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!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


breif history

got to amsterdam with no problems.

sunday dinner with Marijke.(a cousin)

bike tour

went to the old market
read books in park
hot day

Walking tour
soaked in rainstorm on tour
still a hot day
supper out with marijke and her mom

nice and cool
rained last night
not much today

and tomorrow morning we leave to Paris where we will be meeting up with a friend fomr canada
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