FRANCE, BELGIUM & the NETHERLANDS

We only explored the French countryside for one evening with little excuse other than we didn’t know what we were doing. We booked an Airbnb in a small town on our way through. We walked the quiet streets and ogled at the idea of winter gardens and bright green rows of vegetables so late in the fall. 20161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG00120161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG00220161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG00320161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG00620161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG00820161012FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG009While driving the next day we realized how close to Bastogne we would be. We may not have given the stop the appropriate amount of forethought, but we are glad we explored the Battle of Bastogne war museum and Mardasson Memorial. 20161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG01020161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG01120161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG01220161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG013That night our GPS stranded us in an empty Belgian field before rerouting to our Airbnb farmhouse. The stay would be one of the trip highlights. We used google translate to have a three-hour conversation with our host that night. We talked about everything we could until the day’s drive caught up to us. The next morning we woke to the most spectacular breakfast spread. Barbara had made us the most delicious pancakes, offered fruits and pastries, a variety of jams and honey. I honestly wished I would have taken a photo of the table, not an inch was spared. After engorging ourselves, she took us on a tour of her small farm where she had at least one of everything. I swear at any minute a wide-eyed Disney princess could have appeared, serenading us and all of the animals.20161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG01420161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG01820161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG02020161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG02220161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG02420161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG02720161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG030This. This is my dream house. My dream farm. 20161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG03120161013FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG033We spent the next few days in the Netherlands, roaming the cities of Maastricht, Breda, Dordrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.20161014FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG03820161014FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG03920161014FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG04120161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG04320161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG04720161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG05220161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG054Belgian waffles just on the border of Belgium.20161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG05520161015FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG060The fluffies and not-so-fluffies from our Airbnb near Maastricht. We were hosted by the sweetest couple who had the friendliest crew of animals. In our opinion, Airbnb is a must anywhere you visit. How else are you going to attend an in-house bluegrass band performance on your front step?20161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG08320161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG08420161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG08920161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG06520161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG06720161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG06920161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG070Mark, our host in Dordrecht is a brilliant musician and master entertainer. We listened to Stringcaster live, drank Belgian beer and stayed up into the early morning hours. 20161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG07220161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG07520161016FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG07720161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG07920161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG08020161017FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG08220161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09020161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09120161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09720161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09420161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09520161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG09820161018FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG102Sunset over Westeinderplassen in Aalsmeer.20161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG10620161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG10820161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG10920161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG11020161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG113The same scenes in digital and leaky 35mm.20161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG11620161019FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG12120170126FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG125Of course I had to do something different while in Amsterdam, so I had a stranger put a hole in my face.20170126FRANCEBELGIUMTHENETHERLANDS_BLOG127We would take an overnight bus to London that night, closing in on our last few weeks of the trip.

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