then went up to the fortress. This fortress had never been taken. But it was surrendered once with out a fight to Napoleon. It was built over 600 (?) years. . It was really neat to go up. This is what Dave thinks of when he thinks castle. check out the photos :)

After we were done at the fortress we went for a horse drawn carriage ride. It was nice but short and expensive. 20 minutes 36E but it was nice. The horse only pooped once on the way- not bad at all- hehe.

We went back to the shopping street to walk a bit further (Dave found a hat shop but didnt buy anything) and had dinner at a pasta restaurant.

We drove back to Munich.

Sunday we got up at a decent time and had breakfast and got ready to go. We got bored and got off the high way and with the GPS help we found a castle that looked like that it was still lived in.

We timed how long it took to drive through Luxembourg. It was only 30 minutes! thats it! haha- takes longer to drive though Toronto! (mind you we crossed at a narrower sections I think.)

The entire trip was hampered by construction in every direction we went.

This is our final stats.... we would creep in construction other wise the stopped time would be higher.

Final Stats:
Total Time: 22 hours 47 minutes (plus an hour we forgot to have the GPS on)
Moving Time: 21 hours 18 minutes
Stopped time: 1 hour 29 minutes (including gas but not eating)
Max Speed: 164 km/hour (in Germany)
Overall avgerage: 83.6 km/h
moving average: 89.5 km/h

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

past week

Well, this past week I have been busy and not at the same time.
I have been hanging out with KC and Jamie a lot this past week.
We have been out for lunches and visiting each other. Yesterday KC even came to my hotel room and hung out here.

In my other spare time I have been drawing pictures for KCs kids. I get colouring pages off the internet and then draw them in my sketch book. I colour them in and then give them away. I did this with Dora and Winnie the Pooh. I just couldnt give away my Cinderella one (i liked ot too much!)

I had bought pencil crayons to do it but they are very pale (i guess the type of lead?) and so I just did one with my mini paint set that I brought with me. I think it turned out very well.

For my pencil drawings, I like my elephant better then my building ones. I havent done much with them after Ireland though. But I like KCs suggestion to hang them in a kids room some day.

I have gotten a lot further on my knitting (a blanket) but the drawing seems to have taken over that time. I usually knit when watching tv during the day (Diagnosis Murder and Murder She Wrote)but now BBC2 is not working so that cuts down on the shows I watch (a good thing i guess)

Now I should go for a bike ride and do my Bible study lesson for tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

3 wars, 1 long weekend

Saturday we started off by heading to Ypres (Iepers). This was a main area for WWI because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the North.
When we arrived there was a big market in the square so we looked around it. After we went to the In Flanders Field Museum which was very interesting.
This is also where many military graveyards are. We bought a tour guide (2.50E) to do a drive. We stopped at a few memorials and graveyards. The first one we stopped at was where John McCrae worked as a medic and wrote "In Flanders Fields". He was a Canadian (for my American friends info). This poem has become important for remembrance ceremonies. We got tired of driving around and decided to head for the coast to the North Sea. I'm not totally sure about which town we ended up in but it was near Nieuwpoort. After a walk on the beach we headed home, stopping for supper at an Esso at the diner along the highway.

Sunday was what Dave called a "no adventure Sunday". We went to church and it turned out they were having a potluck to wish the interim pastor safe travels on his way back to the states. This was great because it was "normal" potluck food.... mmm- thinking of the pulled pork, pastas, salads, chicken and deserts is making me hungry (waiting for dinner til Dave gets home from a meeting). We then spent the rest of the day doing nothing. I got a long talk with mom on msn while Dave slept. We then read out side near the pool- too cold to go in! It was McDonald's for supper.

Monday was Labour Day. Dave wasn't going to get it off but since he worked the last Belgium holiday he took it off. We were off (2 hour drive) to Bastogne where the Battle of the bulge took place. We checked out the museum there and the memorial. After lunch we started heading hom and went to Waterloo on the way. We took a tour of the battle fields.

"The Battle of Waterloo, fought near the village of Waterloo on Sunday 18 June 1815,[5] was the decisive battle of the Waterloo Campaign, and Napoleon Bonaparte's last. Waterloo marked the end of the period known as the Hundred Days, which began in March 1815 after Napoleon's return from Elba, where he had been exiled after his defeat and abdication in the previous year. The defeat at Waterloo put a final end to Napoleon's rule as Emperor of the French."

When we got home we turned right around to go do laundry and get pizza from the place beside the laundromat.

I will post more links under my pictures later.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Being Social

Well most of you who know me know that I love to socialize and Dave not so much.

Well this past week has been very active for me :)

Last Saturday I went to the Church for a Womans Night Out type event. We met at the church and had a healthy supper and shared stories and tips. The Pastors Wife (Dorothy) had a lot to talk about and it was a good night out.

Then on Wednesday night one of Dave's co-workers (kinda manager like) wanted to know if we wanted to meet in the hotel bar for a drink. We though sure a drink is fine. It was 9:30 pm and sounded good. He ended up buying me a bottle of wine and had one glass and then I had the rest! I don't think I have ever drank more then 2-3 small glasses of wine at a time. This was a lot more. We had some lovely cheese and the guys had a few beers. We ended back up to the room at 1:30 am!! wow- its been so long since we stayed up that late or drank that much. Not that it was over excessive - but still!

Thursday we got up at 8am (so not much sleep) and got ready for the day. I was picked up at 9am to go to a weekly Womens Bible Study on the NATO base. This was the kick off and I met many people (cant remember names though!). During the ice breaker (find people who match the criteria like whose an only child etc) I found a Canadian who gave me her card. I emailed her when I got home. She replied with an invitation to the Canadian section of base on Friday for a "Beer Call"

Friday Dave will be getting off work early to pick me up to go to SHAPE(base)for 3:15. We will be meeting that Canadian at the front gate where we will be signed in. Since its summer time, there are a lot of changes and new people coming and going from base.

So my social calendar is filling up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

eating out this week

Well last night Dave and I were thinking about what we had ate this past week. Since we eat out a lot it was a bit of a struggle to remember what it was this week.
I'm sure you don't care- but I'm bored and this is my blog :P

Monday - we went to the Carrefoure in Soignes. Its about 15 minutes down the road. Its a small town but nice to go to for dinner. The Carrefoure is the wal-mart type store and we got some groceries there for my lunches. We went to the cafeteria type store attached to it. Its called the Lunch Market and is quite good. Since its a cafeteria we get to choose what we want by pointing. Once you order your main meal you get as much vegetables as you like. Its also quite cheap for meals around here.

Tuesday - We headed back to Soignes to get some Chinese food. We went to the buffet place there for the first time. Its not cheap but it does have the Chinese food we are more used to, unlike the one that we have been to in Nimy. This place also had a tapinacki(sp?) bar. This is where you take the raw ingredients and give them to the cooks. They then boil, fry and add sauce to them. Dave tried it and said it was good. I will have to do that next time.

Wednesday - We went to a church meal at a nearby hotel. This hotel is for Americans so we had to be signed in by an American. The church that we have attended make a meal there once a month (twice a month in summer) for the Americans when they are in transit. They were kind enough to invite us as well. But- this time they just did salads (we missed the BBQ a couple weeks ago.) we got to meet some new people but most were kinda clique-ish or worried more about their kids.

Thursday - We went to Chi Chis again. Its been a while since we went downtown to the Grand Place for dinner. If I haven't mentioned it before Chi Chis is a Texas/Mexican type restaurant. I have nothing special to say about it but that it follows the typical 2 hour Belgium meal. Once you order you get your drinks and then wait. Your food comes so piping hot (on a plate thats been in the oven) that you have to wait a few minutes before you can start eating. Then you wait and wait and wait and wait. They come and take your plates away, ask if you want anything else and then they are content to let you sit longer. You have to ask for the bill when you want to leave. Most of the time there is only one or two waiters for the whole restaurant. This makes waiting even longer but for most Belgium's thats normal. Its a social thing to go out for dinner, unlike North America where you go get food and thats it.

Friday- We ended up going out with Dave's co-workers to TGIF. This is a regular Friday night thing. They pick a bar/pub and go drink for a while. We went to a restaurant where we sat out on the patio. We moved at least 5 times to get closer under the umbrella as the rain started to pour harder and harder. It was quite a good time though. I had a Strawberry beer. I know that sounds gross- but theres not much of a beer taste. They don't have much for things like Bacardi Breezers so they have different flavours of beer. The most popular is the Cherry flavour (kriek). I also tried Raspberry last time we went out. They also have banana,pineapple, plum,apricot, exotic and many other flavours. After a few beers were consumed the group moved over to the McDonald's for some quick food before heading over to the cigar bar. This is not our cup of tea so after McDonald's we went home.

And that was our week of eating out :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pics from a friends camera

Luxembourg Photos

Well we decided on Wed that we were going to go to Luxembourg to see what that place was like. It was soo nice, beautiful day as well.
The city is a Fortress and so beautiful to go to. I would recommend it anyone who has a couple days in Europe. Very Pretty.

We left the hotel at 8 am to get to the train on time. We had a transfer in Brussels and arrived in Luxembourg around 12:30pm.

We got on a hop on hop off bus tour right away to get a feel of the city and to learn about its history. This was a great thing to do since we found out a bit more about it.

When we got off the bus we headed off to find some lunch. After this we wandered through some squares on the way to fortress wall. We found some neat statues and fountains.

We took a leisurely walk along the wall and headed into the town again to have some ice cream before we went home.

We got back on the train at 5:30pm. It was a nice day out. We arrived home at 10:00pm and were tired but happy from the day.

Today its raining out after a nice sunny morning. So I will be watching Tv, knitting, and walking the stairs :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a mini vacation

well first off this week has been pretty good. I had a good long phone call last week. Some one from church called me and we talked for 4 hours!! Her name is KC and we just seemed to click. She is now in the hospital having her 3rd child!

so this weekend we went on a mini vacation. We have 4 days left on our train travel pass and have to use them by the 20th. We decided to go to Berlin. We left on Friday morning and arrived after 9pm. We went to bed knowing we were getting up at 9. When we were at the train station in Brussels with 20 min left to our train it was raining. Dave all of a sudden realized that he didn't pack any shirts. I couldn't believe it! Here I am wanting to buy a new shirt or something (too expensive and dont fit the same)and he doesn't but we now had to find something. On the way to the hotel I noticed a store for big men. But Dave was wearing a quick dry one so we rinsed it and it dried over night.

Saturday morning we left the hotel in search of food. The breakfast at the hotel was 17E. Thats very expensive so we got sandwiches and headed off to a meeting point. We were taking the free tour offered by New Europe Tours. We have taken the tours offered by them in Amsterdam and Paris. It was a very good tour taking us to many places important to the history of the city. Heres a list of the places that we visited:
Brandenburg gate
Jewish Memorial
Berlin wall (by the section that hides WW2 history)
Checkpoint Charlie
some different squares
the square where the Nazis had their book burning
a war memorial representing all boys lost in war
Berliner Dome
and ended our tour on the Museum island.

We went back to the hotel and stopped at the store and got Dave a new shirt on the way. We left the hotel after a brief rest and headed for a canal cruise. it was a nice hour to spend. After the tour we took a bike taxi to the Reichstag. Its the parliament building. It was free but had an hour or more wait to get in. Its a big dome that you can go up to the top and get a view of the city. The city doesn't have a great skyline. This is where I should mention that this city is more like an American/ Canadian city then any other we have been in. This is due to the war where 95% was flattened.

We walked over to the main train station and remembered seeing sand sculptures on our canal trip. We decided to go over and see what that was about. We didn't see where to pay but we did see prices. no one stopped us from walking in and looking around. 10E each not spent! There was some cool ones and others we just didn't understand. Too artsy!
Then it was home to sleep!

On Sunday we went to the same meeting place to go on a tour of a concentration camp: "Just outside the city limits stands a reminder of the darkest days of Berlin’s history: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Built in 1936 by slave laborers, Sachsenhausen became the model that all other camps followed. It was a school of brutality, training guards for positions in other camps. By the end of WWII, over 50,000 people had died there.

Sachsenhausen’s tragic history continued from 1945 to 1950 when the new Communist occupiers secretly followed the Nazis' footsteps and used the camp to detain political enemies. Thousands more perished during this period.

Visiting the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial is one of the most important things you can do on your visit to Berlin. During our six hour tour, we tell the story of Sachsenhausen’s infamous history with the sensitivity needed to examine how something as horrible as the Holocaust could have happened."

that was a very sobering and tiring day. It rained the whole day and made it even more real. After we made it back to the square near our hotel we decided to go to a movie. We went to the theater in the square and discovered that all English movies are at the sony center about 20 min away on subway. After a rest at the hotel we headed out the watch the movie one that we were wiling to watch - the 3rd Mummy movie.

After the movie we walked back to the Brandenburg gate and then went home via subway.

Our hotel was the Park Inn at Alexanderplatz. You should look it up and see the pics of the rooms. I will post some too. The shower is all glass and is in your room. To make it look more spacious they do not have a separate bathroom. so it goes (starting from window to the door) chair, side table, bed, side table, curtain (to pull around the "bathroom") sink, glass shower, toilet. The toilet is behind a glass wall and has a door. The glass is also frosted so you cant see everything- but its close enough. and then its the hallway. i forgot to take a pic of the chairs and table at the end of the room but i do have a pic of the kind of bathroom I'm talking about.

Monday morning we got up and had a bagel at Dunkin' Donuts! Its been a long time since we have had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. We then walked to the fountain that Andrea told us to go to . We were there for almost 45 min and it didn't get turned on. We had to return to our room to check out and catch our train. The fountains apparently start at 10 am for anyone who wants to get an early look at them. Our hotel is also by the TV tower. This looks like an early attempt at the CN tower that just didnt work. But we could see that from our hotel room.

So we are home and have to do some laundry- but Dave doesn't since he still has shirts!
We discovered after booking our holiday that this coming weekend is a Long weekend with the Friday off. So Dave only has 3 days of work. the poor boy!
We have 2 more days on our train tickets and are trying to figure out that to this weekend since it expires on the 20th.
any suggestions?

Monday, August 4, 2008


well Sunday was a good day.

We got to go to church for the first time since we left home back at the end of may. We were mostly traveling on Sundays to get to each place that we wanted to go to.

The church is an English Baptist church.
and they were very friendly and welcoming. The person who first greeted us said that she "is expecting to have a baby this afternoon!" that kinda took us back until she
said her due date was Tuesday. So I will email her and thank her and wish her luck.

We then went for a drive and ended up in Soignes again and ate at the Carrefour (The store was closed).

We came home to have a very very lazy day. We had supper in the hotel (to lazy to go out to eat) and came back up to watch a movie on Dave's computer. This brought us to 10 pm and Dave wanted to watch a show on TV. At the same time there was a thunderstorm coming in. The Station was cut out so while we were waiting we pulled back the curtains to watch the storm curled up on the bed. It was kinda nice even though it was an exciting part of the show that was cut out. The TV was cut out for 15 min. Then it was to bed.

We woke up this morning to a bright and sunny day. now to think what to do today.

You know- I miss having home cooked meals the most right now. There are a lot of things to miss- but thats the biggest one right now. Others include: English, Tim Hortons, and my own space (appt. or house)

Oh- i have created a quiz on Facebook based on this blog. Check it out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


belgium 3

Dave to the rescue

Friday night we went out for TGIF in the Grand Place where i met 3 of daves coworkers.

Well today was an easy day. It started out with sleeping in and going for breakfast around 9:45. Then it was back to the room to hang out for a while. I uploaded some more pics to the computer so I will upload them to the internet soon. I am running out of space so I may need to use my debbieschilstra@gmail account to post more. But for now I should be fine.

We then headed out to the mall to see if we could get a new case for daves blackberry but there was none to be found.

From here we headed into town to do an hour walk geocaching tour of the town. That was a lot of fun!!
We got to see some things we haven't see before.
We also saw 2 weddings and 2 more processions. They drive through town honking their horns and screaming out. This is after the night before where many of the brides to be come out and try to get money and pictures of themselves with single men. They are usually dressed as witches or other crazy costumes.
I will post some photos of these things.

When we finally got to the location of the cache we hear meowing. It was coming from the tree that it was hidden in. Looking up we finally saw a white kitty bum. The kitten was scared and little. We only had 15 min before our parking ran out. The kitten had a hard time getting to a place where we could help her. She was very unsure of her footing. She got to a place where Dave could finally reach her with only 5 min left on our parking. The kitten was very cuddly and was purring so loud! she was so thankful for being helped down. She was soo sweet that I wanted to take her home! But since she looked so healthy and friendly I guessed that she was someones cat. So we had to let her go. She did follow us for a few feet until something distracted her.
I didn't get a pic of her rescue but i did just as she came down.

so i will go post the pictures now... ttyl

Friday, August 1, 2008

end of another week

well this week again passed by with out anything special happening.

We did go to Soignes for supper and to the Carrefour (wal-mart type store)This is a pretty little town about 10-15 min down the road from us. We also discovered that there is a McDonalds that has a parking lot (for when we crave something like home) haha- nice eh?

This week is a lot hotter then every other week. We even had some muggy weather. because of this I have not been biking at all this week. I was spending most of my time in the pool! That has been great!

Besides this there hasnt been too much exciting. I am planning on meeting a high school foreign exchange student that visited for one semester. We probably will be going to his home town in a couple weeks from now.

I have taken photos from around the hotel but Dave has the cable to I cannot load them up and post them. soon you will have some more photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

GeoCaching and getting kicked out

well this was the day we got kicked out of our hotel. The reason was that the whole thing was booked (before us) for a cyclist racing team. We were able to leave most of our stuff at the hotel, so we took only one change of clothes and off we went.

We met up with Thomas and his wife Dallas, I believe I have mentioned them before.We took the train into Brussels and dropped off all our stuff at our hotel. We headed out on a geochche that just did not work out for us at all. (and it was raining) After stopping for lunch (the rain stopped by this point)we came back to the hotel to grab T&D stuff and headed for their hotel.

We (well it was me) were able to find a micro cache, a small film canister with just a mini log book to put that you were there, near the hotel. From there we went to find a regular cache. Dallas was the first one to find it but let us continue searching and guided Dave to find it. It was pretty cool. Besides the log book there was little toys and gadgets that were there for trading. We put in a Canada Eh? button but didn't take anything. This cache was in a bushy area in a park by the roots of a tree. Then we were off in search of a travel bug hotel. This is a cache that has trinkets that have a wish to travel different places. For example someone wanted theirs to go to Normandy and have a bag filled with sand and mailed back to him. Another one wanted to see the train stations of the world. So what you do is (if you can help it along) you take it out and go onto the original site and post that you have taken it out and then repost when you have moved it and where that is. We picked up a little tag that just wants to visit the world. So we will probably take it back to NC with us. oh and Thomas was the one to find that one.

From this point we went our separate ways, we headed off to the movies while T&D went to the nearby park and probably to bed because they were off to the states tomorrow.

We went on the subway over to a movie theater where we watched the Dark Knight in OV (original version) with both Dutch and French subtitles. This was a great movie. We both did enjoy it a lot. The theater was very nice as well with comfy seats that leaned back nicely.

Now I am home and not really sleepy. I'm tired from all that walking but my mind is not ready for bed and of course I didn't bring my book! grr- oh well- it means that you get an up to the minute posting!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

found a grocery store

well its exaclty as my title of blog says.

I found a grocery store. Now as unexciting as that sounds, this is good for me as the store involves no large hills to get to or from.
In the past I have had to go down this rather large hill to get to Nimy and Mons. Going down also means going up. Or waiting for Dave to get home with the car and then going into town.

Today I decided to see where I could end up if I did a right then a left... there are no major hills that way.

I went to the end of the street and just down aways was a Lidl (i think its pronounced Liddle, but Im not sure. This is just a little store and has mostly basics, kinda like the food section in a Giant Tiger (with just a bit more selection). Since we have just a tiny bar fridge I cannot get much at a time and we also do not have anywhere to prepare meals. No microwave, just a kettle. I believe I have mentioned this in the past. Oh- one good thing that Lidl has is 17c puddings. AND they are much better then the fun pac ones you get at home, its real pudding.... mmm chocolate!

This store is less then 1/2 hour bike ride from here (going at an easy pace) and there are no major hills!! yay!

thats all my exciting news for today. Im off to take a shower cuz Im hot and sweaty- eww.

oh and we are getting kicked out of the hotel for one night on sat. so I couldnt get much food today since it has to be packed up for a night out of the fridge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long weekend

Well it has been a pretty boring week. We havent done a whole lot besides going out for dinners with Daves coworkers. I did a lot of reading, knitting, and biking. It was doing a lot of raining this week. I am hoping this week is a bit better.

but this past weekend was a long weekend- the national day in Belgium - so we did a lot.

On Saturday ---we slept in a bit and headed out to go Geocaching :

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Today, well over 800,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the pastime. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.

we went with Thomas since he goes geocaching often. The first one had us going into Mons to a local park. After about 10 minutes of searching I spotted a black film canister in a tree. It was a "micro-cache- and contained a list for you to write your name down on.

We headed out to the next cache, stopping for lunch at a local Italian restaurant. we all ordered pizzas. I tried a spaghetti pizza. It was the crust, sauce and cheese cooked and then taken out and then spaghetti tossed on top! It was actually pretty good! At the restaurant we noticed on the GPS that we were in France. We did not expect that at all!

The next cache was located in a national park. It had us climb a mountain which I think was left over shale from mining. We walked around it and then the path went away from it so we thought we better go up. We climbed up to the top of the mountain. It was quite a steep hike and when we got to the top we of course saw the path on the other side. The instructions were in French and when translated it said to find a circle in the topography (which we did) and also find a house with its number on its roof (1878)

down to the circle and then we think the translation didnt work out. Said to stand in the middle and then go 18 feet to the 110 degrees. We walked all around the circle and looked everywhere to see if we could find the cache. We looked for a long time and never did see it. So home we went and stopped at a McDonalds where we did see beer on the menu. We then went home and to bed after watching a movie on Daves computer.

Sunday----- we got up early and headed out to the Efteling. We were at the park from 10:45- 9:00 Its a fairy tale theme park in the Netherlands. We met my moms cousins Marijke(from our last trip to Amsterdam), Adri, his fiancee Ivy and her 2 kids. We had a great time all day looking at animitronic fairy tales brought to life, and going on rides. The fairy tales seem to be mostly Grimm Fairy tales. Many which Canadians will not know. We all headed out to the closest town and had dinner at a Chinese place. It was a great day enjoying all the sights and sounds.

Monday--- again we did get to sleep in. When we got up we headed to the train station and headed to Brussels. Thomas and his wife met us there for the celebrations. It was the National holiday day and there was a lot of celebration of national defense. We couldn't see the parade since it was so packed so we went off and found a few local atractions. We found the Mannequin Pis and the Jeanneke Pis. they are statues that are peeing. Obviously its a boy and a girl that are separated by the square.
We went to the main park and then off for dinner. The mussels are very popular right now so dave had fried mussels, and I had Stoemp. It was a potato, carrot and pea mashed with sausage.

We went for a waffles for desert but they were so busy and ran out so I had a crepe but it wasnt very good.

Now today is a good day to relax.
Im going to upload photos a bit later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

do I have a stalker?

(BTW- I'm Laughing)

I just got back from biking.
on the bike ride someone pulled up beside me on his bike and started a conversation. He spoke a little English (less English then the person who gave me a ride last week). We stopped at a local school and talked for a bit and exchanged phone numbers... since it was the first time i had a pay as you go phone i thought I would try it out. Dave hadn't had a chance to call me to try it. I told him I had a husband, and he repeated it and I thought he understood.

He followed me around and kept talking with me- and since Im nice I kept talking. So finally I told him that my husband was coming home and I had to go. He followed me for a while and finally took a different way home where we said bye. He kept asking if we could meet again and he would call me and go for a bike ride.

so I got back here. He doesnt know where I am at.
so he is one of 2 things.
1) a guy who just wants to have someone to talk to.
2) a stalker

since i dont need a phone for much- i will probably keep it off :P unless I know that I am expecting a call.

Daily life in a hotel

well living in a hotel is not all that you might think.

First of all this hotel is 2 km from anywhere. This limits meals to be in the hotel when Dave has the car or a long bike ride to a place to eat. Breakfast is 16E (which thankfully Google has included in their deal for long term stays in this Hotel.

We have come up with a cheaper idea for my lunches. There is a kettle in the room and a mini fridge for the bar items but no microwave. We bought Mr. noodles type things and buns. we have butter in the fridge and each morning I swipe a baby bell cheese and a hard boiled egg or a yogurt or something.

There are 4 English channels. CNN, MSNBC (in the afternoons), BBC1, BBC2. So there is a lot of news and TLC type shows. On the rainy days theres not much on but I also read. although Im running out of books. I might have to see about heading into Brussels to find a bookstore with English books.

On nicer days there is always going for a bike ride. Yesterday I went swimming in the COLD COLD pool. Well I went in chest hight and walked around. We have had over a week of rain and cold days which makes it a very chilly pool.

Of course there is finding my way into town and take the free bus to the mall but Im not much of a shopper and I dont have any money!

Also the last few days I have been updating blogs and photos.

So thats whats all I have been up to.

well once this show is over Im going to make lunch for myself and then head out on a bike ride. Its a bit chilly today so it will be great for a ride. The maid is here cleaning the room at the moment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

new photos



Amsterdam ----



Belgium for a week already!

wow- its been one week since we arrived here in Mons. We have been having a busy week.
Dave had some co-workers who were only here for a week and they wanted to see a lot of the country in that week.

we arrived and settled in. We had dinner in the hotel (which is far from anything!)

I hitched a ride with Dave's co-workers into town and went to the visitor center and found out that they have 3 free in town bus routes. I took one out to the local mall. It has a store in it thats like a walmart. I bought a bike there and they guy getting it ready didn't speak English and I didn't speak French, so it was interesting. But off I went and discovered that the seat wasn't tightened all the wall- it was an uncomfortable ride. When I got to the small village of Nimy I asked directions to be sure where to go. The lady I asked started to drive a head to show me the way and then pulled over. She spoke 25% English. She told me that it was a long ride and that she would give me a lift. This was welcome news as I discovered that its quite the hill up to the Hotel.
This night the coworkers(Ajay, Justyna, Thomas) and us went into town and had some yummy food at a restaurant in the town square.

I was dropped off in the morning to do some laundry and had some Chinese for lunch and a cab ride home again.
This night we went to Brugge for supper. (Justyna, Ajay)It was about 1.5 hour drive to get there. Its a very pretty area!
We will want to return there and maybe bring our bikes with us.

I went for a bike ride and got rained out. It was a lazy day.
We(Justyna, Ajay, Thomas) went to Antwerp for dinner. This was also a 1.5 hour drive. It started to POUR while we were looking at a castle like thing. We went to the closest restaurant so we didnt look at the price or anything- we were all soaked even with the umbrellas. We went for a walk after dinner when the rain stopped and ended up in the seedy part of town and in the red light district. From there we managed to find our way to the town square but it was too dark to take many photos.

I went on a long bike ride. I headed into town which was a half hour bike ride (almost all downhill) and left my bike in the town square. I took the bus to the mall again and bought a helmet. I went back to town and had lunch at McDonalds. I headed back home and it took about an hour but that includes a 10 minutes (working up the nerve) break and a bit of walking my bike uphill. So I guess it was 45 min to home.
We (Justyna, Ajay, Thomas) went for supper in the city and ended up going to Chi Chis. One of Dave's coworkers had a birthday the next day so he got to wear the hat and a free tequila shot.

We got up at 9 to go rent a car since Dave's coworkers that had the car rented were leaving. We came back to the hotel and watched tv and didnt do much- Dave kept falling asleep.
In the afternoon we headed to the mall for lunch and to look at bikes for Dave. We didn't know if the seat folded down so we didnt buy one. From there we went to the theater to see if they showed English movies and found out that they dont! all of them are dubbed. We came home for a bit and looked up English movies. They show them in Brussels. We chilled out in our room until we were called to see if we wanted to get supper with a couple coworkers. (Thomas, )
We went to the town center and had Pizza which was really yummy. We went for deserts and drinks and Ajay showed up. We didnt get home til after 1am.

We slept in til 2 pm!!! this never happens with Dave. I mean I can sleep all day but he doesnt! We must have needed it. We did nothing all day. We went into Nimy and had Chinese which was very yummy! and then just drove around for a couple hours.

That brings us to Monday where im uploading photos and the blog.
have a great week!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

In Paris

Well. Here we are. In Paris.

we got here on Friday early afternoon. We went for a little walk and ended up at the gardens near the Louvre, the hotel is only a few minutes away from there. We read in the park for a long while.. Afterwards we went and checked out the Eiffel Tower. It was neat. I can understand why the French were upset when it was first built. Its not the prettiest thing but interesting none the less. It was of course crowded. We saw lots of police, undercover cops(when they took someone in) we even saw members of the army with their machine guns! From there (at 930) we went for dinner. They dont light it up until 10:30 so we decided to leave. We headed out towards the Arc de Triomphe, stopping for dinner on the way. The Arc looks really cool lit up at night. It was late and we walked a lot so we took a taxi home.

Saturday we needed to do some laundry while we waited for a friend. Stephanie Chambers was coming around 1 to the hotel. So we asked at the desk and were sent the right way. It happened that there was a market on the street so we got some bread, cheese, chocolate crossents, and some apples for breakfast.
We went back to the hotel to read until Steph came. around 2 she came up and we chatted for a while in our room. around 3 we all headed out to go to a free tour. Along the way we found a Canadian Pub. Since we were early we stopped for a drink. We went on the tour and walked and walked and walked. It was a very good tour. It was a partner tour with the one we went on in Amsterdam.,en/

From there we went to the Arc to see it in the day time with Steph. Since we were all tired from walking we kept taking breaks at each stop! We had pizza on a bench along the street to the Eiffel tower. By the time we were done it was dark and the tower was lit up. There were so many people in the spot that we wanted to go to but i think we got some good pictures. (man oh man i have some catching up to do with pictures when I get a chance!) At 11:00 they put turned on the sparkling for 10 minutes. It was pretty but Dave thought it was tacky! Again we took a taxi home! (steph was awake for 34? hours at that point)

Sunday dawned early and at 8 am we headed out to the Louvre stopping at mcDonalds for breakfast along the way. We were at the line up almost 30 min before the opening and it had such a long line up! its free on the first Sunday of the month. - lucky eh?

we got to see the Mona Lisa. She was bigger then I expected. Everyone always talks about how small she was that I was surprise that she was that big. 31x 21 inches. I guess thats small but I was expecting much smaller. we also saw many other paintings and sculptures.

We walked steph back to the hotel and went up to our room where we chilled for a few minutes before she left. Dave fell asleep and i read for a while. After a bit he headed over here (the Canada Pub ) for free wifi. We ordered lunch and just finished. Now we are going to head to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
I still have to update the other blogs and pictures. I hope to have time when we are in Belgium.

have fun!
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