Monday, June 28, 2010

A Moment of Avignon

Sunset nears the Palais du Papes.

Getting into trouble in Avignon.

"I didn't see the sign, I swear."

JC and Company.

Very serious about soft serve ice cream.

Very serious about safety.

Happy Elephant?

Steak Frites and Le Jacquemart.

Thalys 9330

Once again, we're rocketing across the French Countryside in a collision course with Paris. One thing this trip has done is refocused my distaste for sparkling water. I really dislike sparkling water. When it comes to water, I just want to chug it down and quench my thirst. Sparkling water hinders both those objectives.

Because it's gassed, you can't chug it down in mass quantities. Because it's gassed, it doesn't satiate the thirst. For both these reasons, I would ban sparkling water if I were King.

Meanwhile, it's a seven-hour journey from Amsterdam to Avignon. We have yet to reach Paris and I'm weary from travel. With Amsterdam's tolerant attitude towards marijuana, I partook and enjoyed both the G-13 Haze and Amnesia Haze, and perhaps it's left me in a bit of a haze today because everything feels a bit more labored than usual. It may be legal but I'm not operating at 100% efficiency today.

Once in Paris, it's a mad dash through Gare du Nord over to the RER train to Gare de Lyon and the TGV down to Avignon. I can't wait to get there and change.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jay has sent you a photo message - recorded at the Heineken Experience, Amsterdam


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Saturday, June 26, 2010


300 Kph

It's viscerally thrilling to blast across the Belgian countryside at 300 kilometers per hour. The scenery, towns, buildings and people whiz past in blinding fury while we're comfortably ensconced in first class comfort aboard Thalys 9339 on the way to Amsterdam.

Our journey started this morning on Eurostar 9126 out of London's St. Pancras International station and it's been a high-speed fury ever since. On the EuroStar as we passed through underpasses and tunnels, the buffeting from the train increased the cabin pressure causing our ears to pop.

Like the Shinkansen in Japan, trying to watch the landscape whiz by you is an attempt in futility. Perhaps you can watch something in the far distance but anything nearby flashes by so fast that you end up getting dizzy as you try to lock in on the subject, follow it past and then retarget another subject.

The blog has been quiet this week that I've been in London because it's just been mad partying, long nights, early mornings and lingering jetlag. Needless to say, London has been a bit fun but we haven't explored all the bits I was hoping to visit. Once again, a trip to London has been exclusive of Curry Chips and no definitive example of traditional British or Indian cuisine.

A quick thought about London: it's a bit more inhospitable than one would expect of a place renowned for English Hospitality. Almost no one seems to get the notion of basic courtesy or service here. Of course, my ideas on service perhaps are just not in sync with the mode of British living. Or maybe I'm just not Anglo...

More to come when I have a little more time and a larger room. Meanwhile, we'll be visiting Stumptown Amsterdam in the morning if anyone else is in town.

- posted from Thalys 9339 proving that I didnn't lose those paper tickets.

Friday, June 25, 2010

WBC Barista Party

Sammy Piccolo gives a Thumbs Up. Or a challenge to fight.

The food - Pathetic.

The drinks - Even more pathetic.


John Muli with Ana and Adriana.

Nik Orosi and our new friend from Australia.

Anya and Chris

Vishram Kashyap and Ishan Nathalie

A completely (and deservedly) hammered World Barista Champion Mike Phillips.

Klaus Thomsen and John Muli

David Latourell and Tim Wendelboe

It seems that the pics get blurrier as the night wears on...