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Showing posts from August, 2010

We're Crushing Your Tower!

Together at Last

Thanks to Facebook

Thanks to Facebook, I connected with my German high school friend, Anke and we spent four awesome days with her in Hamburg.

Thanks to Facebook, I discovered that my Swiss college friend Markus had moved from Zurich to Geneva and we got to spend three awesome days with him and his wife.

And now, Thanks to Facebook, I discovered that Susan, a college and rowing friend is going to be in Paris when we are and we are going to meet up on Saturday! And have an awesome day!

I don't care what anyone says, Facebook is amazing!

Photo credit

A Day in Barcelona

Today we encountered the biggest disappointment of the trip thus far1. Bar Michigan was closed.


I know, right?! And they didn't even post their hours anywhere outside the building. Not even a sign that said "We are on vacation until August 29." (except translate that to Catalonian.)  Anyone know the Spanish equivalent of Yelp that I can check for rumors on their fate? Perhaps only the locals will know.

To compensate, I instead procured a bottle of the cheapest finest Cava from the local supermercado and immediately returned to our hotel to blog about this tragedy. Sweet, sweet, bubbles of life......



video
In other news, we enjoyed another free tour earlier today. This time, from RunnerBean Tours. We seriously love these free city tours. They usually last 2 to 3.5 hours and they really open your eyes to the historical, artistic and cultural highlights of a city.

Example #1. After Christopher Columbus returned from the new west he was welcomed back by the king and queen on …

Coming to America

Hey guess what?

We just bought plane tickets back to the USA! The Boekes will triumphantly return on 13 September. And the best part? Our tickets from Denmark to NYC were only $529 for two people (reserved exit row seating) on Iceland Express!!

Here is the new working plan...


Yes, we were originally planning on returning home for the holidays in December, but we couldn't decide where we wanted to go next (Asia or South America). So, we'll live in the US for a while (location to be determined) and then go back out again once we figure out the best place to go based on weather, cost, fun-to-be-had and other random factors.

In the meantime, we are in Barcelona enjoying the Battlestar Galactica-esque subways...






...and, if we have some extra time on our hands, we'll try to solve the salt deficiency problem that, according to their ads, seems to be a huge problem among Catalan women.



Perhaps it's the crazy air here...




Photo Quiz!

Can you guess where we went today? 
(Hint: we are still in Switzerland)





We Are Alive...

...and in Switzerland...



...eating delicious cheese...



MOVIE

...and playing with cows!

NPG in DC

A while back, we promised that we would recap the rest of our trip in the US. One of the more memorable moments (which already seems so, so long ago) on the East Coast was a tour of The National Portrait Gallery by the Director of the NPG!  Thanks, sis, for having connections with interesting people!



Marty started off with a history of the building itself. It turns out that the NPG building was, after The White House and The Capitol Building, the third Federal building built in D.C. It originally housed the U.S. Patent Office and, briefly became army barracks during the Civil War. The NPG found its home there in 1968.



Also, the third floor hall was used for President Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Ball in 1865.



Video

Marty brought us around to some of the more interesting pieces currently showing at the museum, but unfortunately we couldn't take pictures of all of them. Some highlights included a portrait commisioned of Eunice Schriver, some Presidential portraits and portr…

July Financial Recap: Oh Holy Crap, We Are Bleeding Money

We are spending so much money in Europe that I have had about seventeen heart attacks this month over money.

Here are the dirty details:


Thanks, crappy exchange rate!

As if that amount is not already obscenely large, I need to add that we also purchased our Eurail tickets which were an additional $1,427.55. In case you don't feel like doing the math, that is $7,192.58.

Oh. Holy. Crap.

There is really no way to rationalize around spending that much in one month but just for fun, I compared our spending this month vs. our spending during the US travel months.  In the comparison, I included what we are spending in Euros (when applicable) because that is what we "feel" like we are spending. I did not include the Eurail tickets because they were a one-time only purchase that will span two months of travel and because I didn't previously include the cost of our flights over here.


Here is how we are traveling now vs. how we traveled in the U.S. (I didn't include June be…