Thursday, July 27, 2006

Catching up...

Sorry for the delay. I have either been running around like crazy or exhausted, no in between, LOL. Well, I'm here in Atlanta but before I can tell you about that (which will have to wait until next week, I'm pooped) I want to tell you about the rest of my trip in Holland.

Bookie, Nes and I were thinking about doing one of those pictures where you dress up in costume and take a picture but we were debating. JK said we should just go for it. Thank goodness for JK! We had an absolute blast. They let us take pics during the whole process which a lot of times they don't so that was even better. We were wearing old style traditional dutch outfits which means we were dressed in wool skirts! They were the frumpiest things I have ever seen. I tried to lower it to my waist to try and give me a figure that wasn't round shaped but then it was too long and wouldn't show off my shoes so I had to wear them above the belly. Then it was time to put the shirt on, the bib, a necklace and of course, the lace hat! We were tradional dutch women, we would give humpty dumpty a run for his money! They asked us what background we wanted, the fireplace of the docks. Want to guess which one we picked? We decided that we were dockside whores, LOL. The ladies who worked there were unflappable. Next thing you know they're posing us, handing Bookie a paddle to spank me with, I'm bent over and Nes is sitting there with a basket of flowers, although it was pointed out to me she wasn't so sweet with her legs spread, LOL. It is the most hilarious thing ever because we also had facial expressions to match. JK documented the whole thing but the best pic by far was the one we posed for. Here is the infamous picture. I love it so much!
The funny thing is the outfit is so heavy and hot that when we took it off, I felt nekkid in my jean skirt and blouse, LOL. After our exhausting photo session we went to a local bar to have a final drink before Bookie had to catch her train and who should appear but Jack Sparrow? I swear, you never know who you're going to run into in the Netherlands!Soon I will work on my Ode to the Netherlands but I had a most fantastic summer there. When I'm slaving away at Burger King working on paying off this trip I will think it was worth it. I hope that you have enjoyed my travels with me and I will come back prolly on Mon to share my Atlanta adventures with you. Sorry to make you wait so long but I really want to go to sleep and I won't be on a puter til Mon.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cramming it all in....

Nothing like waiting until the last couple of days to get everything in, I guess a month wasn't enough to go where I haven't been, eat, what I haven't eaten and visit who I haven't visited with. I do believe I have mentioned in the past my tendency to procrastinate. Why should I be any different now that I am in Holland?

This weekend was action packed, hence the delay in blogging, I'm sure you will understand. Friday night we went to a barbecue, that would be Rob and Pam of the infamous peanut sauce. Let me just say, they know how to host a spread! Not only did they have satay and peanut sauce, there was spare ribs (by the time those came out I had already gorged, shoot!), shrimp skewers wrapped in bacon and grilled fish! I was so full, LOL. I told Rob that people are clammering for his recipe and he's promised to provide it, but he has to translate some of the ingredients because they are indonesian. As soon as I have it, I will share.

Saturday was family reunion day. Nes' dad and her aunt get their families together once a year. They're called the Swedes cause they're half swedish, I wonder if they call Nes' family the Flips, LOL. Anyways, bowling was the game of the day. My family also enjoys to bowl together, some of us are good, some of us are not? I fall into the not category but somehow that doesn't keep me from talking a lot of crap! I know, big surprise! I had warned Nes ahead of time because her family is as competitive as mine and they're serious bowlers. Nes and JK actually met at a bowling alley! Shades of Grease 2? Anyways, the goal was to win, us against them but first off, everyone needed a bowling name. Apparently they don't do that in Holland but they got into the spirit of it. My name, the Queen, of course. But some other fun names were The Dude, Nes' brother Chris and The Stryker, her dad, LOL. I think they had fun with their names. Too bad we didn't have matching shirts, that would have been even better!

So, you know how I warned them ahead of time that I can't play? First frame, I bowl a strike! Trust me, I was as shocked as you are! Don't worry, I made up for it with 2 gutter balls the next frame, LOL. I know, I crumbled! Other then the double gutter balls I have to say, I played not too bad. I wasn't last either game. I actually had 3 strikes in 1 and a half games! I couldn't pick up a spare for the life of me. I finally got a spare the last time I bowled, but I was bowling for Nes, arggghhh! Oh well, I'd rather have a strike anyway. We won and the bowling turned out to be a lot of fun. I won't mention the fact that Nes wasn't as impressive as I expected her to be. Oh wait, did I say that?

Afterwards, it was time for dinner. We were using hot stones to grill on. Of course, I am a pro at cooking at the table since I love Korean food. They didn't have chopsticks which would have made it easier. Then the kids decided to head out for a drink (or two) since we were already in Amsterdam. We went into the Square and sat outside, enjoyed the weather, people watched, chatted and drank, it was a lot of fun. There were street performers (not that I saw around the people around them) and there were bachelor and bachelorette parties (what better place to hold one?). In fact, there was this bachelor party from England and the groom to be came out in this leather get up that only covered his chest, barely covered his crotch and was butt floss as well as a leather face mask, leather collar, red satin gloves and red clogs! What a riot! It's a great place to people watch.

Afterwards we went to the Bourbon St bar to listen to some live music. I was more interested in going to a bar where I could sit down which is why we didn't stay at the first bar they picked, I have my priorities, LOL. After a few more drinks, it was time to call it a night.

Which was a good thing because first thing this morning Nes and I had to get up to go back into Amsterdam. Why? Because we were meeting Kelly from Belgium, otherwise known as BookieMonster, an online friend from RBL. How exciting it is to meet another RBL (Nes is also one). I've always instantly clicked whenever I've met one of my RBL sisters and this time was no exception. Of course, Nes and I almost missed our train to meet her, we cut it a little close. It was pulling up as we got there, I even ran a few steps, I think I'm just now recovering. The info lady told us the wrong platform for where Kelly was coming in, thank goodness for cell phones!After a few hugs and squeals we headed out of the station to go to the American Book Center. Obviousley, there are not a lot of stores with American books in Europe so Kelly wanted to go there, she brought a collapsable backpack for her purchases, LOL. Of course, we also wanted to do some eating while we were there. Nes loves the fast food but I'm not spending my last full day in Europe eating KFC, BK or Pizza Hut (yes, Nes ate at all of those places today, LOL). So I had a brie sandwhich from a bakery (it was only ok) and pancakes which is a big dutch thing. They eat pancakes for lunch and dinner also, mixed with meats but Kelly and I split one that looked like a giant thicker crepe with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, it was heaven.

It was fun being in the bookstore because you know we spent ages talking books, what do you think of this author? Have you read this? OMG, you havn'e read this?!??! We talked Kelly into buying Whitney, My Love (she had never read it!) and we talked Nes into getting the JR Ward books. She's not a big paranormal fan so it should be interesting to see what she thinks. Then Kelly went over the shelves, again and again, just in case she missed something. Let me tell you, Amercian books are extremely expensive here. The Euro is stronger then the dollar and most paperbacks here go for around 12 euro, gulp! But Kelly needed instant gratification so she bought about 10 books, luckily some of them were on sale!

Nes called JK to come pick us up so that we could go into this little Dutch village near the sea (actually a lake, JK explained) to eat some more food because I have not exprienced some more traditionally dutch food. Who am I to argue? So he came and got us and off we went. This was a totally quaint village (and I can't remember the name). Lots of tourists there but lots of fun.
Our first stop was the herring stand because that is very dutch. It is raw but hey, I love sushi! You hold it up over your mouth, head tilted back, sprinkled with onions and a side of pickles and you eat it down. Nes is not a fan but JK, Kelly and I enjoyed it. Then it was time for the smoked eel! I love the sushi version of eel so I had no doubt I would love the smoked version, and I did! The sushi eel is usualy one or two little pieces, here I was taking apart the eel, it was pretty cool. The eel was about a foot long, you peelback the head then peel off the skin and eat it like corn on the cob. Kelly said she was only going to have a little piece, yeah right! The eel is very fatty so more then one is a bit much but I thoroughly enjoyed my traditional dutch food!

Now it was time for traditional dutch clothes!

Unfortunately, I have a plane to catch so the rest of the day will have to wait. I will try to get back tonight to finish posting about my trip and to include pics. I'm hoping to spend most of my plane ride sleeping. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Alkmaar or bust

Yesterday Nes and I were determined to leave the house. We both keep late hours so by the time we are ready to leave it's pretty late in the day. Originally we were going to go to this little Dutch village that has all things Dutch, wooden shoes, cheese, windmills, etc. It's sort of like one stop shopping but by the time we were ready they were getting ready to close. So then we decided to go into Amsterdam but then Nes said we should go to Alkmaar which has a lot of the things Amsterdam does as well as a similar look but it was closer and smaller. I was down with that. So off we went! We were mobile!

Alkmaar is a totally cute town with lots of little shops. When we got there we saw a sign that said the cheese market was today and I do love me some cheese, but I digress. One of the first things we did, besides take a picture of ourselves was to get some fries. I wasn't really hungry for them but I felt the need to get them for Nancy so she could see a picture of them. I ended up throwing half of mine away, I know, it was a waste but I did enjoy what I did eat. See, I don't always have to stuff my face! Just most times!Alkmaar's main shopping area reminds me of a lot of outdoor malls in the states except for the cobblestone streets, canals and beautiful brick churches, LOL. We also popped into an adult store while we were shopping, the guy who worked there was very helpful and fun.

Since I love cheese we went back this morning to the cheese market which meant getting up at 9am, let me tell you, that was toucg but for cheese I'm willing to do it! It's a pretty cool set up, they talk about the process and have a big display but the problem is, apparently other people wanted to see the show too so I couldn't see squat, some of you may not know this but I am a tad bit vertically challenged. Nes got this great pic of the cheese market, which would be more then I saw standing there, LOL.But it was market day so there were all kinds of vendors all over the place and we were sampling cheeses like fiends. Oh, we tasted some wonderful cheese. One thing the Dutch are known for is their wooden shoes. I am in search of the man who is proportianate to these shoes.As if! I would run screaming, LOL.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

ET phone home

Nes had one picture on her camera from my infamous bike ride the other night. I think my butt has finally recovered (I've been sitting on it enough). It's too dark to see but JK's bag is hanging halfway down my body! It was an awkward ride to say the least but being the tough chick that I am, I persevered, LOL. BTW, I am not THAT short, I'm sitting on a rail over the bike which is why I look so much shorter then JK! Yes, I do have a death grip on JK, LOL.

BTW, I forgot to mention at the BBQ JK's wonderful skills at the grill. I am sorry JK for not mentioning your awesome cooking skills. I'm still waiting to taste your world famous omelette!

It's hot, hot, hot

I know in the states it's hot right now but it's also unusually hot here in Europe and most people don't have A/C! Yesterday the plan was to go into Amsterdam. We were going to run a couple of errands and then head into the city but 5 minutes in Nes' non-air conditioned car and we changed our plans really quickly. We actually looked forward to going to the store because they had A/C, LOL.

So instead of a day in the city we came back home and tried to keep cool. It was so hot that for dinner we had a platter of cold cuts, cheeses and other snackables as well as a fruit salad.

The grand plan today because it was going to be equally as hot was to go to the beach. Guess what it started doing after I woke up? Yup, it was raining! Nes is determined that we leave the house today though so I'll have something to blog about.

Also did a little karaoke last night, big suprise. Ice Ice Baby, not one of my better songs, LOL.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is there anyone else...

as lazy as I? I don't think so, well, not anyone reading this blog that is. I can't help it, if I have nothing to do, I do nothing. Unfortunately, I seem to be contagious. Today I slept for 8 hours for the first time since I got here, you would think I would wake up refrehed, nope, I woke up tired, LOL. Nes and I were planning on going to Amsterdam today. I can say all I accomplished today was a shower and Nes just took hers (see what I mean about being contagious?). People don't bring me up to their level, I bring them down to mine, LOL. I would like to blame it on the heat, it really is hot today, too hot to lay out which is what I did yesterday, but honestly, I was just in super slug mode, I'll fess up.

The highlight of my day yesterday, and this is for Nancy, was Nes bought some Vienetta at the store and it was our dessert! Nancy and I used to love buying Vienetta when we were roommates but I haven't seen it in years and years and when Nes said they had it you know I was all over it! Apparently they have tons of different flavors, Nes bought the caramel biscuit one which was decadently sweet. I need to get to the store and buy the vanilla cause I love the thin layers of chocolate spread throughout. Yes, we ate the rest of it today, it was calling my name!

Monday, July 17, 2006

BBQing in the Netherlands

LOL, I know, instead of a travel blog this is more like a food blog but I'm eating in another country if that counts! Nes decided she wanted to host a BBQ and who am I to say no? You all know there's not much I like more then a good BBQ! Apparently in the Netherlands it's all about meat, wait, isn't that the case in the states too? She actually bought more meat then we cooked but we already had so much that it was unnecessary to bring out the chicken. We had burgers which Nes mixed in a bunch of stuff and it was more like eating mini-meatloaf but better tasting. I also don't know if I mentioned it but the Dutch love their chicken satay (skewered chicken) and most especially their peanut sauce! Nes'friend Rob is famous for his so he brought the peanut sauce. I had met him the night before and he said my life will be changed. I had my life before his sauce and my life after. He had a hot version and a mild, I had to go back and forth cause the hot was hot but not so hot that you couldn't enjoy the taste but it still got to be a bit much and yes, the sauce was delicious. We also had store bought potato salad and my contribution, a cucumber salad which I must say, was the hit of the party. I got requests for the recipe and Rob and his wife are having a BBQ on Friday (what I like to call my going away party, what? It's not about me?) and they requested I bring some. What a compliment! It's a simple recipe, duh, I made it. I actually got the recipe from Nancy's dad and here it is:

Rinse, Peel if necessary, and thinly slice 1 English cucumber.

In a bowl mix a cucumber with 1 teaspoon of salt, let stand for 45 minutes. Rinse and drain; squeeze excess liquid from the cucumber and returned to the rinsed bowl

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoons of sugar

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seed for garnish

I like to toss in red onion and sometimes I'll add some cilantro. A great summer salad perfect forBBQs. Actually I made it for Thanksgiving too because it is light enough to balance the heaviness of everything else.

OK, back to the BBQ. Rob is also a fan of karaoke and really what is a party at Nes' house without karaoke? Did I mention we also went a little crazy with the drinks? We made sangria de cava and margaritas. We forgot to pull out the jello shots we had made, LOL. We ended the evening watching LOTR: the extended edition. I didn't last long, it had been a long day of eating. I may have to buy another seat for the flight home, LOL.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My butt hurts....

Get your minds out of the gutter you dirty birds! So I mentioned how difficult riding a bike was for me, it was a cake walk in comparison to riding on the back of a bike! While riding around with Nes I noticed people sitting side saddle on the back of their friends bikes and I was like, when hell freezes over will my butt be sitting on the back end of a bike. Guess what froze over yesterday? We had a tennis tourney yesterday and one of the biggest things about the tourney is drinking. Since JK and Nes both wanted to drink that meant we were biking it. The only problem was there are 2 bikes and 3 of us! Guess where my butt was going? Dang, I wish I knew how to drive a stick, although driving here would have terrified me(the roads are narrow and bikers are everywhere) I would have given it a shot, LOL. Actually, I think it would have been ok if it wasn't for the fact that I had to hold JK's tennis bag. It was literally as big as I was and it was sitting so weird, it was slung on my left side so I had to lean waaaaaaay over to my right to balance it out, while holding onto JK for dear life and holding my feet up. Good thing I'm short but there's nowhere to put my feet, I had to sort of just hold them up. I dropped my foot once, oops, LOL. I had to have JK stop on the way there and the way back cause I totally had to adjust, it was so awkward! I was dying! So on the way back after we stopped I was going to sit on the other side and lean the other ay but he suggested straddling so I was riding with this metal rail between my cheeks and my legs splayed out in the air (hence, the sore ass). I felt like I could be on ET since I also had a hoodie on, LOL. Let me also say after 6 hours of tennis and drinking, JK, not so spring fresh, LOL. If I wasn't terrified of falling I would have pulled out the deodorant in his bag and given him a quick spray but I was too busy clutching JK's shirt, LOL. Nes tried to get a pic of me on the bike, she was yelling at me to turn around and I was like, I can't! My body is facing forward and my head can't go that far around. So no pic and I'm sorry, I'm not reenacting that, LOL.

So the big tennis tourney was yesterday. Luckily, I didn't really have to play. Nes and JK were filling in spots that needed to be filled. Of course they did not let me off the hook that easy. We played a set, JK and I against Nes and her friend. I have to say, I represented myself pretty dang well. I tried to stay out of the way and let JK hit the ball and it worked for us. We won 3 games to their 4. Just when I hit my stride Nes and JK got called into kitchen duty, lucky for Nes, LOL. We were coming back dang it! Apparently hitting the tennis ball like a baseball is not a good thing. The hardest thing for me (other then actually making contact with the ball) was keeping the ball in bounds, LOL. JK was a wonderfully supportive partner, he knew his role, which was to run for everything. He would have been a perfect partner if it wasn't for the 2nd ball of the game he hit the ball full force, into my arm! I told him if there was a bruise it was going into my blog. Lucky for him there was no bruise but dang, my arm hurts, LOL.

I have to say my favorite part of the tournament was they kept feeding us! There was apple pie (with extra whip cream for me), bread with different spreads, croquettes (they love them here, deep fried stuff), fruit skewers and even munchies for the table. You know I was in heaven. They brought so much food around I had to start turning them down, which you know is unusual for me, LOL. So other then the tennis part of it, I like hanging around the tennis club, LOL.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Red Light District

Alright, we made our way to the infamous red light district of Amsterdam. I love the way Amsterdam looks, mainly cause when you're there, there's no doubt that you're not in the states. The buildings are all brick, the alleys and streets very narrow and the roads are cobblestone. I'm going to have to get some pics the next time I head that way so you can see.

First off we went to dinner. We walked forever, or so it seemed like it to me. I should mention, cobblestone and skinny heels, do not go hand in hand, I spent a lot of time walking on my toes, LOL. But you know I would have complained about the walk anyways:) BTW, I swear, JK and Nes walk like they're in a foot race, very different from my meandering, LOL. But I kept up (barely). We ate a Chinese restaurant, apparently the red light district (RLD) has great asian restaurants and they were packed. The restaurant they wanted had a wait so we went to the restaurant next door. To me, a good chinese restaurant had duck and pork hanging from their window, LOL. We all ordered an oyster in black bean sauce to start. Nes and JK had never had oysters before. These were yummie but they were cooked, I look forward to them trying them raw sometime. I love raw oysters. Dinner was yummie, I ordered a mixed grill which was roasted pork, bbq pork and roasted duck, yum!

After dinner it was time to walk the RLD! In my head was picturing windows, yes, but I was picturing big windows over big room where several girls hang out. In reality you can walk down narrow alleys (so narrow people can't pass you) and on both sides there will be girls in individual closet sized windows with yes, red lights over them. Some girls have bigger windows then others but really, most are just standing or sitting in a closet with a window. The bigger rooms have beds in them the smaller ones have a door with the bed behind there. There are girls to suit all tastes and I mean all tastes, shapes and sizes, LOL. Besides having alleyways full of girls the main walkways also have them, upstairs and down. Apparently the better girls rate an upstairs window. Since I'm a newbie I only got a downstairs one. But give me time!

We stopped and had a few drinks because really, the RLD is tough to take when you're sober. I am all for the girls doing what they need to make a living but there is so much of it, it's a bit much. And walking down the street you have men offering to sell you coke or ecstasy and of course, there are "coffeehouses" everywhere so you smell weed while you're walking. I wonder if I got a contact high?

After we fortified ourselves with a few drinks we went to Cassa Russo which is a famous live sex show place. The RLD is known for sex, I had to see something. I have to say, I wish I would have saved my money, LOL. There is sex there but it's so not hot. They have this one act where guys eat from a banana that this chick holds between her VaJayJay but she's clothed during it and there is a man dressed in a monkey suit with a dildo that squirts out into the audience (we sat in the back and had drinks). Then there are acts with couples. I have to say, for the most part it wasn't so hot and the men were ugly! Why is it only ugly men who are in the business? Unless it's gay porn that is, LOL. Well, I can say I saw it and that's pretty much it, LOL. It was live and it was sex. Next time I'll save my money for a good meal or a stripper, LOL.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens....

OK, I really don't care about whiskers on kittens but I do loves me some roses and I love them even more when they're given to me, whether it's a single rose from the guy at the internet cafe (I guess I should have asked him his name) or even better from the 3 bunches of flowers that Jan Kees brought home for me yesterday! That's right, I am in flower heaven right now. Not only did he bring home 2 dozen long stemmed red roses, he brought home two other flowers too, too bad I don't know what they are.One is white and lily like but Nes says they aren't lilies and the others look like purple roses but I don't think they're roses. Did I mention JK works at the flower auction? I wonder if he noticed my subtle hints about wanting some flowers? What do you think? Honestly, I don't know why people say I'm not subtle, LOL.I was going to put all of the flowers in my room since that is where I spend all of my time when I'm not karaoking, you know, blogging and napping but for some reason Nes didn't like that plan so I have a bouquet upstairs and one downstairs. I do love waking up to see my flowers greeting me, before I roll back over and go back to sleep!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sorry for the delay...

I was in super lazy mode instead of off doing something illicit, like Nancy was hoping, LOL. Since Nes has been working I have been in slacker mode, shocking, I know! Besides praciticing my karaoke (Nes makes me close all of the doors before I am allowed to sing) I have been reading and watching some tv. Did you know they show Oprah and Dr Phil here? I even switched around and saw Sally Jesse Raphael! Is she still on the air? One of my favorite shows airs here, Scrubs but I have yet to watch it because by the time it comes on at 6pm Nes is home and we're well on our way to making a dent in her liqour supply. First I introduced her to vodka cranberry and then I added a twist of lime, that girl is hooked! She turned me onto Passoa which is a passionfruit liquor. I'm drinking one right now with 7 Up, it's yummie (Ok, it's my second one, did I mention how yummie it is?). Actually I first had one in Spain but by the time I had it I was four sheets to the wind (way past three) and didn't really remember is, LOL.

The other night we fondued for dinner. Long time readers will remember my last fondue experiece resulted in a fire. I was hoping that would not be the case this time around, LOL. They actually have fondue cheeses so unlike my last fondue it took only minutes for the cheese to melt unlike the hour it took us before. They normally fondue with just bread so I broadened their horizons (like I love to do) and introduced veggies into the mix, some cauliflower anf broccoli are wonderful additions to the fondue pot. We're supposed to have a chocolate fondue one night which should be fun. I did request cheese first cause while I enjoy choccolate I actually enjoy cheese more, LOL.

Last night we went to see Pirates of the Carribean. The biggest difference from watching a movie here versus in the states is there is always an intermission with every movie. It's quite jarring. But it's great for people who always have to go to the bathroom during the movies, like yours truly. Too bad I didn't have to go last night. Figures!

Today I rolled out of bed and went to the beach, yes, life is tough for me. Tonight we're heading into Amsterdam. Tomorrow's blog should be very interesting, LOL.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

American Idol

I am not. You know one of the things I looked forward to when coming here was Nes' karaoke machine. Let me just say, I have singing my ass off. Unfortunately, turns out my singing is not that good, why that is a shock to me, I have no idea, LOL. Since we didn't do much Sunday (other then eat) I spent a lot of time singing, I would say about 5 to 6 hours, no not straight! I would sing in the morning for a couple of hours (or early afternoon, none of us are really morning people), after lunch and after dinner. Did I mention that their house is not very big? So there is nowhere to escape from the sound of my caterwauling, although the kitties did try.

Since Nes is working this week guess what I have been doing to keep myself occupied? Well reading of course, but when not reading I have been karaoking, it's gotten to the point where I have to limit myself because I have been singing so much I can start to feel the strain. What have I been singing? Why everything, LOL. When you sing for as long as I have been you sing any song yu recognize. Of course, I don't sing it well, thank goodness for the stop button. Although, yesterday when I was singing by myself I did have a couple of high scores, such was not the case today. Poor JK. When he called yesterday from work guess what I was doing in the background? There is no getting away from it for him, LOL.

Now I sit here drinking some homemade sangria de cava (who needs Spain) in my bathing suit (I was tanning while Nes was working, it's a tough life) and guess what I'm thinking? Yup, I think it's time for a little karaoke. They do say practice makes perfect, or in my case, I'm aiming for tolerable!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wimbledon, here I come....

So yesterday Nes was successful in dragging me to the club to play tennis. I figured with all of the eating I was doing I couldn't very well say no, I needed the exercise, LOL. Nes lent me some clothes to wear, so I actually had a tennis outfit. There are no pics of it cause Nes forgot her camera! I was walking out of the door with my purse and Nes said not to bring my purse, it wasn't sporty enough so I asked her if she had her camera and said yes. Guess what she didn't have? She did have her camera phone but I didn't like the way those pics looked so you'll have to wait to see me in tennis whites (or blacks, I decided white is not my color, LOL).

I think I impressed Nes with my tennis abilities. I was able to hit the ball right away. Of course, I had zero control, the ball went out everytime I hit it, but hey, I hit it! Of course, I think the reason I impressed Nes was her expectations were so low, I had nowhere to go but up, LOL. Unfortunately, the more I played the more balls I started missing, I guess when I warm up I get worse. It's the same when I bowl, LOL.

Nes was laughing at how much I was sweating. It's not like we were actually playing, we were just hitting the balls back and forth. She grabbed extra balls cause she didn't want to keep chasing the same 3 balls over and over again, LOL. She says that if they need extra players in the tournament this Sat that I'll be partnering with JK, now that will be a riot. As of now, I don't think they need anymore players but if I end up playing of course I will let you know and this time I will bring my camera, LOL.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Escargot Anyone?

When we went to the neighborhood by the sea (beach) there was a place that Nes wanted to take me that had THE best escargot that she has ever had. Unfortunately, by the time we were done at the beach the place was still closed and we didn't feel like waiting an hour. The problem with that is for the past couple of weeks Nes has been craving it. We had some in Dijon but we were not impressed. So Nes really wanted to eat at Sante (the restaurant) and satisfy her craving and I wanted to try the best escargot that she had ever had. So last night we finally got to satisfy our urges.

I have to say, it was the best escargot I have ever had. It was served in a sauce dripping in butter and chives and herbs with cheese melted on top! Nes ordered two orders, LOL. I stuck to one, I wasn't that hungry, a shock I know but I had been eating the left over adobo that Mamma Nes had sent home with me:)

After dinner it was time for dessert. I really was not into the idea of dessert. My stomach was feeling a bit off (I think just cause I've been eating way more then I normally do) but then I saw the dessert menu, plus I was thinking of you, my dear bloggers and I know you would want me to eat dessert so I did. The things I do for you! I ordered a strawberry ice cream dessert. OMG, it was so good, my belly felt so much better. I didn't have enough room to finish it all, I gave JK the rest but I did enjoy every bite that I had.

During the ride home Nes got it into her head that it would be the perfect time for me to ride a bike. Keep in mind that I haven't been on a bike since before I joined the Army, that would be about 18 years ago! here, everyone rides bikes, young and old which is really cool to see but I wasn't exactly overjoyed at the idea of getting on a bike myself. But to entertain JK and Nes I let them put me on Nes' bike. Let me say, her bike is huge! I was in terror of falling. Standing on the pedals the seat hit hte middle of my back, no way was I even going to try and sit on it. I literally rode in a circle in their back yard (screaming the whole way) while Nes videotaped me (luckily she is having trouble uploading) and JK took pics. Nes said it felt like watching her kid taking off the training wheels, it wasn't pretty but hey, I didn't fall. When she had trouble uploading her video she wanted me to go out and do it again, I said nope, there can only be one first time, LOL.

The way to my heart...

Is through my stomach, duh, you all know that! I had met Nes' mom last week when she came over for Nes' birthday and of course I let her know how much I LOVED Filipino cooking, I'm shameless, I know! Well this past Sat we were all supposed to celebrate Nes' parents 30th wedding anniversary with a sunsent hot air balloon ride! Unfortunately Nes father was down with the stomach flu so the ride was cancelled but all was not lost. Mama Nes decided to cook adobo for me, yippee! So on Sat night we went over for dinner and a little karaoke! We actually only sang a couple of songs, Nes was hooking their system back up because they had bought a new tv (an awesome new tv) and of course the first priority was getting the karaoke working. JK and i did a couple of ditties, not pretty but fun. I have never sang Ghostbusters before, LOL. Then it was time to eat!I have no idea why I was the first one at the table, LOL. Mama Nes made chicken adobo, veggies and she had a filipino sausage that I have never had but am now in love with called longaniza. OMG, It was so good. I'm looking for those when I get back to the states, I can cook sausage, LOL.

I ate until I could eat no more and then find out that there is dessert too! Well I can't offend, of course I had to eat dessert. It was called maja blanca which is made with corn starch, corn, cocunut, caramel, it was yummie. I couldn't finish it but I certainly tried. Then while hanging out watching the World Cup third place game she asks me if I want some chocolate chips. I say I am so full there is no way. So then she brings out grapes. I love fresh fruit. I think I was one wafer away from exploding, LOL. Guess who is one of my favorite people now?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Every Queen Needs a Castle

I went to a wedding reception on Friday night for some tennis friends of Nes' and it was held in a castle! Even better then that we got to stay the night there! We stayed in Castle Assumburg which is currently a hostel. So I did sleep with three men that night, we all had bunk beds, LOL. What a great idea to have it somewhere people can drink all night long and then go crash in their room.
Of course I didn't know anyone but Nes and JK but I had a blast. Some of these people JK has known for 25 years and it was so much fun watching them in action. JK can dance and they had these dance moves that totally impressed me. They dance, they kick, they jump around, my knees were hurting looking at them but it was so much fun! But you know Nes and I were no wallflowers ourselves. We were out there shaking out groove thing almost as much as the boys. I had to change my shoes into flip flops halfway through the night. Not the sexiest thing in the world but my feet thanked me. But it is difficult to dance in flip flops, they don't move as well on the dance floor, imagine that, LOL.

I really had a blast at the reception. Everyone goes there and really cut loose. There was a song that everyone sang to the couple and then one of JK's friends wrote another song for the tennis friends to sing to them and there were traditional dances that they all participated in which I loved. I asked about the chicken dance because I have always wanted to go to a wedding where they did the chicken dance and I have been denied everytime. When JK told me they invented the chicken dance I got very excited! But alas, my one disappointment of the night was there was no chicken dance so I had to console myself with YMCA, LOL.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fred does Debbie

Now guess which one of us if Fred and which one is Debbie (as in Debbie Does Dallas).Now why would Fred say this of sweet little old me? I have no idea. Fred was actually the only Irish bartender in the pub that night and as you can tell, he was a pistol. He actually gave me a balloon that night with those words on it. I cherished the balloon all night until I got back to my hotel room where it met the same fate that the rose the internet cafe guy gave me, I am a fickle pickle I guess, LOL.

We had so much fun at this Irish pub because we had so much fun with the bartenders and the bartenders had fun with us. How could they not. This is Pete (he's 21) and Fred.Pete was actually very sweet and he had those apple cheeks but he would dance when I asked him to dance which you know I loved and asked often. Of course, his version of dancing was a little wiggle of the hips but you know it tickled me.

And then there was Dave. Oh so young Dave. Sorry this pic is blurry, JK had been drinking and apparently the automatic focus was too much for him.Now Dave I would have taken home in a heartbeat except for one little factor, he was 18! Such a pity. OK, I would have had him take me home since I was sharing a room with Nes and JK, LOL. I liked Dave a lot and when he is old enough to drink legally in the states, I'll have him look me up, I'll only get better with age, LOL. I swear, the boys in Spain are young!

We also had fun with the clientele there, laughing and drinking up a storm. Turns out they have a video cam set up outside of the restrooms which they informed me of once I got back (the restrooms are upstairs). So when Nes went to the restroom the macarena was playing so she danced for the cam. When I went to the restroom again (you know I spend a lot of time peeing when I'm not drunk, add alcohol to the mix, I practically live there!) I did the twist cause that was playing and then mooned the camera, you could hear the whole bar, LOL. Yeah, we'd been drinking for awhile. Luckily for them World Cup soccer was on so we didn't get to sing karaoke. That would have made us even more memorable, but not in a good way *G*.

Feliz horas

Now you all know those two words put together are enough to warm my heart. We walked a different way home from the beach after more tapas and some sangria de cava and we saw that there was an Irish pub that had happy hour from 7 - 9. Our hotel has happy hour from 8:30 to 9:30 so the plan was for a quick siesta and then off to happy hour with some food thrown in there later on somewhere.

First we wanted to get some ice cream so we stopped at this place right next to our hotel. The ice cream had been calling me for days. When we sat down to eat our ice cream or rather gelato we noticed a sign that said happy hour 5 - 7. Guess what time it was? Bye bye siesta, hello early happy hour! We went with the sangria de cava. They had even more fruit in theirs, strawberries, mango and bananas as well as the lemons and oranges that we were used to. It was way prettier then the other one we had but the flavor wasn't as good but you know I enjoyed eating the fruit. The plan was to take showers in shifts so that we could enjoy as much of the happy hour as possible. Since we had 4 liters here along with the liter we had at the tapas place I decided to eat a burger, it wasn't that great but thank goodness I had it. Poor Nes did not and there wasn't as much food in our future as we had planned since we went on to the next happy hour.

The Irish Pub was a blast and two of the three bartenders were British and since it was the Fourth of July I had fun with them. The pub was really dead when we got there but that was ok, we sat at the bar and played with the bartenders. We never did make it back to the hotel. We spent the night taking tons of pics and drinking tons of drinks! I have no idea what this green concoction the bartender came up with but it was yummie! We were supposed to shoot it but I kept drinking mine, LOL. We actually left the bar to get some food next door, some croquettes, I didn't like mine, so I gave it to JK and then we ended up going back to the bar. Holland doesn't have happy hour, Nes had already warned me, so we had to take advantage of it while in Spain and then of course, keep drinking.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Walking on Sunshine....

So Tuesday was a dedicated laying on the beach day. You know I am so down with that. I know Nes and JK usually run all over the place on their vacations so when they said we were spending the day on the beach you know I was happy. That's my kind of pace. Blanes(blah-nes) is a very touristy town with big beautiful beaches. Our hotel was a block away. It would have been nice if our hotel had air conditioning but the location was perfect. Breakfast was included in our meal so once we rolled out of bed down we went to feast. Problem is, there wasn't a lot to feast on, LOL. No bacon, no sausage or scrambled eggs. They had boiled eggs, deli meat with cheese, lots of breads and slices of cucumber and tomatoes. The yogurt even tasted a little different and the milk for the cereal was warm. I think they had a generic breakfast set up for all of the travelers. I got full but that was about it. They do have this thing called a bikini maker. You put your bread and cheese through it for a kind of grilled cheese sammich. I didn't want to get full on bread so I passed but Nes and JK loved theirs.

We took our time getting ready and missed the morning sun which JK says is the best sun to get but we didn't mind. We went there and planted our butts down. The beach was packed but luckily it's a big beach so we found a spot easily enough. I saw my dream man there. Well, he will be my dream man in about 10 years since he looks about 16 so he's my going to be dream man, LOL. Right now he's my dream boy. He was tall, dark, pretty, pouty red lips, reminded me of Rodrigo Santoro (an up and coming brazilian actor). It seems like we saw a lot of kids on this trip, dang it! I did have a 60 year old man flirt with me in Barcelona, LOL.

We spent most of the day at the beach. The weather was perfect. Not too hot with a slight breeze. I finished the book i was reading and spent the rest of the time listening to my ipod. OK, I did get in the water, briefly! You all know the water is not my thing, which is why I can go in with my sunglasses on, I'm not going under, well, at least not by choice, LOL.


OK, I went back through and added pics to the previous posts, it's always more fun when there are pictures. Nes and I have taken almost 500 pics since I got here so I've spent the morning going through them trying to find pics to go with my posts. I'm going to log off for a bit, read and relax and I will be back later on to post more about our Spanish adventures.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sangria de Cava

OK,I have a new love, LOL.If you read my my blog on a regular basis you know constantly have new loves and you know the love usually involves food or drink and in this case it's a new drink! Since we didn't really know where to go and there were a plethora of restaurant choices we asked the woman at registration where to go to get good paella, you so know I had to have some. She recommended this place right on the beach, Cal Toni, not much to look at but great food, sounded perfect. We were ravenous. So we all ordered apps to go along with our paella. They ordered mussels again but I went with the little fish which were basically batter fried smelt. I saw someone else eating them and had to try. They were pretty good but the asian version is better, LOL.

Next up we had to figure out what to drink. We asked was a sangria de cava was, it was a champagne verion of sangria! Hell yes! We were all about it. I am not much of a red wine drinker but I do enjoy the bubbly. It was soooo yummie. We had to have another liter. Let me just say, this became my drink of choice in Spain, why have regular sangria when you can have sangria de cava!

Now I don't want to belittle dinner while rhapsodizing about my drink. The paella was divine. We ate until we got so full we just started picking the squid out of the dish for JK. Of course, it could have had something to do with us basically making entrees into starters, you should have seen the waitors eyes when we ordered. Nes counted out the shrimp to make sure she got her fair share. Then she wanted the ones with the claws but then she decided the others were bigger, too late, LOL.
We stopped someone at the beach on the way to dinner to take our picture. We wanted a pre-gorging picture. You notice there's not pics taken after gorging.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Picture Horny

Apparently hearing is one thing, seeing is another. In the Netherlands Nes is what is known among her friends as picture horny because she likes so many pictures. Comppared to me though, she is an amateur, LOL. For some reason she was suprised today by how many pics of myself I want taken, I guess she just didn´t realize which came as a suprise to me considering she sees my vacation pics all of the time. They are pics that consist of me, LOL. But Nes is coming along nicely in her picture horniness and Jan Kees is humoring us wonderfully.

Today for breakfast we had serrano ham sandwiches. I read in their lonely planet book that they must be tried so of course we had to try them. They were yummie but I have to say the sandwhiches here are a bit dry. I´m used to sammiches with a lot of stuff but it was still quite tasty. After we made a quick stop at the supermercado for more water(and chips and a chocolate croissant for myself) we were on the road again.

While it looked like I was sleeping I really wasn´t. For one, the road was much too windy and for two, I had only woken up a little while ago but that doesn´t stop me from riding with my eyes closed. Really, I was awake (well, for most of the trip, LOL). JK took us to take picks at Castillo de la roca (sp?). Basically it was a town set on rock cliffs. We took pics from the outside of it but inside there wasn´t much to see.

JK found out I liked castles and the medieval time period so today he went medieval on our asses, LOL. We went to Besalu which is a medieval village including stone walkways and turrets. It was pretty cool and we took lots of pics, or rather, I had them take lots of pics of me, LOL. Then afterwards it was time for lunch, hey, walking around the outside in the hot sun is exhausting, it´s time for tapas. I have to say I think the tapas we had today were actually better then yesterdays even though it seems we always seem to get the same things. Today we got shrimp(always a fave), jalapeno poppers (Nes looked orgasmic eating them, cheddar on the inside instead of cream cheese, olives (poor JK doesn´t like them yet I´m constantly ordering them), spanish omelettes(the one thing that was better yesterday), onion rings and fried calamari.
By the time we were done I was stuffed. And even better was during the meal they talked about the things they wanted to cook for me when we got home. My toes were curling in aniticipation.

After our luncheon it was time to get back in the car which was good, I was ready for a nap. No more fake sleep, this was mouth hanging open sleep! I was tired, I was full, I was in a car, the perfect recipe for a good nap. When they woke me up we were in another medieval spanish town which I can´t remember the name of right now. This one was actually nicer looking but we had taken a bunch of pics at Besalu so we didn´t take as many, although me being me, I still had some pics of me taken. When we were walking along the outside I seeing if there was a good view of the Spanish countryside because everyone knows how outdoorsy I am. Of course I was joking but Nes did not need to laugh that hard, seriousely, I thought she was going to get a cramp.

Next we drove along the Spanish coastline, let me say, they´re coastline is very windy and it makes it very difficult for me to nap! We ended up in Blanes which is a very popular coastal town, apparently JK sowed some wild oates when he was here when he was younger, LOL. The beaches here look fabulous so we´re going to spend a couple of days here just lounging around, enjoying the sun. My girls need some sun.

OK, I will be back later to tell you about our dinner! The beach is calling me and I got the boot last night before I could finish my post.