Our European Romance - It’s for Reals

Antwerp city square & Cathedral of Our LadyIt’s official! After months of preparation (and a bit of nail-biting), Conal and I have our tickets to fly to Belgium next Thursday and stay for the summer. I have refrained from posting here about our trip, because… umm, well, honestly, out of superstition. I was afraid I’d jinx it!

But, no worries, things are at last falling into place and we’re actually going. For reals.

In case there is anyone whose ears I have not already worn off talking about this, Conal will be doing some consulting work with a tech start up based in Antwerp. The folks with the company have been gracious and delightful, to say the least, in assisting us with all the requirements and details. From the moment we first met Rudy, the CEO, and Peter, the head software architect, in San Francisco to discuss working together, we got along like old friends. Rudy’s wife, Natascha, is the COO of the organization, and has also been lovely and helpful. I’m looking forward to getting to know these wonderful people and their families and friends.

Antwerp apartment gardenWe will be living in a spacious apartment above an antique shop in a pleasant neighborhood. It is walking distance to the office, and is located in the old, central part of Antwerp, so there are lots of fun things to do and look at nearby. The owner of the apartment also owns the antique store below, and is even now completing its remodel and furnishing the place with all sorts of awesome wacky antiques. The building has a garden courtyard, where the tenants gather for dinners and parties. The photo at right, showing the view into the courtyard, was taken last week by Elina, another lovely company member. Elina, who is friends with the owner, passed along the idea that we might like to be invited to some of the courtyard shindigs. Sh’yeah!!

If the place is half as cool as the photos, it’ll be heaven. Our most excellent landlord is even installing a new king sized bed to accommodate Conal’s long legs, so we’ll be able to rest well. I cannot wait to meet these awesome people.

Belgium is centrally located in Europe and we’ll be spending our weekends and days off exploring whatever fairy tale places catch our fancy. The major cities of the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, etc., are just a train ride away. London, Paris, Amsterdam… Sigh. Antwerp itself is a major maritime city, being one of the world’s largest ports, and I’m excited for the added bonus of getting to hang around boats and big water again.

Stay tuned for photos and and stories from our European Romance!

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