Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Leaving LALA and Finding the Flemish

It is only fitting that as I spend my last few weeks in Lugano that a birthday celebration at the beautiful Principe would come on the calendar.  The Principe, is listed as one of the places to see before you die.  The view is amazing.

The food is always delish and despite the fancy pants waiters who typically don't have eye contact with Americans (we talk too loud ), I still enjoy coming here to  look at the amazing views as you sip an overpriced glass of wine.

Things that I never did here and somewhat regret are that I never learned Italian and never used the bidet.

An etching from the 18th Century of ladies using bidets.

A more modern version.

The move.....once packed up Marty and I left on the 8 hour drive to Antwerp with dogs in tow.  It was a sweet ride that we rented.  It was appropriate that we left the land of Ferraris, Bentleys and Lamborghinis driving this:

Antwerp is going to be great.  The small city is full of historic merit and new happening places to see.  I have yet to figure out how to pronounce our address let alone spell it. See if you can take a stab at it.

"Entrepotkaai 14".  The literal translation is Entrepot  water.  We live on the Entrepot Dock on the water.

Viv the touching realtor lady came over and touched me the whole time she showed me how to use the appliances...needless to say, I don't know how to use any of them because I was obsessing on her touching me.

A shocking find while leaving Lugano was that Marty had a tool drawer.  He has some tools!  He is a real man.  Here is the inventory:  11 phillip's head screwdrivers...all the same size but different lengths, one regular screwdriver, 3 hammers and 2 huge tape measures.  He is ready for everything.

I am going to love this very clean and modern apartment that overlooks  the harbor here.  The first day a cruise ship passed on the river and lots of boats are docked in front of the building.  We are on the fifth floor and I realized while I was undressing that I was, much like the Seinfeld ugly old naked guy,....I was completely naked looking out the window back at a whole building of lit up other apartments.  I fell to the floor and crawled to the bathroom.....old ugly naked gal in unit 41.

So old ugly naked gal goes to take a shower.  The shower...a treat.  We have had a 50 year old shower head that trickles for the past 4 years.  This shower rocked until I turned around and realized I have a full view of myself in the mirror.....old ugly naked gal can see herself while showering....make note to self to keep eyes shut during the rinse.

In full "me" form, I lost the keys to the apartment while unpacking the first day.  Not sure if that was before or after I flung a diet coke across the table or kicked my cup of coffee over after Marty out for that coffee.

My old chipped up comfort furniture, my clocks, my mirrors, my windows all make me smile as they fit  warmly in this modern building with the juxtaposition that the city of Antwerp seems to have mixing the very old with new.....yes I just used the word juxtaposition in a is cracking me up.

Here is a random fact for the day...for those of you who know that April 20 is the day that pot, ganja, weed, grass, jay, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk (fill in your own blank) smokers celebrate Marijuana...there are many articles and history of why but it has been tied back to a group of boys in CA  from back in the day using the phrase 420.  Never the less, the subculture has embraced the 420 affiliation and so have many people in subtle ways....and here is my fun fact.....all the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are set to the time 4:20.

Headed to the states tomorrow for many celebrations...Cheers to Carin Frisk as we celebrate her bd in NYC this weekend, and for the many festivities associated with my girls both graduating from Wake and St Andrews School!

I finish with the best find ever while glad Marty had saved it.   Based on what I remember  it was written when Maddy was in 6th or 7th grade.

Dear George and Terri Thomas,
My loving parents.

Only for the eyes of George and Terri Thomas (that means not you Kate)!


1.  Level three is really hard.  I do not like it at all
2.  It makes me really really tired.  I would rather take a nap.
3.  It makes me hungry.  It makes me move a lot (not that I have a problem with that) and digests all my food before I want it to be.
4.  It uses too many muscles making me ache.
5.  I am always last.  I try really hard but I still get lapped.  For example:  today we were doing kicking, I got lapped and forgot about it.  Mary made me do the rest of my laps (making me behind for the whole thing) when Robin would have let me just do the rest.
6.  I get really bored and lonely.  I get lonely because everyone has someone to talk to when we are waiting to be told something to do, but when Katie Ralston is not in my lane, I am sitting in the back of the lane alone with no one to talk to.

I hope that you learned a lot from this.  If I still have to swim please NOT on Fridays.
Thank you,
Your loving, tired, hungry, lonely daughter,
Maddy Thomas
aka Cookie

By the way, I did not let her quit....I let her pass on Fridays. (Maddy's mother is a bitch)  She is glad, however, as she just had her best year ever swimming at SAS.  My favorite line is that she would rather be napping.

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