Nancy on Peaks Island, Portland, Maine
Peaks Island is a 20 minute ferry ride from mainland Portland. The island is approx. 1 mile by 2 miles and in wintertime its population will be around 800 people, of whom many of them are artists. In the summer you can have up to 4000 people on the island.
When I arrive at Nancy's, it is the first day of summer. It's a bit chilly, though. But things will get worse, weatherwise. I'm staying four nights on the island: the first night it starts raining, and it will continue raining until the last day. Not a lot of tourists around with this drizzle, I'm somehow guessing.
But I'm wrong. The island can also be appealing in bad weather. Take, for instance, the Umbrella Cover Museum (http://www.umbrellacovermuseum.org). Nancy is director and curator of the museum. It is the only such museum in the world. So that's exactly the kind of novelty that attracts people from all over. The first day of my stay I spend quite some time in the museum, because we shoot a weather report. Nancy presents it, from out of her museum and from the dock where the ferry arrives. It is a rather hilarious concept to bring a weekly weather report from such a tiny little place as Peaks Island, but Nancy has a craving for the unusual. And for the mundaine, as I will learn while reading the mission statement in her museum. If you look at every day things differently, and make them to be Every Day Things, you make it into something special, if not into a spiritual experience.
So that first day on the island I work. I videotape the weather report and during the evening I edit it to a short and catchy video. There we go:
The second day I do nothing at all. Nancy is a musician and I enjoy her playing Bach and Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain on the piano and some waltzes on the accordeon. We listen together to "Vesoul" by Jaques Brel, a song that features some mindblowing accordeon fury. We talk about Disney, about the music she loves and the bands she's playing in, the museum and her house. In two weeks she wants to put the house on the market. For sale. And she can't bare the idea of having to put a sign in the garden "For Sale".
The third day I walk around half of the island in the rain. Later that night we go out to a exposition opening in an art gallery and I take Nancy out for dinner (3 restaurants on this island, one supermarket, and only a couple of places where you can grab a coffee). At night I help Nancy put some kind of painting against a wall. I let this drop in for a moment. Why would you start decorating your house if it's going to be on sale soon? But hey, never argue with a director of a museum of umbrella covers, especially not if she is the most welcoming person one can imagine.
The last day, a saturday, promises to be a fully packed day. There's a theatre play going on in the Battery Steele bunker. That is a spooky bunker with very thick concrete walls and a network of underground rooms. It was build during WWI and served also during WWII. All of this is now overgrown in the woods, and all of the rooms in the bunkers are very damp. Portland was an important territory to protect at the time because it was base to a huge military boat construction site and it also seems to be the city in the US that is closest to England across the ocean. The name of the play is Cymbeline and the writer is Shakespeare. It is, at least to me, a very complicated story. The actors speak the 'where art thou' old style of English and on top of that the director of this particular play decided to play around with the original sequence order so that I get totally confused and decide to concentrate on taking some pictures in the dark dark intestines of the bunker.
After freeing my head of the horror stories inside the bunker, I biked on Nancys bicycle to an art walk with 11 artists showing their art in their own houses. Most of these artists you can see while at work. Robert Van Der Steenhoven is one of them. He's from Holland, but has been living for such a long time in the States that his dutch has deteriorated over the years.
This trip involves, as always when travelling, a lot of saying goodbyes. This time Nancy sends me away with an essay on 'Unconditinonal Love and Self-Acceptance'. It's about conscious channeling. Something like letting your own consciousness move out of the way and allowong 'Divine Energies' to speak through your body and voice. After reading all of the 14 pages I don't get it. Did Shakespeare wrote this?
Thank you Nancy for making me happy on the island. I hope to see you again soon in Belgium!
Jewell, Waterford, Maine
I hook up with Gaye, a Servas member out of Boston, for the next couple of days. She unofficially hires me as her personal driver and hiking buddy while I unofficially hire her car. Together we drive from the White Mountains in New Hampshire to the remote state of Maine, where we will end up in a tiny little place called Waterford. To me, this will be the most northern part to visit during this trip.
One always makes an image of the next place to stay. And the next person to meet. This was also true for Jewell and her 'camp', the place where we would stay. I wrote to her, she wrote to me, I called her, she called me. And then we met in person. Boy, what a surprise to find this 80 year old lady is in such good shape! We couldn't help but ask her the secret to her 'youth'. "Well, just keep on doing things", is her answer. We don't know wether or not this was one of her many plain dry jokes, but I'm guessing that she meant this one. Later on, she told us she was an active member of the Christian Science Church, a religion where people above all believe in the saving, healing power of God's love. In other words, Christian Scientists don't believe that salvation occurs at some point in the future, but that the presence of God's goodness can be experienced here and now - and by everyone. The big controverse around this religion is that Christians Scientists do not visit doctors, phisicians nor seek medical treatment. Healing comes from praying. I think Jewell is living proof that it works!
The camp is a very rustic place, but the setting is beautiful. You litterally sleep at 10 feet from the lake. The inside is very, very cosy: if you listen carefully you can hear the voices of Jewells ancestors whisper to slow down and enjoy every instance of the present. The cosiest place is the so-called doll house, that's the place where Jewell sleeps. It is only big enough to hold a bed and some books and a stove. But Jewell loves it like it is, I somehow guess she tries to celebrate the simplicity of things.
Gaye and I go out canoeing two mornings. The lake is connected to 4 other lakes. Oh, that reminds me: the state of Maine has 6.000 lakes, 32.000 miles of rivers and 5.000 miles of coastline! A bit of facts and figures don't hurt if it's these outrageous numbers...
And one day Gaye could't help but force me into another hike steep up the hills on the Piper trail in Chocorua. This one was 4 miles up till the summit from where we had an excellent view on Mount Washington. It was very rewarding to finally reach the top, but I have to say that we were severely attacked by thousands of blackflies. They just wouldn't let go. Even our 30% deet repellent prooved to be a failure.
So after a quick photoshoot and a bite or two we hurried back down. Not really watching out for signs or marks on trees, we walked down these vast woods. At a certain moment it came to my attention that we hadn't seen any signs for a very long time. It was still going downhill, but were we going towards the car? As if that was not enough of misery on our plate, Gaye fell and hurt her foot. See, this is not the kind of situation you think of when you start a nice hike on a beautiful day. After five minutes or so, Gaye called state police. They forwarded our call to the park rangers. A certain Andy was very helpful over the phone and seemed to be able to pinpoint our position very accurate. He said: "you guys are only 1,2 miles away from your car".
That night, of course, we had a nice story to share with Jewell.
Thank you Jewell for your hospitality! We'll be seeing you in Belgium, promise?
SUSAN and PETER in Sperryville, Virginia
On our way back to Washington DC we decide to stay one last time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This time it's not an easy choice because there are 5 or 6 Servas hosts in the area but hey, the story teller 'feature' made us contact Susan and Peter.
The couple is in their early seventies. They used to live for a long time in Washington DC where Peter was owning a lawyer business and Susan worked as a landscape designer. At some point they decided to move to a more 'rural' place, where they have snakes and bears that cut open mosquito screens around porches and so forth. So they went to live in Madison County, an hour drive from Charlottesville. No, it's not the Madison County you might have seen or read about in one of our old time favorites 'Bridges of Madison County', but the landscapes are simply amazing and reminded us in a way to things we saw in Wales a long time ago.
On our way up from Roanoke we stop in Montecelli, where the Jefferson house and plantations and also Thomas Jefferson's grave are to be visited. Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and is considered to be the 'Founding father of the United States'. The house is well kept and still breathes the spirit of the twenty or so years that Jefferson lived there. We are taken back 200 years in time. Jefferson has 127 slaves at that time, yet he will always be the president that wrote the 'Declaration of Independence' that states on its first page in very proud calligraphic letters: 'all men are created equal'. But in the person of Jefferson you can very well detect a discrepancy between theory and practice: he just couldn't give up on his own slaves, because slaves were good business and represented a lot of money. How ambiguous! There is also a lot of gossip going on around Jefferson having had a very longlasting affair with one of his slaves.
Until this day tourbuses come on and off and the Montecelli site and it remains a huge tourist attraction for the Charlottesville district.
So far for the culture and history, now: back to nature and the Blue Ridge Mountains. On saturday we decide to hike up to Mount Robertson. It's a very steep hike up but the view at the summit is really rewarding. All in all it took us five hours to make the loop and return to the beautiful setting of the house.
Susan and Peter live at the end of a lane that boards yet another dead end street. Scary, this silence. I hear the ticking of my own heart at night. (Oh my god, isn't my heartbeat going too fast?) Not a lot of traffic going on here: if you want to have some shopping done, you have to drive at least half an hour. Peter cooks a juicy steak on the grill the first evening, Ingrid cooks an old times favorite of hers, quiche, on our second evening. And on our third and last night we are invited to join them to a dinner party in a tiny little town called 'Little Washington'.
We meet in the house of one of Susans' partners in the pottery studio. It is a massive house, with a yummie fruit tree at the front door that lead to a beautifully decorated and very cosy interior, but when Ingrid got the tour in and around the house she learned that this was only 'a weekend house'. Waw.
It was a very relaxing evening with fantastic food and good conversations. John, the only black person out of the ten people attending the party, had a particular way of answering the question 'how are you?' He would answer: "Hey, same old soup, just warmed over again". John is in his eighties and could tell stories about the past, how he used to walk for miles and miles as a young men because the buses simply would not stop for 'niggers'. This amazing widower did not come alone to this dinner party. His new partner is a white woman (also part of Susans' pottery club) and John told me that just the bare fact of looking at white woman was a very sinfull thing in the old days... Well, we've come a long way.
The moment John kept silent, most of the story telling credits went to Peter. You would wonder how a lawyer can end up being a director for theater plays and a very talented story teller. Well, I guess that even lawyers have to make up stories, right?
We'd like to put Peter as the main act on the next to come Story Telling Festival in Alden Biezen!
Thanks Susan and Peter and good luck with the pottery and 'The Dinner Party'!
SUE and JIM in Brevard
From a birds eye point of view, flying over the mountains from Tuckasegee to Brevard would be no hassle at all , but everything that you do over the zig zagged Blue Ridge parkway with a car takes forever. We left Tuckasegee one morning at around 10 am, did a coffee stop in Sylva (and visited Joyce previous bookstore!) and arrived at the White Squirrel Music Festival in Brevard around 3 pm. Now, the White Squirrel Music Festival is a gathering of folk musicians and fans from all over the Smoky Mountains, but the name in itself refers to the very popular White Squirrel. I thought it was like an imaginary kind of squirrel, but we soon found out that it really exists in Brevard. Actually, a generous 30% of the total squirrel population in and around Brevard is believed to be white.
Apart from that, Brevard has a reputation to be small city with nothing but quality music all year round. Google "Brevard, North Carolina", and you'll soon find out that Brevard is home to the Brevard Music Centre, a campus with 400 students in the art of music (www.brevardmusic.org).
Sue and Jim have been living in Houston, Texas, for 40 years but they decided to retire in a more rural area, where they could enjoy 4 seasons (indeed, on the main page of the Brevard city website you can read all about the desirable retirement location called Brevard).
They both like to kayak (although Jim has to take a pain pill from time to time to keep up to the energy level of Sue) and they both are very active in volunteer work. Sue and Jim work in the church (Jim being the in-house photographer) and they are very much promoting equal rights for homosexuals. Sue is also volunteering as a mediator, which somehow opened a new world for her. The kind of wrong-doing in the United States has gone pretty mad sometimes, and some of these abuses are resolved during mediation sessions. During these 'mini trials' efforts are being done to end conflicts. Sue's main role is to try to get the two parties involved to talk with another.
And there is one other thing why Sue and Jim are working their way up to heaven. While we were there, they opened their house to a homeless woman with her child and dog. So here we are, Sue and Jim, Ingrid and me (total strangers to them), the homeless woman and her child (total strangers to them) gathered in one house, drinking wine and having fun on the deck. Simply amazing.
On our last day Sue joined us for the Carl Sandburg folk music festival in Flat Rock. Carl Sandburg (writer, poet, Pullitzer price winner) used to live here until his death. His house and the mountain surroundings set the background for some pretty nice folk music.
After getting back home, Sue surprised us with a home made Frappuccino. It has nothing to do with the Frappuccino you order at Starbucks. It is a magic mix of dark coffee, nescafé powder, caramel cappuccino powder, nesquick powder, milk powder, lots of ice in the blender topped with chocolate sauce and coffeeliquer. So yummie! We were both speechless.
Thank you Sue and Jim, we're pretty sure you will have a nice summer with the grandchildren coming over from France!
JOYCE AND ALLEN in Tuckasegee
Tuckasegee, say again? I remember that it was somewhere right in the middle of the Smokey Mountains, a tiny little spot that was even hard to find on the map. But remember, we are visiting people, Servas people. The places, well, they always can give a nice touch to it, but our main target has been to try to understand how Americans think and how they organise their lives.
That's where Joyce and Allan make their entrance. They are both retired, she from owning a bookshop in nearby Sylva and he from teaching as a professor Ecology for most of his life. They keep on being very active. Joyce is putting a lot of energy in weaving and knitting, Allen is taking care of the sheep, writing a book and he is playing the bagpipes.
We arrive very late that evening, because we underestimated the itinerary. It is like driving towards the end of the world, in other words: to a place where you will not find paved roads but instead stumble over many, many squirrels and shipmonks.
We're not alone that first evening around the table. Some 40 years ago, Allen was attending a class where he got pretty amazed by a flegmatic professor teaching about geography. This particular professor moved to Canada, but decided to look up his old student Allen after 40 years. So there we are, joining a group of four very intelligent people around a table eating an asparagus pie and talking for a very long time on the biological qualities of the nerves in a maple leaf! Pretty mindblowing!
Next day, for the first time ever, we drive a couple of hours over the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is a piece of road that goes for almost 400 miles from north to south over the ridges of the Appalachian mountains. We have the feeling we're in the 'Schwarz Wald' in Germany, exept for the different trees (Tulip Popular) and wildlife (deer, squirrels, kardinal birds). The mountains are never over 2000 meters (so far the false idea that we would be in a cooler area, it's still very hot). Americans like to consider driving a car on the Blue Ridge parkway as a 'walking activity'. They drive a lot, and then they walk a little. That is why you find all of these different 'lookouts': stops along the way with nice views and sometimes a short trail to a summit.
We also complete a walk along the Panthertown trail one day. A 4 hours hike with a nice waterfall where you can walk around. There is not a single spot in the neighborhood with a coffee or a beer. Although, hold your horses, what is that sign towards 'Country Club' on our way back? It also says 'private'. Well, what the heck, let's try it. We seem to arrive at a 18 holes golf course, right in the middle of nowhere. We park our tiny Chevy next to a battery of Mercedes and BMW metals and, without even pretending to be golf players (how could we, in shorts and hiking boots) we go into the clubhouse. We get ourselves a coffee and a beer and out of curiousity the manager pops in, asking us about our whereabouts. When he hears that we're from Belgium, he changes to dutch and says: "wel, dat treft, ik kom uit Nederland". He hopes we will come back one day as customers of the Inn and leaves us alone with the bartender, a young guy who happens to have spend several months in Germany. Finally, after half an hour or so, we want to pay the check. Says the bartender: "don't bother, it's all on me". See, if this is the South, we love the people that live in the South.
The evenings, we're pretty busy sharing travel stories. Joyce and Allen went to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos as did we. They even visited the Antartics a couple of years ago.
About ten years ago Allen decided to try and write a Science Fiction novel. The story, today, is nearly finished, but Joyce is insisting that he would put in more emotions and leave out some of the scientific explanations. Too much of Einstein, too little sex!
We hope to be able to host them in a near future in Belgium. Thank you Joyce and Allen!
ANIA, JOSHUA, EZRA & ITZEL in Wilmington
Curiousity. That's possibly what brought Ania and Joshua into allowing us in their house. At one moment they received an email from a certain Hans Manshoven with a photo and a brief explanation. Ania and Josh studied the photo. "He might be an assasin, or he might be the opposite", was their analysis. "Let's invite them over", was their conclusion.
Curiousity. That's what brought us into contacting Ezra, born 2004, toy tester, and Itzel, born 2009, food taster. Of course, their mum and dad did all of the email communication approving our request and letting us know that we could stay for 3 nights with them, but actually, in retrorespect, we learned more about the children (and having children!) than about their parents.
Then again, you get to know the parents by analysing their children.
1 Mum asking Itzel while playing the game 'things': "hey honey, what is the thing you still want to be able to do when you're 85 years old?" Itzels' response: "six" (she often responds with a number), which we all of course understood as something else.
2 Ezra, just a couple of minutes after our arrival: "Ingrid and Hans, can I show you a dance to a song that I like very much?" Up comes a song by the Beasty Boys and with that a very energetic choreography invented by the young master Ezra himself".
Servas is about visiting people, not places. So we already forgot most of the things we saw in Wilmington. I do remember that Wilmington itself is embedded in a piece of coastal land that is pointed out "Cape Fear" on the map. But I had the impression that this Cape Fear with its beautiful riverside is not as scary as the name may suggest. We especially enjoyed strawling around at night on the riverwalk while enjoying all of those 18 year old prom girls and their dates.
Ania is 8 months pregnant and it must have been a huge effort to have 2 strangers extra in the house. But it never showed, apart from her shortage of breath and her weakened voice. Her husband Josh is an expert in making coffee in the morning and putting the children to sleep in the evening. In between he is running a business, playing poker once a week and coaching the soccer team of his son Ezra. Not to forget his mother Ellen who has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen in a woman her age. When she looks at you, she, well, really looks at you.
The last day of our stay we went to a remote island together with their friends Rachel and Ian who own a boat. This island, together with all the others in this area, is part of this long stretch of barriers, banks and sounds that naturally protect the East coast against storms and hurricanes.
At the end of our stay I took photos of the parents and their children. Ania wanted to have a picture with her 'explosive' belly and both of her children holding their hands on her belly. This intimate photoshoot illustrated how Servas can really lead to emotional highlights and great friendships.
Thank you Ania and Joshua for your kindness!
LINDA in KING GEORGE
Leaving New York was a mess. We had to wait 2 hours in the rain before the bus from New York to Washington DC turned up. While standing in the line together with like 300 other waiting Megabus passengers, we started talking to the lady in front of us. She used to live and work for a couple of years in Haiti. What a coincidence!
Once arrived in Washington DC we headed to the car rental to pick up our small Chevrolet. After 2 weeks of visiting cities, we thought a car might get us to more remote places. Visiting our next Servas host Linda was part of that plan. She and her husband Ray are living in King George, in the woods right next to a lake. Not so easy to find the place in the dark with a car that has no gps and a host that does not pick up the phone for emergency assistance! But somehow we managed to find it and boy what a beautiful spot it is!
Linda is what most people would call at the age of retirement but she just simply couldn't say goodbye to her job of building databases for a huge IT company. So every day she leaves at 5.30 am, works through a long day and gets back home by 5.30 pm. Her husband Ray was not home at the time of our stay. But we do think he must have a craving for beautiful cars, because we noticed a pretty muscly Chevrolet Corvette in the garage.
On our first day we just walked around the lake surrounding the house, enjoyed sitting in the kitchen and watching all the birds, and Ingrid made dinner at night. Kind of a laid back day, you could say. Second day, we visited the birth place of George Washington. Actually, this whole area breathes history and Linda suggested we also should visit Frederiksburg in order to try and understand it better. There a quite a few battlefields in Frederiksburg where thousands of soldiers died during the civil war. That 'river of blood' had been dried up long ago, but you could still feel the moist air breath the losses of those young men.
We hardly know anything about Belgian history let alone US history. So visiting those historic cities like Frederiksburg and Williamsburg did not really enlighten our minds but it did raise an interest in the US history. Slavery really was a big issue at the time!
Third and last day we visited a vineyard and did a winetasting tour and finally we became friends with the famous blue crab that you can find all around you in this area. We are close to the sea here and the blue crab is what the 'maatjes' are in Holland. You eat them steamed and they are mostly served on a newspaper.
Thank you Linda for those wonderful days at your house. And many thanks for the receipe for the pumpkin bread.
GABOR & JUDITH
Our next Servas hosts are living in Millburn, that's 20 miles or 45 minutes of train out of Manhattan, New York. Gabor and Judith were both born in Hungaria. To this day they speak Hungarian at home with their two sons Daniel and Dezso and with their dog Blocky.
Although the state of New Jersey raises an eyebrow here and there, we found Millburn to be a very nice sleepy town with a nice residential area with a lot of splendid houses.
Gabor and Judith became Servas members like 30 years ago. At that moment they were still living in communist Hungaria and the Servas movement was an illegal kind of thing when they joined in. Being both physicians (he: anesthesiologist, she: optomologist) they migrated to the US where medical sciences were of a higher level and also medical treatment was of higher quality. Now it seems like they are perfectly integrated in the high and speedy rhytm of New York, although Judith sometimes is complaining about this 'live to work' attitude of the neighborhood. Ev erything is related to money in New York. As a reaction, Judith hates fancy cars, especially the one Gabor is driving, and she tries to capture as much as possible a Hungarian lifestyle between the walls of their house. The abricot jam: made in Hungaria. The butter: made in Russia. The cherrie soup: Hungarian recipe.
While Judith and Gabor were working during the day, we took the train to Manhattan and walked around in Central Park, did some shopping at Macys (again!), visited St. Johns Divine Cathedral (the 4th biggest church in the whole world). And since Ingrid has always dreamed of going to a broadway show, we went to see the musical 'Priscilla, queen of the desert', which was quite entertaining.
At night, Judith and Gabor invited friends to come over for dinner. So one night we spend a couple of very enlightening hours with Anne, a lawyer that does a lot of criminal cases in New Jersey (and can talk about them in a very bloody visual realistic way!), her friend that went with his cat to a cat-neuropsychiatrist who put the cat on steroids (the cat ate a squirl the other night!) and Gayle, a fysiotherapist that told us a story about a 600 pound (almost 300 kgs) heavy client/patient of hers. The boy is only 23 years old...
We loved staying with Gabor and Judith, we loved their house and especially the tulip popular in front of the house. Many thanks!
When thinking back on our stay at Deb's house, I remember her soft voice and her tranquil movements. Deb has a talent for making you feel at home at once. More so, she succeeded in indulging us in a social event only 30 minutes after we arrived at her place! She had planned a party with a couple of friends and we were invited as 'special guests'. Around the table a handfull of strange but very interesting characters: Deb, to start with, an architect and a new and very pride grandmother, Phuong, a special needs teacher with Vietnamese roots who wants to visit us this summer in Belgium, Elli, a fragile lady on first sight but a very touch welder indeed, who travelled over all the oceans in a sailing boat during seven (7) years, her friend Berny who had been living in New Sealand for a long time and last but not least Steven, an architect who arrived in a replica 'cobra' with a 400 horsepower engine. A nice start for another amazing stay with a Servas family.
We visited Harvard University in Cambridge where we joined an interesting tour on the Harvard premises. Did you know that Harvard University is the third richest private organisation in the United States? Much of their wealth comes from succesfull alumni that donate huge amounts of money... Harvard has it all, it's like a city with shops, cinemas, libarys, restaurants, ... The total amount of students at Harvard school? 18.000, there you go. Of course only a small minority will turn out to be exceptionally smart and shake hands with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, most of the other will end up travelling around or writing blogs.
True, there is a feeling of prestige that comes with Harvard. At that is why Deb encouraged us to follow the Charles river for a mile or 4 (meanwhile: free performance of the Harvard ladies rowing team!) and discover that other university in Boston that is soo much less known, but that has much more common sence to it: MIT or Massachusettes Institute of Technology.
And on our last day, right before bringing us back to the bus station in Boston, Deb took us on a quick tour to visit some of the amazing pieces of architecture that you can admire on the MIT campus.
Although born and raised in New York, Gaye has fallen in love with Boston a long time ago and she was predetermined that we should do so as well. She is living in a small but cosy apartment a few miles outside the city center. Think squirls in the garden, a wooden terrace, silence when you want it and above all: a huge king size bed. The bed is hers, but she preferred to sleep on the couch and let us sleep in "the king". That is classic Gaye.
Gaye is a very energetic woman, photographer by profession, teacher Hebrew by necessity. On the evening we first met her, she got a letter from an bailiff stating that she had to leave her apartment within 2 months. That made her quite upset and when she is upset, she gets rid of the negative energy with workouts. She is working out all day long: a couple of weights in the living room, a contract in the gym, the daily speedwalks...
Meanwhile we got to see a lot of Boston and became to like the city very much. It has everything to offer just like New York, but on a smaller scale. Hudson river in NY? Charles river is the aswer in Boston. Central park in NY? The common's are the answer in Boston. The Moma in NY? Well, Boston has the MFA, that hosted while we were visiting the museum an amazing exposition of the glass objects of Chihuly.
On mothers day we went birdwatching in a beautiful cemetery. It is really more like a park with wonderful old trees where people come to relax or enjoy nature. Also strange is the fact that this is a kind of drive-tru cemetery: there's a couple of paved roads so you can actually drive and park your car right across the grave of your beloved onces.
What else is there to say about those first couple of days in Boston? Oh yes, the beautiful wooden houses. Man, do we want to have a porch now in Lummen!