Author Archives: katerita

Dov’è Il Procione?

Where is The Raccoon?

 
Ryan: (from the kitchen) Did you bring a raccoon home from running?
Kate: what? no…
Ryan: Are you sure?
Kate: yes…
Ryan: What did you do?
Kate: I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich.
Ryan: I know. I can tell.
Kate: Really? I thought I cleaned it up.
Ryan: I’m not mad, but you should come in here & look at this.
 
(Kate walks into the kitchen)
Kate: Look! I put the peanut butter away!
Ryan: I can see that … without even having to move, I can see that. ’cause the cabinet door is still open. And the bread is on the counter, and the jelly is on the counter .. and the knife you used is on the plate covered with breadcrumbs on the counter .
Kate: Oh … 

 

 

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La Migliore Birra del Mondo

The Best Beer in the World

Approaching the Cafe

Westvleteren has been voted the best beer in the world. By … you know … people who do those kinds of things. Westvleteren is a trappist brewery – one of only 6 in Belgium. And though the beer is exteremely popular, the monks haven’t raised the prices or production – they make enough money to live on and to do their good works. Of course, this year part of their abbey became condemned and they’ve started to try to sell a little more.

One of each Westvleteren Beer – 6,8,10

Anyway, after much research, we found out that we could go and have a beer at their cafe between certain hours. Generally they don’t sell any for you to take off campus, and certainly not to be resold … but we could taste the elixir! We ordered one of each kind that they have – my favorite was the 10.

View from the table in the Cafe

The cafe itself was pretty nice – we ordered some meet and cheese to go with the beer …

Enjoying the best beer in the world!

But mostly it was about the beer.

The spoils!

As it turned out, they were selling some beer today. You were allowed up to 6 bottles per person of either the 6 or the 8. We were travelling ryan air, so we couldn’t bring much … but we bought 3 of each kind of beer, and a couple of glasses to keep for ourselves.

A happy customer!

For more on Westvleteren: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westvleteren_Brewery#International_reputation

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Birra di Brugges … e la luce del Giorno

Beer in Brugge, and the light of Day

Posing in the attic of the Brewery

We toured the Brugse Zot (Crazy jester guy)/De Haalve Maan (Half Moon) Brewery in Brugges one day. It was the only brewery we actually toured during our visit to Belgium. It came with beer at the end – so that was nice.

Beer containers – where young people used to have to go in and clean between batches!

View of the town square from the tower that we climbed

View of Town

Ryan – looking cute. I just want to run up and kiss his cute cheek!
(sorry … couldn’t help myself)

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Bruges nella luce della Sera

Brugge in the light of Evening

Much like Ghent and Brussels, we were mostly guidebook free … so we just wandered the city and enjoyed the sights.

Trying some chocolate – with crispies

The chocolate store we finally shopped in

This chocolate shop was AMAZING. All of the chocolate flavors were crazy – there was onion, and lavender, and mango, and hot pepper, and mint, and all kinds of combinations. We bought an assortment and ate it very very slowly. It was great. I think it’s called The Chocolate Store. It was the most interesting of all of the shops we went into.

Sausage and Hot Wine (I got fries :)

Lights in the Main Square

It’s a romantic city … no?

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A Bruges

In Bruges

(Have you seen that movie? Everyone said I should see it before I went to Bruges … I couldn’t figure out how to see it, so I didn’t. But I hear it’s good.)

Dinner in Brugge

Brugge is in northwest Belgium – and it was our last stop. It’s a tiny, but adorable city – and so … I have lots of pictures.

Baked stuffed oysters

Dinner! Including eel in green sauce

Restaurant for Dinner

Our first night we picked a restaurant in the old town in Bruges. It turned out to be excellent. After dinner we wandered through the old town admiring the way the buildings looked all lit up.

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Viste e Divertimento a Ghent

Views and Fun in Ghent – Belgium

Bridge over the river

The more I look through our pictures from Ghent, the more I realize that we must have been moving really slowly through the city. But then … that’s not a bad way to see a city like this one.

The only guide book we had was only for beer … and places to drink beer, so I don’t know what most of teh stuff was that we looked at… but I think that didn’t really matter much at the time. Look at this place!!

Happy Pancake Maker Guy

Christmas Markets in front of the church

Happy Pancake Eater Guy

Cathedral

My first real Lambic

My first real Lambic was a Cantillon, which is supposed to be a pretty good one. I had always enjoyed lambics previously – but on this trip I learned that most of the lambics we see are sweetened with fruit juices. Traditional lambics are bit of a dirtier endeavor – with the yeasts and dirt clinging to the beer house ceiling ending up in the open vats of beer. Yeah … Anyway, that wasn’t a problem for me as much as how *sour* the drink was. Later I tried some Gueuze, which was similarly sour … but somehow … better. Still quite palate cleansing though – and not ideal for more than one drink, in my opinion.

 

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Una Fermata a Ghent

A Stop in Ghent – Brussels

Ghent Cathedral

Ghent was a pit stop on our way between Brussels and Brugges. Ahh the beauty of a road trip – you get to see so much!

Riverside restaurants

Restaurant where we had lunch

Our first stop was for lunch. We had a light lunch with bread, cheese, meats … and a round of beers.

Gorgeous buildings everywhere!

Our view at lunchtime

Westmalle Dubbel, Kriek Boon and a monk beer …

Castle in Ghent

After lunch we wandered around to check out the city a little more … it was a pretty adorable town.

Typical Square

A view across the river

The riverside was one of the most picturesque areas. It was wide open on one side, and with all kinds of neat facades on the other.

Self-portrait on the river

Ryan with our tour guide!

We had fun on the riverside posing with our Belgian beer guide tour book. We used this book for recommendations for beer bars as well as restaurants. It is also a rating guide for beer houses and beers. It completely made our trip – we highly recommend it if you’re going to Belgium to try the beer. And if you’re not going to Belgium to try the beer … well, then I can’t help you anyway. :)

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