Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Super Dirrrty!

Stephen intended to grow a short beard, but our clippers broke. As the beard got longer, he got a little more attached. Finally, it was a little out of control, so he decided to cut it. But not before he tried out a few looks...












































































Catch ya later...

Proud Mary keep on rollin...

Ava and Paul invited Stephen and I over to have dinner and then go see a "Tribute Band" concert. I was pretty excited, I love live music and love watching people pretend to be someone else. Ha! The concert didn't disappoint. I was worried that being Dutch, they wouldn't sound the same, or it would be a trainwreck. Well, all of them sounded just like the singers (well, close at least) and they put on great shows, and they served Cristal (not exactly what you were thinking, it's beer).




Although I don't know a lot of the Rolling Stones songs, they were great entertainers and really made everyone want to dance. CCR was awesome. Reminded me of college and Texas. It was really great, and the lead singer really got into it.



Tina, ha, oh Tina. Tina was a diva. She had four costume changes, and even a back up singer. I think her backup singer brought more attention and crowds than Tina did, at least to the 30 drunk guys in the front row. She was wearing this trashy outfit made out of patent leather that laced on the sides...I'll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves. There were a few men that loved both, see pic. She was good though, Tina that is. She played all of the major hits, and some I had never heard. It's funny though, I didn't know the songs but everyone around me, young and old, knew every word. Guess she made it big over here!!





I've combined all videos for your viewing pleasure (only CCR and Tina, sorry RS fans). It won't be a treat to your ears, as I've mixed them all together and I took the videos with my camera, but maybe you can pick up some of your favorite songs and get a laugh from some of the dancing!




Enjoy!

Long time no blog...

I'm sorry blogworld. Things got away from me, and I've neglected you! I apologize. There are a few things that I will be blogging shortly, from our recent adventures. A teaser...

  1. Tina Turner, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the Rolling Stones
  2. Stephen's Facial Hair progression
  3. American WWII Cemetary in Henri Chappelle
  4. I got a job

Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day...

to the two people we love dearly! Wish we were there to spend the day with you...








*Click on image for larger view!

Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm tailing you...


Guess this guy wanted a shorter 'do for the Spring. Unfortunately, he missed a spot! Michael, this might be the first entry in our "European Hairstyles" blog.

Fly 1 - Gracie 0

Poor thing, she was never gonna get it!

Katie, go ahead and tell them to bring over three more racks...I'm shutting this place down!


Monday, Jeremy, Lindsay and I headed to Maastricht for the day. I let Jeremy drive, which I think he enjoyed, and he drove better than me! Once we got into Maastricht, Lindsay wanted to head to the castle where she went to school 7 years ago while in Baylor. Based off her memory, she got us within a street before we had to ask for directions. After 7 years...pretty incredible. The castle was gorgeous...I can't believe they got to live there while going to school and touring Europe. Pretty cool! Afterwards, we went into town and grabbed lunch.


We did a little shopping in the main square, and were able to pick up my niece Mackenzie some cute duds. She will love her parents if they buy the same amounts when she's in High School!! Before we left, Jeremy decided to get a gyro after all the hype Andy gives them. Apparently, you HAVE to get gyros while in Europe, so we let Jeremy handle it. If it hadn't been for his miscommunication over whether or not he liked garlic, I'm sure he would have enjoyed it! The garlic sauce looked, and from what I can tell, tasted disgusting.

Stephen and I had our first official language classes Monday night, so we headed back from Maastricht early afternoon to make it. When we were done, we headed back to Maastricht for dinner. Jeremy and Lindsay treated us to a nice dinner, which we appreciated so much! We decided to eat at an Argentinian restaurant Lindsay and her parents ate at a few times while she was here in school. It was awesome. We got steaks and Jeremy got the "All-you-can-eat Spare Ribs." The poor little waitress had no idea what she was about to witness. Jeremy ended up throwing down 5 racks...and we only helped with a few ribs :) Not sure he felt so hot the next morning, but he LOVED them that night!


The next morning, I rode the train with them to Brussels, saw them off (SADLY) and then spent the afternoon in Brussels myself. I hate goodbyes, and it's always so emotional for me to say goodbye to family! I really hate it! But we had such a good trip, and memories to last a lifetime!

Quatro de Mayo...


We woke up a little bit earlier on Saturday, due to the fact that Jeremy was very interested in purchasing a chicken to kill, pluck and make chicken tenders out of from the market. Fortunately, he decided not to follow through, but we still had a great time people watching and admiring all that the "La Batte Market" had to offer.

It was very warm and crowded, so we decided to throw in the white towel in the middle of the market. From there we decided to grab lunch, which consisted of "Boulets Liegiose," or Liege Meatballs and a Carlsberg. It was gorgeous outside, so we ate and watched a few mapris walk by (that's man Capris for all of you that don't know). When it gets a little warm here, the clothes get weirder and weirder.

After lunch, we made it home and grabbed the car to head to Brussels. A friend I met blog stalking invited us to a Quatro de Mayo party at her place. She's originally from Texas and is living in Brussels, so it seemed a perfect way to spend our Sunday afternoon. Once we arrived, the ritas and Corona's were on ice and the sombreros were waiting for Lindsay and I to don. We had fajitas, refried beans, tacos, chicken enchiladas, queso (J&L sent Velvetta and Rotel, we did it right), and even sour cream. It was awesome...something we haven't had in at least 8 months! SOO needed. Once everyone (there were about 15 people there) had their stomachs full and palates wet, we decided to fire up the Wii. Stephen and I had never played the Wii, so it was AWESOME to play golf, bowling, and tennis! Stephen was good at tennis (of course) and I was good at bowling. I guess all of those Thanksgiving Colorama games helped me! Who knew?



We left Cindy's and drove again to the Grote Markt in Brussels to get Jeremy and Lindsay a Belgian Waffle. The got one with bananas and chocolate, and I think they loved it. We ended the night with a few episodes of the Chappelle Show (thanks Kelly) and again slept quite soundly!

If you get a chance, check out Cindy's blog, she's hilarious: www.newtobrussels.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"I can smell those weiners from here, and I want one SO bad!"

We decided to sleep in on Saturday after our night of conversation and fun. What we didn't realize is that we were sleeping through most of the river tours in Germany. Once we realized we were on a tight schedule, we hurried out the door and made our way to Bonn. Since we were making up time, it was VERY convenient that we were on the autobahn...it was not that great since our VW only got up to 190km or so (120 mph) but Jeremy still really enjoyed it (I think Lindsay might have wanted to throw up).


We arrived in Bonn and made our way to the River Tour companies. After we realized we wouldn't be getting on a boat (we were too late and they stopped running the later ones because of the firework show later that night), we decided to walk along the river, enjoying the scenery and people watching. We decided to stop at a little restaurant on the water and have a drink...and that's when Jeremy smelled the sausages. We decided we had to have one, I mean we're in Germany. We made our way to the sausage stand and each got one. We were so excited you would have thought that we had won the lottery. Jeremy didn't really speak, just ate. They were pretty darn good!


After our sausages, we decided that we had enough time to drive up and down the B9 (the scenic route along the Rhine) to see some castles. Once in the car, all we could talk about was how good the sausages were, and how we might need to get one for dinner. Very healthy. On our drive, we spotted some really pretty castles and some awesome views, and then we spotted something really cool! A chair lift going up the side of a mountain. We decide very quickly that we kind of need to check this out! After parking, we agreed that if it was more than 10 euro we wouldn't do it. I found a man driving a shuttle train and asked him how far away it was. He showed me the direction of the chair lift and said it was a thirty minute walk, and 6 euro. Although that seemed like a long walk, it was a beautiful day and the hillside was amazing...so we decided to walk. We arrived at the ticket stand 3 minutes later, and laughed at how LONG our walk was.

The chair lift ride was awesome. We saw the river and the castles and villages from an aerial view, and it was truly breathtaking. Gracie would have preferred a closed gondola ride, but she got over it once we got up to the top. They had walking paths at the top leading to various scenic view spots, and we chose the one with a restaurant. I'm glad we did, not because of the chicken wing/nuggets made with real chicken that we snacked on (you think I'm crazy, but this is a feat...REAL chicken) but more so watching the Paraglider's take off and land 15 feet from us on the side of the mountain. It was really neat.


We decided it was time to head to the fireworks show. To save money we decided to pick up our own drinks beforehand and just eat snacks we brought and hopefully another sausage when we got there. Jeremy and I went inside a gas station and pretty quickly spotted a pony keg in the refrigerator section. That's right...already COLD. We agreed on a price we would not go over, and again it exceeded our expectations! It was 10 euro, and the funny thing was when the Jeremy handed the guy the PK and the money, he asked what I was going to be drinking. I laughed and said it was for four of us...he laughed and said, "That is for one person, no problem. We're German." We laughed about that for a long time!

After getting lost a few times we arrived at the "fireworks show" to find that it was in fact an entire FAIR. There were stands for food, beverages, sweets, clothes, jewelry, knick knacks, rides, ferris wheels, etc. It was packed, too. People had camped out, brought their own grills and made food, had tiki torches around their blankets...they were doing it right. We found our spot to sit, conveniently 20 feet from the sausage stand (do you see a trend here?) and Jeremy and I went to get our loot. We walked away with 5 sausages (no, not one for Gracie, although she would have dominated it...Jeremy wanted 2) without getting too fired up about the crowds. We had various instances where people would cut in line during their trip (really, every time any of us were in a line, someone cut--so Europe) and Lindsay and I had this happen to us when we went to get sweets. But, as true Kampen's do, we dominated the poor man and cut him off hard core. Nice! It's so frustrating. If I knew German I would have said something while giving him my shoulder in his gut...but instead I said "The line starts WAY down there," in my best Texan attitude-filled voice. :)

The fireworks were supposed to start at 10pm. It was nearing 10:45 and we were getting tired. We were full of sausage and goodness, and kind of wanted to go to bed. We decided that at 11 if they hadn't started we would head home (which was 2 hours away). Sure enough, at 11 nothing was happening so we got our stuff together with our heads down and walked away. Almost out of the park the fireworks starting shooting off. We stopped, turned around watched from the hillside. It was awesome! From where we were at the time, there weren't any lights or anyone around us. It was perfect. Halfway through the fireworks, though, in true European fashion, three people walked up and stood DIRECTLY behind us. There wasn't anyone within 50 feet of us, anywhere they could have stood, but no, they stood behind us. AND lit up a cigarette. So frustrating. I love that people were here to see the madness of personal space deficiencies we experience here. I now just laugh when it happens, but it made me chuckle hearing Lindsay say "of all the places to stand, RIGHT behind us." You feel my pain.


The fireworks were incredible though, set to music we couldn't really hear...but judging by the crowds where we were sitting, I'm not sure if we would have heard them there either. Shoot, who am I kidding...they would have been in German. I wouldn't have understood a thing anyways! We enjoyed the whole experience, and our day was truly amazing. I'm glad we got to see some fireworks in the end, it made our late night worth it.

Here are some of the fireworks:


Finally, on our drive home, we decided to stop in Cologne to show Jeremy and Lindsay the famed Cathedral. I wasn't sure how it would look in the dark...but it was gorgeous. They were really impressed...but also ready to get home. We took some pictures, then headed back to Liege. We got home at 2:30am or so...and I think I speak for all of us when I say we slept well!



Two videos that I think you will enjoy:


To see all of our pictures, use the link on the right~

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Italian Stallion

Below is what you might see waiting on the flight from Venice to arrive...

(I know the first picture is blurry, but you need it for the full effect--he caught me...
he probably wanted to kill me)























Yep, that's a jacket and no shirt. He rolls hard! Now...below is what I was VERY excited to see waiting for the arrival of the Venice flight!


That's right! Jeremy and Lindsay are here. Yesterday we toured Brussels and then had a great time laughing and talking over Chinese food. Lindsay and I made Won ton soup (this time with appropriate won ton wrappers), Spring Rolls and Szechuan Chicken. It was great, but the company is so much better! Today we plan on going on the Germany Rhine River tour to see the castles, and then a FIREWORK show! I'll fill you in when I can...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MAY DAY, MAY DAY
















Well, one nice thing about Belgium is the random national holidays. I know that May 1st isn't necessarily random (Labour Day here) but it's nice to not have to work. Who am I kidding...I'm still not working. But it was nice for Stephen not to have to go to work. We slept in, had breakfast and then headed out to find 'something.' We figured being a holiday there had to be some sort of festival or parade. There seems to be a festival or parade most weekends somewhere, regardless of a holiday. There had to be one today, right? Well, there was. But it was really disappointing. We posted up at our "spot" and had a drink while watching the parade pass directly in front of us. Let's just say we were really happy that we had a seat and a drink, cause if I was standing to watch this I would have been complaining. It was pretty lackluster. But, we shouldn't complain...no work, free entertainment, and relatively sunny weather. May day isn't too shabby.















Serve the City
















I volunteered with "The Well," the church we've started going to in Brussels this past Saturday for their Spring "Serve the City" day. I took the train to Brussels, then made my way through Metro's and trams to the meeting spot. We got t-shirts and our assignments, prayed and made our way to our destinations. I was assigned to work with a group of elderly people, helping with their social lunch and giving manicures. Once we arrived, the ladies that work there literally put us to work immediately. I did manicures and dishes, avoided the "can you cut my hair" question the best I could, and averted the "can you pluck my eyebrows" to another sweet girl volunteering with us. The ladies really loved us being there, and the men loved watching the shenanigans while sipping their beers. While walking back to our meeting point, we strolled through the park to see the fountain...and there was a BEAUTIFUL rainbow. Incredible. It was a great day, and I'm looking forward to "serving the city" this summer.