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Chasing The American Dream

June 23, 2006

BON VOYAGE



For the first time in my life, I'm going overseas. Except for Jamaica and Canada, I've never been outside the U.S. I'm going to Belgium for two weeks and on my way home, I'm stopping in Paris for a day. It's a work trip but nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the change, the adventure, and the experience. See ya on the other side of the pond.

13 Comments:

  • Wow! Your first flight across an ocean! I'm so excited for you!!

    It's really different crossing the ocean, compared to going to a place in the Americas - for some reason. Maybe it's because you feel untethered by proximity to the US?

    Crossing the ocean changed me. Can't wait to hear about how it changes you!

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 2:31 AM, June 24, 2006  

  • What?!! I didn't know this trip was in the works!

    Very, very excited for you. I hope that the experience is awesome. Safe travels! XO!

    By Blogger A, at 11:02 AM, June 24, 2006  

  • Welcome to Brussels! I hope you enjoy your stay and that you get to see some of the city and countryside while you're here. A day trip to Brugge is more than worth it, and the Château de la Hulpe, just outside of Brussels, is absolutely beautiful. If you like beer, there are few places with a better - or wider - selection of really good ones. Since you'll probably be at Manneken Pis at some point, the Poechenellekelder is a good bar with a terrace right across the street and a good place to sample a trappist or two. Bon voyage et bienvenue!

    By Anonymous EAO, at 6:16 AM, June 25, 2006  

  • And you didnt invite me to go too? Lucky bum lol <3

    By Anonymous Christa, at 12:55 PM, June 25, 2006  

  • Thanks all. I hope I get to enjoy it and don't have to spend long days working. EAO, thanks for the tips. I've heard good things bout Brugge and hope to visit. I"m staying in Gent. Any suggestions?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 5:31 PM, June 25, 2006  

  • Have a safe trip.

    Have fun as well...

    Fredo.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:31 PM, June 25, 2006  

  • I loved Belgium when I was there and while it's nearly impossible to "do" Paris in a day you'll at least get a feel and will know what you want to go back for! Have a wonderful time!

    By Blogger Amy, at 9:01 AM, June 26, 2006  

  • Gent is a wonderful city, especially at night when the square is lit. Following the streets along the canal will usually turn up something interesting. But I'm more familar with Brussels and Paris than Gent.

    (And I agree with Amy - it *is* impossible to do Paris in a day! Over the last two years, I've probably spent a month or more there, and I still feel as if I've barely scratched the surface. The three first-time must-sees in my opinion: 1) The Eiffel Tower at night from the Trocadero [at the top of every hour (until midnight, I think), the tower's lights sparkle, flash, and seem to chase each other], 2) Notre Dame at night from the left bank, and 3) the third floor of the Musée d'Orsay. Also, I prefer the view of the Paris skyline from the top of the Arc de Triomphe over the view from the Eiffel Tower, if only because from the Arc the view includes the Eiffel Tower and the lines are *much* shorter. )

    The two places that come to mind for Gent are the Pakhuis (Schuurkenstratt 4, +32 (0) 9 223 55 55) and Chez Leontine (Groentenmarkt # 10-11, +32 (0) 9 225 92 56). I've heard good things about the Pakhuis and had a good, Flemish dinner at Chez Leontine, but locals will probably have much better - and more dependable - suggestions.

    You probably can't go too far wrong, though, heading for the square, grabbing a table outside a bistro or cafe, ordering a beer or two and watching the world go by. If they serve frites, so much the better. (Don't be surprised if the frites come with mayonnaise - it's the Belgian way and an acquired taste. I like mine with sauce samourai, a spicy mayonnaise.)

    If the weather warms up a bit and stays dry (both big ifs, by the way) a white beer, Hoegaarden, for example, with a lemon slice, is a good choice - wonderfully crisp and refreshing. Popular Pils include Maes, Jupiler, and Stella Artois. They all seem blandly the same to me, but then I prefer darker beers. If you do like golden beers, I'd suggest a Leffe Blonde, even though I prefer Leffe Brune. You may also want to try a real trappist, like Chimay or Westmalle. I like the tripels (triple fermented), but they come in several styles, including blonde and brune. Oh, and you can't come to Belgium and not have a lambic or a lambic fruit beer, like Kreik.

    Whatever you do, enjoy your stay!

    By Anonymous EAO, at 10:32 AM, June 26, 2006  

  • And way off the subject - I just read all of the People's Choice and noticed the reference to Adelphia. Know a guy named Lemoyne, by chance?

    By Anonymous EAO, at 10:53 AM, June 26, 2006  

  • *sigh*
    I would love to take any trip across the big pond, right now.

    Avoir un temps merveilleux ! Vous tomberez dans l'amour avec Paris.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 4:27 PM, June 26, 2006  

  • any chance you can swing over to England for a cuppa? :)

    ahh..maybe next time!

    Enjoy your trip!!

    By Blogger Amanda, at 4:41 PM, June 26, 2006  

  • EAO, thanks for all the suggestions. I look forward to getting out and exploring. And I've not heard of Lemoyne from Adelphia. Amy, I'll do my best. Cat, I probably will. Amanda, oh how I wish I could visit.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:01 PM, June 26, 2006  

  • Hey hon - enjoy your trip and fyi i like diamonds - kidding. Can't wait to see the photos

    By Blogger Sass, at 4:19 PM, June 27, 2006  

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