03 August, 2008

Final Week

The last days in Leuven were characterized by many "last"s.

The last fresh, warm Belgian waffle with Speculose ice cream from Billy's.
The last supper with the boys.
The last bicycle ride to and from town.
The last night in the dorms.

... and most importantly to me:
The last beer & the last day with the mustache.

The 'stache had a good run, there is no doubt about that. It was with me through the highs and lows of the outdoor season. It evolved into what some considered a thing of beauty and a physical characteristic by which I could be easily identified.

But let's talk about that last beer. So, early on in the Belgium trip Ryan Bak and I purchased a couple of beers at the grocery store to enjoy with the dinner we were cooking. One of these types of beers was Kwak, a medium-dark, high alcohol content Belgian beer. We drank it out of pretty normal glasses and were less than impressed. Then we realized what we had been doing wrong all this time. This is an example of how the proper beer glass can make a huge difference in the taste of the beer. The proper glass from which one is supposed to consume Kwak beer is unlike anything I have ever seen. It looks like a tall beaker straight out of Chem Lab, or so I have been told since I never took Chem Lab or any Chem for that matter.

Doesn't that just look delicious? Well, it is. Kwak turned out to be one of my favorite beers in Belgium.

And now to the 'stache. Yes it is gone. Why? It was time. Everyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy changing my image every now and again. Since summer is now officially here for me I decided to celebrate with a good shave. I look about 10 years younger and still don't recognize my own face in the mirror but that will take care of itself in time.

Packing up my dorm room the other day really made me feel like the trip was coming to a close. The first part of this summers journey is winding down and I am getting ready for the fun to come in Paris next week.

What's left to do? Return the bike. Finalize travel to and from Amsterdam. Race the Amsterdam Open. Get to Paris. Tourize Paris for a couple of days and get to Boston for Falmouth.

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel over here and run in all of these races. Not only have I seen and experience some very exciting things but I have also met a ton of amazing people. I never knew that the elite-athlete body of USATF was so awesome. What a wonderful surprise.

No comments: