Tuesday, March 25, 2008


My cold cleared up pretty quickly after we got back. I was using Zicam, so I think that helped.

We flew to Texas on Friday, which was the start of spring break here. Our flight was oversold, so we volunteered to take a bump. We ended up getting to Houston earlier, and we each earned $300 towards a future flight. We had a weird experience when we picked up our rental car where we were told to pick any car we wanted (huh?). Unfortunately Duane was a deer in the headlights, so we ended up with a stinky Nissan (it was ok).

We thought we would try to eat at a bbq place near the airport. As we drove there, a huge cloud of fire burst into the air. We determined that it may have been a transformer blowing up, but we didn't see anything in the news. The traffic was nuts. We found the restaurant (shack), but it wasn't open. The area surrounding downtown Houston seemed to be a giant strip mall with a lot of traffic. We left Houston and went from the strip mall to the middle of nowhere.

We got to our hotel in College Station (Courtyard Marriot). It is definitely on the low end of the Marriot chain. It was also overrun with tweens in town for a state basketball tournament. The in-room wireless did not work, but the tv had a lot of channels! We looked on Chowhound to find a place to eat. We went to the Chicken Oil Company. It was food anyway. It was also spring break in College Station which means everyone who can leave, does.

The next day we went to the Bush Museum and Library. It was interesting. The weather was nice (80s) and we were in shorts. We had a friend that was coming in from Tucson for the wedding and picked a different hotel to stay at. He called us from the motel and asked if he could stay with us (his motel was a nasty, filthy place). The wedding turned out to be pretty nice. We didn't know anyone though so we didn't stay too long. It was kind of disappointing to travel that far and spend 10 minutes talking to a friend you haven't seen in 3 years.

We were on another oversold flight on the way back and took another voluntary bump. We thought we were going to have to stay overnight in Minneapolis, but we ended up making our connection. We earned another $300 each. Duane is already thinking of places to fly to.

The weather has been ok, but there is a chance of snow in the forecast. No more snow please!!

End of the trip

Ok, so the ibuprofen wasn't in the car. I guess it would have been nice to figure that out beforehand, because we could have bought some earlier.

Bruges was very nice, probably our favorite city in Brussels. I think the countryside wins overall location though. There was this one restaurant that we had to go to 3 times in Bruges so Duane could sample the last beer on his list. The first time we went was at dinner (32 euros/per person, no thanks!), then next day we tried to go at lunch (closed on Thursdays), and the finally successful time was just before we left Bruges. Duane was super happy to have that last beer though and it was unique.

Luxembourg City is nothing to write home about unfortunately. The coolest thing is that the city center is wired for wireless internet, so you can sit in the park and check your email (for free!). Our hotel was nice (the Novotel), despite its proximity to the strip club part of town. It had the hugest breakfast buffet! We actually ate at Pizza Hut there, but the Pizza Hut there had about 15 different kinds of pizza.

Next and last stop was Dusseldorf. It was rainy, but we walked around a bit. We had a great (and cheap) dinner of goulash, frankfurters, and cheese. The flight back was fine, although my nose had started running. I ended up with a migraine when we got home because the ibuprofen got misplaced. There was a little snafu where I told a friend to pick us up on Tuesday (but we really got in on Monday). She had forgotten about a show she was going to, so I got my sister to pick us up. We would have been waiting until Tuesday otherwise.

The rest of the week was a blur. We had dinner in Janesville with my parents to celebrate our birthdays, we had dinner with another friend, and a haircut appointment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Snow

So much to say....

I have a lot to report on. The end of our trip (in which I got sicker), our trip to Texas for a wedding, and the supposed snow that is coming tonight and tomorrow.

We get to enjoy the first day of spring before one last winter storm warning. A possible 1-2 inches tonight, 4-6 inches during the day tomorrow, and 1-2 more inches tomorrow night. Good thing one of the windows in my car won't roll all the way up. I taped a garbage bag over it (classy!). No, I won't be driving it with the garbage bag taped to it.

The UW Badgers are playing their first March Madness game and winning at this point. We have a friend over that wanted to watch the game. He fell asleep right about when the game started.

We are watching my little sister's kitties while they are away for Spring Break. They are cute, but kind of drive you nutty. One of them has white fur on his paws, but he has gray fur growing in between his toes! One of them was nibbling my ear this morning in an attempt to get me out of bed.

I will probably have time to catch up after the weekend. Duane has to go to South Dakota for work for a few days.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Crap, I'm sick

We have been having a great time here in Belgium. I woke up this morning with a slight fever and a scratchy throat. My chest kind of hurts too. I think I would feel better if I had some ibuprofen (which may or may not be in the car which we are too lazy to walk to as it is about a 30 minute roundtrip walk). I have been keeping my chin up though and I hope to sleep well tonight.

Bruges is very nice. I would recommend it over Brussels (although Bruges has more frite stands it has fewer waffle places than Brussels). We have had so much beer, that I will have to detox for a couple of weeks.

We are off to Luxembourg tomorrow!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hello from Antwerp!

We are having a great time, drinking lots of beer and eating lots of frites (fries). The weather has been decent, but a little on the windy side. We may be getting more wind and snow tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to a beer festival and sampled 22 beers. We were a little drunk on the way back to Antwerp (the festival was a little outside of town). We stopped at another bar and had more beer. I think we were a little noisy when we got home (especially when I tripped over my suitcase and fell down).

Today's highlights included seeing a naked man. Not sure why the dude was naked with the sidewalk level window and curtains open. It was just a butt view, and he was a younger guy (not wrinkley). We had a nice day walking around and had more fries and beer.

We head to the countryside tomorrow to stay at the b&b at the brewery and see some monks.