Saturday, November 15, 2008

A wedding in Romania!

We were very lucky recently to have been invited to the wedding of two of our good friends from UNC - Calin & Amelia. The wedding took place in Calin's home town of Blaj, Romania, and it was simply amazing. Calin had always told us that his father worked in a winery, but we were never expecting to be treated to such an amazing night of food, drink, dancing and singing, all catered by the local winery!

The wedding started off at 7:00 with a glass of champagne and a plate of cold meats, cheeses and vegetables (I think we all started in on the wonderful cognac at this point too).

Soon traditional Romanian singers and dancers arrived to entertain us, and the Bride and Groom made their appearance.  The dancers were really neat -- Michael took three videos of them, and if you want to see the rest, they are up on YouTube (search for Calin's Wedding Dancers).  These dancers re-appeared several times throughout the night in different costumes; the last costume of the night consisted of sequened jeans and cowboy hats - I think it was their American dance.  :)  Another note about the video below -- about two-thirds of the way through you'll see a little blond boy wandering through the video in front of the dancers - this is Henry, the two-year-old son of our friends Mark & Miranda, and he is just adorable!

At about 8:30pm the soup course was served. Each time a new course came out, music that I can only describe as "Canada's Wonderland music" started to play and lines of waiters and waitresses emerged from the kitchen carrying plates of food for everyone. The soup was followed by more dancing, which was a mix of traditional Romanian music and current hits.

By about 10:00 we were all happy to hear the Canada's Wonderland music start up again, and we all sat down at our table again to enjoy the fish course. By this point, Henry, the two-year old son of our friends Mark & Miranda, was fast asleep on the chairs by our table. How he slept through the rest of the party, I'll never know, but he was out for the night despite the loud music and singing and dancing. Once we finished the fish, it was back to dancing until about midnight when the meat plate was served - it was a selection of pork, chicken and veal served with vegetables. By this time, not a single person had left yet; the party was just getting started!

At 1:30 the cake appeared and once again everyone sat down to enjoy a slice and a much-needed cup of coffee. We assumed that the cake marked the end of the dinner service, but the best was yet to come! At 3:30am we enjoyed our last course of meat wrapped up in cabbage rolls and served with sour cream - the traditional pigs in a blanket that Michael had always enjoyed as a child.

All of us finally made our way back to our beds at about 4:15am.  Calin's mother had arranged for the whole UNC group to stay together in a small hostel run by local nuns.  We had the whole place to ourselves, and it was perfect for sitting around and chatting and catching up.  The night of the wedding had been absolutely fabulous, but our trip to Romania wasn't over yet!  The next day we were treated to a wine-tasting at the vinyard, so we spent Sunday afternoon in a castle drinking even more wine and cognac.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Our 1st Anniversary...

Which we spent in Bouillon. Bouillon is beautiful city along the Semois river in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. The drive from Sterrebeek could not have been easier only taking about 90 minutes. We arrived in the Ardennes early Saturday morning to a light mist.

Bouillon is home to Château-Fort de Bouillon. The Château is famous for being used to finiance the 1st Crusades. The Château was also the home of Godefroy of Bouillon who became the 1st ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Along with many tunnels...

And Dungeons

Along with some great views.

Once we finished with the Château we walked around town and took some more pictures then enjoyed a great meal at the Vieille Ardennes.

We then headed to our hotel and called it a night. In the morning we headed on our bike tour of the local area as well as some local brew.

The tour was called the Greedy Excursion 40km VTT. We set of from Bouillon around 10:30am and arrived at the 1st stop within the hour.

After some coffee and cakes we set off again.

Stopping to take pictures along the way. Here is Jane standing on the edge of a cliff.

Me enjoying some Sangría.

Jane enjoying a local brew and view, Point de Vue Champs des Charmes. Below is the barbecue, fresh bacon of the Ardennes, poultry-sausage skewers and Beer.

Jane heading home after our last stop.

We had a great weekend and can't wait for next year when we...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The 20km of Brussels

Well the day has finally past and I can say that we both are alive to talk about it. The day started out great, we had been expecting rain all week. It turned out to be a partly cloudy day with the tempature around 20(68), it was all one could hope for.

Jane and Myself before we left our house.

Follow the Link below to see how Jane and I did. Also click on the Nike to see videos of the 2 of use.

Team Mars

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Great Birthday Adventure: Day 2

Day 2 of our adventure was spent in the Keukenhof Gardens. We had heard rumours that it's best to arrive early to the garden because the crowds get huge in the afternoon, so we left our hotel at around 9:45 and we were in the park by 10:20, with only minimal traffic. Michael overheard onethe parking staff say that based on the number of cars, there were about 25,000 people in thegardens already when we arrived. Keukenhof has got to be the closest thing to Disney World thatEurope has (except maybe for EuroDisney...) - big crowds, girls dressed up in traditional Dutch outfits and wooden clogs, food stands selling warm ham on a bun, men playing accordians. But the garden grounds are immaculate, the atmosphere is festive and the colours everywhere are absolutely incredible. Here are the pictures!