Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Walking through Antwerpen

Today we left the flat at 1ish to walk the city. On Meir there was a sax player outside H&M performing The Love Theme from The Godfather and it was bizarre but fabulous. We wound down and around all the little side streets for hours. Ashlee loved the horses in the Grote Markt and I was in awe of the architecture and the Brabo Fountain. This city is just beautiful. We stop at Bella Capri for lunch and then check out the Sint-Annatunnel which was so cool until a giant Mastiff takes an enormous shit and leaves the tunnel smelling like a sewer's foot. It was wretched to say the least. We stop for a waffle (of course) and then home to put our feet up. We are exhausted and Ashlee's poor feet are riddled with blisters. We watch some Animal Planet and finally crash at midnight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sudden Death

Rudolf Mestdagh recommended Mort Subite to me before I left for Belgium and he was right on - it was excellent.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Belgium!

We woke up wicked early to board the Eurostar which then proceeded to break down and made us over two hours late to meet Michel at his apartment. But he's wonderful and his place is gorgeous and I'm so thrilled to be in Antwerpen.

 
 
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Falafels!

Bishop told me about a fabulous falafel place in Kensington and today we found it! Oh my Lord Jesus, it was utterly fantastic. Mouth-wateringly fantastic. I should have known that when it comes to food, Bishop don't lie.

 
 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rainy London

Today we jumped on the tube and decided to be touristy and check out Westminster Abbey, since I have an enormous photo of the Abbey from 1908 hanging in my home. Kinda felt like we needed to go see it in person. By the time we returned home we were completely soaked from the torrential rain and hail, but it was worth it. We walked down to see the Palace and the Queen Victoria Monument, which was spectacular and Ashlee got a photo of a young foot guard and was ridiculously happy.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Books and Crisps

After sleeping late, we headed down to Kensington High Street to check out Marks and Sparks. On the way we stopped at a cute little book shop and picked up some new goodies. The Pulp! edition of The Portrait of Dorian Gray could not be left behind and I was disappointed that they didn't have the Pride and Prejudice which featured Colin Firth on the cover and stated "Lock up your daughters - Darcy's in town!" And I found Little Miss Star and was giddy with excitement. Then it was back to the flat to read, talk, and eat way too many crisps.

 
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Off to London

You know the plane you are on is old as shit when it has ashtrays on the arm rest. It was like being on the set of an episode of Mad Men.

 
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gravediggers Pub

It's our last day in Dublin and our goal is to find John Kavanagh's Gravediggers pub and have a pint of Guinness. In 1996 I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty, which immediately became one of my all time favourite films. In it actor Donal McCann said that this was the best pub in Dublin. We wanted to see for ourselves.

Ashlee and I wandered our way over to Glasnevin Cemetery and finally found Gravediggers. We popped in to the main pub which was empty but for a few locals that clearly stared at us as though we had lobsters coming out of our ears. We immediately dashed back outside and had a quick cigarette while trying to summon the courage to go in again. A mother and daughter walked past us and into the lounge area that was separate from the main pub. They stepped back out a minute later and I said to the mother, who was in her mid-sixties, "That's not a good sign. Ya went in and then came right back out." We then found ourselves chatting like new friends and they were both so sweet. She asked why we weren't in the old pub and I told her that we were scared because we don't belong. "'Course ya belong! Ya belong everywhere!" was her response. The mum told us that she spent most of her youth in that pub and that it has looked that way since it opened in 1833. The lounge area was added on more recently and after a warm goodbye to the ladies we decided to go in where it was quiet and where we would stand out the least.

I opened the door and stepped in to a large room with a few men at a table near the front. I walked over to the beautiful bearded bartender (as a side note, the men in Dublin are stunning, even recently married Ashlee remarked, "Damn, the Irish reproduce quite nicely.") and sheepishly said, "We are frightened Americans who just want a pint of Guinness. How do we go about doing so?" He told us to grab a seat and he'd bring them right over. He was an absolute delight and chatted us up a bit before we headed out. Now, you need to know that I'm not a drinker; I have had maybe eight beers in my entire life and this was only my third (the rest were in Belgium, but that's a future post). I was prepared to truly dislike the Guinness, but in all honesty, it was delicious. Absolutely divine. Like nothing I've ever had before.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blazing Salads

After taking a walk and crossing the Ha'penny Bridge, we dodged the hail and rain by stepping into a delightful lil' place with the most delicious vegan food. Ashlee and I ordered our dinner for take away and then hoofed it back to the flat for more Midwife, chit chat, and relaxation. Most people would be hittin' every pub and stayin' out all night, but not us weirdos, and frankly, that suits us both just fine.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Downtime

A hellacious day which damn near brought me to tears - what possessed me to think that I could drive in Dublin? Only every fourth street is labeled and the main road to reach the Cliffs of Moher was apparently hidden in another realm. I managed to pop about twelve curbs and scraped the mirror of another driver's car whilst veering out of the way of some stupid son of a bitch on a motorbike. It was an unholy nightmare that was only made worse by the fact that they no longer allow smoking in any rental car. When we finally managed, after two plus hours of wandering the city and beyond, to return to Enterprise, I needed to relax. We walked the city a bit and then headed back to the flat to watch season three of Call the Midwife. Ashlee and I picked it up yesterday and I've got her hooked. The episode with Colin Young returning as Jacob? Oh my God, sooooo good!

 
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Karin's Flat

We arrived at Karin's doorstep at about 9:30 in the morning and she was quite frazzled and seemed a tad annoyed with us, or rather me, I guess, since we were so much earlier than she expected. We just wanted to drop off our luggage and relax for a minute, so she took in our bags and we were off to a corner coffee shop until noon, when we could check-in properly.

Karin's place is divine and Mountjoy Square reminds Ashlee and me of Philly, so we feel very at home. After we get the keys and check out the flat, we settle in a bit, run down to the Tesco supermarket for provisions and on our way back, stop at Kingfisher's on Parnell for chips with salt and vinegar. Pure bliss. Then we plopped on her big ole comfy couch and watched About a Boy til we decided to call it a night at half past midnight. Tomorrow we are off to see Trinity College's library!