Gotta Hand It To Antwerpen: Belgium and Back (Part Deux)

Elle in Antwerpen

I know. I’m so punny.

I planned on writing this second part far earlier than this, but it’s a crazy month with at least twelve family birthdays, my husband’s and mine included. Among other things. Like starting the Leap Year off with a tornado.

Now lets take the DeLorean for a spin back to November. A surprisingly calming time, despite the chaos of a trip across the ocean, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping all in one week. (Yes, I am one of those insane people that waited in line for hours for a three dollar waffle maker. Actually, it was a ten dollar Crock Pot.)

Back to Belgium –

We went to the city a couple of times for we left. Where did I really want to go? The Aquarium.

Why? Because my husband is amazing (sometimes- don’t want him to get a bigger head than he already has), and he fulfills those childhood memories that I never got around to making. I’ve also never been to the zoo, but he’s saving the London Zoo for my first time. 

He also took me on my first train ride. It wasn’t the Orient Express, but it was still a train ride. I live ten minutes from an actual train station, and I have for about fifteen years. Despite that little detail, I didn’t go on a train until I went to London in 2010. I know, I’m super lame in the face. I do things like hang out backstage to see Sum 41, hang out with Gallagher at the Landing, and I like to hang out with magicians…these are not very impressive details to a general audience. It’s okay. I’m aware of my own lamedom. You have to own who you are.

Yes, it’s right next to China Town. >_<

Okay, so that’s not the best photo from Aquatopia, but it’s my favorite. I could make a whole blog dedicated to the aquarium Let me just say that it’s a great place to visit. You can bring your kids or your dog. Or your ball and chain… You’ll have fun. Get some great photos and make some memories. I definitely say check it out if you’re there.

Now, some things were planned activities, aside from ones having to do with jQuery-  (Again, if someone linked to this blog because of my husband, I apologize. No, I know nothing about JavaScript or jQuery, and I don’t speak binary. I’ll tell you Al Gore invented the internet just to jerk your chain. I’m a writer of things that don’t really matter to most people, and I’m completely content with that.)

Such activities did not include being in a protest. After grabbing some amazing deals at some sales, we walk out to see a group of hippies and semi regular looking people marching and chanting in Dutch. I know enough about human nature to know it was definitely a protest. So, we joined in to see where they were going with it. They were playing instruments made of sticks, balloons, and a homemade looking drum. Being that we got to Antwerp during a Dutch holiday weekend, Addy was convinced that it was a parade or some sort of festivity.

…but I thought Belgium didn’t have a government? Who are they protesting to?

I know, I’m usually right. Girls usually are. To the ladies, boys will never learn. To the gentlemen, you’re in a constant state of denial…but it’s okay. I’m accepting of this. It’s like how women are completely insane. I’m aware of this in a million different ways, but I can’t change it. That’s like me trying to be black. There’s no reverse Michael Jackson for that. In a lot of ways, you can’t change yourself, even if you want to. We are who we are. Own it.

Now, back to this trip, before this becomes the most annoyingly long of my posts by far…

One thing I really enjoyed were the creative window displays.

My favorite?

What’s up, Bra?

Yes, it’s a dress made from braziers in a lingerie shop window. My husband liked the metallic Marge Simpson in the window of the hair salon, but it’s my blog, not his, and my next picture will redeem me in his eyes.

Belgian street art…

Street Art

Okay, now I look like a lameface. Why? I know nothing of European comics. I grew up to Family Circus, Garfield, and the Peanuts in the Sunday funnies. I grew up with Inspector Gadget and even Matthew Broderick couldn’t make that worth watching. I do know that he’s beloved in Europe as Blue’s Clues is to North America.-

I don’t care if I saw Steve Burns in real life, I’d make him sing We Just Got A Letter.

At any rate, my husband thought that this cartoon was TinTin and begged me to take a photo of it with my camera. Turns out someone corrected me, which I welcome. My husband will object, saying I need to be right, but honestly, I don’t mind being wrong. It just so happens that in his case, I’m usually right. ;-D

Right…

Where was I?

At this point, I wonder if it’s not worth posting just a bunch of random photos or a slideshow. It’s getting late, and I have an early, big day tomorrow.

WWHSTD?

What Would Hunter S. Thompson Do?

Probably drop some acid, huff some ether, and stay up all night. Also, write something far more entertaining than this that would contain at least one hallucination. Unfortunately, that’s not even in the realm of possibilities for me.

Brothas.

I could’ve posted a couple of pictures of the beautiful architecture, art, music, or any girl’s best friend…the diamond district, but that wouldn’t be me. That would make sense.

I do know that if you’re American, you won’t starve. There’s a pizza place on every corner, Europe is not without Aldi grocery stores, and I even got to eat at a Chili’s. Fajitas and cherry bubbly alcoholic drinks  for the win! The people are lovely. The place is lovely. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back, but I really have my heart set on the Canary Islands for my next vacation.

Love and Fajitas,

L

xoxo

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To Belgium and Back (Part 1)

L and O

This past long over-due winter break I went to Antwerp, Belgium with my husband, who was speaking at Devoxx and attending the jQuery summit online. No idea what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, in any other life, I probably wouldn’t either.

The point is Elle hit Europe, but were they ready?

We actually stayed in Ekeren, we went into the city for Devoxx, sightseeing and shopping. I decided to break the first part of this blog into Ekeren photos, because there are far too many pictures and things to blog about as it is.

My favorite place to eat.

Now some might judge them for how they spelled Chinese, but not me. Those girls spoke Chinese, French, Dutch, and English. Amazing. You go to a Chinese restaurant in Branson, and they act like they don’t speak Chinese or English. I love the tolerance of other people. They say that Europeans hate Americans. Maybe the Brits, I find that to be a tiny bit true. However, you have no idea how many Dutch conversations a sweet smile and a polite, “I’m sorry, I’m American” got me out of with a small chuckle an apology. It’s almost like when I get a flat, and I call roadside assistance. “I’m sorry, I’m a girl,” it works every time.

Preggers Belgian Barbie

Sounds crazy, and I’m more than a little crazy, but this was one of my favorite finds of the trip. Just sitting on the shelf with all the other Barbie and Justin Bieber dolls, Knocked Up Belgian Barbie, and she even gives birth to a tiny baby. Totally creepy? Maybe, but highly hilarious. Two thumbs up.

No Doggy Doo

Is this vulgar? Possibly, but it also had me rolling. It was probably the beers I’d had before that, but seeing this sign gave me a serious case of the LOLs. I found it on the side of a building in a seemingly sketch part of town.

Leopold II, King of the Belgians

In my neck of Ekeren, I didn’t find many actual sights per say, but I did find this lovely church and statue of Leopold II. Not the greatest guy if you lived in the Congo in the late 1800s, but the Belgians liked him well enough, I suppose.

That concludes my pictures of Markt Ekeren. I was only there a little over a week, so I didn’t do the greatest amount of exploring, and as my husband reminded me, it was a business semi vacation sort of trip. On the bright side, I finally got to finish 1984 by George Orwell, and it was just as brilliant as I imagined it to be. Not much more I could say about Ekeren. My husband would scold me for not mentioning Jump-Inn, his favorite restaurant, but as I said, it was his favorite, and this is my blog.

*insert silly winky face*

Until next time…

Love and Leopold,

L

xoxo


Insert Witty Blog Title Here

It’s not for lack of topic that I can’t write…

Ever had life go so topsy-tuvy that your thoughts are jumbled, and you can’t help but question your existence?

…Yeah…

Me either.

One thing you’ll learn in life is that no one likes a Debbie Downer. So, Buck up, Chuck. I know that I hate when my emo friends constantly post things on facebook about how terrible life is (and semi clothed photos). I love them, and if you can’t say anything nice… I just know that if I wrote about half the things spinning around in my head, I wouldn’t want to read it (and I lived it!), let alone anyone else.

Marilyn Monroe (who is far more brilliant than history gives her credit for) once said, “I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can learn to appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  She was not just big, blonde, and beautiful (and of course brilliant)- she was also desperately sad and lonely- almost haunted.

-But is that how the world remembers her? No, we only remember her smile…

My New Art

And smile I shall, because I have a million reasons to. This is just one.

I know it’s hard to capture every thought that’s racing through my over-worked brain and string them together in some semi-coherent line, but I do have a lot of good ones. Tales and Travels to come…and now, more Tornadoes.

Now, back to where I was going before, not sure if anyone noticed my blog being quite dodgy lately, but I consider it “Under Construction.” I am just committing to writing, even if ElleOhElle is all out of whack with not so many LOLs.

Another quote. This one Picasso. “Inspiration exists, but is has to find you working.”

So, I better get my shit together, eh? (I know, I know, don’t be vulgar…blergh)

I do miss writing. I want to write a short story, but it’s literally been at least seven years since I’ve written one. I wonder if I’ve just forgotten how. I guess I need a topic- any ideas?

Love and Muses,

L

xoxo