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Stephen Hawking, Ray Romano, The Simpsons and analogies

Commencing countdown, engines on.

If my impending trip to Europe were to be compared to a black hole you might say I have reached the event horizon. Time is slowing down as I am pulled into a singularity that is my vacation

The next few days stretch out before me in what seems to be an eternity.

It’s an odd feeling. Matter is energy and I am vibrating at a whole new frequency. Soon I will be invisible to the naked eye of employment (if only for a short time). Who knows what wonders await on the other side?

I guess I do since I have been planning for so long now.

It’s all “Dutch” to me…

I’m using the B&B landlord’s PC. I managed to hook up the iPod successfully (even with Dutch instructions).
The plane ride was uneventful. When we arrived in Amsterdam we found out George Bush would be visiting. There were some protests. Getting “Stop Bush” fliers handed to us by the local dissidents was a hoot.

Cynthia and I hooked up with my friend Carl and his lovely lady Suzanne. We did some sight-seeing by foot on day 1 and managed to stay awake the whole day before crashing around 7:00 pm. That meant we were awake better than 24 hours and allowed us to (mostly) overcome jet lag.

The next day we went to the Van Gogh museum. Very nice. That evening was spent with Carl and Suzanne at their place. We had a lovely dinner and if I hadn’t been overcome by a hefty sinus headache we would have been up all night engaged in wonderful discussion. As it was, the evening was still mighty fine.

Today was spent taking the train to Liden and on to the Keukenhoff to check out the Tulip festival. It was spectacular!

Tomorrow is on the Bruges Belgium for chocolate and beer. I’ll update as I can.

Disaster

Upon arrival in Bruges we had a bit of a scare. As Cynthia was entering the cab for the ride to the hotel she slipped and smashed her nose on the door frame. Blood began to run down her lip and there were numerous abrasions to the forehead and the bridge of her nose.

Our desitnation quickly changed from the hotel to the nearest hospital. The nurse admitted us quickly and within 20 minutes Cynthia was being x-rayed and treated. Fortunately the nose is unbroken and in tact. No concussion. All in all it took 1 hour in the emergency room and we were on our way with a prescription for extra strength ibuprofen.

The doctor spoke Dutch and a little English. When he looked at the paperwork and read where we were from he quipped “Houston, we have a problem.” The levity went a long, long way.

The hospital did not charge us. They will mail us a bill back in Houston. Can you imagine? We walked in, got treated and were sent on our way. Imagine some poor sap from the EU who spoke no English getting such good treatment in an emergency room in Houston…

All is well now and Bruges is fantastic. The Internet cafe I am in rests in the shadow of The Curch of Our Lady and is quite cool.

More when possible. Two days here and it’s off to Paris.

A quick update

Back at the Internet cafe for a quick update. Cynthia is fine. We got around today with no problems. Even with a bandage on her nose she is still the prettiest woman in Europe. She climed the 375 steps to the top of the clock tower in the central square and that perked her up.

We found the world famous Devon Chocolate Shop and stocked up. Wait till you see those pics! William the sheep has made some new friends. You could say he is a “good wool ambassador” (groan).

I purchased two Cohiba Cuban cigars at the local tobaccoist and have smoked one in a nice pub as I drank a brandy. Ahh, decadence!

This is the coolest little town. We saw a lovely statue of Madonna and child. It is said to be the only Michaelangelo statue outside of Italy. It is carved from a single block of Marble as is his style. It’s awe-inspiring.

Gotta run! Tomorrow is Paris!

Paris!

Bruges to Brussels no problem. Then the high speed train to Paris.

This will be short as the French excuse for a computer keyboard is an abomination. Who ever heard of using an ALT key to type a period…? And the Q and the A keys are transposed as well as a few other quirks.

It kills me I cannot show you the night shots of the Eiffel Tower!
There are some cool pics I will share when I can.

Thanks to every one for the well wishes and good thoughts!
Cynthia is doing well and so am I.

Finally got some IO

Found a cafe that will let you connect USB devices so I am adding two pics taken yesterday.

Yes, I AM a tourist.

William the sheep is overjoyed to be in Paris and see the sights.

William

We stayed up late so I could use the tripod and get this shot

Lights

Oh yea, before we left Bruges, Cynthia got the hookup at the Dumon Chocolate Shop. This place is pretty amazing. It went a long way toward lifting her spirits after the “incident.”

We went to the top of the tower today and we also walked to the Arc d’Triumph. Tomorrow is the Louvre.