Europe in Review: Antwerp

Living very close to the beach, we have the pleasure of paying lots of money to live in a box, well, that and experiencing perfect weather, pretty immediate beach access, and a ton of fun stuff in walk-able distance. Our apartment doesn’t even have a heater or AC because the temperature is mostly perfect (anyone who feels envious, just remember glorified closet + $$$, there are pros and there are cons).

Needless to say, when we landed in Germany and it was snowing, we were a bit out of our element. But warmed and motivated by our shear excitement to be out of the country and on a fun, new adventure, we somehow we made it to our rental car and drove straight to Belgium.

2013-03-14_1363220432

And thus begins our trip in review, with Antwerp.

This may be a reoccurring statement for all the places we visited – but it is cold there in March. If you are making traveling plans, keep this in mind. But besides cold, it was charming, totally walk-able, not completely touristy and just super interesting.

2013-03-15_1363370065

We were Bert and Marley’s roommate for two days – using the spare bedroom, and I can’t recommend this AirBNB spot enough. Beautiful views, stylish furnishings – including a piano that had been brought in by CRANE the day we arrived-, friendly cat (Marley), and what is probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I’m serious, he had a guest book and almost everyone (I’d say at least 50+ people) commented on the bed.

2013-03-15_1363332434 2013-03-15_1363332557 2013-03-15_1363333020 2013-03-15_1363333109 2013-03-15_1363333239 2013-03-15_1363333380 2013-03-15_1363370558 2013-03-16_1363424412 2013-03-16_1363427582 2013-03-16_1363427856

We spent our days exploring. Alex is a beer guy, as I discussed briefly here, so we made a point to try a few of the local breweries. Almost everyone has a Double and a Trippel. I tend to prefer the Trippel, but Alex was feeling more of the Double’s. All beers come in goblet-style chalices, which will make any peasant briefly feel like a royal.

2013-03-15_1363370107 2013-03-15_1363370268

Alex’s only real complaint was regarding the size of coffee’s available. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind their size, or their price as much because that was some very delicious small sips of coffee.

2013-03-15_1363370097

My favorite spot was easily the MAS, the Museum Aan de Stromm. The way the entire building is organized was really fun and intuitive – you knew exactly where and what to see next; and it gave us a great overview of Antwerp and its history. You can also walk on the roof and get a full 360 degree view of the city. It is absolutely a must-see if you ever find yourself in the area.

2013-03-15_1363370088

Another amazing spot was the Middelheim Open-Air Museum of Sculpture. It was huge. And this would have been the best day, had it been summer – grab some food, have a picnic in the park, and stroll through some incredible art.

2013-03-17_1363522013 2013-03-17_1363522016 2013-03-17_1363522129

We also tried the fries, as many suggested. Now, we don’t speak Dutch, like not a single word, and while this was fine because everyone was super nice and often spoke at least conversational English, the fry place was a challenge in that there was just a TON (like so much, you guys) of fry-able items that were completely indiscernible. Rather than being those annoying American’s who ask what everything is (since it was labeled in Dutch and again, indiscernible) we stuck with the fries and the fries alone. Anyway, I thought they were OK, maybe there was too much hype beforehand. And maybe I tried them with the wrong sauce (I went with ketchup) because, like the options for frying, there was a great many options when it came to sauce too. The best part was that they come with mini forks, which are just adorable.

All in all, it was beautiful, and would only have been more so if we had been there on a friendlier-weathered month. I also really loved taking photos of our cat roommate. Only regret – there was this great little place down the street from us called Burgerij – Burgers voor Burgers (Burger also means citizen in Dutch, which is why THAT’S super cute), but when we tried to go they were very busy and ended up getting doners instead – Alex’s favorite.

2013-03-15_1363332773 2013-03-15_1363332946 2013-03-15_1363333190 2013-03-16_1363424216

Home.

We have returned. We are sleepy and recovering. But the world hasn’t stopped so we are zombie-ing our way through for the time being. I have much to share, lots to say and do really miss blogging. But the time is not now, so I will leave you with this short/fun-fact post:

Europe’s equivalent of Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Light, is not for me. It is yucky and just, ew. That being said, having mostly consumed coffee on the trip to meet my caffeine needs, I have somehow managed to not yet run right back into the loving arms of DC Cola and may just be (attempting to, at least) quit the stuff.

This may seem uninteresting and boring, but for anyone who knows me closely, this is kinda big HUGE news, so in that sense please feel privileged that I have shared it with you as well. For funzies here is a video of me, in highschool, at Red Robin, drinking a Diet Coke really quickly (and yes, that guy has a neck brace on, that’s Bryan).

 

Hope you have a wonderful week and I very much look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Also:

=

Working for the Weekend

Although the week has started and I am already well into my crazy schedule, my mind is stuck on my weekend. In my mind I am still bike riding along the strand or sipping mimosas with a good friend after finishing our 10K.

Only a few more days before we get to enjoy another little life break.

weekend

For some extra fun-timez, here are a few great things the internet has introduced to me today:

  1. I just can’t quit watching the NPR tiny desk concerts, here is a great one of Swell Season.
  2. While I was considering just making some myself, these coasters may have changed my mind.
  3. Last chance to vote for Homies on Apartment Therapy – everyone should vote! (If you are dying to know who I voted for, here is a hint: rhymes with Ranhattan Fest)
  4. I think I could literally listen to Amy Winehouse singing Valerie for the rest of the week, straight.
  5. Booked our flights and our rental care for our spring break, Europe trip. Countries will include Belgium, Germany, and France. Send any must-see’s my way. (So far I have taken about 20 pages of notes from Oh Happy Day’s Paris posts)
  6. My type-friends will appreciate this: Kern Ring Set. I also appreciate and want to own them.
  7. Two favorite recent (crazy stylish and beautiful) blogs I have found: Sweet Thing and JASPR.
  8. My web design class meets for the second time tonight and I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite classes of all time. Big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  9. This Design Sponge, Bri Emery of Design Love Fest and Blogshop feature is so inspiring and motivating. Repeat – big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  10. This vegan paleo recipe posted by Jeremy and Kathleen has me wanting to go vegan paleo.

What are your weekend plans? What are your huge goals?

**Don’t forget to immortalize your favorite pet or loved one in a DIY cell-phone cover, either for the Hallmark holiday around the corner, or just because.**

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.