Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Busy and long weekend

So this weekend it was back to the nasty suit shopping again. We started on Saturday in Düsseldorf, where I found two more suits for Lou-sensei. The suits do look very European but they're still very professional. Of course, we didn't just search for suits in Germany, we also searched for Starbucks! Gyano and I are huge Starbucks fans and we're still desperately waiting for the first coffee house to open in the Netherlands. I heard they're actually opening one at Schiphol Airport soon but it's on the other side of customs, so if you want a frappucino or caramel machiato you'd have to buy a plane ticket first. But it's a start, maybe by the time I visit my home country they have a Starbucks store in my street ;). Anyway, we've always had to travel to Germany to taste some Starbucks coffee, and we actually did on more than one occasion. So last Saturday, we endulged ourselves in all the Starbucks goodness... three times! Of course, we also ate. For lunch we had sushi and for dinner we had some typical German food: Bratwurst and fries. Next time we'll be in Düsseldorf, will be May 25th at the airport, when I depart for Japan...

Sunday was brother-sister-quality-time at the Efteling, courtesy of my sweet mother and stepfather. We had a lot of fun with all the exciting and less exciting rides the park has to offer. First thing we did was try out the new 'Flying Dutchman' ride, which is a small rollercoaster with a finale splash in the water. It was a fun but even shorter than normal ride, and it wasn't worth waiting 90 minutes in line for. Luckily, we only had to wait for about 10 minutes because we went there so early, but many visitors were not so fortunate. Almost all the other rides had very short to non-existent lines, so we were able to spend the day hopping on and off rides. We even went on some of the boring and too familiar (we have been to this park many, many times) rides, just for old time's sake and for me to do it one last ime. We also revisited some of our favorite rides, with the 'Half Moon' ship being our all-time favorite! It is the largest swinging ship ride in Europe, made even more amusing by the various screams and chants from Dutch riders. I especially heavily contributed to those screams during our 11 swings in that ship (the picture is during one of these swings). Our goal was to go 20 times, but after 11 times we were too nauseous to continue. Of course, we always tried to sit in the back benches to make it as scary as possible! We had a great day and laughed a lot, I'm going to miss him so very much when I move to Japan.

Our weekend didn't end on Sunday, we added two more days: a day of shopping in Belgium and a day of relaxing in the Netherlands. On Monday (my 3-year anniversary with Yasu), we spent all day shopping in Wijnegem, Belgium because it was Queensday in the Netherlands, a national holiday resulting in all Dutch stores being closed. Gyano and I still needed to complete our wedding outfits with some shirts and a tie for Gy. Tuesday, we spent all day relaxing at the Zwaluwhoeve, which is a large and beautiful sauna and beautyresort. During the studio taping of 'All You Need Is Love' everybody in the audience was given a voucher for a day at this spa, complete with two meal buffets. People are supposed to enjoy the saunas while naked, but we are too shy for such exhibitionism so we decided to go on a monthly bathing-suit-day, which was yesterday. We sweated in about 12 different saunas and steamrooms, sat in 2 herbal baths (which I imagine onsens in Japan are like) and 2 whirlpools, swam in a variety of hot and cold swimming pools and enjoyed two buffet meals. We spent 11 hours at the spa and all that relaxing actually made us very tired, happy tired :).


Brit in Hokkaido said...

Good News- Starbucks aplenty in Japan

Bad News- You cannot wear a bathing suit in an onsen. Ever.

Louana said...

Still, I would really love to try an onsen some day... but the nakedness :S
Perhaps I'll find myself a private onsen someday, but then I'd probably have to be rich.

Minke said...

Can't wait to go there too (on a tuesday!;)), with my free ticket!
I also really love the Efteling! But 11 TIMES!??!?!?!? You are mad! Only after 1 ride in this thing I am sick;)!
Starbucks mmmm!