Saturday, July 17, 2004


We're back in Basel after spending the last week in Brussels and Bruges - or Brugge as it's called in Dutch.  I couldn't mention anything about this before, but Perry and Renee were there with us.  The reason I couldn't mention it was because our friends John and Cathy arrived in Zurich today (a surprise trip for John's 50th birthday...he didn't know where he was going until check-in at O'Hare Airport), and John didn't know that Perry and Renee were going to be here too.  He thought they were on vacation in Hawaii.  So...John and Cathy arrived in Zurich this morning, and the four of us were there to greet them.  John was totally shocked when he saw us all standing outside of customs. 
Today - Perry, Renee, John, and Cathy are going to spend the day/night in Zurich, and then they'll be taking the train to Milan tomorrow for a few days.  They're all DaVinci Code fans, so they're going to see DaVinci's The Last Supper which is in Milan.
As for our recent trip.  Let me just recommend Belgium as an excellent vacation destination.  Brussels is always fun - lots of great Belgian beer, chocolate, over 2,000 restaurants in Brussels alone, good shopping, nice museums - just an overall relaxing time.  I could definitely live in Brussels.  Brugge (it's in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium...I have no idea why English speakers call it Bruges) is absolutely beautiful.  We stayed at a hotel called the Tuilereën, and it was very nice.  There were a lot of great sights to see in the town, we took a canal boat cruise, climbed to the top of Belfort (the belfry in the middle of town), ate traditional Belgian dishes (I ate non-sushi eel for the first time), ate French fries with a glob of mayonnaise on top, saw the shrine were they keep a vial of Christ's (supposedly) blood.  Also, Brugge is only about an hour away by train from Brussels Central Station.  Take my advice - fly to Brussels, spend 2-3 nights there, take the train to Brugge, spend 2-3 nights (it gets crowded during the weekend) there too.  You'll love it!!!
Now it's back to the normal life.  We have a bunch of laundry to do (our new dryer came while we were in Brussels...thanks to Dave for taking delivery), and then tonight we're going to have a "Saveur Dinner" (I'll let you know how that turns out) with Andy and Di.  On Monday, it's back to the gym after a three week absence.  I don't think I really gained much weight during my hiatus, but I'm sure it's going to take a couple of weeks to get back into shape. 
Don't forget to check out my website.  I'll post pictures from our vacation sometime over the next couple of days.

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