Monthly Archives: August 2013

My 23rd Birthday (Or Why My Personal Francophone is AWESOME <3)

I feel old these days…living overseas and financially supporting yourself through school will do that to you, especially when you turn 23 two days before your final Master’s evaluations. It’s not the calendar age that matters, it’s the sum total of your experience, and since I’ve been supporting myself on my savings, which are worth less in Euros, paying bills, living on my own, learning a new language, finishing a Master’s and a horrible internship for said Master’s, applying for jobs, and balancing job applications with my summer job, I find myself checking for missing teeth and gray hairs… 😉

But that’s not why I’m posting. Before I let you feast on my glut of vacation photos, I am dedicating this post to my 23rd birthday in June, also known as How Awesome is My Personal Francophone Day. Because he might have the annoying habit of liking to quote Charlie Sheen a little too much, and might think Barney from “How I Met” is the coolest character (it’s clearly Robin! Duh! Or maybe Marvin.), but when it comes down to it, he’s amazing.He took my first birthday away from home ever and made it cool instead of lonely (due credit must also be given to my family for singing to me on Skype and blowing out the candle on a cupcake):

This is an AWESOME bar in Antwerp which sells jenever, a uniquely Belgian ancestor of gin. It's dangerously delicious. We went here after midnight on my birthday (after a cocktail...).

This is an AWESOME bar in Antwerp which sells jenever, a uniquely Belgian ancestor of gin. It’s dangerously delicious.

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These are our second jenevers. Mine is the purple one (violet), his is Flemish Flemish Flemish (a long and complicated name neither of us remembers).

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This was my birthday breakfast! He even cooked! Croissant sandwiches with scrambled egg and cheese! Also waffles and cookies and chocolate…and roses! ❤ The beer and cheese were for lunch.

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My very own Leonidas Basket. He’s like the Birthday Bunny.

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The bar staff took this one. And I LOVE Belgium…both of those jenevers are different KINDS of speculoos flavor.

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So pretty!

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We had a coffee at one of our favorite cafes, the Shilling. Guess cooking tires him…

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This is why we like the Shilling. It’s like a library.

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Then we went to the Stadspark (City Park) in Antwerp for some Flemish beer and Wallonian cheese (I know, the politicians would be having conniptions!). I highly recommend the Grimbergen beer and Chimay cheese combination, as well as the park.

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Silly swan, can’t you see there’s food RIGHT BEHIND YOU?

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One of the first ladybugs I saw here. We had a lovely time at the park.

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And here is my birthday cake at the Italian restaurant he took me to for dinner! I didn’t know Belgium had the birthday restaurant thing too.

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This one is pretty shaky but I think you get the idea.

Also this was my birthday present the weekend after (like he didn't spoil me enough on the actual day... :) )

On my birthday, he told me there was also a surprise coming in July…this was it!

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Rawr!

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Ouch!

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My very favorite vegetarian dinosaur. Thanks ND for a great birthday present–readers, how will I top it at HIS 24th birthday (haha, he’s older than me!)? Ideas?

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We finished seeing the dinosaurs and then, inexplicably, we saw the panini machine. Which means the T-Rex didn't need to eat my Triceratops after all :(

We finished seeing the dinosaurs and then, inexplicably, we saw the panini machine. Which means the T-Rex didn’t need to eat my Triceratops after all 😦 (Photo omitted for obvious graphic and sadness reasons.) STILL AN AWESOME PRESENT. ❤

 

See what I mean? I am very lucky indeed. Thanks, ND, for a wonderful time. You nerd. ❤

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Filed under Belgium 2012-2013

Adventures Summer 2013

July was quite the month: I passed my postgrad Master’s cum laude, started a summer job in Ghent (about 45 minutes away from Antwerp by train) as a technical writer and editor at a translation technologies company one of my professors works for…and visited three countries!

This was my month more or less:

July 2: Monschaeur, Germany

July 7-13: Madrid and Salamanca, Spain

July 15-24: Work in Ghent (though lucky me, I get to telecommute a few days a week! My job is awesome.)

July 24-27: Warsaw, Poland

July 29-31: Work in Ghent, concluding with a lovely after-work dinner and drinks with My Personal Francophone (though both the places we originally wanted to go are temporarily closed for vacation after the conclusion of the 10-day annual Gentse Feesten–Ghent Party–on Monday at noon. Which explains the drunk man I saw rambling down the street on Monday at 9 A.M., yelling something in Flemish about women.)

I’m going to post select photos from my trips on this blog, since Facebook won’t let me, and some of my friends and family don’t indulge anyway. I’m very lucky to have been able to travel so much, and hope you enjoy sharing a little of it with me!

To get you started, here is a picture of me blowing out the candle on my birthday cake which My Personal Francophone spoiled me with (among so many other things--he made my birthday awesome. <3) Tiramisu!

To get you started, here is a picture of me blowing out the candle on my birthday cake which My Personal Francophone spoiled me with (among so many other things–he made my birthday awesome. <3) Tiramisu!

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Filed under Belgium 2012-2013