The Four Countries in Nine Days Epic Travel Week

There’s nothing quite like coming off an epic, five-state travel week than to get on an eight-hour flight to start an epic, four-country travel week. Let’s just say I missed a few conference calls today, being anywhere from thirty minutes late to not showing up. But we had some great times over the week, as we visited:

Mont Saint Michel, in Normandy, France
Bruges, Belgium
The Hague, The Netherlands
Warsaw, Poland

Smallest of worlds. Running into Brad Phillips and his wife, Molly, on the single street on Mont. Saint Michel.

1. Talk about random run-ins. In France, on the only street of the other-worldly Mont Saint Michel in the Normandy region, we ran right into an Austin friend, Brad Phillips, who was vacationing with his wife Molly. His firm was responsible for the design of The Texas Tribune. What a mess of humanity. So fantastic.

2. The next morning, Matty and I ran along a little trail from the backyard of the country home-slash-hotel straight to the Mont, a quick 2 kilometer jog. It was gorgeous. I’d run every day if that was my view every day.

3. We finally spent time in Bruges, after we were both introduced to the town by the hilariously dark film, In Bruges, a few years ago. The food was awesome, (try the beer-braised steak dish called stoofvlees if you’re in Belgium), and wandering the old cobblestone streets and canals and churches and all that was really fantastic. So was our bed and breakfast, where the owners made us deliciousness after our relaxing night in their little three-room rowhome.

4. Poland rocks! Warsaw was quite Western — I had expected it to be more, er, Soviet. We enjoyed the Old Town and the Warsaw Uprising Museum the most. They also serve bottles of vodka on the breakfast buffet there. Yep.

5. I came across my first TK Maxx. As a fan of TJ Maxx (which was, incidentally, hosting a fashion show and convention while we were in Boston for Online News Association a few weeks ago), I thought immediately that this was copyright infringement. Thanks to the social media crowd, I learned the TK is actually a legit brand, owned by the TJ Maxx people, to avoid confusion among Europeans with another TJ brand name that’s popular there.

I’ll eventually get the photos together and put up the images here and on the rarely-updated Hu-Stiles Blog.

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