Monday, June 25, 2012

Euro roadtrip to a monastery that brews the #1 ranked beer in the world

The only place in the world you can get this beer is in this very beergarden out in the middle of nowhere.

Leave the task to the Ford brothers to envision a trip solely based around drinking beer - not just any beer - but to the monastery that brews the number one ranked beer in the world: Westvletteren.

Jay and I, knockin em back.
Based off the pure quality of this beer I coulda had damn near a hundred.

Yes, I said a monestary brews the beer. That means that real monks. I even caught a picture of a real one strolling the halls! What a treasure.

You are only allowed to walk in their courtyard, so I felt lucky I got to see one inside. Im sure he was likely the head brewmaster.

Each monestary has their own pub, so Chimay's pub was the first we hit up. Nothing better tasting you can find out there - if I could knock back 100 Westvletteren, then make it 200 Chimays. I am going to be one drunk man.

I of course had to get all four beers they brew. The blonde one in the back right is their special brew you can only get at this pub.

- Insert Will Ferrell in Old School; "Its so good, as soon as it touches your lips." -

Our second stop was Westvletteren, pictured above, and the 1st pic in this blog. 

There's something great about kicking back, having a lot of laughs (aided my many brews), and enjoying the company of your family, making new memories, and enjoying the best beer in the world. And relying on mom to drive the rest of the way because it would not have been possible otherwise.

Im telling you, this place is out in the middle of the country to get to. Check out the road we trekked to get 

Jay actually refused to be in a single picture without making a 'Number 1' sign with his fingers since its the #1 beer in the world. To prove it just look at all the pics above from us at this place.

We pulled into Brugge (the capital of Belgium) and I ingested the single the least healthy food I have ever stuffed into my body - fried hamburger. 

But its okay because we washed it down with a Stella (Josh Kelly's favorite beer), just to make sure our body wasnt going to get any real hydration at all over the weekend.

Ill get back to beer later, because I dont want you to stop reading for thought that you will ONLY look at us drinking beer the entire vacation. We also did other things. Really - we did.

I bought a new pair of boat shoes, so to make it authentic, we decided we would take a boat tour of the city. You know, just to fit in some casual maritime activity.

See? Zing.

The Pondering Guru

The ol Ford family photo in Europe

Jay found a random ass, beautiful cat (best description I could come up with) hanging out on a bridge. So we hung out with it.

Smokin Stogies

The men enjoying a fine cigar by the lake.

 lighting up

We had a grand old time. You can guarantee we will be doing this very thing 50 years from now.

This was a first; my mom drinking a brew with me! And of course, me supporting America everywhere I go, like a true jingoist would.

And finally, we toured a brewery. Then drank beers there. It was a lovely Ford family roadtrip in Europe in search of beer, and boy did we find it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

YORO. You only Rome once - on your birthday.

We ate way too much pasta carbonara, downed lots of bottles of red wine, stole plenty of kisses, held hands like they were sewn together, raced at the circus maximus, and had a hell of a ride enjoying life like its meant to be enjoyed.

And of course, I got iced at the Spanish Steps on my 24th.

I was waiting until pictures surfaced of me getting iced on the Steps for me to post this blog. Because honestly, how the hell could I not include a gem like that??

This is us in front of St Peters Basilica

It seem I became awfully poor at capturing the whole point of the picture - us in front of Trevi Fountain

Look who I ran into in Rome - Tina. Of course Kamaal goes international.

Getting photobombed at the Collosseum is boss. you should try it sometime

Since mrit is a lot prettier than me, I figured itd be better to just put a picture of her up

Buuuuttt.... here's me doing what I do best in Rome - of course to do with eating - 
me polishing off the last piece of pizza.

Owning it in front of the Pantheon.

Also, I forgot to say that we spent 2 days in Germany.

..and we made out in a castle. 

The End.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Time of Our Lives in Paris; Making Love, Seeing Louvre, and Getting hammered below the Eiffel Tower

It's not too often you get the chance to meet up with your girlfriend in Paris, while being apart from each other for months.

So where I left off was my blog post Searching for Love in Paris; I was nervous for what would happen. Would the spark come back between us? Would we pick up as things had always been?

Well, when I arrived in Paris, I went right to the hostel where Mrittika was waiting. She was right in the lobby - waiting for me with open arms. It was a wonderful reunion. I just held her, and that was all. It was so nice.

We only had two days there, and we hit the ground running.

Our first stop? You know where.
(That's us, in case you were wondering)

Our next stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral, as seen here in the background
There was a picture with Mrittika in a less-awkward pose, but I thought it would be more entertaining to include this one :)

How cool was this?! Holding bread and having birds flock all over me! Awesome.

I don't mean to include all awkward pictures, but hey, they are funnier to look back on

The Beauty of the Louvre

This sculpture just moves me. Its the Winged Victory, or commonly known as - Nike.

I love going to a place like the Louvre because if you pay attention, you can get a glimpse into the world of appreciating art that you would have never experienced otherwise.

 A New Perspective of Learning to Love New Things:

I find that in order to learn to truly appreciate something new, you have to have someone who loves it explain it to you. Im not sure what it is, but that act is what brings something alive. 

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way." -Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Whether it be a book, movie, painting, musical instrument, or a sport that I thought was boring, when I hear someone explain it to me in a new, vibrant way, I am captivated. The same was I was captivated when you read information about what I read when I saw the above statue:

The statue above of Nike was made in 190 B.C. and it represents her as she descends from the skies to a triumphant fleet after a naval battle. Before the statue lost its arms, which have never been recovered, her right arm was raised and cupped around her mouth read to deliver a great shout of victory. The work is notable for its convincing rendering of a pose where violent motion and sudden stillness meet, for its graceful balance and flowing draped garments, which the Greek considered ideal beauty.

This is of  Cupid reviving Psyche with a kiss. Its beautiful. To appreciate this artistically, listen to this;
The two arms extending upward from Psyche, and Cupid's arms around Psyche create a central focal point, where in the middle, you can catch the passion in their movement. What is created is the moment just before a kiss. And a kiss symbolizes revitalization, or a re-awakening and that's exactly what Cupid is doing here to the lifeless Psyche. 

Drinking Wine at Night under the Eiffel Tower 

You would think this is what would be the most romantic part. 

Nope, we just got really fucked up when the wine bottles were all dried up. Oopsies!

It was a wonderful moment though - all of us bought wine from a store as we were talking to the Eiffel Tower,and we all wanted to go out and clubbing afterward, so we decided to pound it fast. We ended up staying for 30-45 min or so, but we got hammered quick. One girl threw up endlessly later. But hey.. ya gotta be able to hang with the big boys.

Mrit and I before opening up the bottles.

Every hour on the hour from 9pm-1am the tower sparkles in incredibly mesmerizing fashion.

This is how the pictures turned when everyone started getting tanked:

The pics only get more absurd and blurry than this, so I'll stop here.

It was a wonderful reuniting with my girlfriend, and a memorable time in Paris. Next up, Rome in 2 days!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Searching for love in Paris

Here is my most recent journal entry that I just wrote down on the back of an envelope since I didn't bring my journal. I don't usually put these up, but what the hell:

I'm on the train right now heading to see Mrittika, and although I am excited, I am not sure how to feel. We go so often without seeing each other that I feel like I'm usually in a state of 'lets see how it goes...'

Will the spark between us come back?

Will we reignite and reconnect? Or will we just continue on?

It's not that we have lost something the past few months separated from each other, it's just that we've been lacking something. It's that crucial physical component of just sharing the dynamic of being with one another.

Something unique I love about us is that we have always settled back into that pretty quickly and found our magic. I am hopefully we will find our magic again. And shoot, if we can't find it while roaming Paris, and passing by Rome, then its lost.

That's the good thing about love; it's tough to fake.

Another beautiful thing about it is that you can't know if its real until you're actually with the person. You need to be in their physical presence to find out. There's just no substitute. What I mean is, the past few days, I've been trying to think about the excitement I will have, but I wont actually know if what we have is still there until I go and see her.

I think maybe that's why love is about taking risks

You have to go and search, and look and go for what you really want. Not much worthwhile in life just falls into your lap and kindly stays there and it always good, easy, and accessible.

No, you gotta work for it. Well, I can tell you one thing - no one can ever tell me in my life that I'm not going out and going after things I want. Isn't that the American Dream? It is. And I'm living it - in Paris.

I'm searching for love in Paris.