Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 266

Zondag, 29 April 2012

Basically just a lazy day, which was really nice.  It was only Senne and I at home most of the day, so I just read a lot, watched some movies - the usual.  Finished the third Game of Thrones book, whoo!  Everyone came home later, talked a bit, watched some TV, and then I watched the Game of Thrones episode (season 2, episode 1) with Bart and Senne.  I've already seen it (I actually have it on my computer), but it was fun to see again.  Watched some more TV, and then went to bed.

Day 265

Zaterdag, 28 April 2012

Got up, got ready, and went to drumline.  I think I've finally found the fastest way to get there and back, so now I have less time sitting and waiting for connecting trains or buses.  There was a little celebration in front of the station in Antwerp for Buddha's birthday (I think...?), so that was pretty cool to see.  Then, inside, I found a brony meetup - if you don't know what that is, that's probably for the better.

Went to rehearsal, practiced things we played for the theater show.  Which, of course, I completely didn't know we were still playing (back home, once your "season" is over, you never play that music again.  Ever.) so that was kinda stressful.  It took me a few runs to remember everything.

Got home, watched movies with the family, and then went to bed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 264

Vrijdag, 27 April 2012

Dutch school again.  Then, went out with a large group of people from the class for fries and drinks.  Fun times - three of the people who went with are people who are new to our class, so it was fun getting to know them (though they knew May, so that was nice).  Went back to the school for a class, then went out again with Marcela and Isabella until my bus.

Home, ate, read some, took a nap.  Trying to find a ride for drumline last minute again, so that's always fun.  But I think it's time for an early sleep - too tired to memorize the video I need to for tomorrow, so I should get to sleep so I can try tomorrow.  Slaapwel!

Day 263

Donderdag, 26 April 2012

Got to the school at 830, basically just stayed there all day until 10pm.  We spent all day getting ready as my classmates were playing their final pieces - their endwork for the year.  So yeah, all day was spent getting the concert hall ready, practicing, and (for me) sitting around and waiting for the night to be over.  The concert went well, everything was nice, stayed for a bit, and then got a ride home around 10, got home, talked with some people, and went to bed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 262

Woensdag, 25 April 2012

Normal day.  Music listening class, played "Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles, so that was cool.  Period in the library where I studied some microecon, then English where we had a test on two books I haven't read (though they read parts and saw the movie) - it was funny, like halfway through the test the teacher noticed I was pondering the questions and she's just like, "Oh shoot, you weren't here for this, were you?".  I obviously responded with a negative, so she took the test away.  She read through the answer I did, came back, and was like, "Have you ever read the book before?  Because this answer is right."  I said I just read the overview right before class (my classmate had her notes out and I wanted to read something), so she just gave me the test back and told me to try.  And I gotta say, I made up a lot on that test, it was like a creative writing test :P  Then a period in the cafeteria, since the teacher was gone.  Just read my book, but I started laughing so much I thought they would kick me out.  :P

Went home, napped for a bit.  Did some emailing, had dinner, and then went upstairs to chill out (Senne and I were the only ones home).  Now, I suppose it's time for bed - school thing all day tomorrow, yay :/


Day 261

Dinsdag, 24 April 2012

Dutch school, same as usual.  We had another teacher (we have one Monday/Friday, a different one Tuesday/Thursday), so it was another "get to know you" lesson, which was fun.  Went to school, did some reading during lunch - finished the second Game of Thrones book!  Still 11 books behind on my goal of 100 this year (uuugh), but that means I have now finished 20 books this year!  Yay!

Had the acting class two periods, library (got all the emails done for trying to do Norway, we'll see what happens), and then acting again.  Came home, ate, watched TV and read, and then fanfare.  Did that, came home (probably a little too late, considering it's the first time I had fanfare with this family...), and now it's time to sleep.  Slaapwel!

Oh, and to answer whoever left the question yesterday - I think the weirdest dialect is actually the dialect from Holland.  I have such a hard time understanding it.  Yeah, West Vlaams is weird, but I'm so used to hearing it I can start to understand it, and it sounds normal (well, kind of) to me.  Holland Dutch is just... weird.  I don't like it.  :P

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 260

Maandag, 23 April 2012

Well, my bus from Lille to Turnhout is shorter than the one from  Lille, so I get to leave later, and I get there a bit earlier so I can do all the housework then!  Whoo!!  Marcela and I registered in the morning, and then went to class.  Quite a few of our old classmates were there - Dolesse, Begona, May, YuanYuan, Carolina, Santiago, and May were all there, and I think Christina is coming too :)  It's going to be a fun class.  Just introduced ourselves, nothing much.

Then, school for a bit, but again, I had nothing to do in since it's a Monday.  But, I now have buses home before 4!  So, went home, did some stuff there (tryyyyyying to figure out Norway~), watched some TV, read a bit.  Then everyone else (sans Bart) was home, so we ate, and then Senne and I watched TV while Heidi and Femke went swimming.  Read some more, and now it's time to sleep.  Slaapwel!

Oh, but before I put it off any longer, super super huge congratulations on my old drumline River City Rhythm.

But first, a little drumline terminology so this makes sense:

There are two main "types" of groups: Scholastic and Independent.  Scholastic groups are for high school (middelbare) students.  You have to be enrolled in that high school/school district to be in the group.  For example, I was in the Coon Rapids High School Winter Drumline (CRWDL for short).  ONLY students from Coon Rapids HS could join, and once you graduated you couldn't join anymore.  Independent is anyone up to the age of 22 - after 22 you cannot march winter drumline in America (competitively).  River City Rhythm (RCR) is an Independent group.  It's usually a higher level, since people can be older, and you can come from anywhere.  People come from all around the US (and even the world) to join the best drumlines.

Then, there are three classes: A, Open, and World.  This is for both Scholastic and Independent.  For example, CRWDL was Scholastic A my first year, and my second year we got moved up to Scholastic Open.  RCR was Independent A my first two years, and they got moved up to Independent Open this year. "A Class" is for beginning drumlines - it's the easiest level.  "Open" is harder - you need to know more, play better, march better, etc.  "World" is of course the best - this is for people who are amazing at drumming and marching: these people live and breathe drums.

I've bragged before, but this is only RCR's third year of existence - the first two years we made it to finals at the World Finals in A Class.  In 2010 we tied for 6th with Drumspirit (the Belgian group I am in now, aka the reason I'm in Belgium), and in 2011 we got 4th place.  So, WGI (Winter Guard International, the international drumline organization) moved RCR up to Open class this year, which is a HUGE DEAL, especially for it only being the third year.  And, this year at WGI they made it to finals (!!!) and got 11th place!  And, not only that, they got the Fan's Favorite award for Independent Open Class!!

So that is a huge huge deal, and I'm so so so proud of them, and proud to have been a part of the group for the last two years.  I can't wait to join them again next year.  And if you haven't yet, you should like them on facebook - great pics, and soon to be one of the best drumlines~

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 259

Zondag, 22 April 2012

Woke up, and then Femke, Heidi and I went to Herentals for a breakfast thing at a school.  Came home, napped, and then watched "City Slickers II" (DAD THERE'S A CITY SLICKERS TWO!  AND NORMAN IS IN IT!), and then Senne and Bart came home - Senne does judo, and he had a tourney in Germany today.  Then Senne and I watched "The Expendables", and then we went out to eat.  Had a nice dinner, albeit with super slow service (Mom, like the time you brought your friends to Applebee's and Skippy ignored us because it was busy, even though you guys were in a super big hurry).

Home, showed some pictures from Minnesota, watched some TV with Senne, and then came upstairs for bed. Back to school tomorrow :/  Slaapwel!

Day 258

Zaterdag, 21 April 2012

Woke up, still no texts from drumline people saying if they could pick me up.  I didn't want to risk going there and having no ride (they were in Antwerp for a big thing until like 5am, so yeah, coulda got some response then, and who knows who even showed up), so I texted and said I couldn't come since I had to change families, since saying that I didn't have a ride wouldn't fly I don't think.  Caught hell for it, but whatever.  It was good to move in.

So finished packing everything, talked with Marcela, and left for Lille.  It was bittersweet - I knew it would be fun, but not having Marcela with was really weird.  Got to the house, Frederik dropped me off, and then he was gone.  I unpacked everything, and I think the room really looks like "mine" now.  Marcela sent a facebook message saying that she was lonely already :P

Downstairs, talked with the family (mother: Heidi, father: Bart, sister: Femke, brother: Senne), and then Femke, Heidi and I went food shopping.  Home, ate, talked, napped a bit, read some.  Femke's boyfriend (Jelle) came over, talked, had dinner, watched "Johnny English" together.  Went to bed early :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 257

Vrijdag, 20 April 2012

Last day together with Marcela!  I didn't have class at all (no dutch school + my one class at school was cancelled since the teacher said he wasn't coming this week), so I spent all day sleeping, reading, and finishing up packing.  Marcela got home around 6 (she had a bad day with public transit, as is typical from us).  We got ready, and then went out to eat with Frederik, Denise, the kids and their dates.  Went to an Argentinian bbq place, which was really fun.  Got home around 12 or so, spent some time awake (too full to sleep), and the finally got to bed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 256

Donderdag, 19 April 2012

Whew, long day.  Got to sleep in a bit, but then had to do some packing and studying.  Frederik drove us to Hoogstraten, so we could get to Turnhout around 1130.  Marcela and I then did our speaking exams for the Dutch class, and we both passed!  Onto level 3/10.  Granted, we won't finish before we got, but it'll be cool to (hopefully) get the third diploma.

Then, real school.  Did a period of practicing the acting thing, jazz playing, and theory.  Went home, packed, and practiced sooo many times for my presentation.  When we got to the dinner, we had to try our computers out to see if they worked with the projector (after freaking out about the music, for which we both just made CD's).  Well, mine did, but Marcela's didn't.  And we didn't have a flashdrive, so we had to ask around for one until we found Johann.  Well, Marcela's presentation didn't go over to my computer that smoothly, so we had to recopy the pics onto my computer and then she had to redo most of it :P

Then, people started coming in the main dinner room.  Apertiefs for the night were brandy slush (not as good as at home, but I did thoroughly enjoy them), and a Brasilian drink I can't spell.  Had a Brasilian appetizer, then steak, filled baked potatoes and corn on the cob (my suggestion) for the main meal, and a Brasilian dessert.  Before the dessert, Marcela and I had to give our presentations.  That almost went terribly wrong, since they wanted to keep my computer running the whole night so Marcela's presentation would work, but then my computer decided it was too warm and wouldn't turn back on.  Thankfully, we got it to work again but after my speech Marcela had to redo the pics on her presentation again.  :P

But it went well!  I think I spoke too fast (Marcela did waaaay too much), but when I started to talk about rodeo everyone enjoyed it.  They also didn't believe how cold it gets in CR and Karlstad, which I thought was funny.  But yeah, everything went well, and Emi (the head of the dutch part of rotary) gave Marcela and I extra pins, which was great.  :)  My third family came, along with Patrick and Truut, so that was cool.  And Santi and Marc were there!  It was fun.  Oh, and all the guys had cowboy hats, while all the women had a little sash in the colors of the Brasilian flag.

Afterwards, had a drink with the Rotary people, and then went home.  Whooo~

Here are some of my favorite pics from the night - I gave Santi my camera, so he got me a bunch of pics.

Marcela's outfit for her presentation

Talking with Patrick and Truut

We're sexy and we know it


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 255

Woensdag, 18 April 2012

Real school, had the acting class, library, English and Science.  Went with Santi and Bella to Santi's new house in Turnhout.  It was fun to see Marc again :)  Got the bus home, napped, and started packing.  I can't believe that I leave for my final family on Friday already!  It's unreal to think about.  Practiced my rotary presentation too.  NOT EXCITED.

Had dinner with everyone, and we realized it was our last dinner at home together.  Pretty sad to think about.  Went upstairs, packed more, and then went to bed.  Soooo not ready for the presentation yet...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 254

Dinsdag, 17 April 2012

Dutch written exam.  :(  Didn't really study on the bus ride considering I wanted to read my book instead, so I did a bit in the lobby before the lesson.  Finished, and then Marcela, Santi and I went to get some fries and such to celebrate (and because we all forgot lunches...).  School, had two periods of the acting class, a period in the library, and then the acting class again.

Went to Patrick and Truut's after school, ate, and then read since no one else was home.  Fanfare rehearsal, same as usual.  Rang the bell and gave out cookies, so I think people were pretty happy with that.  :P

Day 253

Maandag, 16 April 2012

Back to school.  :(

Dutch class was just a review, since our exam for the class is this week.  Did that, and then went to school, which was just free periods.  Registered for Fall Semester at AR, but of course I couldn't register for my math class, so I had to email a bunch of people.  Hopefully they respond soon :/  Did some other studying stuff.

Home, talked with Frederik and Denise.  They both had to leave that night, so Marcela and I were alone.  Had pizza, and made my cookies for the fanfare.  I had to replace a few ingredients and do some imprecise measuring, so they didn't turn out as well as last time.  Ah well.  Then, slept.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 252

Zondag, 15 April 2012

Woke up, we all got packed, and then we got a taxi to the airport.  Mom and dad checked in, got the bags checked, and then I stood in line with them until they had to do border control.  Said goodbye, which was hard, but whatever, we'll be seeing each other again in less than 4 months, so once I couldn't see them anymore I was back to normal.  Got the train and bus, and then made it home early afternoon.  Denise, Frederik and Marcela were all gone, and I was suuuper tired (my bed broke before I went to sleep, so I was terrified it would collapse all night), so I napped.  Played some video games, napped more, and woke up to Marcela in my room.

Turns out she won't switch families until I do, so we're together another week longer.  :)  We all caught up the on last few weeks, and Denise and Frederik got me a birthday gift :)  Had a late late dinner (I woke up from my nap around 9), and now it's time for bed.  School tomorrow :/  Slaapwel!

Oh, and this is just for people that may not be my facebook friends (since I have no idea who reads this, but I see there are pageviews every day so I assume some people do), but if you know of any good place to buy/rent textbooks PLEASE let me know.  I know about Chegg, but I don't know if they ship to Belgium, and the rental fee is about the same as what I've found for some secondhand books.  Thanks!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 251

Zaterdag, 14 April 2012

Got up early, went to the underground, and somehow managed to get to the coach station even though two lines on the underground (ie: the ones we were going to use) were closed.  Our bus driver on the way back was the same as on the way to London, so it was pretty fun.  He's a nice guy.  Frederik picked us up in Antwerp, and then drove us to Brussels, along with all of the luggage my parents left at their house.

Read some, ate some terrible, terrible Chinese food.  Like, it was really bad, and it was really expensive.  Bummer.  But now, time to sleep.  Last night with my parents around until August :/

Day 250

Vrijdag, 13 April 2012

It's my birthday!  And day 250!  And Friday the 13th!  WHOO!

Got up, had a good breakfast, and then we went to the British Museum for a few hours!  WHOO!!  It's such an amazing place - I barely scratched the surface in two different rooms, and there are sooooo many rooms.  Got free guided tours that were around 40 minutes long in both the Japan and China exhibits, so that was fun.  We went out, got some food, and then walked around the Piccadilly Circus/Trafalgar Square area.  Then it was like 4ish, people were getting tired and it was getting really crowded, so all of us (sans Collin) went back to the hotel.

Had some drinks with dad in the lobby - mixed Mountain Dew with some things, so that was fun.  :P  Back upstairs, talked with some friends online and played video games on Collin's computer, hung out with him when he came back, got some food for breakfast, and had my "birthday meal": Mountain Dew, doritos, and canned pineapple.  (Backstory - my 13th birthday we were in San Francisco, and that's what I had for my birthday dinner in the hotel.  Now, 6 years later, I replicated it).  I guess that means when I turn 25 I need to be traveling somewhere and do this again.  :P

Anyway, the internet is about to shut off, and I should get to sleep considering it's going to be a terribly long day tomorrow, so slaapwel!  En terug naar BelgiĆ« morgen :) Ik heb het gemist~

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 249

Donderdag, 12 April 2012

Whooa, long day.  We all got up, finished planning out the day, and left.  Went to Big Ben first, saw the river, and then went to see the changing of the guards.  Man, that was hilarious.  The first was really no big deal, so we cut away quick to beat the crowd back to a food cart I wanted to go to.  And then the Irish guard came.  Oh goodness.  First off, they had a full band (yes, french horns instead of mellows for marching, I thought it was hilarious), but they also had lyres for the music.  Seriously?  I figured that they could at least memorize it - it was one song, and not a terribly difficult one at that.  AND this one guard guy was in the wrong row, looked around, and then like power marched to a new row.  Man, I wish I had it on video, it was SO obvious he was wrong

Then, we went around in Westminster Abbey.  It was so pretty, and so awesome.  Got to see Isaac Newton, Darwin, and Shakespeare's memorials/resting places, along with a bunch of other really famous people.  Saw Parliament (the outside), and then walked around until we found a little hole in the wall Chinese place.  Dad went back to the hotel, so mom, Collin and I went to Temple Church, which was really the only thing I wanted to see.  We didn't get to go inside (I wanted to see the tomb of William Marshal, but oh well), but it was super pretty outside - really fantastic place, very great feel to it.

We then got half price tickets to the Queen musical "We Will Rock You", and then decided to go back to the hotel to get ready for that.  Napped a bit, and then left.  Goodness, it was a great musical.  It was so cheesy, but it was fantastic.  I can't believe how they put it all together.  And two members of Queen were in the pit and helped write the show, which made it even more amazing.

Anyway, afterwards, went back to the hotel, skyped with my bestie Beede, and then went to sleep.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 248

Woensdag, 11 April 2012

Collin's alarm didn't go off, so he was a bit late waking up to get mom and dad at the hostel.  When he left, I basically had an hour to mess around, go online, eat, and pack up all my stuff, which was nice.  He came back, we had another hour before we had to go to the bus station.  Ate again, listened to music and such.

Went to the bus, managed to get all 4 of us to London with no problems, except me being dumb and feeling sick on the bus.  Had to take two different subways or whatever to get to our hotel after getting to Heathrow, which took about an hour.

Dropped our stuff off, I had some tea, and then we went out to eat.  It was getting late by then, so we all convened in the room Collin and I are sharing to talk plans for the next two days.  Looks like T-Bell is out since the bus schedule doesn't work.  :( SO UPSET.  Played some video games both on Collin's lappy and the DS (I'm borrowing his till August since mine stopped working), watched some more comedy things, and now I'm just take a second to write this before bed.  Slaapwel!

Day 247

Dinsdag, 10 April 2012

Got up fairly early, so Collin and I walked to Krispy Kreme since I haven't had it in ages.  Stopped back at his dorm, and then walked up the hill to the hostel where mom and dad were staying.  Got them, and then we all walked up to the uni, got to see the school a bit.  It was pretty small, but really nice.  Gave a good chance to talk about my college plans with mom and dad.

Walked back down the hill, messed around in town.  Saw some nice things, ate, went to the Roman Baths which is kinda the whole reason for the town, walked up to a really nice sightseeing spot, walked back down, got a bus back to the hostel.  Collin and I took a shower there since the hot water doesn't work at his dorm, and then we walked back down to the city.  Messed around some more, went to a pub to kill time before a comedy walk we were going on.  And goodness, the beer was bad.  I hadn't realized how spoiled I was by living in Belgium.

So, we left that pub, went to another one - way better.  Better service, better everything.  The bartender was really funny, so it was easy to spend time there.  Then, at 8, we went on the "Bizarre Bath Comedy Walk".  It was actually really, really funny.  I got called on to do some audience participation once, it was great.  The speaker guy didn't understand "don'tcha know", so that was a bit of a bummer.

Dropped mom and dad off at the bus stop, where we met some more Americans (we met a lady during the comedy walk too), so that was fun.  Collin and I went to Miccy D's, got a bit of food, and then walked back to his dorm.  Tried to watch some comedy, but both of us were too tired, so we just went to sleep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 246

Maandag, 9 April 2012

Got to sleep in a bit, which was nice.  We all got ready, ended up waiting on Collin's friends in the lobby of the hotel.  Got a bus to the station (it was raining, of course), and got our bus tickets for the week, which for some reason took FOREVER.  Said goodbye to Collin's friends, and then got our bus to Bath, which thankfully was delayed long enough for us to catch it.

Ride was kinda long, especially since we hadn't eaten and the bus driver wasn't too concerned about smooth driving.  In Bath, dropped our stuff at Collin's dorm, and then had a great meal at KFC.  Went back to his place and he took my parents (with their luggage) to a hostel where they would be staying.  I stayed at the dorm, called my community college (there was a block that wouldn't let me register for summer classes, got it all figured out), talked with my other brother that's still in the states, just chilled out.

Collin came back, we watched the first episode of the second season of "Game of Thrones", played some video games, ate, watched some comedians.  Fun stuff.  Now, it's time for bed!  Slaapwel!

Oh, and Collin gave me my birthday gift - a sweet shirt and a hat and chocolate.  Yeeeaaaa mufffiiiiinnnnss

Day 245

Zondag, 8 April 2012

Got up fairly early, finished packing, ate steak fajitas for breakfast, and then Frederik drove my parents and I to Antwerp around 1130, after giving me a 6 pack of Duvel for the trip :P.  We had some time to kill before our bus, so we went and grabbed a bite to eat.  Went back to where the bus was supposed to be, still nothing there.  Finally another guy showed up, and he was actually from North Carolina!  Talked with him till the bus came, and then by 2pm we were on the road.

Stopped a few times, went through like 2 passport and luggage checks, and then our bus was put IN a shipping container and then loaded on the train to go to the UK.  That was pretty cool - it felt like a really unstable train ride.  Got the the UK, and it was raining, of course.  We finally ended up at the Victoria Station around 8 or so.  I had some directions from my brother Collin on how to get to the hotel he was at (where we were staying as well), but my parents thought to try the metro.  So we got in line forever, got a guy to tell us which line to take and what stops.

Did that, ended up somewhere like 930 or so at night.  I asked the guy working there how to get to the hotel, he gave me a few bus numbers.  We went to the stop, figured out what times the buses were (soooo much easier to do in English), but then since we were on a road with the same name as where we were staying it got decided we should walk to the hotel.

We were only like 100 house number away, so whatever.  Nope.  Wasn't there.  Walked further, asked people, no dice.  Found a hotel to ask there, couldn't get in.  There was a pub across the street with some people out smoking, so I went to ask them the best way.  We talked for a bit, and then realized it would be best to just get a taxi since it was pretty late at night.  They directed me to a taxi place, and then we just went that route.

Ended up at the hotel, ate, met Collin and his friends that were still there.  After mom and dad went to sleep, I hung out with them - went out to Miccy D's, talked, messed around.  I went to bed around 230 since I was exhausted, and they were still going strong.

Day 244

Zaterdag, 7 April 2012

We got up and went basically straight away to the Netherlands!  Drove around 2 hours to get to Keukenhof, where there is a HUGE tulip/flower garden.  A lot was in bloom so it was pretty fun to walk around, albeit a little cold.  Mom and I wore our Twins stuff and got a "Circle us Bert!" picture, so that was really fun (I'd put up the pic, but I'm writing this a few days late on someone else's computer).

After that, had some lunch and then took a more scenic drive home.  Went to some huuuge bridges that can also be dams - I'm bad at explaining, but it was really cool.  We got into a park about it to watch a movie, read some stuff, and even walk around inside of it, which was really cool.  Finished driving back home, packed for the UK half of the trip (!!!), ate, and then went to bed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 243

Vrijdag, 6 April 2012

Got up, ate, and we left the hotel by 9. They let us keep our bags in a locked room in the lobby for free, so that was pretty sweet. Walked around, did the usual touristy stuff. I climbed to the top of the belfrey, so that was pretty fun. 366 steps is a lot more than you think when you're going around in a steep spiral and have to keep stepping out of the way for people going down.

Then, in the market, I convinced my parents to let us do a horse carriage ride around Bruge! It was a lot of fun, and since it was the closest I've been to riding a horse since I left I was pretty pumped. Shopped for some lace (and actually got to see someone making lace, which was pretty cool), and then ate. Walked around the old city and a bunch of other nice places before heading back to the hotel to get our bags. Got a combination of trains, buses, and car rides to get back to Meerle.

We talked a bit, and then had a great dinner (steak!) with Frederik and Denise.  I packed up some stuff my parents are taking home for me, and then went down to talk and try a few drinks.  Told jokes and such, and then it was time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Day 242

Donderdag, 5 April 2012

Dad and I woke up at 8, had breakfast, and went back to the room at 9 to find mom still sleeping. Woke her up, and then the two of us went for a walk when she was getting ready. Around 1030 or so we got a train to Ieper. We met a couple from London right as we got off, and so we walked with them when they were trying to find their hotel. Brought them most of the way there, and then went to a frituur.

And, right as soon as we were done eating, they came in! So, we talked more, and the wife gave us a great walking circut to do in Londonn – they've brought a lot of people on it, and they said it's a good way to see the main sights in an easy loop. They gave us their phone number as well, just in case we needed some help or if we wanted to meet up.

Then, the 5 of us set out to go to the Flander's Field museum. I was pretty sure I knew where it was still (and we ate at the frituur I ate at last time I was in Ieper), but lo and behold it was closed. So, that was a huge bummer, considering we were planning on spending at least a few hours in there since it was such an in depth museum. Then we split up the them, and my parents and I walked to the Menin Gate, and then to the little graveyard back there.

As it was cold, we looked around the city only for a bit more before going to a pub. We realized it was still like 5 hours before the Last Post, so we opted out of seeing it and went back to Bruge (if the museum would have been open, the timing would have been perfect). Walked around Bruge a bit, ate at a really nice Chinese restaurant. Then, back to the hotel, slept.

Day 241

Woensdag, 4 April 2012

Woke up at 9 (even though we said we'd come down for breakfast at 8...) after me sleeping through two alarms and a text. Ate, checked out, and got a bus to Herentals, and then trains from there to Bruge. Checked into our hotel and then... slept. Yep, my parents first time in Bruge and they got there and slept. Granted, it was a long night last night, but... yeah.

Since they were napping, I napped too, so I guess I can't give them too much crap. Got up around 7 or so, went for some pasta at a nearby place. The hotel was right on the train station so we looked around there a bit. And then, of course, went back to the hotel and slept again.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 240

Dinsdag, 3 April 2012

Got up and had an amazing breakfast at the hotel.  Then, took the bus to Antwerp!  Showed mom and dad central station, and then went down the "white street", shopped a bit.  Looked around the cathedral and the water, had icecream, walked around some more and shopped at some touristy shops.  Back towards the station, had a late lunch at an Irish pub, looked at the diamond area (well, mom did), and then bused back to Lille.

Mom napped a bit so we all stayed in, and then fanfare rehearsal.  There was a different director (the usual guy was gone), so it was a bit different but still a lot of fun.  My dad rang the bell twice (meaning, he bought two rounds of drinks for everyone), and someone else rang it once, so it was a good night.  :P  I walked my mom back to the hotel around 230am, and then my dad and I stayed until 4 or so.  Then back to the hotel and straight to bed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 239

Maandag, 2 April 2012

Got up, had a nice breakfast, and then I went and figured out all the train/bus info in case there wasn't any internet at the hotels.  Talked with Frederik and Denise a bit, and then Denise drove us to Hoogstraten.  Got a bus there - first time my parents used public transit here, and the first time I'd have to use one of those little cards to pay (since I have a Buzzy Pass).  Pretty fun.

Got to Turnhout, and I showed them all three schools (Dutch, normal, and where I used to go for Latin).  Made them try a Bicky Burger (I don't think mama liked it that much, but she tried), fries, chocolate, and a waffle.  Walked around and talked, went to a pub, and I think dad found a new type of whiskey he likes (seeing as there's no Lord Calvert here).  Then, we actually went to a movie.  Yes, I know.  But hey, I thought it'd be cool to show them how there are the subtitles, and they wanted to sit down, so it was perfect.  Saw "This Means War", which was actually a pretty good movie.  Predictable, but fun.

After that, bused back to Meerle, picked up our bags, and then Denise drove us to Lille.  Checked into our hotel, which is absolutely amazing.  It's such an amazing room.  Then, as we had nothing to do for dinner, we thought we'd go say hi to Truut and Patrick and ask where would be a good place to go for dinner.  Truut just invited us to stay and she ordered Chinese food, and we all sat around talking waiting for Patrick to get home so we could eat.

Had dinner, which was fun, and then starting drinking more (after just a bit during and before dinner).  Patrick had my parents try Duvel and two different types of Jenever, and Truut had my mom try some of her homemade porto.  Great night, lots of laughing, and we found a type of Jenever my dad really likes.  Then back to the hotel, slept.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 238

Zondag, 1 April 2012

Happy April Fool's Day!

Got up, ate, and then we (my parents, Marcela, Frederik, Denise, Charlotte, Johan and I) were off to Brussels!  We had to drop Marcela off at the central station since she was going to Italy with Rotary.  But, as she comes back when I'm in London and then switches families, it was our last day as live-in sisters.  :(

Basically just walked around the markets in Brussels, saw the typical touristy things, had some nice food, went to a pub and tried a bunch of things (everyone ordered something different).  Just had fun hanging out and talking.  Back home, talked about the plan for the rest of the week, had spaghetti, talked a bunch, watched some TV. Now, time to sleep.  Turnhout/Lille tomorrow :P