Gaming in Poperinge!

As promised (although a few weeks late…sorry), here are the games we played while on our weekend getaway in Watou. ¬†We traveled to the nearby city of Poperinge to a bar with a “witchy” theme!

We played “bar olympics” as Joe named it (reminiscent of our college bar olympic days ūüôā – a lot more beer drank then for me though)! ¬†It was girls versus guys. ¬†Here are some of the games:

Note: The games were almost all wooden and very old Рno electronic mechanisms here.  Growing up I was an avid Nintendo and Gameboy player, but an old-fashioned game is just SO much better!

Game 1:  Throw the metal plate into the holes (as you can tell, I have NO idea what the names are)!

Frog gets the most points!

Frog gets the most points!

Here is Joe showing off the metal plates that you throw.  Obviously, you want the metal plates to go down the holes on top of the structure.  The first to 8,000 points wins!

See the "witch" decor in the background...haha.

Game 2:¬†Fling your wooden pucks into your opponents area! ¬†If you look closely, you can see that there is string on each side where you would fling the wood pucks off…

This was by far my favorite! ¬†It was fast and you could not take your eyes off the game (no blinking…actually hurt after awhile)!

LOVE!

Game 3: Reminds of Hungry, Hungry, Hippo…basically you squeeze your air thingy to push the ball away from your area. ¬†You do NOT want the ball to land in the whole by you!

Definitely harder than it looks to squeeze those things!

Game 4: Reminds me of bocce ball…except with HUGE heavy wooden cheese blocks as “balls.” ¬†Sorry, not the best picture, but the cement block was where you wanted your cheese block to land after thrown (the closest team gets points – up to 11)!

Game 5: Swing a rope with a ball attached to knock down the witches (again, the theme of the bar)! ¬†This game was very easy…

Joe setting up the witches after I dominated!

There were quite a few more games that we did play, that unfortunately, I do not have pictures of. ¬†We will definitely be going back as I KNOW we’ll be back to Watou this coming fall!

Weekend in Watou: Getaway #2

Do you all remember this wonderful weekend?  Well, we decided to go back this past weekend with some friends and had another great weekend in Watou!

We drove into town on Saturday morning and we’re greeted by the wonderful hostess, Jackie, at the Watou Sint-Bernardus B&B! ¬†She showed us to our rooms and we were SO excited to try out a new room in the main house. ¬†We had the room on the top floor. ¬†Each room in the main house is themed – the themes are the different types of Sint-Bernardus beer brewed next door. ¬†Our room theme was the ‘Grottenbier.’

Yum!

Source

Fittingly, our room was blue to match the beer label.  Check it out.  It was adorable, big, and very clean!

Cute!

Loved this vanity!

View from the bed area leading to the bathroom/entrance way

After we checked in, we were off to visit the famous Westvleteren Abbey.  For those of you who do not know, this is supposed to be the BEST beer brewery in Belgium.  I believe I read that the beer has been brewed for centuries (check out the link above).

I did not really know what to expect, but was amazed at how BEAUTIFUL it was!  Unfortunately, they do not allow visitors to see the brewery, but there is a cafe where you can have some snacks and try the infamous beer.

Note: The beer is exclusively sold at the abbey and you must call to reserve a case when available. ¬†When you purchase the case, you are forbidden to sell commercially…

The abbey!

Of course, we stopped by the cafe for a snack and a drink. ¬†The guys got to try the infamous beer and the gals (prego) got to enjoy nice water/soda. ¬†Yum…:-). ¬†I did not take a picture of my meal (just a Croque Monseur – grilled cheese), but did snap a photo of the local specialty. ¬†For the life of me, I can’t remember what it is called. ¬†BUT, it was described as…chicken in a lemony-like jello…

The 'Local Specialty'

After lunch we proceeded to explore the small towns in the countryside by stopping at some local pubs to play “Bar Olympics.” ¬†More on that next post as it is VERY interesting and I have quite a few pics!!!

 

Broccoli Pasta Night!

Happy Friday everyone! 

Started the day off right with my OMG mug!  It finally made an appearance again after I finished the dishes!  Oh, so happy.

Mmm, oatmeal/cereal concoction!

I have to admit that today has not been very exciting. ¬†I devoted the entire morning til about mid-afternoon to school work. ¬†I haven’t really done much work since school started over a month ago and so today it really hit me…I’M IN SCHOOL. ¬†It just seems so weird! ¬†I haven’t done HW since, oh, I don’t know, like Nov 2005. ¬†That’s ALMOST 6 years!!! ¬†I’ve come to 2 realizations:

1. ¬†I’m somewhat of a procrastinator.

2.  Facebook is just as distracting now as it was in 2003 when I signed up!  Remember when you could only sign up when you had an email with .edu?  Ha, the good ole days!

I just finished my law presentation and I was so excited to dive into my “reward.” ¬†My father-in-law and his fiance gave us a bag of American trick or treat candy before we left the USA. ¬†AWESOME. ¬†So…I promised myself a treat once the work was done (ok – it seriously sounds like I’m treating myself like a dog who just completed a trick). ¬†Anyway, I opened up the 2-pack of Starburst…and what to my dismay…A YELLOW & AN ORANGE. ¬†UGHHHH, the WORST colors.

I would LOVE this:

Starburst Favered Fruit Chew Candy

Tonight I am trying another new recipe from my latest blog obsession: Gina’s Skinny Recipes.¬† We are going to have the ‘Pasta w/ Roasted Broccoli w/Oil & Garlic.’¬† Of course, I will be making 2 sets of pasta since Joe will not eat whole wheat and I will not eat white pasta. ¬†Stupid of us, huh?

Here it is! ¬†YUM! ¬†I swear there is a lot there…in proportion to the wine? hmmmm

Yes, the wine glass looks huge!

We also opted to go out for a drink at our fave spot…the “Trappisten huis.” ¬†I had my usual Cava and Joe his Sint-Bernardus. ¬†Not going to lie, it was a nice, relaxing Friday evening back in town! ūüôā

Sooo happy!

Back to Belgium - where champagne is acceptable on a daily basis!

And…some quick catch up!

As you can tell, I’m WAY behind on my blog (about a week)! ¬†So…we’re going to do a week in pictures (like last time) in order to catch up! ¬†Man all this traveling and visiting is really eating into my blog time! ūüôā

Wednesday:

My grandparents arrived in Tosa from Arkansas! ¬†I was SO excited. ¬†I have not seen them in 1.5 years! ¬†So…what did we do? ¬†We had the traditional “fall” dinner at home…Mom’s chili. ¬†And, omg was it good! ¬†Mom makes chili with noodles…anyone else do that? ¬†Yea…and I ate it so fast…sorry no pics!

Thursday:

We moved to a downtown hotel for the weekend.  Hello, Hotel Metro!  (We LOVE this hotel Рit is where we stayed the night of our wedding)!

We lucked out because the ‘Zen Den’ bar at the top of the hotel was actually open to the public (always closed for private events). ¬†So…we stopped up for a drink and to “relax” in the “zen” area! ¬†Awesome.

A hidden little gem!

Aw, brothhhhhers!

We then ate at my all-time FAVE sushi restaurant…SAKETUMI. ¬†You KNOW I had the spicy tuna roll, Godzilla roll, AND a new scallop roll. ¬†YUM! ¬†Oh, and we ordered 2 helpings of edamame (I ate one myself while the brothers shared…yikes)! ¬†Last but certainly not least…we stopped at Catch 22 for a drink with my BFF Julia and her fiance, Andy. ¬†Again, no pics…so slacking!

Friday:

Friday definitely deserves it’s own post. ¬†And, it will get one very shortly. ¬†Why you ask? ¬†Because, it is in honor my parents 25th Wedding Anniversary! ¬†Here is a sneak-peak at the surprise party we threw!

Aren't they cute?!

Yes, that’s all you get for now! ūüôā

Saturday:

A BUSY day! ūüôā ¬†The morning was spent hosting a Bridal Shower for my BFF, Julia! ¬†(Am I a party-planner or what…ha)! ¬†We had the party in the common room at our condo building. ¬†Here are some pics of the event and the beautiful bride-to-be!

The spread...

Some may say...the best part of the party (ahem, me)!

The bride's seat!

The bride!!!

And...her gifts! Does she like chicken - I can't remember...

Right after the shower…we hopped on over to Trinity (bar) on Water Street to meet up with the boys…AND…a surprise guest. ¬†My friend, Karen, from DC flew in to hang for the day/night! ¬†Yes, I cried.

Together again!!! Seriously, best day.

And, last but certainly not least: dinner and drinks at our “old stomping ground.” ¬†Aka – La Fuenta…aka…best place for margarita’s (even if you were of a questionable age). ¬†Just kidding, mom….

The marg's...and...only a couple chips left! Thankfully, they are bottom-less!

The gals!

The fam came!

Seesters! They are always picking me up for some reason.

Fave.

After our fabulous dinner and marg’s, we headed to our favorite Marquette bar, Caffrey’s. ¬†Oddly enough, I can’t find a “suitable” picture to post…:-)

SUCH a great trip home. ¬†It went by so fast (as I’m sure it always will), but we are so blessed/lucky/thankful to have such wonderful family and friends. ¬†We miss you and love you all!

 

 

 

 

Tosa Trivia!

Started my Tuesday off right…with a little Jillian Michaels! ¬†Was pretty intense today considering I haven’t done her video in a week or 2!

My mom and I were going to have a full fledge Mother-Daughter day of shopping…at my favorite local shopping mall…Mayfair!! ¬†Ahhh, how I love it! ūüôā ¬†We started off bright and early (we were literally there before it opened) and of course, made a stop at the Starbuck’s drive through for a morning pick-me-up.

*I’m going to digress for a minute – this is the first DRIVE-THRU I’ve been to in 8 months. ¬†I can’t think of 1 drive-thru in Belgium…not 1 (and I’m really trying)! ¬†Weird, right?!

Anyway, we spent a great deal of time at our fave stores (Ann Taylor, Loft, Limited, etc)! ¬†I might have missed my calling as a personal shopper. ¬†I must say that I REALLY enjoy helping others buy clothing! ¬†My mom got some GREAT key items…including a brand new pair of AWESOME jeans. ¬†I (of course) got some great new stuff too – cute earrings, scarf, etc.

My sister joined us for lunch…at Panera (again – why stop a good thing)! ¬†This time I had my other favorite soup – Chicken Noodle with the multi-grain baguette. ¬†Still delish! ¬†We followed up lunch with dessert at…yes, Starbucks (again)! ¬†My mom and I split a PUMPKING SPICE LATTE! ¬†I’m sensing a pattern…

I WAS SO excited for this evening. ¬†My BFF is getting married in January and she invited me and Maggie (remember her visit?) to join her for a dress fitting! ¬†Here are just pics from previous celebrations – soon to add pics from Julia’s festivities! ūüôā

At my wedding...

At Maggie's Bachelorette party!

Of course, the dress fitting was wonderful and she looked absolutely beautiful. ¬†That’s all the detail you get…since the fiance is a subscriber! ūüôā

For dinner, we had plans to meet a group of friends at the Mo’s Irish Pub in Wauwatosa for Trivia Night. ¬†I’ve never played trivia before at a bar and really did not know what to expect. ¬†Let me tell you…it is NOT easy! ¬†Here are a couple sample questions:

  • What state produces 90% of the USA’s garlic crop?
  • What country did Churchill call “the sleeping giant?”
  • Name the 2 heisman (sp?) trophy winners who were drafted as quarterbacks in the same year (BONUS que).
  • How many ‘community chests’ are there on a monopoly board? ¬†I still don’t believe the answer to this…
  • Which country whose name starts with a ‘P’ is the largest in size (sq ft)?
Tough right?! ¬†Well, we were close…but ended up coming in 4th. ¬†Oh well it was fun and so great to catch up with old friends! ūüôā

the boys...

the girls...

Oh, I almost forgot…I had the BEST tomato soup last night (with OYSTER crackers – another thing I can’t find in Belgium)!

Note the design on top...nice touch!

Home Sweet Home!

USA! USA! USA! – We may or may not have chanted this as we arrived at ORD. ¬†(Ok, we did, but definitely not within ear shot of others…we could’nt be THOSE people)!

Words cannot describe how HAPPY we are to be home and visiting all our family/friends! ¬†After 8 long months, we are back for a good week! ¬†First stop…Chicago!

Friday:

We arrived and were greeted by my father-in-law. ¬†He had a care package waiting for us at the airport – animal crackers! ¬†Um, hello, obviously he knows me! ¬†ūüôā ¬†The drive into Chicago to our hotel was GREAT. ¬†When we came around the curve on the expressway and saw the skyline, I literally had goosebumps. ¬†I.LOVE.CHICAGO. ¬†We proceeded to check-in to our hotel, grab a little snack, SHOP, and get ready for the night.

Dinner was @ North Pond in Lincoln Park.  OMG was it good!  I had the soup of the day with the tomato/mozzarella salad.  The view was the best:

CHI!!!!!!

We then proceeded to meet up with friends at a bar close-by (can’t remember the name – “Other Side” maybe)?! ¬†I’m sad to say that I forgot my camera so I really don’t have pics…BUT, it was so great seeing everyone again. ¬†There’s nothing like a chat with your girlfriends! ūüôā ¬†PLUS, it was awesome to have a good ole’ Miller Lite (so refreshing to have a beer that is not more than 5% alcohol). ¬†I will be honest, it tasted great, but the Belgians do REALLY know how to make a beer…

We were definitely feeling jet-lagged, so we called it an early night!

Saturday:

My main mission today: Shop & Starbucks

And…boy did I do succeed! ¬†There is a Starbucks in our hotel, so I had a nice grande coffee this morning with a side of oatmeal. ¬†I LOVE their oatmeal – mainly because of the little sides they give you (um, yes I’ll have brown sugar, dried fruit, AND nuts).

I proceeded to shop the ENTIRE day with my soon-to-be sister-in-law (AWESOME) and my soon-to-be mother-in-law. ¬†We walked up and down Michigan Ave. ¬†I found 3 new pairs of pants at Express (thank you BOGO 1/2 off)! ¬†Plus, my new obsession, TOMS shoes. ¬†Has anyone ever had these? ¬†Kristina recommended them to me (thank you) and they are SO comfy…perfect for the Belgian cobblestone!

We stopped for lunch at Coco Pazzo. ¬†This place is SO cute (and warm – it was a bit chilly and windy)! ¬†I opted for the seven veggie salad and the soup of the day (chickpea!) ¬†Delicious! ¬†And…of course, we needed dessert…so…we went to Starbucks (again). ¬†Starbucks stock might rise while I’m home this week if I keep doing double-headers. ¬†This time I had what I’ve been waiting for for the last month….

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE –¬†And yes, it was as good as expected (if not better)!

Anyway…onto the evening agenda:

A nice cocktail at my soon-to-be mother-in-laws condo (appy’s included) and dinner at the Erie Cafe.

The appy’s and drinks at the condo were great – they had decorated the place with Welcome Home signs and streamers! ūüôā ¬†We passed around the jenever that we brought from Ghent for everyone to taste test (mmm…vanilla)!

After about an hour, we headed to dinner.¬† I opted for the ‘Shrimp A la George’ and Joe got…wait for it…the prime rib special. ¬†I’m so mad that I don’t have any pictures of his food. ¬†You would NEVER believe how big it was…we joked it was “the 96-er.” ¬†(Reference to the movie “The Great Outdoors” for those of you who have seen it)! ¬†We followed-up our entrees with an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! ¬†I seriously think the food put Joe in a food-induced coma because we had to leave shortly after dinner to go to bed! ūüôā

All in all, a GREAT night with great company. ¬†We miss nights like these so much when we’re gone, but, it just makes it all the more special when we’re home. ¬†ūüėČ

Next stop…TOSA! ūüôā ¬†omgomgomg…(I’m so excited – which is probably why I’m up at 4:30am bloggin).

Restaurant Review: ‘t Hommelhof

As I mentioned in my last Watou post, we ate at a FABULOUS restaurant the night we were in Watou!  Here are the deets!

Restaurant: ‘t Hommelhof

So adorbs!

Seriously, how welcoming does this place look?!

Location: Watou, Belgium (centrum)

  • Ambiance¬†– Adorable. ¬†It is located right in the town centrum. ¬†We rode the bikes in from the B&B (about a 15 minute drive). ¬†Very nice feel – could be casual or dressy. ¬†We were in the mood for dressy since this was our nice night out for the 4 of us.
  • Drinks¬†– EXCELLENT. ¬†We opted for the chef’s menu which had the option for a selection of wines or beer. ¬†Everyone opted for the wine and Joe chose the beer. ¬†Honestly, each wine was delicious. ¬†We had 2 whites and a red. ¬†My fave was the first white and the last red. ¬†Joe, of course, loved his beer selections (all Watou brewed – duh)!
  • Snacks¬†– EXCELLENT. ¬†When we sat down we received little green olives, delicious white rolls, radishes, and some bbq chips. ¬†The rolls came with a ham-like pate which was delicious.
  • Food¬†– EXCELLENT. ¬†We splurged and opted for the chef’s menu (3 courses) – definitely worth it! ¬†(see below)
  • Price –¬†GOOD. ¬†It’s a rather pricey menu, but honestly one of the best dinners we’ve had in Belgium.
  • Service – EXCELLENT¬†‚Äď The waiter was very good in English and explained each course in detail. ¬†The chef came out of the kitchen about halfway through our meal and asked how we were doing and what we thought – classy!
  • Overall –¬†EXCELLENT. ¬†A MUST-TRY if you are in Watou!
What we ate:
  • First Course ‚Äď Tomatoes and mozzarella with balsamic vinegar and topped with garnaal (Belgian mini-shrimp). ¬†YUM.
  • Check out the basil!

  • Second Course – White fish (sorry, can’t remember the type) with a light cream sauce and oysters. ¬†I couldn’t bring myself to try the oysters…my bad.
  • Loved this plate!

  • Third Course – Lamb with cheese potatoes (looked like little muffins!) and green beans.
  • Yes, I eat lamb now. Don't judge me.

  • Dessert Course – Trio of green tea cream with baked pears, chocolate mousse, and a chocolate brownie topped with gelatin. ¬†Oh, and a dripping of caramel down the middle of the plate!
  • Seriously?!

Yea, we were definitely satisfied!  Can you tell?

Happy campers.

As if we needed more, they brought this little joy to the table…

The chocolates in the middle were un-comprehendable.

Wow again Watou!

A week in photos!

Have I been slacking or what?!?! ¬†I’ve been very busy with our visitors so I’m going to do a ‘week in photos’ post to catch up! ¬†Here we go!!!

Tuesday

Of course, I had class, but was able to grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Downstairs.  You may remember it from the review!  I opted for the Gent specialty РWaterzooi.  

Like a delish chicken soup!

Followed up by a round of jenever at t’ Dreupelkot!

Pinky's up!

Wednesday

Today was a day of Gent.  We went to the castle, cathedral, had wafels, etc.

Queens! ūüôā

Atop the castle!

Wafels anyone?!

Or coffee with freshly whipped cream?!

And then…we had lunch at the¬†Stropke restaurant outside the castle. ¬†I must say that this was a pleasant surprise…you never know how restaurants will be in extremely tourist areas. ¬†VERY delish!

Tomato soup + multigrain bread!

Gent stoverij!

AMAZING brie+pineapple salad!

Wednesday night was pizza and relaxing. ¬†Unfortunately, I do not have a pic of the pizza, but it was really good. ¬†Yes, all we do is eat here! ūüôā

Thursday

No pics today…forgot my camera on the way to Antwerp. ¬†But, we took the train to Antwerp, walked the city, ate some mussels and chocolate, grabbed Starbucks (yes!), and shopped ’til we dropped! ¬†I am the lucky new owner of a beautiful striped sweater and Joe has a very nice (stylin) shirt!

Friday

Last night we hosted a dinner at our condo with ingredients from the fresh markets!  On the menu Рhalibut, brussel sprouts, salad, and bread.  The halibut was cooked on the stove top with a squeeze of lemon and some spices.  We broiled the brussel sprouts in the oven for about 30 minutes on 200C (tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil).  A VERY nice evening in with our guests :-)!

Cheers!

Yum, a home-cooked meal!

Off to enjoy the rest of the weekend!!! ¬†Up next…beer tours and bike rides!

Brunch @ Chez Joe/Sarah

Sunday Night:

Last night we went and ate at a restaurant on the Graslei. ¬†It was a beautiful night so we sat outside under the heat lamps! ¬†We all sampled some of the “local” cuisine. ¬†For appy’s, we sampled the smoked salmon and cheese croquette’s. ¬†The in-laws had the traditional waterzooi (chicken, potatoes, and carrots in a light stew). ¬†Joe had the stoverij (beef with potatoes in a thicker stew). ¬†I had the greek salad¬†– ok, not a local specialty, but I was craving feta cheese! ¬†Of course, we sampled some wine and Belgian beer!

HUGE portions!

Afterward, we opted for a night cap at the “smallest bar in the world!” ¬†(According to the bar that is…)! ¬†We got to sit on the second floor where there is literally one very small table and the ceiling is about 5 ft high. ¬†So quaint!

Creepin through the window

Monday Morning:

Brunch was at Chez Joe and Sarah.¬† We wanted to make our guests the infamous “egg sandwich” – our weekend routine. ¬†Joe manned the stove while I made coffee…ok, well our Senseo machine did it. ¬†I essentially sat around. ūüôā

Thanks babe!

Good Morning!

Awesome as always!

Delish. ¬†Sadly, they are off to tour Brugges and I have to stay behind (darn school)! ¬†BUT, before school, I get to pick up our other visitor at the train station! ¬†Woo hoo!!! ūüôā

I love…Friday’s

Another Friday…I used to love Friday’s because it meant I had the weekend off of work. ¬†Of course I technically have all days “off” so…now I love it because Joe has the weekend off from work.

And because of this…

Friday Appy's!

I decided to try a new recipe tonight. ¬†I’ve found that I’ve not been cooking as much since school started (school provides my meal on Monday and Tuesday nights). ¬†Anyway, today grabbed this recipe from my daily “Allrecipes” email that I get…

Baked Chicken and Zucchini: (Allrecipes РI modified it for 2 people)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • shredded mozzarella
  • basil (fresh if you got it, I didn’t…so, hello spice cabinet)
Preheat your oven to 400F or 200C (in my case, I pre-heated my combo micro, oven, grill…seriously still in awe of this machine)!
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper. ¬†Then, dip the chicken in the mixture and place in a re-sealable bag (Ziploc brand prefered of course…ah, the SCJ days)! ¬†Add the bread crumbs (reserving 1 tbsp) and shake it up!
Spray your skillet with PAM and cook the chicken over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. ¬†Set aside. ¬†Toss in the sliced zucchini and cook for about 1-2 minutes. ¬†Next, add the zucchini slices to the bottom of a greased (PAM) 9×13 baking dish. ¬†Sprinkle the reserved 1bsp bread crumbs over the zucchini and top with the tomato slices. ¬†Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the veggies (I didn’t measure this but can tell you that I was VERY generous with the cheese)! ¬†Lastly, add the chicken on top and cover with foil. ¬†Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. ¬†Remove cover and sprinkle MORE cheese on top and cook for an additional 10 minutes. ¬†DING…it’s done!

Mmm, cheese.

SO GOOD! ūüôā ¬†After dinner, we decided to go check out a new bar that Joe’s boss recommended. ¬†We were really skeptical because it is a movie theater…but he did NOT lead us astray. ¬†AWESOME, definitely a new fave! ¬†We can’t wait to show our friends: ¬†Studio Skoop¬† Check out the link! ¬†The decor is great. ¬†If you can see in the pic, the chairs against the wall are old movie theater seats. ¬†Plus, the menu has movie trivia! ¬†Score!

Check the chairs!

Obvii...trivia was in English.