Weekend Excursions

On the weekends, many of us took excursions to the countryside as well as other European countries.

Here are some of our adventures from June and July this summer.



(By Justine Parish) My husband Tom and I were last in Budapest in 1991, 2 years after the Berlin Wall came down.  We went back to visit artist friends we had not seen since then.  It was like old times, like we never left.  They are artists: a family of bronze sculptors, an art historian, a biochemist, and an economist.  And of course I painted every morning.    To see more photos go to my Blog https://justinelimpusparish.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/a-side-trip-to-budapest/

Budapest - Old Market

Budapest – Old Market – by Justine Parish – Tombow Pen & Waterbrush




(By Noel Ekker)  I had an incredible weekend in the Netherlands, about an hour and a half east of Amsterdam, at the Down the Rabbit Hole music Festival.  It happened by chance really:  I met Marije a year ago on a 12 hour bus ride from the South of Thailand to Bangkok; we just happened to sit next to each other, and ended up traveling through Thailand together for a couple weeks.  I have kept in contact with her ever since, and when I saw that one of my new favorite bands, Alabama Shakes was playing at this Dutch Festival while I would be in Berlin, I suggested to her via Facebook that we should go.  It turned out to be an incredible time, me, Marije, and her best friends Rivka and Jo, seeing mindblowing live music (Alabama Shakes, Rhye, Iggy Pop, Left Field, Patti Smith, The War on Drugs, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus) and camping in the Dutch Countryside for 3 days straight.  The Dutch were so cool, kind, chill, and down to have a good time.  It was a fantastic experience, and very interesting to compare the Dutch youth with their more laid back bohemian style to the Berlin style which I see as more clean and formal and industrial.



(By Suyu Ren)  My class about modernism started with Baron Haussmann’s reconstruction of Paris as a modern city. Seeing all I had learned about the city in real life is such a terrific experience. I love the neighborhoods and Boulevard Champs-Élysées, the Catacombs, the wonderful museums as well as the cafes that great art, literature and philosophy had been developed at.

Switzerland is the fairy tale land that you wish you lived there.

The Louvre, Paris

The Louvre, Paris



(By Kristen Stain – Blog –  http://www.roxannesaturday.wordpress.com) The weekend I went to Paris was really great. This was my first but most certainly not my last Parisian trip.

I won’t speak for anyone else but I have been fed a U.S. packaged idea of almost every other place in the world. One of my favorite movies is American in Paris (Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron); it is a love story, it’s very cliche and I love it tremendously. Paris is the City of Love and I anticipated the beauty and the “ooh lala.” I was sure I would marvel at the architecture and age, get to see incredible stores, and eat delicious bread and probably snails.

A visit in Paris would be anyone’s time to be fabulous as well. Right?!

The Eiffel Tower and The Louvre were obvious must-sees. I couldn’t believe how I felt being in the presence of so many things I had read about my whole life. I thought it was a changing experience. While walking through the tube station I saw a poster for an art exhibition; “Beauty of the Congo (1926-2015).” I made it a priority to go there. I am so happy I did, I was absolutely beautiful and very in line with my personal taste.

(photos of Paris by Elim Pan)




(By Kristen Stain –  Blog –  http://www.roxannesaturday.wordpress.com)   I landed in Brussels on a Thursday afternoon and my friend Emilie showed me her home. It was beautiful of course. I got to see the Royal Palace of Brussels and had an authentic Belgian waffle from the Waffle Factory.  After I made my chocolate purchases and enjoyed a beer at Delirium Café (FOUR THOUSAND BEERS), we went home for dinner with her family. I really wish I spoke French. They were beautiful and sweet and managed a few sentences in English to let me know they were happy to have me.

I am regularly reminded of how much older most of these European countries are, the architecture is so beautiful and worn. It turns out this weekend was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, marking the final defeat of Napoleon. The town of Waterloo was mostly blocked off for a reenactment that Emilie’s parents bought tickets to.

It was really refreshing to see my dear friend, and I am hopeful that I will see her again soon. The biggest piece of information I learned this weekend, fries are not French; they are Belgian.


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