I'll skip the days of lazyness, lounging and couchpotatoing. Went to the beach, got my finances done, gave the frying-machine at home a muchneeded scrub, then on thursday I went to visit the parents.
Friday was the start of my "Tour de Limburg" as I like to call it. It basically comes down to visiting as many relatives and friends as possible in the time that I have. So at 9am I dropped my car off at the garage for its yearly service and checkup, then went to visit Grandma and Grandpa (mom's side). They're both approaching 80 but they still live on their own, and I admire them for it. Grandpa took me for a walk in their 'backyard' which is more like a patch of overgrown park. It has a greenhouse, a rabbithouse, beehives, a chicken coop, a voiliere (lots of birdies) and fruittrees everywhere. If it weren't for the abundance of wild birds around, I could've collected me a big bunch of strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears and cherries. Unfortunately all the fruittrees and -bushes were plucked empty. Only trees they leave untouched are the prunetrees. Too bad I don't like prunes :) At the edge of the backyard, granddad also has a vegetable patch with anything from parsley to unions to sprouts. Personally I hate gardening, but if I ever happen to own something with a garden, it'll have a vegetable patch just like that. My 'loot' at the end of the tour was a jar of honey (collected two days ago, the bees were still pissed off and agressive because of the theft ;) and a box with 10 fresh freerange eggs.
Next stop: Granddad from dad's side. He's living in a small apartment attached to an old-age home. He gets all his meals delivered to him, but for the rest he's also still quite independent. Although, now in his 80's, age is starting to catch up on him. Gave him a small bottle of Jaegermeister, his favorite drink and we chatted a bit about the weather and the current events in the little village. He was having one of his better days, because it's also happened that he tried to make me leave after 5 minutes. This time, the visit lasted over half an hour, which is quite long for him :D
Then on to my uncle Cor, who owns a large fitness and healthcenter. He walks around with a collar since he had a whiplash before doctors even knew what a whiplash was, resulting in bad treatments and said collar. He was rather sick from going on holiday to Brazil. Temperature changes and 4x4 drives do that to you when your health is already less than average, so matter of factly it was his own fault. Saw his 3 daughters (my nieces) together for the first time in ages. It was so bad that I didn't even recognize the youngest one when I first saw her walking around the center. Shame on me.
And on we went: Now to Roermond, where my aunt Annie lives. She and her husband never had any children, so to fill the gap they like to spoil their nephews. First, we had lunch in a....
little castle, then my aunt surprised me by taking me on a tour through the city, showing me all the historical monuments of the town, like the
Saint Christoph cathedral. Christoph is the patron saint of Roermond, and also of travellers. So it won't come as a surprise that you can get Christof beer, liquor, cake and chocolates in town, along with keychains and hangers protecting you during your travels. Legend says that Christoph helped the young Christ cross a river, carrying the child on his shoulders. Correct me if I'm wrong. Ah, here he is:
Time to fast forward a little: Pick up checked car, dinner, drive to Maastricht, host a game of Dungeons & Dragons at a friend, meeting another 4 friends while there, sleeping.
Saturday: Shopping time! I haven't been back in my 'old' town for half a year, and MAN has it changed! Shops gone, new shops, new parkinggarage, new look for both sides of the riverbank, just .... wow. Bought a gift for Koan and Bram (see tomorrow), got me Harry Potter 6, bought me SPANC!, which will certainly be played this week, treated me to Jamiroquai's Live in Verona DVD and the PC game Temple of Elemental Evil (bargain bin :) and .... ran into the drummer of my old band! Reminisced for about half an hour about all those good old days. In the evening I cooked Couscous for my friends, then more gaming ensued until bedtime.
Sunday: Time for my next visit: to my soulmate Koan and her boyfriend Bram who just moved into an apartment of their own. Koan bought it. Oh, how I envy her.... They've come up with a plan for renovating and upgrading the entire thing, doing most of the work themselves. First floor is now almost finished, next step will be the ground floor, including rotating the kitchenblock 90 degrees. Whoah. After admiring the house and giving them their present (oil and vinegar flasks!) we went into town for ice cream and drinks. As a surprise, they took me to a genuine chinese restaurant where you get all the good traditional Dim Sum stuff. I can now add cow's stomach and chicken feet to my list of "Strange Things I Ate." Here's proof of what a good time we had.
Monday: had to get up early, picked up clean laundry at mom's (Don't laugh, she offered!) and drove back home. What a weekend..... And now, packing for Eurofurence. Tomorrow gotta wash my car first, it's dirrrty.