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Tales from my road trip: Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake

I just returned from a spectacular road trip through America’s West.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting photos and tales here:

Come on over and enjoy the trip with me. 🙂

Road Trip Day 1: Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake



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The Tiffany’s of Chocolate

Maybe you just need to use a Tiffany-blue color (with a little hint of green) to make things look exclusive, special, desirable? Or maybe you lay out your store like an exclusive jewellery store? Maybe you just make the most exquisite chocolate?

While in Brussels, we found this beautiful chocolate store, Patrick Roger Chocolate. The store looks just like an exclusive jewellery store including the blue colors and the blue lighting and doesn’t seem at all a chocolate cuisine store.  A large stone table is the center of the room with chocolates sitting only at the very far end lit up by beautiful lighting. Large pumpkins, which really are sculptures made out of chocolate give the room a fall flavor.

The chocolates are just a charm. They are a piece of art in itself. Best is if you check them out on the Roger Patrick chocolate cuisine page. No, really, go and look at it! It’s art.

We carefully select a few pieces. Thyme, jasmine, verbena and many other herbs are used to make this one of the finest chocolate. The price reminds you of a Tiffany’s store as well. So the question now becomes: when do you eat your finest chocolate? Maybe with one half marathon behind me and another coming up this weekend I deserve this after all!


Brussels Culture

A work event took me back to my home continent, but not quite home. We spent 4 days in Brussels, Belgium, and for the first 3 days this is all I saw of Brussels:

Our meeting room was on the 26th floor of a hotel (THE Hotel, in fact) and all I ever got to see was the view from this floor which – granted – wasn’t half bad.

But what I was missing (remember, I traveled here right after my NWM Half Marathon and was craving carbs) was Belgium beer, Belgium waffles and Belgium chocolates.

I got to have all of it on my last night in town.

A couple of colleagues and I decided to do the “tourist thing” and ventured to the Grand Place (or Grote Markt) for some quick exploration of chocolate, beer, waffles and, well, touristy stuff. We found the Tiffany’s of chocolate, but more on that later this week.

I like the Grand Place. It is a central market square in Brussels, full of tourist traps, but surrounded by typical European guildhalls. It’s beautiful (even in the rain and in the dark). We just went for a quick look as we haven’t really done anything other than work for the past 4 days. Well, actually, our Belgium colleagues took us to their office (which has been voted as the coolest office in Belgium!) for a beer-tasting and food-pairing and mix-and-mingling on my first evening in town. So, yes, we did a little more than just work.

It was dark and rainy, but I thought I should get a few photos of the Grand Place.

And of course, I did not forget about the most important sight in Brussels: Manneken Pis (or Little Man Pee), which is a statue of a boy peeing into a fountain. Now, you may think this is a bit crude. But this is Europe and the sculpture dates back to 1618, so it’s definitely culture and art! 🙂