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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

America 2012 – Part 1 (Paris and San Fransisco)

This year, Hanno turned 40. And, in June, we’ll be celebrating our 10 year anniversary (because, yes, we’re that old *groan*). There was only one thing Han wanted to do to mark the occasion: go to America. Go to America go to America go to America. This was a slight problem because I do not fly voluntarily. Not a favorite pass-time of mine, being on a plane. Not at all. Fortunately for him, it just so happened that I was missing one of my lovely American friends (hi Tara) and so we reached a deal: if we could combine his dream trip with a visit to Taraville (Portland) AND if both flights were direct, then we could go to America. Also, I didn’t want to have to have anything to do with planning the trip because that would mean acknowledging that I was going to be getting on a plane. So Han did everything. He found flights, booked hotels, rented cars, printed maps, planned routes, scheduled entertainment. In fact, you may not believe this but, with the exception of where we were landing (San Fransisco) and where we would be taking off from again two weeks later (Seattle), I had no idea where we would be going. None. If I had known, I might never have left because, in retrospect, it must have looked hellish on paper. But I didn’t know. And I did go. And it was BRILLIANT. Wonderful, fantastic and amazing. We had the time of our lives.

Before we could get going, we first had to get to Paris. We were flying out from there early in the morning so we decided to spend the preceding night in a hotel near the airport. This was hotel no. 1. And this is where I received a call from my brother and found out that he had become a father. Perfect start to a perfect holiday.At the airport the next morning (I don’t know if you can tell but there was a perfect blue sky: a reassuring sight for a nervous flyer – although, by then, I was feeling surprisingly relaxed):And then… SAN FRANSISCO. We fell in love with San Fransisco. We want to go back. Again and again and again. Hotel Del Sol was hotel no. 2And we had the best room: room 326 “kid culture” (with a separate children’s room full of toys). There were also illuminated palm trees, hammocks, a pool, free cookies and a drawer full of children’s DVDs…We spent our first full day hanging out with the lovely Diyosa. We “met” years ago on Flickr. She was one of the first people who ever answered one of my questions about photography. And I wish we’d met much much sooner because she is truly wonderful. We all loved her and had a fantastic day hanging out with her on the waterfront. Our second day was spent at the Golden Gate park where we had the huge honor of meeting the fabulous Ashley and her absurdly gorgeous children. Ashley is one of those people that I was a bit afraid of meeting because, well, because she’s just so cool. But then I met her and I couldn’t help but love her. Seriously, how lucky am I to get to meet these people?Also, her boy and my girl kinda got on.On our last day, we treated ourselves to breakfast in a diner (mmm… cinnamon fried toast… mmm… indigestion).And then we jumped into our car (an automatic for a man who’s never driven anything but stick – the first few minutes, making our way up those steep San Fransisco hills, were rather amusing) and we were off…Over the next two weeks, Amélie would become an expert at entertaining herself in the back of a car. And Charlie would become rather proficient at sleeping in his seat. I would just moan “are we nearly there?” at lot.Next stop (and next post) Monterey, Cannery Row and the Aquarium! See you there.

25 April 2012 - 9:13 PM ashley mcnamara - how cute are our kids together??? LOVE! XOXOX or i'll do it the british way... xxx

25 April 2012 - 9:44 PM Cass - They were adorable together. Yet another reason for us to be back at some point xxx

25 April 2012 - 9:17 PM tara leigh - YAAAAAAAAY!! this is so exciting (hi cass).

25 April 2012 - 9:58 PM Melissa Webb - These are making me so excited for my trip in October! Also, every single one of these pictures if making me feel incredibly nostalgic; remembering similar snaps my dad took of my siblings and I on our road trips growing up. So beautiful, Cass. :)

26 April 2012 - 9:01 AM Cass - Thank you so much Melissa. I really hope they will have the same effect on Amélie and Charlie in years to come. Where are you going in October? So excited for you xxx

30 April 2012 - 9:51 AM Caroline - oh wow!! what a trip, it looks absolutely fabulous!! So perfect. Can't wait to see the rest!

30 April 2012 - 9:51 AM Caroline - (also? I miss you!)

30 April 2012 - 2:01 PM Cass - I miss you too Caroline. Can't wait for a Paris reunion (or Brussels, should you ever fancy that) x

30 April 2012 - 3:24 PM Amélie { Callibella } - Yay ! J'adoooooore tes photos de ce voyage ! Tellement de couleurs et de belles lumières et de belles rencontres ! Vivement la suite :)

30 April 2012 - 3:40 PM Cass - Merci Amélie! C'était 2 semaines vraiment extraordinaires (qui m'ont, entre autres, appris tout plein de choses sur la photographie).

7 June 2012 - 8:41 PM Marie - cool

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