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Round Up #36

A cute Lego display in a grocery store in Duesseldorf, Germany

I woke up this morning like I was coming out of a cloud.  I was so sick with congestion and sore throat yesterday, I barely made it through work!  Today dawned bright and sunny…gorgeous weather in Belgium…a rarity!  Before I get to work digging through my yardsale junk to sell in prep for our move, I’m going to start cleaning out our refrigerator and freezer and knock out a few of Pioneer Woman’s quiches.  While I am waiting for the bacon to sizzle its way into the plate, this is what I’ve been reading.

Paris:  Our 10 favorite shopping districts – If you like to shop, take note.  Don’t shop like a tourist!

East Sushi, fresh Sushi with Delivery in Brussels – Many of us like sushi…but it is so hard to find fresh, even in Belgium.  If you don’t mind trekking up to Brussels, try this place that came highly recommended.

Brussels Airport – If you’ve never been, come check it out here.  Yes, it’s expensive just like any other European airport, but before you have to head up that way, have a look here.  Oh and take the train instead of driving…way less stress!

Biergartens – This is totally a German phenomenon!  There’s nothing like an honest-to-goodness German beergarden.  I can’t wait to find them in our new neighborhood!

Cocomama, Amsterdam – Many times, I don’t bother with hotels at all in our travels.  Here is a neat hidden gem in Amsterdam to spend a night or two.  It’s funny, but in the Netherlands, I’ve even rented a room in a nice family’s home.  I’ll never forget sitting down to breakfast with their family and eating a farm fresh breakfast…the best ever!

Mobile Internet in Belgium – Even in such a small country, we do have a lot of mobile internet choices.  Here is a rundown of the best bets.  Know which one works best in your area and which is the most reliable…not only the cheapest!

Treasure Hunting at the Louvre in Paris – At least once in your lifetime, you HAVE to see some of the treasures in this famous museum.  I say some, because it would take weeks to go through the entire collection.  Weeks that most of us don’t have! A quick day visit can take you through the highlights, sure.  But, what if you’ve been tons of times and want to break out of the mold of doing the same thing every time?  Or do you have kids and want to get them in on the action, cause what kid doesn’t like a treasure hunt!  This is perfect!

Top German Etiquette Rules – This is a great list.  Some of these may surprise you, because in the US, we do it differently!

The PCS drive to Ohio – Yes, with kids and pets.  And WHY do thing always go wrong on our drive?  Read this and realize you are not alone in your misery of driving cross country to your new duty location.

Am I Cheap if I Don’t Tip? -  This post is Italy-specific.  I can tell you Italian waiters LOVE Americans.  We tend to overtip.  I’ve written about it before.  Here in this post is the reasoning again.

10 Must Have ipad apps for kids – Some of these are expected…others, I hadn’t heard of before.  Yet another way to keep kids entertained when you don’t want to be creative and come up with something yourself.

The Palace of Versailles, the most infuriating place in Earth? – It’s funny how certain “tourist attractions” turn into absolute madhouses by mid-day.  And that’s the key.  I am always amazed when we are the first people waiting for the doors to open and realizing how many tourists sleep in (or take a while to get there…I don’t know why we are only one of a few standing there).  The other great time to visit these amazing places is an hour before closing.  I’ve had the Louvre all to myself at this time.  Many times, attractions will also have reduced rates before closing.  Be sure to check that out!  Love those ceilings!

A Personal Piece of History – I love hearing about peoples’ family history, especially when they have a completely different history than me OR one very similar to mine.  I too have a German background.  My mom didn’t come to the US until after she married my Army dad and had me.  I have cherished memories of my German grandparents and hearing the stories, especially of the time during the war.  I think about that bomb that fell onto the family home, destroying everything including my grandfather’s childhood photos but sparing everyone as they had chosen that particular day to be away.  My German grandfather served in the war in Czech and in Germany and just missed the Russian Front due to an illness.  His unit didn’t exist after the German offensive.  He missed another bomb by minutes, after he stepped out of a car in Neu Ulm.  After the war, he had to travel hundreds of miles by bike, in the darkness, as he was afraid to travel during the day….all to get back home to his pregnant wife…only to be arrested as suspected Nazi (as most men in his town were).  My grandmother lost almost all her brothers to the war…all serving, save one who died young from tuberculosis.  One died the last day of the war.  One survived his time in a Russian prisoner of war camp but died shortly after the war when he developed a cancer that destroyed his digestive system.  It makes you realize how delicate life is and how small decisions in the past, by your ancestors, dictated whether you ever existed or not!

The Blood and Guts of an Army Divorce – Uggghhhh…something none of us want to talk about or deal with.  Interesting insight from a military wife going through a divorce that many of us don’t think about right away.

Oh, the oven is beeping…gotta go!  And I’ll leave you with something from the archives.  Prepare the Future for You and Your Children.  Even in today’s economy, you can follow these tips to make your family secure.


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