Day 5 - "I Now Pronounce You..." - Den Bosch
June 14, 2013
We made this a very lazy morning. There was no reason to get up really early. We had seen most of the city yesterday. And we had plans for most of today. Plus, any chance to stay in bed, even at a hotel, you take it.
Den Bosche is a cute little town. There isn't much there, but it is a place where you can walk around for a few minutes, see the sights, then go back to your hotel room and nap. Which we took full advantage of yesterday. Today, we just needed some breakfast. After some careful deliberation, we ended up at a place called Pink Lemon. Yes, I know what you're thinking...wasn't it just the other day you were spouting off your travel wisdom about free breakfast in the hotel?? Yes. Yes I was. But when you end up in a smaller town and have to find a hotel, preferably the same hotel where the wedding you are going to will be held, you can't quibble on the free food. We did have free wifi. Wifi always wins in a food/wifi battle of amenities.
Anyway, Pink Lemon. This was a small tea house that basically looked like what the inside of my brain feels like. Pink walls were all around us. Gaudy tchotchkes lined the walls, many painted white or turquoise colors. At our table, a tiny deer head was mounted to watch us eat. It was cute. I said several times, "Ooh!! I want that piece!!" Which means I need to go to some flew markets. And buy some white spray paint. I may be crafty if it kills me. And this (courtesy of Google Translate) is how Pink Lemon describes themselves -"The frivolous interior in pink and lime, together with the waitresses dressed in pink bring you directly into a joyful mood, so you're faster you getaway to enjoy." Joyful and frivolous. I hope that wasn't an error on Google translate. Frivolous is such a great word to describe the place.
Breakfast was light. Elias had fruit juice of strawberries, mango and orange juice and chowed on a muffin. I had some chai and had some scones. Tasty. When we went up to pay, curiosity got the better of me. I asked the woman if the blender she used for the juice was a Vitamix. She paused for a second, unsure and the owner came out right around the same time. The owner's eyes brightened and said, "Yes it is!!" We chatted for a few minutes about the Vitamix and Elias and I took off. I have got to get me one of those...
An executive decision was made last night that we would wait until later in the morning to get ready for the wedding. So it wasn't until noon or so that we christened the shower. And it was...interesting. Where the hotel in Brussels had a small step up to the shower, this hotel had a bathtub/shower combo. Not usually a big deal. Many places have one. But the issue for this hotel is the bathtub was so high up that you basically had to sit on the edge of the tub and wildly fling your legs over the other side of the tub. The faucet was a little tricky, but all other issues faded away when the water turned on and I was immediately sexually assaulted by the shower curtain. The curtain stuck to my body with every move I made. And it was not appreciated. Not one bit. I showered as quickly as possible and ran away for the curtain to do its dirty business on the next sucker who flung their legs wildly over the edge of the tub. That person's name was Elias.
We cleaned up pretty good. Dresses, headpieces, ties, we were no slouches in the dressing up part. No one could say we half-assed it. So we started walking to the church. And a fatal flaw was discovered almost immediately. My shoes. I don't wear heels often and these are mostly new. And the heel portion was just skinny enough to...get stuck in the cobblestone streets and sidewalks. Whoops. The sad thing is I think I kind of knew this could happen. So I gingerly walked. And we counted. From the time I walked to and from the hotel, my heel got caught eight times. Only once was it a serious catch, but still. By the end of the walk, I was exhausted from paying attention to where I was stepping.
The wedding was lovely. The wedding was the reason we were in Europe to begin with. If it weren't for Michelle saying, "Meghan is getting married and I know you like to travel..." Or if it weren't for Meghan studying abroad in Moscow so many years ago, Elias and I would not be where we are right now. Sitting in an amazing cathedral and watching two young people get married today. The wedding itself was pretty normal. We weren't sure if it would be held in Dutch or English (answer, English). We also didn't know if there would be anything different because it was in Den Bosch. It really wasn't. But the thing that struck me was the priest was having fun. He was a little jokey with his speech. He kept the mood for the service light, which was nice. At the end, as we filed out of the cathedral, we were given balloons to release when the couple came out of the cathedral. It was really lovely and an excellent end to the service.
There was a small break between the wedding and the pre-dinner drink time and Elias was hungry, so we went back to the place where yesterday we got the sausage wrapped in bread. Those things...love. And we ended up with more juice. Unfortunately, the juice wasn't jut orange juice, but it was blended with banana. Bah!! Banana!!
The pre-dinner drinking started at 4p. Well, actually, I think it started immediately following the wedding. We just decided to go back to the room to tidy up and take shoes off for a few minutes. After a while, we made it back downstairs and cozied up to a table with Michelle and two of her friends from Switzerland. Rolf and Cornelia were lovely (there's that word again, lovely...) people who lived in California with Michelle several years ago. As luck would have it, they were also at our table for dinner.
We had to be at the "Kid's Table" for dinner. Which wasn't surprising. We were at the only English-speaking table. Michelle's brother and girlfriend were on one side, Rolf and Cornelia were on another. Rounding out the table of eight were Rolf and Cornelia's daughter and her boyfriend. With Michelle's brother at the table, we knew we'd be at the party table. And we were. Topics ranged from the Swiss people voting down a sixth week of vacation to the Boston bombings to the joy of government cheese. A good time was had by all.
Post-dinner, we went down to the basement (dungeon??) and continued eating and drinking. Elias and I found a little table and chairs and we parked it for a while. Waiters brought cheese and meat platters. Then we finally got Elias a glass of champagne (or sparkling wine...it'll be referred to as champagne going forward). The verdict...he liked it. And again, it took him a good hour plus to finish the glass. I love that. The music played and the dancing began. The DJ was really good. He mixed new and old, slow and fast, English and Dutch. There really weren't any duds in the mix. Michelle's brother took to the dance floor swiftly and held court there for a while with his crazy dancing. Dude can hold his own with the youngsters. It was all very fun.
Midway through the night, Rolf offered to drive us to Amsterdam tomorrow since they were going there anyway. I don't like to put people out, but come on...that would save us money, so feel free. We had to be downstairs at 11a. Done.
At a certain point, we knew it was time to go back to the room. Michelle accompanied us so she could pick up her Starbucks mug from Brussels. We chatted for a few before she had to go back to the reception. We got ready for bed and it was then when we realized the bed was a bit of a monster. It swallowed technology. The iPad got sucked down the bed at one point. The remote control did too. We had to be careful with the various technology we brought with us, cause the bed was hungry. Always hungry.