Paris, Amsterdam and Internal Organs

By - February 11, 2008 (Updated: December 28, 2015)


Was that a truck that just ran me over…? No, it was just my gastro-intestinal system.

Sorry I’ve been off-line for the past little while. No, I didn’t get kidnapped in Paris and although I wanted to, I didn’t run off to Croatia with Kate and her friends. Wednesday evening after they left I got knocked down by the worst case of the flu I can remember having. I’m feeling better although I’m not at 100% yet and my stomach is being very particular about what I put in it. On the upside, I had been wanting to do a detoxifying fast…

Anyway, enough talk of my internal organs. I’m sure you’re curious about our recent visitors. Kate and her friends Mel and Emma arrived late on Monday the 21st of January. We greeted them with beer and waffles (as you do in Belgium…) and took them back to our place to feast on bread and cheese.

We spent the first part of the week resting (doing laundry) and seeing the sights in Brussels and Antwerp. There was the requisite beer and chocolate consumption as well as some shopping and wandering about in the rain.

On the weekend we headed to Amsterdam where the girls saw the sights and Andrew and I hit the sales. I pretty much wiped out Mexx and found an adorable pair of Nine West shoes for 30 euro (Jenn you would be so proud of this score). Even Andrew got into the spirit with some new dress shirts.

We took the girls to a few of our favourite haunts. Kate discovered that she liked jenever (but strawberry margaritas… not so much. Sorry about that Katie). We took them on a canal tour with our friend Casper which involved perhaps a few too many drinks (sorry about that Casper)… There were pancakes and Henk’s herring and I think a good time was had by all.

We had a day at home to recuperate and we spent a day at the spa. Everyone left with their pack-carrying muscles relaxed before we were off to Paris.

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On the way to Paris we stopped at Vimy. Andrew and I have been there several times now, but it never stops being a powerful reminder of what was sacrificed for freedom. This was our first visit since the completed restoration and what a difference from our first visit. The monument looks pristine. The wind was howling on the bluff and it certainly gave us even more appreciation for how terrible it would have been in those trenches. I’ve said it before but I believe that everyone (Canadian or not) should try to visit this site.

Our favourite spot in Paris was fully booked so we ended up staying at a new spot which turned out to be a hall of mirrors… it was odd but fine and all of the stairs were good for my behind.

On day one we went to the Louvre and met Mona. Andrew and I went to the Orangerie which was fantastic and definitely worth another visit. The girls saw Notre Dame and wandered the streets of Paris for a bit. On Saturday we hi-jacked Kate while Mel and Emma went to visit the Eifel tower. The three of us hit the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Shannon you would love this one) and had a quick tour of the Pompidou. We met up for a bus tour and (I’m really sorry girls) a rather dismal boat ride. Then we had a late supper and headed back to the mirrored palace.


We made an early trip home since the girls were off bright and early Monday morning. Everyone made it to their planes on time and Andrew and I were left with an empty house. It became doubly empty for me, as Andrew headed out that evening for an early meeting in some foreign land. (I hardly bother to keep track of where they are at this point).

I had a few days to myself and Andrew arrived home on Wednesday just in time to look after his sick wife. (At least my hair is so short that he doesn’t have to hold it back when I’m sick…)


Surprisingly we’ve had some incredible weather the past few days… of course this happens when I’m too sick to enjoy it. Sunday however I was feeling well enough to get in the car so we took a day trip to Zeeland to enjoy some ocean air. We had a beautiful drive and a short stroll by the sea (I’m still feeling pretty weak) and just enjoyed being out in the sun with the windows down (in February!)

The spring weather has me thinking about Keukenhof which is coming up soon. Sadly I still haven’t had time to work on last year’s tulip photos but they are on the to-do list as soon as my New Year’s pictures are taken care of. So that said, I’m back to work while my stomach allows it.

Now What Amsterdam-Buy the ebook now

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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