Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Few More Photos from Bruges


Sunday, August 27, 2006

More Bruges

Here are more snaps from last weekend's trip to Bruges.

First off, check out the Belgian IC train. Luxury!

This little horse was pulling an ice cream cart.

And these pictures should, I hope, give you an idea of just how lovely Bruges is. I'll post a few more tomorrow.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Thanks, Maria!

Woo hoo! My Project ColorSwap package arrived today!

My swap partner, Maria from Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina, outdid herself.

She sent all sorts of things, including several she made:

  • A pair of knitted slipper socks

  • A handmade card

  • A bookcover

  • A backpack

  • Labels:

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    When in Belgium, Eat as the Belgians Eat

    Being good little tourists, Simon and I make a point of trying the local delicacies, no matter how off-putting they are. Aren't we brave?

    We sampled the local brews . . .

    We exercised great restraint at the chocolate shops . . .

    And we had frites only once (unless you count the enormous portion that came with our moules-frites, or steamed mussels and fries -- not pictured because Simon and I both looked dorkier than usual in those pictures) . . .


    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    I Have Been Knitting . . . A Little

    I haven't done enough knitting lately. I recently finished this little bag (I modified this pattern a bit).

    And I'm working on some socks in Knit Picks Dancing. I promise that the next pair I make will not be ribbed. Please ignore the cat hair embedded in the green blanket.

    I had to include a couple of pictures from Leiden University's Hortus Botanicus. Simon and I have been going there for picnics lately. Because the entry fee is €6 per person, the botanical gardens are quiet and not at all crowded. (We live in one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. Sigh.) Simon and I get in free because we have year-long museum passes (€30 each). With the passes, we get unlimited entry to every public museum in the Netherlands.


    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Birthday Treat

    Today is my birthday though the celebration began Saturday when Simon and I caught a very early train to Bruges (or Brugge), Belgium. More about that later this week.

    This evening, Simon surprised me with these lovely sunflowers. He cycled home in the rain while holding the sunflowers over his shoulder. Only in the Netherlands can you cycle up to a flower shop, buy an enormous bouquet, and not be asked if you can cycle while carrying it.

    The flowers are so big -- the stems are about 1" in diameter -- that we had to put them in a bucket, not a vase.


    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    A Day in Utrecht

    Yesterday Simon and I visited Utrecht on the recommendation of the mom of one of my students. Having passed through its train station a couple of times, we mistakenly assumed the city wasn't especially nice. (Never judge a city by the area around the train station.) Two highlights of our day were going to the Dick Bruna Huis and eating gyros outside the Domkerk.

    Utrecht is lovely. It's lively, eclectic, and charming with lots of museums, cafés, and unusual shops. We plan to go back soon -- particularly since we discovered the wool shops right after both had closed for the day. (Simon was crushed.)


    Almost Mobius Kitty or . . .

    Jazz Hands?


    A Grand Day Out (or Vacation, Buddy ‘n Brenda Style)

    Last Saturday, Simon and I went to Maastricht. In total, we were gone 14 hours. A couple of weekends ago, my parents – Buddy ‘n Brenda – took a road trip. They were gone 30 hours. Once Mom, Daddy, and I took an 18-hour trip to the beach – and that included an overnight stay. We know how to live.

    Our Itinerary
    07:50 – Departed apartment, cycled to Leiden Centraal
    08:10 – Arrived Leiden Centraal
    08:38 – Departed Leiden Centraal, changed at Utrecht Centraal and Sittard
    11:48 – Arrived Maastricht
    Pottered around Maastricht
    18:29 – Departed Maastricht, changed at Utrecht Centraal
    21:22 – Arrived Leiden Centraal, cycled home
    21:45 – Arrived home, watched Foyle’s War
    A very cool Vespa

    A very happy shopper enjoying the wool selection at Buttons & Beads


    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    La Dolce Vita

    Our friends Federica and Marcel have just returned from their annual vacation to Italy, and they brought us back these lovely surprises.

    Kate, of course, thinks it's all for her.

    Since we can't import any version of our favorite NC delicacy -- pork -- I'll be plotting from now until our trip home at Christmas what to get them. Any suggestions?

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    We Have a Winner

    Hugh was the first (and only, sort of – I’ll get to that in a bit) to post the book he has most recently read. I’m just wondering if he plans to teach Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying this year. What fun! (I’m not being sarcastic. I love that book.) So for Hugh, I will select a splendid Dutch treat. Hmm, perhaps something for the new school year or for his new office, which – I know for a fact – is spacious and has a breathtaking (is there any other kind?) view of a student parking lot.

    So, all this time I was thinking that no one was posting to my blog. I discovered, however, that, even though I had requested e-mail notification, Blogger has not been notifying me when someone submits a comment. Looking for your contest comments, I located several old ones (thanks, Troy, Bonnie, Susan, and Jim) and have since posted them.

    I have also realized that some of your comments for the contest didn’t show up (sorry, Margaret, Jim, and anyone else whose comment disappeared). I’ll just have to think of another contest soon . . .

    Sorry for all the parentheses. (I seem to be feeling parenthetical this morning.)