Sunday, November 13, 2011

Long Weekend Recap

It's been a busy weekend. I'm tired, especially since I just cleaned my room (nearly) top to bottom using mostly just a broom, tissues, and window cleaner. Guys, I work with what I've got.

Since I am tired, but also feel the need to update you people on my life, here is a rundown of this weekend's highlights, in numbered list form:

1. Holiday on Friday means go out Thursday night. That night involved a lot of solo champagne, running into the one person I am trying to avoid in Paris (just an ill-thought-out person I gave my number to), dancing, a guy in a tiger suit, loudness, and a lovely walk home. By a lovely walk home, I do mean a 5k trek with my friend Carolyn that somehow involved bare feet and us realizing we don't know the rules on public intoxication in France.
2. Friday began with a baguette in bed (aka, heaven), and continued with a cold two hours at the playground, an impromptu cafe date (!), and a jaunt out to Zone 2 for the USA/France football match. Despite being part of the 2% of the stadium of 70,000 people rooting for the USA, it was very fun. Things to know: flags will be waved in your face, I'm not good at cheering for sports in French, concessions at sporting events are not more expensive (although mostly no one was eating, really), and there are a lot of guards at these games. The French can be rowdy. Also, everyone will be taking the RER back to Paris and it will be nuts.
3. Saturday I woke up bright (well, it was dark) and early after 5 hours of sleep for my trip to Brussels with my friend Morgan. It was lovely. There are many photos of our time on facebook, if you want to see. We arrived around 9:30 and quickly found a waffle and a map. After hitting the chocolate museum (and tasting), we walked to the sketchier part of town to the Cantillon brewery, as they were having a rare public brewing day. For 6 euro, we got to taste a beer of our choice (Morg went rose something (with raspberries) and I opted for the lambic, which was flat and verrrry interestingly delish), and then we got a tour! The cutest old man gave us the tour and we learned a lot about the way beers in Belgium--the REAL beers, he stressed--were made. It has a lot to do with the fermentation in the open air, almost like cheese. That's why these beers are so special, because the microbes in the air are all different wherever you go, so you literally cannot make the same beer anywhere else. Also, this brewery makes, at most, only 7000 litres of beer per batch, and only as many as 30 batches can be made per year...so it's very special.
4. After beers, we went searching for lunch. A special in Brussels is "moules frites" which is mussels and fries. Despite being relatively expensive, I went for it, and got moules provencales for lunch--delicious! I ate all of them, and a ton of fries with mayonnaise (that's how they do it, baby). It was a long lunch that involved the waiter telling me I was good at French, and even though it was obvious he was just hitting on me, I'm taking that compliment to the bank, baby.
5. We needed to walk off our lunch, so we got lost. They we got found at the waffle van (so much for walking off lunch). We ate the most delicious waffle in the world, and then walked up to the park and the royal palace. I attempted to jump in a pile of leaves taller than myself, and we found a lot of pictures of Tin Tin (who is Belgian!). After the strenuous stroll around the park, we ducked into the cathedral to hear the organ, and then ate another waffle from the van (SERIOUSLY THE BEST). The rest of our time consisted of wandering the dark streets, a very cool thrift store, hot chocolate, so many photos, and debating on the merits of falafel. We ended the night with the culturally relevant dinner of Sbarro on the train home.
6. Today I met my brunch club in the 16th for a croque madame and a pain au chocolat. We wandered around and found Ben Franklin's house, and I got to look cool in some pictures. Later on I met the lovely Drue Docie for coffee and discussions of French children/families and something like 7 years of catching up. We walked the long way to the subway in order to enjoy the 60-degree sunshine for maybe the last time until spring, and got super excited for the Christmas markets being set up (and vin chaud!).
7. I finished my walk home by finding an open boulangerie and snagging a baguette. After consuming the entire thing (of course), I realized how disgusting my room was--and since the handsome Al Craven is coming for the weekend, I needed to get my act together. Hence the cleaning with tissues and windex. I swear, I will buy cleaning supplies this week.

Finally, in closing, I would like to say I am no closer to finding a dress for my brother's wedding, but I have started purchasing Christmas gifts. Expect the latter to be random and varied, and cross your fingers I don't get anything taken away at customs. Any advice about that?

Hope your weekend was swell and your floors are clean.

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