Already September? All the kids back in school now and getting in the groove? I know mine are. We already have lost assignments and papers…ugggh. I’ve also noticed the “daylight til 10 pm” at night is suddenly not around any more either…..plus I’ve had to wear my light jacket on more days than I would care to count already. Before we know it, Belgium will be thrown into the dark…dark when we go to work and dark when we come home. How depressing is that? If you are over here in Europe, especially in the Northern countries (not so much Germany), start looking at taking Vitamin D supplements this winter. I really thought there was something wrong with me last year…really…and then realized it was the lack of sun that was throwing me into a funk. Once I started working out, taking supplements and reading under a bright light with a warm blanket, things started to look WAAY up. It’s amazing how that works. Getting off track here, but again, I’d like to credit these blogposts with making my week this week. I learned something, and it felt good in the process!
- The most effective method for learning a language alone – I am still struggling with “the French”. Honestly, watching American movies subtitled in French has helped alot. Even more honestly, should probably change our DVR to do it the other way around. After reading this blogpost, I realized that at least I am headed in the right direction, as I AT LEAST have a notebook I write words down in, when I see them on the screen…or a most often used phrase…even if it is movie talk, it may be something I can use in a real conversation should I ever decide to open my mouth. Try the tips, and let me know if they work for you.
- Amazon may soon launch a “Netflix for Books” – My first thought was…cool, kind of like our Army digital media library but with 95% more offerings. I’d go for that. But, then my second thought was…wow, at what cost? Of course there is no other information other than that this may happen…it’s still in the rumor stage…but still, cool idea…and what if our Army libraries eventually had access? Even better!
- Top 10 Deployment Homecoming Ceremony Pet Peeves and Tips – How funny…direct from the wives’ mouths! I guess these complaints and tips are universal. Even funnier, that I think I’ve seen just about everything on the list happen in real life!
- Amsterdam: Our 3 favorite pancake joints – You absolutely CANNOT go to Amsterdam and not spend at least one mealtime at a pancake joint! Pancakes are NOT just for breakfast, and you’ll find some amazing flavors of both sweet and savory pancakes at all of them. Our family personal favorite is the Pancake Bakery, amazingly mentioned here. It opens at lunch time, so be the first people in to get a seat and get served…otherwise, it gets too packed and crowded..and I think the quality of the food suffers. It is just down the street from the Anne Frank House, and can be combined to save time…visit the Anne Frank House (after getting your tickets online to avoid the LONG lines) and then head over for…pancakes!
- Street Addresses in Venice – Venice isn’t the only city in Europe where addresses don’t follow the usual numbering system. You knew that if it wasn’t for Napoleon invading all over Europe, no city would have a logical numbering system. He didn’t quite conquer Venice before they had something in place, hence, this “other than normal” system is what we get. It’s always fun to watch tourists walk up and down the streets numerous times just not getting it. Don’t let it happen to you and get to your hotel or B&B fairly quickly by following the tips here.
- Alsace Roadtrip – an Itinerary – Okay, this post was a bit freaky, cause it was something we have done…to almost the letter. If you live in Southern Germany or get a chance to drive over the border into France to the Alsace region, then follow this very nice itinerary. This would make a nice weekend trip. Follow the tips in the blogpost and add the following….eat at least one Flammkucken, get some famous French pottery that this area is known for (also from Soufflenheim and Ribeauville)…read the Girl with Java Curl’s write-up with some of the cool pottery she saw (and I am sure bought)….grab some local wines..and if your husband is lukewarm to the idea, tell him about the really cool Maginot Line sites you can check out…he’ll amaze all his friends who haven’t been yet.
- Purely Paris: Perfect Souvenirs – all packable – Yeah, we all go to the souvenir shops. Sometimes you can find something cool or in my case cheap enough for me to buy it. Other times, we buy the stuff ahead of time (this works great with very little ones) and then give it to them on the trip…like I did with the Goodwill Mickey Mouse Socerer hats I bought (the kids didn’t know the difference). And if you are like me and don’t want to hit the super expensive shops like Gucci, Prada and the like (although they always have cool window displays in Paris), I try to find either second hand shops or a shop like this one. I love gadgets and things that are useful, and this shop just might fit the bill…and my budget!
And that’s about it! I’m looking forward to a weekend of cleaning and maybe a volksmarch or stopping by to see the grown men dressed as Star Wars characters at the PX (cause I think the entire Star Wars saga is coming out on Blu-ray?)…friends are all off to the yearly Ramstein Bazaar. I’ll be interested to see what they bring back:-)