Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ghent, Belgium

This past weekend was beautiful (with the exception of my little accident on Sunday). Dan, Pam, and I took Maxie and Zsa Zsa with us to Ghent, Belgium (or Gent in Dutch) on Saturday. We had a wonderful time walking around the quaint streets and checking out what this little town had to offer!

Ghent is about an hour from Brussels, so the drive was not bad at all. Ghent, like Brugge, has canals which run through the city and all kinds of cafes set up along the water.

We were starving when we arrived so had lunch at an Irish restaurant. I have mentioned before that Pam spoils Zsa Zsa as much as I spoil Maxie! What Pam did at this restaurant was hilarious...and she is going to kill me for telling this story! Oh well! Anyway, we all ordered what we wanted for lunch...then Pam decides the dogs need a little something too if they are going to be walking around all afternoon...they need their she ordered them a chicken sandwich! Dan and I busted out laughing and thought it was the funniest thing we have ever heard! Pam glared at us...and did not think a thing about it. Anyway, we all enjoyed our lunch (including the dogs)!!!

The 91-meter-high belfry of Ghent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center.

The Saint Bavo Cathedral (also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral, or the Dutch Sint Baafskathedraal) is the seat of the diocese of Ghent. It is named for Saint Bavo of Ghent. This church was so beautiful on the inside! Check out all the pictures I took inside in my Shutterfly album.

Beautiful woodwork on the door leading into the church!

Dan stayed with the dogs as Pam and I took a look around!

There was also a really cool castle called the famous castle of the Counts, a typical medieval fortress built for Philip of Alsace, who was the count of Flanders from 1157 to 1191! Cool!

I loved the canals!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Can you believe this???

I have the best luck....can't you tell? I LOVE BELGIUM!

Maxie and I are ok....sore, swollen knee, and a tremendous headache where my head hit the driver's side window.

It all happened with a plan to go to the park for a walk since it was a beautiful day in Brussels! As I was driving along a street in my neighborhood, a guy (obviously in a hurry) never looked to see if anyone was coming as he tried to make a left hand turn and plowed right into me.

I love my life in Brussels...........

Oh, and this is how Maxie is doing....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Go Tigers Go!!

The University of Memphis men’s basketball team has been ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time in 25 years.

Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Coming up next...

I am enjoying being in Brussels for the next few weeks! It is a very weird feeling not to have much I am getting over that and starting to plan some cool trips!

My friend, Rick, is coming over in February and we are heading to Amsterdam, Paris, and the Champagne Region of France! I am so excited! I have never been to the city of Amsterdam nor to the Champagne Region of France! This is going to be great! In Amsterdam, we have reservations with some friends to go to the Supperclub restaurant! Now, this is going to be a story to tell! You will have to check back for the stories that will come from this adventure!

Then in March, I am going to Istanbul, Turkey. How cool is that??!! My friend, Pam, has friends from Turkey and they have invited us over to visit. I enjoy going to 'different' places and seeing things I never thought I would ever see! Turkey is a country that was not top on my list of must-see places....but when you have an opportunity like this gotta jump on it! So I did! From what I hear, their home is fabulous! They live on a cliff which over looks the Bosporus Strait. The Bosporus separates the European part of Turkey and the Asian part of Turkey. Istanbul is the only city in the world sitting on 2 continents!!! How 'bout those apples!!?

Should be fun!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 21st...Most Depressing Day of the Year

I was in a really bad mood yesterday. I really could not figure it boss was out of town (freedom!!!) so you would think I would be looking forward to going to the office. Well, that was not the case.

My day started off by having to go to my local Commune (basically a city town hall) to get a form legalized to renew my work permit. I live in the city of Ixelles where there are actually 2 separate buildings I have been to for various things such as registering with the commune and getting my Belgian driver's license. So I knew this would be interesting trying to figure out which building I needed to go to as I have never gone to the Commune by myself....I have always had my relocation agent with me. I went to the building where I thought would be most appropriate for what I needed to get done today. After waiting for about 20 minutes, I found out this was not the correct building (figures) and I needed to go somewhere else that I have never been to before. So, I went to that building and no one spoke English to tell me exactly where I needed to go. Once again, I resorted to the universal language (gesturing) and we were able to figure it out. After about 2 more wrong stops, I made it to the correct person and got my form legalized.

The day really did not get any better as I was just plain moody. It is also winter here in Belgium and the weather, quite frankly, stinks. The skies are gray and the rain just won't go away. I have not seen the sun in weeks and it is cold. It is really depressing! Someone told me the way to get through the winter is to plan a trip south in February to get away from all the rain and gray skies. I am wishing I had done that about now.

As I was laying in bed at 7:30PM (yes, I said 7:30....I was moody, remember??!!) and watching FOX news, a report came on about how January 21st was the most depressing day of the year. I thought...WOW, that is what is wrong with me!!! It did make me feel a little better to have a reason behind my attitude these I rolled over and went to sleep to get that day over with!!!

Check out the Time magazine article about The Most Depressing Day of the Year at,8599,1704887,00.html.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Christmas 2007 and New Year's!

Sorry....this posting is a little late!

I have always taken for granted being home for the holidays and never have really travelled to see family. I have actually thought it was kinda cool to have to travel to be home for Christmas and the anticipation of everyone waiting on you! Well, let me tell you.....traveling around the holidays is not all it's cracked up to be!!!

The flight home was uneventful and my family was very happy to see me. Time at home is never enough and there always seemed to be something going on, someone to see, and never enough time to just 'be at home'. Luckily, I was just home in October so it didn't feel like I had been gone for a long time.

When I was home in October, I managed to fill up every single night seeing friends, family, etc. I was exhausted by the time I got back to Brussels. This time, I made it a point not to fill up every night and it seemed a bit more relaxed! I was so excited to see everyone that I was able to see and thankful for the time we got to spend together!

Christmas at the Glover's is always great. Our big event is Christmas Eve and we had a great time with all of my extended family. Christmas Day was mainly my immediate family and Graham and we had a great time. After opening presents and eating (of course) we all sat down and played cards! What great family time!

Mom, Dad, Angie, me and Maxie!

Maxie was, of course, decked out for the occasion!

I was really not in the mood to do something crazy for New Year's Eve. My friend Rick had a small get together at his house and we all had a great time hanging out and doing karaoke!

Rick and I
Kathy and I
Marvin and Charlene

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a great start to 2008!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Absolut Icebar - London, England

I made it to the Absolut Icebar....but for only a few minutes!!! What a crazy night!

I was not able to talk the guys I work with into going to see Wicked with I decided to go alone. I knew we had reservations for the Icebar at 10:15PM and Wicked started at 7:30PM so I thought the show would be over by 10PM, at the latest. I was wrong! I looked at my watch at 10:10PM and we were probably on the 2nd to last song. I knew I could not jump over the people sitting beside me because something huge happens at the end of the show...and that would be just rude!

When the standing ovations started I jumped up, ran to the underground, jumped off at my stop, ran (or rather briskly walked) to the hotel (where I left my camera.....and I cannot go to the Icebar without my camera), jumped into a taxi and made it to the Icebar about 10:40PM.

When I arrived I had to get my ticket from the front desk where the lady said I only had 3 minutes left of my reservation. I thought....what the heck, I am going in anyway! They dressed me in a 'designer' cape and gloves and off I went!

With the hat up!

I got in and found JR, Carrie, and Baptiste.

I was in the Icebar about 10 minutes in total but I managed to snap a few pictures and get the feel of the place! I got a drink at the bar, which was in a glass made completely of ice.

Everything but the floor (that could be dangerous) was made of, walls, seats, fake TVs, fake DJ booth, fake speakers, etc. It was really cool (no pun intended).....although I could not stop sweating the whole time....remember I ran halfway across London to get to this place! They say the temperature is kept at minus 5 I am not sure if that is Celsius or Fahrenheit as I really didn't care because it felt so good to me at the time!

Bar in the back of the picture and walls to the side...

Fake DJ booth...
Ice glasses...

Benches with reindeer skin to sit on...

The Icebar staff monitors the time you are in the bar due to it being so cold as those intoxicated would never realize their fingers were turning blue!!! So, unfortunately, we were ushered out of the bar about 10 minutes after I arrived...but I did get to go and experience what this place was all about.

Afterwards we warmed up (or continued to cool off for me) at the Cellar bar which was apart of the Icebar....just warmer!

The Absolut Icebar was incredible and a must-see for anyone in London...even for only 10 minutes!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Busy in London...

I have been in London all week and have not had any time for fun! I have always said work is getting in the way of my European vacation! HA!

Anyway, we are finishing up today and making some time for fun tonight! I am going to see Wicked (again)! It is such an awesome show that I am willing to pay to see it twice!

After the show, we are going to the "Absolut Ice Bar"! I am so excited about this! It is a bar made completely of ice. It is kept at minus 5 degrees and you get a designer cape and mittens when you walk in to keep you warm!! This should be interesting! You are only allowed to stay for 40 I know by the end I will be ready to get out of there!

Check it out at

I will have pictures and stories to share soon!

Friday, January 11, 2008


Now that I am getting settled back in and the jet-lag is wearing off...I am realizing how blessed I am to have Dan and Pam in my life here in Brussels. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about what all Dan did for me while dealing with the mess in my apartment.

It was all very easy for me...I was in Memphis when it all happened and by the time I walked into my apartment in Brussels, the mess (and even the smell) was gone and cleaned up.

Dan took the initiative to come over and assess the problem, take action on dealing with it, called and worked with my apartment owners, was there for both sets of plumbers (on a work day nonetheless), and helped clear out the room for the cleaners to do their job. This is WAY above and beyond the call of duty (and friendship) for anyone. He did it because it was the right thing to do but could have easily just made a call and left it for someone else to deal with.

This mess was not just a little water in the floor but disease prone bacteria floating everywhere. I pray I am able to do the same thing Dan did for me for someone else in the same situation.

You know, these things happen to people in the US every day; however, there is so much to deal with when living in a foreign country that this only adds to the stress. I am so blessed to have met people which offer me unconditional love and support. I pray everyone has someone like Dan and Pam in their lives!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We are back!!

Maxie and I are back in our apartment! Tonight is the first time we are staying here since all of our little incidents! I am trying to unpack, put my bedroom back together and get settled in before I leave again for London next week.

I have been staying with Dan and Pam the past couple of nights. After a long journey home (via Paris) on Tuesday, the last thing I wanted to do was come to this apartment and look at the mess. Then last night I was just too tired to deal with tonight it is! I have managed to get my bedroom back together and starting to get more organized! Things will get back to normal soon and I am ready!

I will get Christmas and New Year's pictures and stories posted come back and check them out!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2008!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Holy Shit....and Paris??

Confused? Let me try to explain!

I received a call on Sunday morning from my wonderful friends, Dan and Pam. It was Dan on the line, which I thought was a little weird for him to be calling me (instead of Pam) and at 8AM Memphis time (3PM Brussels time). Anyway, he asked if I was awake and when I was coming home. I told him I was awake (although not out of the bed) and I was leaving Memphis on Monday evening. He said...."Oh good, we have one more night before you come back". I was thinking....gee, thanks, I love you too!!! I was not prepared for the story he was about to tell me....

Dan said he received a call from Caesar (the guy who cleans my apartment) Sunday morning. Caesar came to my apartment and found a very unpleasant surprise....raw sewage floating in my bedroom. Something happened to the plumbing in my apartment building and everything (and I mean everything) from my upstairs neighbors was coming out of the toilet in my bedroom and covered the floor.

Dan came over to assess the situation and it was BAD! He said it had not gone out of my bedroom (which was nice) but my the floor was covered. He got in touch with the owner of my building who came over to check out the damage. Dan met the first plumber on Monday morning....and the plumber literally RAN out of my apartment after seeing it. They called in a specialist to come Monday afternoon. The specialist came out and fixed the problem and started the clean-up process. Monday night another cleaner came in and by Tuesday (after Caesar cleaned it again) everything was all cleaned up and the smell was gone!

I left Memphis on Monday night heading back to Brussels (with Maxie). The flight was fine and uneventful. Now the story really gets even better....

We flew into Amsterdam where we hopped on a train heading to Brussels. Maxie did great on the flight and slept most of the way! We were both tired and slept some on the train. Upon approaching the stop in Brussels, I got up and organized all of my luggage to be able to get off the train without any problem. The train from Amsterdam to Brussels made several stops in different cities along the way. When we were approaching Brussels and stopped, the sign said Brussels Zuid. I knew I was suppose to get off at Brussels Midi. I was a bit confused and asked a local guy (who was really from Holland) if we would be stopping at Midi. He looked around and yes, I believe so, this sign says Zuid. I said, ok, I will just stand here with all of my luggage until the next stop.

The train started again and was going really fast. I thought it was a bit weird because the Midi stop should have been really close. I turned to the guy and said....we are stopping at Midi, right?? About that time the train conductor came through and we asked him when we would be stopping at the Midi station. He said we just left Midi....I said, no, we just left Brussels Zuid. He said Zuid is Midi and we are on our way to Paris....NON-STOP!!!! I said....PARIS???????? He said, yep and an hour and a half later I found myself in the City of Love...Paris, France!

It was a total misunderstanding of the languages here in Brussels. See, I was on the train from Amsterdam (Dutch country) where when going to Brussels the signs are in Dutch (Brussels Zuid). I have always come into the train station from a French country where all the signs were in French (Brussels Midi). So depending on the country you are coming from makes the difference on the signs and what language they are in. No one ever told me about this nor have I read it in any of the million books I read getting ready to move over here. HUGE detail left out of these preparation books!!!!

All I could do is sit down and laugh. This would happen to me after traveling 12 + hours and ending up in Paris via a 10 minute stop in Brussels where I stood at the opened door and stared at my stop without getting off!

Once in Paris, the train conductor must have felt sorry for me. He walked me right over to another train bound for Brussels and did not make me pay for the ticket back.

Can you believe that story? There is a saying which goes..."That which does not kill you makes you stronger". I should be as strong as nails by now!!

Oh, and one more thing....I got a speeding ticket in the mail today! Yay me!

On a positive note....I did get elite status on Northwest Airlines for another year!!! I am trying to find some good news somewhere!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

My Wish for You in 2008...

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy. May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words...May 2008 be the best year of your life!!!

Happy New Year!