About Me

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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother,a grandmothe and a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!


Heaven is in Belgium

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20th


October twentieth today. That’s a very special day for me, because it is my birthday.
From this day on I’m 52.

It’s funny but I feel a lot younger now than when I was 25.  
I may not look better, but it feels better in my head. Oh well. Mother Nature always tends to compensate things for us, haven’t you noticed?
Anyway. I KNOW it’s going to be a good day. Thanks for the emails and ecards and wishes on Facebook on text and by mail. I’m overwhelmed.


Quote of the Day:
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
--Robert Lee Frost

My hubs is taking the afternoon off today. I’m really looking forward to spend some time together, only one more week left before my departure.      
After that, the poor guy is going to have to miss me for three whole weeks.  

Wednesday next week I will be leaving for Washington DC, where Melli will pick me up at Dulles International Airport. I’m very much looking forward to celebrate Halloween and learn more about this popular but very American event. Halloween is slowly finding it’s way to Europe but things like pumpkin carving and trick or treat will have a different ring and feeling to it than it has over here I think. I’m really looking forward to the time I’m going to spend with Melli and her family. I will also get to meet my future travel companion Ella. Ella has seen more of the world than any of us. Thom invited Ella to Hawaii, and I’m going to take her there, and then take her to Europe afterwards. Keep her out of trouble. And TRY to stay away from ditches. Ella is a real dare devil so I’m going to have to keep an eye on her! Anyhow. I’m not sure how embarrassed I’m going to be traveling with a toy elephant, ( yes! ROFL!) but we’ll see. It’s going to be TONS of fun, and giggles . I KNOW.

Four days with Melli are going to be over much too soon, I already know that now. On Nov 2nd Ella and I will be flying over to Portland where Terri is going to show me the beautiful coast of Oregon. I’m SO looking forward to see the lighthouses and the ocean, I can almost smell the sea as I write this. Silly girls with a camera and lots and lots of stuff to explore and to talk about. I know I will hate to say goodbye to her too.

After that I’m heading for LA. I won’t see much of LA though, because I will be boarding the next airplane to Honolulu, to visit Quilly and the Amoeba and Thom.
I will be staying at Quilly’s for a week and we will explore the beautiful island of Hawaii’. I’ll get to soak up some sun, I’ll see breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, exotic flowers, birds and what not … Awww. Wonderful.

One week later, I’ll be flying to Chicago. I hope I' will not be too jetlagged when I arrive, it’s a night flight and there will be a huge time difference. I have no idea how this is going to affect me, but we’ll see. There are plans for a blogger meet up but I don’t know the details yet. Lou promised to be my guide in Chicago and he is taking care of that part for me.  Lord knows whom else I’ll meet !!
What I already DO know is I am going to meet Lisa as well. Yes, THE Lisa from Lisa’s Chaos !!! I’m very excited about that too! I’m a very big fan of hers, she’s a wonderful photographer and we’re planning to make a photo walk together, and then probably have lunch together. Can’t WAIT! Even though this will mean the end of my trip will be in sight.  
Three weeks …
It may seem like a very long time now but I just know it will be over much too soon …


Wanda..... said...

Happy Birthday Jientje!!!
I think life gets better as we age and there is more energy some how or maybe it's just enthusiasm!!! Have a wonderful time today!!!

Avril said...

Happy Birthday, Jientjie!!!! Hope you have a wonderful day!!
Your trip sounds sooo busy!!!! .. but loads of fun! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy !!

Robin said...

Happy birthday! Wishing you a wonderful day and an even more wonderful year. And with a trip like that in store, how could it not be!

Doug The Una said...

Happy birthday, Jientje! You be sure and wave while you're in LA airport so I can wave back and wish you hospitality. If you're flying Delta, feel free to call for directions to the various Terminal 6 facilities.

MaR said...

Happy bday, Libra lady!! have a wonderful day and enjoy the afternoon with your loved ones.
Your trip sounds very exciting, enjoy every single moment of it.I know you will!

Dimple said...

Happy birthday! When you get to Oregon, wave northeast to me! And have a wonderful trip!

moneythoughts said...

Happy Birthday Jientje! I too hope you have a very happy birthday. I know exactly what you are talking about when you say you feel better at 52 than you did at 25. We call it being comfortable in your own skin. I guess it takes years sometimes to achieve that.

Caution/Lisa said...

Happy, happy birthday!!! What a wonderful reason to celebrate.

You have a full travel itenary planned. At the end of your trip you will have covered more miles than most Americans do in a decade.

Joyce said...

Happy and a healthy birthday year! Your trip sounds like a whirl wind fast paced fun one. Ah, Hawaii with sun and surf to warm your toes in the sand! What fun to be meeting so many blog pals. Halloween is sure a fun time to visit the states. Make sure you carve your own pumpkin and eat lots and lots of pumpkin type treats. Bring some warmer clothing for your stay in DC and Chicago and Oregon and bring your bikini for the rest of the trip. I can't wait to see all your photos. Safe journey my friend.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Sweetie. You will ALWAYS remember Chicago - I promise.

Willow said...

Happy Birthday, Jientje! I am finding that life is just getting better as the years roll along. And I hope you do, too!

Ah, Portland! I was born and raised there! My hometown. I hope Terri takes you to POWELL'S BOOKS and WASHINGTON PARK. You will love the wild Oregon Coast. Be sure to visit the great used book stores in Newport. [There 'used to be' a great used book store in Depoe Bay. I don't know if it's still there.]

Melli said...

It IS going to be a whirlwind vacation - that's for suuuuuure! But oh! The places you'll GO! (to quote Dr. Seuss!) It's going to be a blast! I don't know what we're going to do while you're here - I have a list of things we CAN do - and I'll let you decide when you get here - we can play it by ear! We have found that (from recent past visitors) that a few days is NOTHING to visit this area - and we must be selective. Of course, it is also getting cold - so I don't know how much you want to be in or out. I like the cold as long as there's a coffee shop nearby! LOL!

Melli said...

Ayyyyyyyye! I FORGOT the IMPORTANT part! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend! I had NO idea! I dO hope you have a MOST wonderful celebration with your hubby tonight! One that will LAST the whole three weeks you are gone! :)

James said...

Happy Birthday Jientjie! What a great trip that is going to be. Of all the places that you're going I've only been to Hawaii. I look forward to seeing lots of pictures. I hope you collect airline miles because that is alot of miles.

Wendy said...

Happy #52 Jientje. I know you will enjoy your trip - we expect wonderful photos when you return. You always seem to catch a scene with your great sense of the dramatic (which we all find sooooo interesting to view). Three weeks - I envy you. Enjoy the rest of your birthday.

Kristi @ Mi Vida Ocupada said...

Happy Birthday Jientje!

kayerj said...

Happy Birthday Jientje!

PLeas'd to look forward,
pleas'd to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind.
- Alexander Pope

Your trip sounds wonderful--I would love to meet Lisa, the Lisa! She is a wonderful person, I love her blog. I wish I wasn't so far out of your route--I'd love to meet you :)

mizzD said...

Let's see if I cán post a comment...most of the time IE throws me out when I try!
But of course I'd like to wish you a very happy birthday! xxx Hope you enjoyed your special day!

Barbara H. said...

A very happy birthday to you! I just turned 52 in August. Entering my 50s was a little more daunting than previous decades, but ok once I got used to the idea.

That sounds like such a wonderful trip!

Nicole said...

A happy and wonderful birthday to you!
Hope you had a bunch of fun!
And let me already wish you a wonderful time as well :)!

Korie said...

Gelukkig verjaardag!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday my Belgian Bombshell
Happy Birthday to you

I hope you had a wonderful day. Your trip is going to be fantastic. Even a week here in Honolulu isn't going to be near enough time. But we will get in the good stuff. :) Happy Birthday again xoxoxox Oh can you imagine the trouble Ella is going to get into while she's here? She's going to have SO much fun :)

frog ponds rock... said...

Happy birthday to You. I hope you have a lovely lovely day. Your trip sounds very exciting. You will have a wonderful time and I am really looking forward to seeing all the photos. :) :)

quilly said...

Happy Birthday! Should I have known this was coming! I have been rather distracted lately and now I feel like a bad friend!

I am getting excited about your arrival and counting the days! Only 4 days with Melli? Oh dear! I am certain a week wouldn't be nearly enough.

As to traveling with Ella -- wherever she goes, people fall in love with her. You will have a blast.

Betty W said...

I´m a little late, over there your birthday is probably over already, but I hope you had a fabulous day with your hubby!
Happy Birthday!!

Dr.John said...

Wow!You are so lucky. Melli alone is worth the trip. Ella can be fun and a bit weird. I had Ella on the basket of my scooter in Wal Mart. She sat next to my oxygen bottle. This lady looked at me funny and I said " This is Ella she is visiting ". The lady said " How nice" in that voice one uses with the senile.She thought I had lost it.
Ella also got us thrown out of the Credit Union because we tried to take her picture on the counter which irritated the manager. She will be fun.

The Retired One said...

Happy Birthday!!! I welcome you to the USA..and hope you have a wonderful, wonderful time here!!

Gattina said...

Happy, happy (belated) birthday !!! I am sooooo sorry I missed this yesterday, but I had only been shortly at my computer in the morning to prepare my posts and then I was out the whole day ! I just discovered your post now !!
Hope you had a wonderful day !

spacedlaw said...

I arrive a little late for the feast but I hope you had a nice day.
Wishing you many happy returns.

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday, Jientje! Oh, your trip sounds like a dream. I can't wait to hear all about it.

I am reading late into the wee hours of the morning, so I guess I missed your real birth day.

Of course you will take a lot of pictures.

Jientje said...

@ Wanda : Thank you so much Wanda! I think what you said is true, we do get more energy. AND enthusiasm!
@ Avril : Thanks Avril!!
Oh and it will be, loads of fun!
@ Robin : Thanks!! I agree, how could it not be!!
@ Doug : I'll try to remember to wave. Sadly enough, I'm not flying Delta this time, although I wanted to. I have the best memories from the excellent service Delta provides from my first flight to the States.
@ Mar : Thank you!! I' will enjoy every second, I"m SURE I will!
@ Dimple : I will!! Thanks!
@ moneythoughts : Thanks Fred! That's very true.
@ Caution Flag : Yes, I know. Cool huh?
@ Joyce : I loved this comment, lots of good advice. I will keep it in mind for sure!
@ Lou: Can't wait to find out what you have in store for me! Thanks for the Birthday wishes.
@ Willow : Thanks! I'll ask her.
@ Melli : I'm so looking forward to it all. I know there will never be enough time to do it all, but I also know I'm in for tons of fun!
I like the outside as well as the inside stuff, and coffee to warm us up? YUM!!
@ Melli : Thanks Melli!!
@ James : It sure is! I'm SO looking forward to this!!
@ Wendy :I hope to capture the essence of America with my camera. Thanks for the birthday wishes!
@ Kristi: Thanks Kristi!
@ kaye : Another beautiful poem, Kaye. Thanks a lot! I am indeed pleased to do both!
It looks like a wonderful trip, and I'm very much looking forward to meeting everyone. I wish I could meet you too!
@ mizzD : Dat was een leuke verrassing Mizzke! Bedankt voor de lieve verjaardagswensen!
@ Barbara H.: Aww, we're the same age!! To me it feels like I'm living the best years of my life since I turned 50. I think the trip will be awesome!
@ Nicole : Thanks Nicole! I'm really looking forward to it!
@ Lilacspecs : Bedankt Korie!
@ Thom : Yes, I think it's going to be tons of fun. Ella, Quilly you, me. Can't wait!
@ frog ponds rock : Thank you so much Kim!!
@ quilly : YOU? a BAD friend? NEVER!! I know the whole trip is going to be fun! And much too short!
@ Betty : Thank you Betty!
@ Dr.John : I LOVED that story!!
@ The Retired One : I am SURE I will have! Thank you!!
@ Gattina : That's okay my friend! I did!!
@ spacedlaw : Thank uou!!
@ 2Thinks : It is going to be a dream come true!
One that will need to be very well documented!

United Studies said...

Tillykke med Fødselsdagen! I hope you had a wonderful day with your husband!

Your itinerary sounds wonderful! It will be busy, and the time will definitely go fast! But just think about all you are going to see. I can't wait to see the pictures.

Nessa said...

Oh, i am so sorry i missed your birthday. i hope it was a great one.

Happy belated Birthday!

Islandsparrow said...

A belated wish for a very Happy Birthday! 1957 was a very good year!! (ahem . . . I happen to share it with you :)

Love the kitchen sink picture!

Hope your day was extra special.

Rosezilla (Tracie Walker) said...

I wandered over here from another blog to say hello. I hope you had a lovely birthday. I feel younger now, too, at 48 than I did at 30, I think. Your trip sounds wonderful, enjoy coming to see us in the States!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh my goodness, Jientje!! I'm so sorry I missed your birthday! Happy, HAPPY belated birthday! Sounds like you have quite the celebration planned. I can't WAIT to get your updates and meet all your friends through your eyes. What an adventure!!!!!!!

Suki said...

So sorry to have missed your birthday by 3 days!! How embarassing. Happy Belated birthday wishes! Enjoy your forthcoming trip too!!

Jientje said...

@ Jacki : I did Jacki!
@ Nessa : Don't you worry about that. It was a wonderful birthday!
@ Islandsparrow : We're from the same year? Join the club, it was a wonderful year!
@ Rosezilla : Thanks for visiting and commenting, so nice to meet you! I will!
@ Robynn:An adventure it will be!
@ Zen : No worries! I will enjoy it, believe me!!

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry I missed your birthday! I do hope you had a great one! I was happy to read your itinerary! Sounds like you will have an awesome adventure and I'm SO happy I get to be part of your meetings!!

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