Why you shouldn’t travel with me

The view from our house in L’Escala

I might have to accept the fact that for the rest of our lives, my husband and I cannot go on trips together. Unpleasant things start to happen when we go on trips, and typically I am the cause of these things.

  • The first time we went on a vacation together I nearly killed us both of heat stroke on a 16 mile hike in Northern Michigan. For some embarrassingly silly reason, Continue reading

(Not) Lost in Translation

Learning a new language is always a challenge. You struggle a lot with new grammar rules and remembering all the words for different things, so you have to make it fun and find the humor in things. I find humor in some of the literal translations of Dutch words and I thought I’d share a couple of those with you today.

1. Handtekening

  Continue reading

The Vegetables Will Make You Sick

I love vegetables. I love meat more for the record, but I do love to munch on some crisp broccoli or a lightly tossed salad; for me a meal really isn’t complete without something green. Seriously, in another life I might have been the Witch from Into The Woods. So when I see that the mussels were on a bed of steam celery and onions, I am very pleased.

When people think of Belgian food, Continue reading

How the Month of August Conspired Against Me

I have to be grateful for small victories

While Antwerp is not a large city and public transport is far superior to anything I experienced growing up, it’s been suggested to me on several occasions to get a bike. The city isn’t huge, but bikes can make getting to hidden pockets of the city much more easily accessible and you’re not beholden to the bus or tram schedule.

It’s for this reason that I set out one sunny Thursday afternoon to go bike shopping. I found a second hand bike shop located in the Antwerpen Zuid district, an area full of lots of little interesting shops and pubs. My plan is to go look at bikes and explore the area a bit, maybe get a coffee and sit a terrace and read. It really is a lovely day. Continue reading

Sitting in the Invisible Corner: A Restaurant Review

Taken after waiting for about 20 minutes for our plates to be cleared

This past saturday my husband and I celebrated the 8th Anniversary of our first in-person meeting, affectionately dubbed our “Milaniversary.” For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I first “met” on an online MUD, based on the Wheel of Time series in 2004. We became good friends and when I got the chance to go to Italy in 2005, he came and met me and my mother in Milan. We spent the whole day together, the three of us, sipping cokes in a piazza, visiting the Duomo, and finally getting in dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

I like celebrating the little things in life; in fact, I’ll take almost any excuse to go out and celebrate, even if it’s just going out for dinner. Continue reading

I came to Casablanca for the sangria.

Main Stage at CasablancaOne of the awesome things about Antwerp is how much free or relatively inexpensive stuff there is going on in the summer. Everything from music festivals, circuses, pop up bars, outdoor film showings, children workshops, and dance performances. It’s truly wonderful and tonight I plan on taking full advantage of the available free entertainment. Continue reading

Chocolate Maggots

Typical Belgian BBQ

Typical Belgian BBQ

I’m sitting outside at the table at my brother-in-laws house with my husband and his family, enjoying the long summer days. We’ve just had a delicious barbecue with all sorts of different meat and sauce options; there was even Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce.  It’s been a lovely afternoon filled with good conversation, jokes, jumping on the trampoline, and even a little bit of swimming in the long-rather-than-wide-backyard of a typical Belgian home.

The faint aroma of charcoal lingers in the air as we wind down the evening by sipping coffee and tea with bowls of ice cream. My husband carries on a conversation with his parents and his brother, but my attention is focused on my wonderful niece and nephew. Because of my limited language ability, I often find myself relegating myself to the kids table. Continue reading


I don’t really remember learning how to set a table properly, but I do have a vague memory of my mother’s voice telling me that knives and spoons go on the right side of the plate and forks go on the left. I am also not entirely sure how I know that you start with the outside cutlery and work your way in, though I am fairly certain that lesson was imparted by either Emily Gillmore or Barney Thompson. Other table manners I know but no longer remember learning over my twenty odd years of life include: Continue reading