Update - 20 March 2000



It has been an exciting past couple of weeks. Thankfully, this weekend was largely sedate so I have FINALLY been able to update the website. Check out the latest, greatest when you get the chance. I have posted some of the Paris and Brussels pictures...

http:\\members.aol.com\LivingInLondon

Been taking advantage of the fact that there is so much great theatre here. Caught Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Les Mis was especially good (I have had the music in my head ever since), though it made for a long next day (which started with an early train to Paris). The Eurostar experience was very comfortable. Imagine a very smooth flight with about twice the leg room, though it is a little slow in the UK. If only it could travel in England as fast as it travels thru France and Belgium!

Had a great time in Paris. The weather was beautiful. Not too surprising, it was bright and sunny just as soon as we emerged from the Chunnel. The Parisian Metro system is as good as anywhere we have traveled. Have definitely learned that getting a decent map BEFORE travelling makes getting acclimated so much easier. Finding the hotel (stayed very close to the Arc de Triphome) was a breeze, and the subway goes everywhere. Spent much of the time taking in the biggest sites. Actually, did not venture into the Louvre mostly because I was afraid that we would not get to see anything else (definitely will be on the list for the next visit). As expected, the food and wine was great. Ate at a Alsatian restaurant on Sunday. Discovered that Alsace is a German-influenced region of France. Unexpectedly, I enjoyed a heaping pile of sauerkraut and pork in the middle of France...

Spent the weekend before last in Brussels. Got a great deal (£50 = $80) collecting "vouchers" from the London Times newspaper. The Times has had weekly coupons (basically, as an incentive to buy the newspaper) which need to be saved and submitted for discount on airfare, trainfare, hotels, etc (the discounts have varied from week to week). For the Eurostar tickets, I had to submit the several possible travel dates with the vouchers. As luck would have it, the date selected turned out to be the weekend after Paris. Did not know very much about Belgium before traveling. Even though there were no expectations, Brussels was a pleasant surprise. Used an old Frommer's Europe guide to find a hotel. Turned out to be amazingly charming (very much like a American B&B, complete with a big communal breakfast table). Would love to visit again. Belgium as a whole has more than a few great beers and Shelly is anxious to buy even more Belgian Lace. Also, Bruges is less than an hour away and looks to be quaint medieval town.

Yesterday was gorgeously sunny. Seems like London is beginning to grow with tourists. Met Jamie (Reese) and her friend Susan at Heathrow yesterday. After walking around for a few hours, took them for dinner at our local pub. Hoping to get together for Italian tonight, if they get back from their tour in time. Hoping to be home for a few days at the end of April. Hope to see everyone we can while we are there...

Take care, and miss you all!
Norman