Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The REST of the story...

Hostel stairwell in Antwerp.  Dad was NOT pleased to have to navigate this stairwell every time he needed to use the bathroom.  I, on the other hand, was visually thrilled every time I went up or down.

Months ago, when dad and I were on our journey thru Belgium and the Netherlands, I amused myself by taking photos with my cell phone.  I managed to make a couple of entries from London and Bruges...and then we headed onwards, and dad got sick.  After getting steadily sicker every day, I finally brought him to the hospital in Amsterdam, where they promptly admitted him with severe pneumonia.  I stopped blogging.  I came home with dad a week and a half later, and forgot all about the rest of the photos.  Well.  Here they are.

The view from our hostel room in Antwerp.  Kind of a view, but not really.

I can happily live on bread, cheese, and butter.  I carted around a big lump of butter and cheese, and got fresh bread daily.

Antwerp bridge.



Basement dining.  You had to squeeze yourself down a narrow stone stairwell to pass through this room and then reach a bathroom. 

Antwerp.  From the hostel window.

Delft.  I insisted we come here so that I could see where Jan Vermeer had lived and worked. 

Delft market square.

The Girl With A Pearl Earring is a favorite of mine.  I have a crush on her, and so do all these other people. at the diamond sellers.





Amsterdam. 1550.  Think about THAT. 



Amsterdam flower market, above my head.





Amsterdam Red Light District. 



The painting cheat sheet for Vermeer's works.

 Amsterdam.  The story that went along with this painting was very detailed, but all I remember is that the original painter didn't get along with folks...and halfway through, a second painter was brought in to finish it.  His style needed to match the first and make the whole scene seamless.

These guys played music in the covered archways leading to the Rijksmuseum.  They were magical.  I was listening to their music while dad was getting sicker in the hotel.  A few hours after this was taken, I was back at the hotel and realized just HOW sick he was, and got him to the hospital.

A girl and her dog.  Love this.

The view from dads hospital room.

Dads unexpected hotel bed for the last week.

Once dad went into the hospital, I moved from the larger hotel room into this small one. It was perfect.  I just wanted to be alone.  It was maybe 5' by 12'.

I passed this dog statue every day on my way into the hospital.  It REALLY bothered me.



I broke dad out of the hospital on a Tuesday night...we had dinner, went to bed, and got up early the next morning for our flight home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hug your friends and loved ones

Room with a view.  Dads hospital bed in Amsterdam.

In the last 2 weeks, my father has been very sick (and not sure if he'd make it), and 3 people I know have died...all young, all horrific circumstances.  Another friend's husband is going in for a surgery (one of dozens, now) and he's so down, and very worried and miserable.  My heart breaks for everyone, my mind reels from the experience with my dad.  I'm reminded how fleeting and delicate life really is, and could launch into a lecture about how we need to hug our loved ones and follow our heart.  But you know this. 


It's just hard.  These deaths aren't close family (two are actually former grooms I have photographed, one is the young daughter of friends that I have known since I was 23) but they make me so sad.  Each day, I wake up and remember what's happened.  And how much harder it is for the families that are immediately experiencing the loss.  I hope that the upcoming funerals aren't on a day that I have a wedding or other photo shoot, because I want to BE THERE.

My dad is better, but he's also stubborn about one very important thing that could actually make him feel better.  I need to find a way to get him to at least TRY it.  And if and when he does, I hope it does indeed make a difference, because right now his life is a mere sliver of what it used to be.  The quality is significantly reduced.  

And yet, at the same time, as I am on Facebook with many of my wedding clients, I also get to see photos of babies born.  New life.  I see new babies every week!

Such is the cycle of life. 

I'm just sad.  I know I'll feel better as time goes by, it's just...kinda heavy.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Brugge, Belgium.  I've never been here before, and am in love. 

I can't explain this but it stopped me in my tracks.  Good marketing?

A small canal with green water.  The locals said it was an algae bloom.

Jan Van Eyke statue

Across from the hotel

Young couple, old couple, woman on bike, horse and carriage, and...pregnant lady with...painted belly??

Salsa dancing down the street.  I watched for awhile.  That couple on the right was good.  Their kids kept wondering when they'd be done dancing.

You want to go to the local bar?  You ride your bike.

Dad at a small drawbridge