Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

December 23, 2011

Canada Photo Book

Downtown Toronto
The photo book of our trip to Canada is online available, if you're interested. We made 700+ photos and made a selection of 300 of the best ones. About 250 of those are in the book. It's a great book of a great trip and truly shows what Marianne and I did in Canada. One the best vacations I ever had!

October 31, 2011

Canada

I've managed to find some more time to work on the 700 photos from Canada. I had already made a selection with Marianne and got it down to 296 but these still needed editing and correcting. Out of these, I've uploaded 50 to SmugMug. The whole selection is going in a blurb book so we can revisit the trip any time. :)

April 28, 2011

Maffrecourt 2011

I spent a few days around Easter away in the Champagne area. The Manoir de Maffrecourt was our place of residence for 3 days. It have always wanted to visit the area this time of year for it's splendid scenery, views and colors. And of course the Champagne!

The Maffrecourt 2011 gallery holds my mobile pictures and is now also updated with my DSLR pics.

Update: Added 100 pics from DSLR to gallery.

January 25, 2011

Dorfchalets Kaprun at the Kitzsteinhorn

Just got back last weekend from a week snowboarding in Kaprun, Austria. I was invited to go with former colleagues who work at Oracle, whom I joined last year.

Our stay was great, even though it was fairly warm in the beginning (10C). Half way through, we were blessed with 30-60cm of fresh powder on the mountain Kitzsteinhorn. The valley was less fortunate, but up on the mountain it was heaven!

We stayed at a wonderful B&B in Kaprun, Dorfchalets. It is a brand new place with various separate apartments in varying sizes. From 2-8 people, I think. Very well equipped, free WiFi (at 8Mb!), DVD player and TV. Small kitchen and dishwasher and enough decent kitchen appliances and hardware. I highly recommend them, if you are thinking of going to Kaprun or Zell am See (just 5km drive). They even have a preview book made using using Blurb, that you can view online: Dorfchalets Kaprun Guest Information Preview.

Oh and if you are in the area, please treat yourself to a delicious and wonderful dinner in the restaurant/hotel Orgler. Great chef! Excellent regional dishes and specialties and friendly, attentive service.

August 22, 2010

Internship at les deux lacs

Well, my internship at restaurant des Deux Lacs (formerly known as "restaurant les Deux Lacs") turned into a little vacation as well. That is both good and bad. I had hoped to work full-time in a restaurant learn from that what it would like to have a place of my own. I know it'll be hard, but how hard? I know I will be tired but how tired? I expect a lot of things to have to deal with, but what exactly?

I learned some but not all of these things. I had a great time! I worked 4 days straight and was beat when they themselves went on their first vacation in 3 years. :) That gave me a pretty good indication of 'how tired exactly?'. :) The chef, Frédéric and his girlfriend, Magalie, and I got along great. Especially considering we'd only met briefly in May and for a second during times I'd had dinner there before. Fred and I worked well together as if we'd been working together for ages. I went shopping with him, something I love and he hates, so it was fun for both. Imagine going into a Toys-R-Us with a 5 year old: that is me going to food 'n delicacies wholesaler! I'll buy enough food to feed a transatlantic cruise-liner if no one stops me! But it is always infectious, so we had fun.

Lunch was all days nicely busy, dinner during the week was brief but perfectly timed. French people arrived predictably around 8pm and - this being a small town in a quiet area - left after their meal. Everything well executed. Weekends were different. That is when they go out, celebrate or dine together, and when they dine, they dine well. So we'd start the mis en place at 930am, have a quick warm lunch before noon, handle lunch, clean up, go home between 3-6pm, finish the mis en place for dinner, start dinner at 8pm sharp (not a second sooner, you barbaric Americans :) !) and finish the last desserts around 1030pm. Clean up, close up and have a supper ourselves around 11pm so we could drop dead in bed by midnight. Rinse, dry, repeat. Isn't that great!?!?

Needless to say I had a ball, but mostly the talking in French all day long, listening, searching for words, answering, stumbling over words and thinking was so grueling that by 9pm I'd be so tired, I'd simply nod, smile or say yes/no. Having to formulate a grammatically correct, meaningful sentence after working 8 hrs was simply too much effort by that time. :) And since he and I were "locked" together in the kitchen practically all day long, we talked all day long too about anything. Life, love, food, recipes, the academy were I'm doing my course, vacation, Holland vs France, TV, ads about this or that, travel, computers, Internet, websites (theirs sucks but I'll be working on that), produce, meat, fish, vegetables, DSL routers, WiFi and security, repeaters, Telcos, smartphones, iPhones, Android (they have an HTC Desire which they now adore after I showed them what mine could do) and so on.

But it was great! They gave me a culinary going-away gift packed with gourmand goodies and I was baffled. I took home wine, cakes, cantaloupe, duck breast fillet (canard) and cheese. And half of the fois gras we both made by hand. That's 500+ gr of fois gras de canard (not the gross, cruel kind, please, give me some credit!). And to top it off, Fred said that if I ever wanted to open a restaurant he'd be honored to work with me and offered to partner up together. Of course, it would have to be in France, but they are visiting The Hague in the Winter and maybe I'll be able to talk some sense in him. ;)

update: photos online

July 7, 2010

Photos from England

The mid-week break to England was great! Slept in almost every day, saw great cities, met new people, have fun, took pictures and saw an old friend again after 5 years or so.

I have a set of pictures from Cambridge, where Marianne is until the end of July. I have some pics of the newly-wed Jelte and his wife Linda. And I have a great pictures and memories of a fantastic birthday party for Marianne on Jesus Green park in Cambridge where I met everyone from the University. It felt like was back in the US, in the park near CMU with my old friends enjoying Summer. :) Awesome!

July 3, 2010

WC 2010 - Netherlands vs. Brasil

While visiting Jelte in London and Marianne in Cambridge, I had a chance to watch an actual football match (aka soccer) again after 15+ years or so. :) It was fun, because we won, but also because I had my trusty RSS feed reader on my Android filled with tons of interesting news and Twitter to keep me updated while not actually watching the screen. :)
I posted a ton of photos on smugmug.

June 30, 2010

Short break

I'm traveling to the UK for a short break and a visit to friends. Marianne is in Cambridge and Jelte's birthday is on July 4th. I'll be going to a Jack Johnson concert in the O2 arena, checking out London and Cambridge and generally meeting a lot of new people. :)

May 27, 2010

Condat 2010

Spent a brief weekend at my parents', trying to arrange a two week internship at a local restaurant. I managed to arrange restaurant les deux lacs to take me in, one of my parents' favorite restaurants. I think that instead of interning one week at two places, I'd rather spent two weeks in one place. I think that's more effective. I can always go back next year and try a different place.

While there I had great food and nature was amazing. It had rained a lot in the weeks before, but when I got there it was 30°ree; Celsius and hot. Life had exploded and everything was growing and blooming. Gorgeous!

February 17, 2010

New photos online

I've uploaded new sets of photos last night. For one, the pictures from Morgins and snowboarding there. Had a great time, but sadly nothing seems to be able to compete with the snow I've had when visiting Ed in Colorado in 2008. It's just plain and simple here.
I also updated an album of Capo Cucina, where I have a monthly cooking class. We usually do Italian cuisine, but this year we opted for Vietnamese on occasion. I uploaded our first Vietnamese session.

January 14, 2010

OCski 2010

Was away for a long weekend to Austria on invitation by my colleagues from Oracle. we went to Bad Gastein, quite near Ramsau am Dachstein where I learned to ski 35 years ago O_o and Gerlos where friends of mine from the restaurant are working for the season. Check out the first pictures of OCski 2010

Update: more photos by Vera and by Jaap, and Peter.
Update2: Jan also has photos.

November 9, 2009

Digitally pimping a home network

While visiting Michiel in Singapore, I pimped their home network a bit. It was fine, but cumbersome and loosely tied together: 5 laptops, PS3, Wii. They have a cable modem, but didn't know their connection speed. WiFi was setup but not used because downloading over a fixed connection into the WiFi router was "going faster". Hehe, I told them their ISP limits the speed and after a bit of testing concluded that their 8 Mb down-link would scarcely fill the 54 Mb/s bandwidth of their 802.11g WiFi network. So no need for the fixed network hook-up not sitting near the router, freedom to sit around the house wherever they wanted to. I moved the Linksys WRT54G into a nook, out of the way, receiving thousands of thank-yous from the housekeeper who hated the nasty blue box on the floor in the livingroom. ;)

I then tied the PS3 and Wii to the WiFi network. This meant all devices were now on the same subnet. I installed PS3 media server on Molina's Vista Acer laptop. (It's free, open source and supports Windows, Mac and Linux!) Up until then, they'd had borrowed the HDMI cable from the PS3 if they wanted to watch downloaded TV series. Fine, but why swap cables?! :) Now, they hook up USB disks with movies, music and series to the Vista laptop, fire up ps3 media server, turn on the PS3 and watch or listen to anything from the Windows laptop. :)

linksys WRE54GNext, after seeing this digital revolution in his house, Michiel asked if he could somehow get WiFi on his 17 m2 roof terras, overlooking the Singapore skyline? I said sure, but he'd likely have to drill a cable up to the roof. The reinforced concrete would be unlikely to pass his WiFi signals. So did a little digging and after MrVanes suggested WiFi Range Extenders (I had been looking for that term), it all came quickly together:
* get a WRE54G Linksys Range Expander to get unobstructed full speed WiFi access outside on the roof
* pulling a cable up from the livingroom
* Connect a QNAP TS-410 NAS server to a free network port on the WRT54G and add some disks to taste.

QNAP NAS SOHOThe NAS supports Windows, Apple and Linux, has built-in everything and is expandable with hot-swap drive bays. The UPnP/DLNA media server supports their PS3 so the Windows laptop can be used as a workstation instead of doubling as a media server, the built-in bittorrent (BT) client let's them download directly to the NAS and the iTunes server let's them stream their music collection to their laptops, iPhones or iTouch devices. If only I could be there to install it and see it work!!! :)

October 15, 2009

New set of pics from Railay Beach

sunset at railay beachUploaded a new batch of pics from Railay. Having a good time and really calming down. So sad that I am leaving here in 2 days. :( But all's well that ends well. Saw some Thai boxing yesterday and the one guy went knock out! Holy moly, he received a few kicks in the head.. pfff
Oh I discovered a way to set long exposures on my IXUS 80IS. It is hidden in the menu to over or underexpose an image. I can set up to 15" exposures! Cool, played with at feature a bit and got nice pics from the bars (Bamboo and Joy's) where I hang out without using flash. :) There is also a picture of my back with all my skin hangout off. I am peeling really really badly at the moment. It was very stupid of me going unprotected in the tropical sun like that. Hope I don't get any problems. OH and the sunset pictures are unedited, no color shift whatsoever neither by me nor by the camera. It was almost religious so amazing how the colors kept changing!

October 10, 2009

New pics from Railay Beach

Chris on Railay BeachI posted some more pics from Railay Beach. Finally also a couple with sunshine in it and one with myself in it.

October 6, 2009

New photos from Thailand

golden sunsetIt really still is somewhat of a rainy season here. Had a big drench yesterday before coming to Railay. Yesterday evening at 8pm the rain also came back a bit, but last night I awoke from the noise of the sky falling down! OMG I woke up and was lost and disoriented, only to realize it was only rain and fell back to sleep. Slept 12 hrs. :) Nice.

Since it is still rainy and mostly cloudy, I am taking the chance to update vacation photos on smugmug. Check 'm out! Not tropical paradise pictures yet, but I have faith. ;)

October 5, 2009

Weather in Railay Beach

Wunderground.com is a wonderful weather site. They have almost all the weather details anyone could ever need. I even found 10 min old Doppler radar and visible images of the area! :) The old meteorologist in me is happy.
Had torrential rains this morning while I was waiting for the long tail boat to take from Krabi to Railay Beach. Amazing! I love rain, especially if it's tropical heat and the rain is warm and cools everything down. Took some great pics and movies! Will upload them tomorrow.

BTW, I'm on the tip of the island, in the bay on the East side.
Update: link to rain video

October 4, 2009

On the way to Thailand

Well, after a week with my friends Michiel and Molina in Singapore it's time to move on. I need to get away from the city, the heat and the people. Just want to quiet and peace of mind to settle my nerves and thoughts. It's been a weird and hecktic, stressful year so far. Need to unwind, no matter how much I enjoyed Singapore and their hospitality. Was lucky to participate in a Moon Festival celebration with Chinese friends of my friends. Home-cooked dinner, marvelous house, friendly people, lantern walk though the neighborhood... it was excellent and soo different from anything else in the week. Great ending of a wonderful stay. Thanks! I'll try to upload some pics soon...

Now on way to Krabi, through Bangkok. Flight was delayed and had mechanical troubles. So I missed my connection here on Bangkok. :( Had to go through customs and check back in. Sadly, I had to pay the difference for a new ticket because I had not allowed enough time (3 hrs) between my flights. Thieves! ;) Didn't read that anywhere on th website. Complain later... However, now I got to eat some Thai lunch and surf the Net for an hour. So there are good things and bad things. Win some, loose some. :) And the difference was only 588 bath, which is just over €10 so what am I whining about! ;)

Read the Lonely Planet on Thailand on the plane and decided to stay in Krabi for a night. Then plan my day accordingly and charter a 1.5 hr boatride to Railey Beach. Or perhaps goto Phi Phi after all. I'll see...

September 29, 2009

Singapore

singaporeFirst sampling of photos from Singapore. All unedited, of course. Just so you have an idea. Today, I'm gonna play tourist and hop on the Hippo bus or something. Every city has one: an open double decker bus that circles the city's most touristy attractions. The magic word being "open" here. Wind is my rescue in the 30C heat with 90% humidity. We had a big thunderstorm last night *sigh*

September 21, 2009

Railay Beach

railay beach, thailandThinking of going to Railay Beach. A close 30 min ride from Phuket and easy to get from Singapore. Seems like a good place. Fun people, lots of stuff to do in water and on rocks. I'll look for flights once in Singapore. Many places nearby so if I get bored, I can walk over to the next village or whatever. :) Sooo looking forward to vacation, can't wait!

Update: Get cheap flight in Asia using one of the many budget airlines: AirAsia, Tiger Airways, Bangkok Air. But beware: they will not book luggage through, so only single legs flights and keep 2 hrs minimum for transfers in between legs.

Nokia 6500 classic from work

Work gets me a new Nokia 6500 classic. Very bare bone but decent enough. Symbian OS, so that gets me some flexibility. Hope I get it on time for my vacation... Be good to have all my contacts synced with Google again.

Update: FUCK, it's not a Symbian-powered Nokia, it's the Nokia Series 40 OS. Grrr