ENGLAND

we_moving_to_london.gif

So as you just read, WE ARE GOING TO LONDON!!!

It's pretty dang exciting and we've been looking forward to announcing this for a while.

Josh is going to barber school. That's right. He wants to be a barber. He's been thinking and dreaming about it and now it's happening. He will be attending the London School of Barbering and is going to be a barbering master by the time his 9 weeks is over. 

We are super stoked. We'll be leaving at the end of December and be home by April, just in time for wedding season here in Vancouver! So listen up 2014 brides: We will still be accepting bookings for 2014 Vancouver weddings while we are in London! We just might be getting creative with meetings... Skype? FaceTime?

Another exciting thing is we'll be booking portrait sessions and weddings while we're living in London! Some of the countries we'll be shooting in include England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. We'll be releasing specific dates at a later time. If you're interested in more info or are ready to book a session email us at info[at]greengingerphotography.com

For those from the Vancouver area, if you have friends or family overseas and share our work with them and they end up booking with us we'll give YOU a FREE MINI SESSION (1 hr session and 25 edited images!) 

Germany

Germany.
Germany was great. Their roads are amazing. Their pretzels are incalculably excellent.
And.
They have good salami.
Add in Castles, hedgehogs (the real animals, not the chocolates...come on son!), and road signs with wild pigs on them instead of our lame 'leaping deer for 10km' signs. Plus, it always feels like your in Saving Private Ryan. Minus guns. Hatred. Bombs...

But German sounds the same in real life as in the movies...
We were both sick though, and our Internet situation was interesting. So that's why these pictures are so late. Paris is coming soon.

 

luxembourg

This city was amazing. It brings to mind some of my abounding Russian vocabulary. Words like, 'very beautiful' and 'good'... Words like... ah... My Russian stinks. The first words really did come to mind, but then came the other words I know. I can't form sentences, just sing very nonsensical childrens songs about potatoes, daughters, dogs, lids, chickens, directions, and exclamations.

Enough of that.

Luxembourg was one of those clites that you instantly fall in love with but you don't know why. It's just a feeling that arises. It was just a very friendly place. And they called 'wi-fi' something that sounded like 'weeefee!' Who couldn't love somebody that said it like that?

I also think one of the reason we liked Luxembourg so much is that we stayed in a very nice (super-sweetly-nice) hotel. They waited on our every need, parked our car, brought us exotic fruits, meats, cheeses, you name it. We had a lovely view of the city from our hotel room.

And that is all we have pictures of!

So please enjoy our two pictures of Luxembourg. We came, ate, slept, watched Parks and Rec, and left. But if you have extra cash, go to Luxembourg. And ask if they have wi-fi.

It's fun.


day five

Day five is the day we left Belgium. There was a waffle-shaped piece of our hearts that was excited (Belgium had its challenges), but we were saddened that we were leaving our first place of lodging in Europe. Brussels shocked us a bit, one street would be quaint and quiet and the next a total dump. We didn't expect the gruff, Seattle/Portland grunge vibe. If Brussels were a band....? Try a little Japandroids, add in some Rod Stewart, a little Nirvana, maybe even something as nauseating as ... can I even write this.... Nickelback. But it also had a little New Order, a little Miles, a little Madonna. So it was interesting (non-musicals, I'll win you back, hang in there!). The great things about Brussels:

1. Waffles. The Belgians nailed this. It's like the Lord himself wrote them a recipe.  An authentic Belgian Waffle consists of a little powdered sugar on top of a slightly crisp amazing waffle. In my opinion, be a tourist and load the bugger up with whatever extras they will give you. It just enhances everything.

2. Beer. Not the light lagers and pilsners (although they do those well too), they've nearly perfected the stronger Ale's. They have some amazing ones. All my favourites were brewed by Trappist Monks (look that up! It's rad). 

3. Architecture. The buildings in Brussels were sick (in a good way.) Old. Leaning. Dirty. But sick! It seemed like they had buildings from the last 400 years, with all their varying styles, all stuck together in out-of-plumb rows. Plus, what other country would have a statue of a little boy taking a piss in its Capital city? I salute you Belgium! I salute you Europe!

4. The countryside. Beautiful. A little bit like the farm country of Langley and Abbotsford magnified 100x (minus the poo smell). Wheat and barley fields were my fav. 

The bad things:

1. Fries. You'd think the creators of the "French Fry" would make the best ones. Definitely not. They fry them twice in animal fat and then load mayo on top. The animal fat gives the fries a nasty old meat taste. Like when your meats been sweating on the plate beside the grill to long. Gross. 

2. Drivers. Belgians top my list for worst driving people group in the world. Don't need to elaborate on the rest of the list other than to say... I live in Abbotsford. 

3. No public bathrooms. Anywhere. And when you find them, they make you pay. Which is a decent idea, but what about when your gonna explode and there is no 'money in your pocket, diamonds in the drawer'. Like the old Greg Sczebel song? Haha. Greg. We love you.  

Enough said. Belgium was fun. Here are a few pictures of our drive from Belgium to Luxembourg. We stopped at a restaurant and gift shop that had tons of products from one of new monk-brewed favorite beers called Chimay. Enjoy.

 

*side note: it seems like most people that are reading the blog are afraid to comment right on the blog. we're nice. we don't bite. if you're brave enough feel free to write below.*


Day Three and Four

Day three was somewhat of a write-off. I think it was the combination of our first day of travel which has us flying out at 3pm from Vancouver, then 9hrs in a plane to Paris where it was 11am, then driving 4 hrs to Brussels and dying on our bed.. yes.. we sleep in the same bed... we're not Ward and June Cleaver. On top of that, the first couple of days saw us touring Brussels on our anniversary and Brugges the next day where we walked everywhere (no metro.)

We were wiped, jet-legged, and feeling that if we didn't rest we would miss things and get sick. So we went to bed after Brugge and didn't get up til 11:30am the next day... sorry.. we don't have kids, and we're both good sleepers, so that's how we roll sometimes. After that it was pretty much go get coffee, lunch, dinner and go back to bed so we could go to.....

 (below) the trappist beer's josh has tried so far. 4/7

(below) real orange juice. not the fake processed with tons to chemicals kind we have.

Amsterdam.

The city of canals, beautiful old houses, Mary-Jane, and smooty streets. We had to drive there because the train was way too much money from Brussels, but after our day of rest we were feeling brave. I was dreading it slightly, because our experiences thus far with driving had been frightening at best. But we really wanted to go so we strapped ourselves in and got ready for the 2hr drive to the Red Light city. The drive was easy. But my skills at finding an address, and it being the right address, are lacking. As per usual, I failed and brought us to this lame little park and ride (not to the one we were looking for.) Thankfully, as the case everywhere else in Europe, the locals saved our rear and got us to the right Park and Ride. After that it was smooth sailing.

We took the tram from the Olympic Stadium into Amsterdam. At first it was looking like a lame day weather wise, but it began to get better throughout the day. 

For me (Josh) the Heineken Experience brewery tour was a highlight (although Pils are generally not the kind of beer I want to drink, because I wanted to learn more about the brewing process, I stooped!) We took another canal tour (like Brugge only better and longer) that got super rainy halfway through.. we were un-detered, and proceeded to have some marital make-outs in the back of the boat. 

In my opinion, the highlight of the day was when we saw Tim Thornton (european model 2.0) I had the iPhone out to take a picture of the beautiful canals, and just as I clicked to take the photo, I heard Tina cry out 'Tim Thronton!!' At this moment, I'm double bummed, my picture of the canal failed cos some stupid biker got in my way (they are everywhere in the dam,) and I didn't see the Tim Thornton look-a-like. As I swipped the phone to delete my ultra-lame picture I stopped in amazement. Not only had I captured Amsterdumps ghetto beauty, I had also captured Tim Thornton staring at me like the Sasquatch in those sighting videos. You can see the picture here. It was good. Other than that? We walked a lot. Got lost a lot. Looked away from nude photos a lot. And tried to capture a few images to sum the place up. Hope you like them.

(below) Anne Frank's house

(below) the thinnest house in the world. just over a meter wide.

(below) homemade holland cheese. sold out of a house cellar. yum.

 

day two

Colin Firth compared the city of Brugges to a bum hole. Which made me like him less... It seems a very negative thing to call an old city that has been dubbed 'The Venice of the North'. Nevertheless, after reading his crass words we began to feel slightly skeptical towards our second destination on our journey through Northern Europe. With undaunted courage we set our faces towards this 'poo hole' and bought our train tickets. Our road experiences on the first day taught us that driving in this continent is frightening and bad for marital health...we felt that this was a better option. The train was difficult to figure out as well but it seems like people speak better English here than we gave them credit for and they got us on the right train.
I enjoyed it.
Much better than boats, they make me sick.
We got to Brugges and began another exhausting day of walking. We walked and walked.
It is a very quaint city. On the outskirts it is small quiet cobblestone streets, but as you get closer to the centre of the city it gets more busy. Since the 2009 film with Colin Firth entitled 'In Bruges' the city has become a tourist hub. It's crazy. There are bikes, cars, motorcycles, horse-drawn carriages and tourists all running, clopping, and driving around looking at Cathedrals trying not to kill each other. Very fun.
One particularly disturbing attraction is 'The Holy Blood Parish' which, as it's name implies, claims to have a vile of Christs blood. We walked into this creepy catholic hole of a church to find a massive line of people waiting to look at the holy blood. As they walked up they dropped two euros on the glass in front of a woman (priest? Do they have woman priests?) and then they took a long look, some even caressed the glass for good luck, at the corn syrup/red dye no.5/some sort of angel dust liquid which they were just so deceived into paying two euros for. I wouldn't do it. Instead I brazenly pulled out Tina's iPhone and snapped a picture as the lady security guard (are Catholics egalitarian big time?) started briskly walking towards me saying 'no photograffs!' I turned and ran. Ha. Take that fake catholic money making scheme! 
Few other highlights: 
1. Riding the boat around the canals (very Venice like it seemed, although we've never been!). The water stank like poo from time to time. But the scenery was beautiful.
2. For some reason we thought it would be a good idea to walk 366 narrow stairs that spiral straight up. Thankfully the top did contain an incredible view of the city.
3. Tina: Da Vincis ice cream. Freshly made everyday. So good.
4. Josh: Belgian waffle pt. 2 with strawberrys and creme this time.
We also noticed some odd things. Firstly, there are no bathrooms anywhere. Secondly, there are vast amounts of old ladies with nothing to do but make lace and sell it to tourists. Thirdly, Belgians version of a cheap, quality fast food restaurant always involves fries and/or spaghetti. 

lunch: fresh made saussages, pesto and gouda cheese and freash made bread. 

josh's favourite store with over 400 different kinds of beer. 

day 1

Day one. Functionally this is our first day, yesterday was a write-off. Although it had its excitement, near death experiences on european roads and almost falling asleep at the wheel countless times. That said, we're glad we're alive to experience today, because today is special for us. We have now been maarried (sorry, two a's it must be all the Dutch influence around here) for two years! Holla!
Anyways. Introductions aside. This morning we awoke to the sun cracking through our curtains. Then we went back to sleep. The end.
Truth be told, that's what I (josh) wanted to do, but thanks to my five-years-younger-more-energetic-hot-wife, that didn't happen. We got our rears out of bed and set out to find food and water. Which is tricky when you don't speak the languages (Dutch, French, Spanish, basically anything... And then there's us stupid Canadians... Englais?) but we managed, and came home with bread, some veggies, water, and something we hoped was butter. Next we headed off on a quest to find the metro and get into the heart of this dirty European capital. On our way we saw some rad churches, ate an amazing waffle, and a musical instruments museum which boasts the worlds largest collection of instruments (in one museum I'm assuming?). By this point we were getting wiped, we'd been walking for hours and had sore feet, but we couldn't go home with out seeing the famous pissing baby statue know quite literally as 'Mannekken Pis' which was odd and quite small (both the statue and his...?). Then we had some fries, bought some food and a few Trappist beers and now it's time to blog, make dinner and get ready for Bruges tomorrow. Best anniversary. Married to the best woman. So blessed.

while we're away

so, as some of you may know, we are going to EUROPA! we are pretty excited. not sure if anyone else is? for those who are excited and love seeing europe and dreaming about europe and old things and strange foods and small cars and smaller roads... this blog will be for you. we're going to post stuff as often as we can to keep all our Green Ginger friends looking and loving our blog while we are gone. hopefully it will be entertaining and inspiring.