Thursday, July 26, 2012

More from Paris

On Friday Brent took the day off of work so he and I could enjoy a day in Paris together.  I was so excited to have him to myself for a day!  We did a TON of walking.  I mapped it out in my running app and we walked almost 9 miles throughout the city!  While we were out exploring we stopped and had a lunch at a cute little brasserie.  I had the most amazing onion soup ever! As my brother in law Brad said, "Can you still call it french onion soup in France?"

 I would go back just to have another bowl of this!

During the month of August many Europeans take holiday for a large portion of the month.  In Paris along the Seine river the set up a beach on one the roads that they shut down along the river.  We took advantage of it and lounged in the lawn chairs for while to break up our sightseeing

 They had different things set up on each part of the stretch of beach.  Beer, bubbles, bocce ball and sprinklers were just some of the things set up.

After relaxing for a little while we walked over to the Louvre 

We walked along the Champs-Elysees from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe 

Of course we stopped for some coffee and macaroons.  We split 4 of them- caramel, vanilla, rose and lemon.  They were so good! I am sure just from reading this blog you can tell, I have a thing for
sweets :)

Self portrait with the Arc 
Interesting fact: the arc de Triomphe is where 12 different roads in Paris come together.  If you get into an accident in this location no insurance company will cover it because the area is so chaotic!

Rain starting to come on our walk back to the hotel

I love the bright gold detail on so many of the buildings and statues.  This one was on a bridge

On Saturday morning we decided to hit the road right away so we could be out of Paris before all the traffic from the Tour de France.  We left right in time, while we were driving out of the city the traffic was backed up for close to 5 miles at the toll.
To break the trip up we decided to stop in Belgium.  We stopped in Brugge which is pretty much right in the middle of Paris and Utrecht.  It was a cute town, but due to the Belgium independence day most things were not open.

Look really close, when we stopped Brent realized he had 2 different shoes on... that my husband :)

Brent trying to creep on the people kissing in the statue

Our first eclair

We ended up with one of these mugs when we left.  The lady behind him looks really excited

When we were in the store getting Brent's mug I came across a case of fruit flavored beer.  Banana, Pineapple and raspberry are a few that I can remember.  I think I will still to unflavored beer.

We had a great trip and look forward to a couple more before the end of summer!


Monday, July 23, 2012

An American in Paris

Last Wednesday Brent and I took a little road trip... to Paris!  He had a business meeting on Thursday so I decided to tag along and we could make a little trip out of it.  We decided to drive(saved a ton of money this way) which took us about 5 1/2 hours.  I drove most of the way there so Brent could prep for the next days meeting.  I hadn't driven since we moved over here so needless to say I was nervous! It went great and in one evening I drove in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.  I did make Brent drive when we got within 5 minutes of Paris!

Here we go!

On Thursday while Brent worked I took a bike tour through Paris.  I got to our meeting point a little early and decided to take in the Notre Dame before I biked.  As disappointed as I was about not seeing Quasimodo, the church was pretty awesome!  ( I forgot our nice camera at home so all the pics are from the iPhone)

 I lucked out by getting their early so I almost had the place to myself

 It just goes on and on

 Every church we visit I always light a candle and say a prayer

 Old chandelier that used to hang in the church


Each of these statues is over 6 feet tall

Once I was finished in the church it was time to meet my tour group, but not before I tried to get some self photos

My ride for the tour 

Views from the bike

An old street 

 An old coffee shop that is starting to slant forward

Heading to the Louvre

Mini Lady Liberty near our hotel 

So I don't remember what this was called but man was it good.  It was a flat croissant like pastry with chocolate and custard.  It is a good thing I did so much walking!

That night Brent and I took a night tour on the Seine River.  It was really cool to see the city all lit up.

The Orsay at night 

Even prettier at night 

Last but not least!

I'll recap the rest of our trip later on this week

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good things x 2

I got in the house from my run just before this rolled in. 

 I was really excited to see what my local Albert Heijn is now carrying

It is a good day in Utrecht!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Review

Friday night Brent and I tried a new to us Restaurant in Utrrecht.  They had a 3 course menu with many options for your first two course.  I had a sale and enchiladas and Brent had beer battered mushrooms(so good!) and a mixed grill(it was too much for even Brent to eat).  Overall we liked they place and will definitely bring visitors back.

Clearly excited to have his picture taken after dinner.  

On Saturday we headed south to S'-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch as most Dutch call it.  It is about a 30 minute train ride from us.  Brent's employee gave us a list of places we should see in the Netherlands and we are gradually making our way through the list.  
The first thing we did when we got there was sample a local treat that they are famous for: Bossche Bol.

This is the bakery where they are made.  People come from hours away just to get these and there is always a line.  Brent and I were lucky to get a table to sit and enjoy ours. 

We shared one since this was before lunch.  This is how they look to start(oh on a side note, all of the iced tea here is sparkling and oh is it tasty!!)

The Bossche ball is a pastry filled with whipped cream and then covered in chocolate.  I have never in my life had anything that tasted so good.  By far the best pastry ever!! 

Clearly we liked it.

The line as we were leaving, seriously people love these!

After enjoying our treat we decided we should probably walk around for awhile.  We walked through the city center where their market was going on and made our way to St. Jacobs Cathedral.

I clearly was struggling to take centered pictures 

What I love about churches in Europe is there is beauty from the ceilings all the way down on to the floor. 

The old pulpit in the center of the church

The church was really nice.  Probably one of the nicest that we have seen outside of Italy.

We didn't spend a ton of time in Den Bosch since the weather wasn't the greatest.  But that is what is great about it being a quick train ride from us!