Monday, May 29, 2006

New Pictures from Brussels

Here are some new pictures from Brussels.
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2105886891

For this blog, whenever I say "we" I am referring to Kristen, Katy and I. We started our trip on Thursday because it was some sort of holiday, and my class on Friday is so boring. I never have to take notes in the class, and usually about 45 minutes into it, start to fall asleep during the prof's lecture. So anyway...we got to Brussels around 2-ish and had a bit of trouble finding our hotel, which is always fun :-/. We did find it, but we were in a bit of a crummy neighborhood (northwest Brussels) and our hopes weren't so high for the hotel, but when we got inside the hotel was really really nice!!! It was already 100x better than our hotel experience in Paris. The receptionist spoke to us in perfect English and was even able to give us directions to places that we wanted to go. We headed out the first night around 6ish I guess, because there was a free shuttle. Yea....free! We got out just outside of Grand Place (the main square in Brussels city centre). Then we were just walking around and looking at what was around, and the shops we went in were so cool. Not too overly priced I think. Lots of chocolates, frites (papa to the american french fries), belgian lace, and waffles~ Katy and Kristen were already planning the shops that we had to go back to for souvenirs so it was a good thing we decided not to be lazy on our first night in Brussels.
The next morning Kristen actually slept. She had a bit of insomnia last week so it was good to know that she finally got more than 2hrs of sleep. Today was the day to go to the EU and I had gotten instructions from the reeptionist on how to get there. Just take two trams to get there...sounds easy enough, except that when we got there, of course there are more than one EU building, but after going in and asking for directions to where we wanted to go, nobody could give us any good directions!! We were trying to find the visitors entrance to the parlament building, and after getting directions from the normal entrance, continued to search for the visitors entrance for another 40minutes. THEN!! we go in to see if we can't join up with the group for the tour and find out that there weren't any tours on Friday because the EU had some special extension for the holiday that was on Thursday! Needless to say Kristen was crushed because it was THE REASON that she had wanted to come to Brussels. She is a politics-geek.
So then we just went back, Kristen went back sadly, to the Grand Place for more shopping time. We first went for a pick me up at a toy store, which was one of the most fun shops we all went to. The toys in Brussels are so cool. What else did we do...we had a nice dinner at a place called EKXL or something like that. It was an organic restauant, I had some pasta with prosciutto and a bowl of tomato soup. It was really good.
Then on the Saturday we went into the Grand Place again after walking around to lots of other churches and palaces and parks. But when we got to the Grand Place we started seeing lots of Rainbow flags and umbrellas. We knew that there was a Gay Bar neighborhood just next to Grand Place, but we didn't know that there was a Gay Pride Festival on that day!!! So we had to go see, because we could already hear the music when we were a few blocks away and the place was crazy. There were maybe 5 or 6 long semis and the trailers were for dancing and had tons and tons of speakers set up on them. The whole thing was pretty cool. Katy and Kristen laughed when I got hit on by a transvestite. :-X It was a little awkward too, so I held onto Katy and Kristen when we walked.
Sunday we had our train ticket for 1:28pm so we had to find something to do before that. Sadly we had all of our purchases and luggage to pack with us so it was a little tiring to carry it all over. Turns out there are two markets in Brussels on Sundays, there is an antique flea market and also a huge produce and clothing market next to the train station. The antique one was a little small, and unless you are a collector (or at least not carrying your luggage through the people) it's a little hard to get into. The large market was good as far as food was concerned (there was a churro stand, lol) but the clothing was pretty lame. Every stand looked the same. I'm sure there is a lot more to our Brussels trip than that , but that's all I can remember right now, and I have an 8:30 Italian class tomorrow morning. You can look at the pictures and have a good idea of what we did. Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'll give you a topic.

Wal-mart wants into the organic aggy market. Good or Bad?
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/12/business/12organic.html?ex=1148097600&en=18919ca2bcc55711&ei=5009&partner=MSN_BUSINESS
Discuss.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My grandpa tells me I need to blog more...

Well it's been a while since my last blog. My hair is really really long now...maybe you actually dont want to see a picture of that. But the internet in my apartment is being stupid so I can't upload anything to the internet anyway.
The biggest thing was May Day. Some friends and I, Sascha, Erica, Amanda, Evan, John all went up the mountain on April 30 for a huge party. We actually didn't know how huge it was going to be. Just that it lasts the entire night. First you have to hike up the mountain though, so that was around 40 minutes...and we didn't see many people at the beginning climbing up the mountain, but around halfway up, you could tell there was a train of people all going to the top with backpacks, sleepingbags, grills, and food. When we got near the top of the mountain you could begin to hear the drums coming from inside the 1930s amphitheatre. The atmosphere was charged, and when you walked in through the giant doors, you could see a huge seating section and all the places were filled up, people had brought their own bongos and were playing just a drum beat which was really awesome because of the acoustics in the amphitheatre, the entire place was filled with sound.
Then we found our spot and had a little to drink. We felt pretty unprepared becasuse everybody else had grills and salads and that kind of stuff that they brought up the mountain, but we had a good time nonetheless. The craziest part was when the people started to come out of the crowd who knew how to juggle, except they didnt just juggle, they lit their sticks on fire first and were juggling fire. Then there were others who had the sticks on strings and would do a kind of club dancing thing that was just amazing, i have a cool video on my laptop, but you will have to wait for that untill i come back... and then just last weekend there was a wine festival. it was a pretty small thing, but you could sample wines and then have a small glass for just 1.50euros which is around half of what you would pay in a restaurant.
and then classes started i have italian, environmental economics, two courses in fine arts history, and a german class. aite i gotta go to the gym now and lift some weights before class starts....phil out!