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Old 09-25-2012, 10:59 PM   #91
IheartDDuck
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I couldn't resist. I had to start my PTR(s) because I'm SOOOOO EXCITED ABOUT IT!!!! I hope you guys can all join me there. I truly do love all of my readers.

Dork Wars Episode II: The Revenge of Joaquin - A Nov. 12 / Jul. 13 PTR
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #92
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YAY for an update !! I am so glad you reached your relative's house without too much trouble. That does sound like an epic-ally long travel day. Love all your silly faces again !! I hope you got some rest and I can't wait to read about DLPR !!! And I totally get the language thing. I always felt so stupid when they could speak like five fluent languages and I can only speak English. Everywhere we went though, everyone would speak English no problem. So that was a relief. We took a boat tour in Brugge and the guy did his tour in four different languages, I was super impressed !!
I know what you mean about the boat tour in Brugge. When we took our trip in 2010 we also did the boat tour and Rick and Danielle were amazed at our tour guide. He also spoke several languages and fluently on top of it. Also all the restaurants that we went to the staff spoke English, so that made Rick feel so much better since he has a pretty hard time with languages Even English at times
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #93
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I know what you mean about the boat tour in Brugge. When we took our trip in 2010 we also did the boat tour and Rick and Danielle were amazed at our tour guide. He also spoke several languages and fluently on top of it. Also all the restaurants that we went to the staff spoke English, so that made Rick feel so much better since he has a pretty hard time with languages Even English at times
Yeah, Dad's command of the English language is shoddy at best.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #94
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Yeah, Dad's command of the English language is shoddy at best.
Bahahahaha !!! So is my husband's. You should hear some of the words he comes up with !! He has been to Mexico lately for work and my DS is constantly correcting his Spanish. And I don't say it out loud, but I m thinking, "shouldn't you learn your own native tongue first ??" Just sayin'......
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:15 AM   #95
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If its any comfort we wiated nearly 3 hours to get through immigration in Floridaq - its just what countries do to visitors
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #96
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Bahahahaha !!! So is my husband's. You should hear some of the words he comes up with !! He has been to Mexico lately for work and my DS is constantly correcting his Spanish. And I don't say it out loud, but I m thinking, "shouldn't you learn your own native tongue first ??" Just sayin'......
My Dad is the same! He'll just be talking about something, and then a word that does not exist comes out of his mouth and he just keeps talking like it's completely normal. We started to actually keep record of his words, and I've started to make definitions.

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If its any comfort we wiated nearly 3 hours to get through immigration in Floridaq - its just what countries do to visitors
Ugh, I agree, I think every country just does it to aggravate people. We had a similar problem when we were coming back into the country too.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #97
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Dude, There are Tollways Everywhere

Day 1 - Saturday June 30, 2012

Okay, on to our first official "real" day.

We woke up today feeling so refreshed. Seriously, if you want to have a good nights sleep, I strongly suggest traveling to another country on an 8 hour flight and basically staying awake for over 30 hours. It will definitely help you in the sleep department. I knocked out. That never happens to me in places that are not my home. But it felt very very nice.

I woke up at around 9am. I could have honestly slept longer, but I also knew that our goal in the early afternoon was to hit the road and start heading to Paris. Because we were going to Disneyland today!!!!!

I went downstairs and Mom was already up with Chris for breakfast. Finn, Chris and Heinz grandson was there. Oh my goodness, he is the cutest thing ever. He was a little shy at first, but later he was showing me how he was feeding the birds. Two years old and full of energy!

Everyone was already at the breakfast table (except for my Dad....he was still asleep. As you know, this is his favorite pastime).

Our breakfast spread.



This is typical European breakfast. Cheese, lunchmeats, breads, and ample amounts of coffee.



And, the coup de grace....



Chris, my Mom's cousin, is honestly the most accommodating person I've ever met before. She does anything she can for you to make your stay better. I know it's because she doesn't see us often, but it's still so sweet. She did all of this the last time we came. She also bought us some tartes (baked goods essentially), that were amazing.

Finn, the cutie patootie, was enjoying his breakfast very much.





Dad finally decided to join us for breakfast too.



International Travel Tip #17 - American breakfast is not common in Europe. While you can find it, you will pay for it at kind of a premium. Don't bother. Sampling their breads, cheeses, and spreads is more than enough and SUPER tasty.

Oooohhh, and even though it was breakfast, I still ate my tarte.



I'm seriously tempted to lick my screen right now. It was soooooo good.

After relaxing and chatting at breakfast, it was time to head upstairs to pack our overnight bags.

Here's our entrance to our little apartment.



And my sleeping area.



I love to do makeup too, so I took a picture of my makeup job on most days.

Closed.



And open! I'm a dork, sorry.



And here's my outfit of the day.



Getting ready to go. Chris loves candids, so you'll get a lot of those from her pictures.





Before we headed out, Finn really wanted to play cars with us all.





He played this game with me that was hysterical. I would ask him:

"Finn, welke kleur is deze auto?" (What color is this car).

"Geel!!!! (yellow)"

And so it would continue.

Until the little bugger decided he would mess with me. I picked up the white car. I ask him what color it is....

"Geel!!!!!"

I said:

"Nee nee Finn, dat is niet geel" (No no Finn, that is not yellow).

And he said to me:

"Nee, dat is geel!!!!" (No, that is yellow!!!)

With a devilish little grin on his face. Testing me out to see how much I really know. He was so cute. I love kids from other countries, I really do. I loved listening to him say words that I was just learning about myself.

Vliegtuig (plane), boom (tree), bussel (bushel of carrots, etc), vlieg (fly), etc. They're so smart.

He also very quickly caught on to the fact that my Dad spoke no Dutch at all. He knew so well in fact, that he started to demonstrate things to my Dad, since he knew he didn't know the words. They're so smart, aren't they?

Clearly, he had something very important to say to my Mom.



It was time for us to head out, as it would be a four hour drive for us to get to Disneyland Paris. We forget sometimes that in the U.S., we just stop at McDonalds on the way or eat something unhealthy. Chris insisted on packing us food to eat in the car. I was perfectly fine with that, because the bread and cheese that she had was amazing.

We headed out to the car and got settled in, but not before I took a picture of the house before we started driving.



So we said "Tot Maandag!" (Until Monday!), to our family and were on our way. TomTom was programmed (remember, TomTom is not in the dash, he's his own little unit. In case you forgot from the last update. LOL).

I won't bore you with driving details or anything. It was pretty basic. But somewhere along the way, I ate my lovely sandwich.



And soon we were seeing the sign "Welcome to France."



And then it happened. We came upon.....the dreaded toll road.

Yes, there are tollways everywhere it appears. And France is no different. Their is very much like the Florida Turnpike. Get on at one entrance, and then where you exit will dictate the price that you pay. We had to take the entire turnpike, but finally, we got to our end state.



That's a lot of cars, eh?

International Travel Tip #19 - Everyone goes on holiday in the summer in Europe, around the same time and they take their holidays very seriously. If you want to avoid the crowds, don't go during the summer.

Our final price was 14 euro. That is the equivalent of about $17ish dollars.

On the way, we enjoyed some French countryside. Very common to see small villages like below, with a church at the center. Many years ago, the towns were built around the churches.



Mom had a little panic attack on the road. We found out from Heinz that on July 1st, France was enacting a law where every car had to have breathalyzers in them, so the police could test you wherever and whenever. Fortunately, if you need them, the petrol stations sell them for 1 euro. That's handy enough. However, Mom was a little afraid that we might get pulled over and not be prepared. (Moral of the story....it didn't happen). However....

International Travel Tip #20 - Be aware that there are laws that may be enacted when you're there, like it was when we arrived. There's no need to panic, because being from outside of the country will help you.

People also drive very fast here, and they use the lanes the way they're supposed to be used.

International Travel Tip #21 - People drive very fast, but they also don't messa around with the left lane. It's only a passing lane. Look out for people coming up behind you and promptly move over. Its best not to hang out in the left lane for too long.

Soon, we were approaching our destination.....

CLIFFHANGER!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (Sorry. I couldn't help myself).

Here's your Dutch lesson for the day -

Hi - Hallo
Tree - Boom
Bushel - Bussel
Airplane - Vliegtuig
Fly - Vlieg
White - Wit
Blue - Blauw
Red - Rood
Yellow - Geel
Green - Groen
Until Later - Tot Ziens
Monday - Mandaag


Last edited by IheartDDuck; 09-30-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #98
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The food looks amazing! How lucky you are to have family in Europe to stay with while you get to explore new cultures!

Again, excellent international travel tips. I would be the one insisting on buying the breathalizer 'just in case'.

I cannot wait to hear about DLP!!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:48 AM   #99
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I love how in Europe you can drive just a few hours and be in a different country!

You tease ending on a cliffhanger like that! Can't wait for the next instalment
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:08 AM   #100
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I love European breakfasts, so simple and yummy. I'm a bread lover anyway, so it's good.
Hooray for being on the road and in France!
Finn is super cute, kids are so smart, they have a natural instinct for communication, even with a language barrier!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:23 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by shan23877 View Post
The food looks amazing! How lucky you are to have family in Europe to stay with while you get to explore new cultures!

Again, excellent international travel tips. I would be the one insisting on buying the breathalizer 'just in case'.

I cannot wait to hear about DLP!!!
We ate that basically every morning, and I couldn't have been happier. The food just keeps getting better and better throughout the trip.

Haha, I was so not worried about the breathalyzer thing that I was just like "meh...what can you do". My Mom worries about that stuff though.

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I love how in Europe you can drive just a few hours and be in a different country!

You tease ending on a cliffhanger like that! Can't wait for the next instalment
I know, it's my favorite thing over there! We think in terms of state to state here. My state takes like 8 hours to get from top to bottom!

I know, I had to leave it there. I don't love my updates to go on forever and ever. Just too much.

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I love European breakfasts, so simple and yummy. I'm a bread lover anyway, so it's good.
Hooray for being on the road and in France!
Finn is super cute, kids are so smart, they have a natural instinct for communication, even with a language barrier!
They are, aren't they? I am a bread lover myself, but that's because since my Mom is European, we ate that kind of breakfast often, even at home here.

They do have a natural instinct for language. He was just so adorable that he knew my Dad didn't understand him.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #102
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For sure Finn is a cutie and a smart one. Like Danielle said he knew right away that Rick didn't speak Flemish and would show him what he meant. It was the neatest thing to see. The food well.... I will let the pictures do the talking. It seems like all we did on this trip was eat and eat some more..... not complaining because I I love to eat.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #103
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For sure Finn is a cutie and a smart one. Like Danielle said he knew right away that Rick didn't speak Flemish and would show him what he meant. It was the neatest thing to see. The food well.... I will let the pictures do the talking. It seems like all we did on this trip was eat and eat some more..... not complaining because I I love to eat.
Ugh, the food. I miss eating all of that food. However, I'm surprised that I didn't gain any weight on this trip. I'm going to attribute it to all of the walking that we did.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:04 PM   #104
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Ugh, the food. I miss eating all of that food. However, I'm surprised that I didn't gain any weight on this trip. I'm going to attribute it to all of the walking that we did.
Remember too that the food we had was always fresh bought..... and because of that no added chemicals and junk....... Belgium and France have very strict codes when it comes to food additives

I was also very happy that I didn't gain either
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #105
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OMG Finn is SOOOOOOOO cute! How great that he was showing your dad different things because he knew he didn't understand the language. I love that.

Breakfast looks great and I think having meat, cheese, and bread for breakfast is the way it should be. I've never been a big fan of the "American" Breakfast.

I actually think its pretty awesome that there aren't any McD's on your journey. I rather eat what you had.

What a nice visit with your family.

Can't wait to see DLP.
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