30 June 2007

Breaking Point Reached - Climbing Rocks, Swinging From Trees and Poking Jellyfish To Clear My Head In Belgium

Lets say my breaking point is a ten. That would put me at a twelve right about now. Nearly four weeks of continuous 16 to 20 hour days combined with 2 intercontinental flights, 2 regional flights, 44 hours on a bus, 12 hours on a train, 9 hours in taxis and 25 unique places slept equals total exhaustion. I’m not sad or irritated or wanting this trip to end, I just really want a big nap…and an In N’ Out Burger…and another nap. I have an idea – I’ll work on the naps while you figure out how to make that burger happen…

Back with the Belgian host family, I was able to take a few days to myself, which couldn’t have been more enjoyable…don’t be sad. Be happy. If I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I couldn’t write a blog…or take a picture…or film a video…or be mistreated by airline employees. Wait, I’m sure airline employees would find a way to mistreat me no matter what.

Anyway, here’s what I was up to during my time off:

We started with a few days away to Astrid’s (the younger Belgian sister) boyfriend’s (his name is Gerald) family beach house in Knokke. Once there, we lip-synched some all-time classics (and a whole lot of Mika) into TV remotes…

Frolicked on the beach…

And poked at Jellyfish…

Gerald even let me borrow his scooter, which I used to take a ride out into the middle of nowhere, escaping “it all” for a good three hours (I love scooters. Mine just happened to be stolen in broad daylight locked to a fence in a covered parking garage at my University 6 weeks after I bought it).

From there I did a little indoor rock-climbing with Antoine, the French Spiderman who lives in the family’s basement. It’s not as sketchy as it sounds, I promise.

I was also able to convince Marc to join me in the trees of my favorite Belgian fun center, “Adventure Parc.” Located out in the middle of the woods, you swing, climb, repel and zipline through the forest while safely clasped to a people of wire. So fun, and SO HIGH!

I finished the trip with a night out on the town dancing with Clemence (the older Belgian sister) who had – that day – passed her last exam to move on to her next year of University. Definitely something to celebrate!

Of course, I spent most of my time with the Belgian mum, Anne, who is totally wonderful. After a surprise visit for my college graduation and a two-week escapade in China, nothing could phase either one of us, including some divine unmatched pajamas and an improptu photo shoot…

Last but not least, Belgians eat a lot of this – raw meat. It’s name, you ask? Filet Americain! It’s named America! We would never eat that!

Speaking of Americans, I also got a visit from one Conor Lanz, AU grad and boyfriend to the stars. A star in his own right, his luggage was lost at London Heathrow. While one bag came the next day, his garment bag (full of suits for his important meetings) somehow ended up in Milan. Nevertheless, I dragged him around Brussels for a day and half, pointing out all of my favorite things and forcing him to love this great city. I think it worked…check out he and his girlfriend's travel blog here. He also posted a few pics of his time in Brussels.


Ok, break is over! Time to get busy in South Africa!

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