Bear Country

At AMS waiting for my flight to LCY. Slightly delayed, but hopefully we hold this time. Good visit with Sjoerd and Onah. They’ve slowly become very close friends over the past 20 years. Our routine is set when I visit on these long weekends. Early dinner at home on Friday night and then Sjoerd and I head to the Royal Taste Hotel bar for the night. Onah visits her friends or sometimes enjoys her time with Bear. Sjoerd and I take the train to town—sometimes Onah picks us up after a long night of drinking and smoking cigars and sometimes we bring the train back home. Saturday we walk the city to get exercise. We nearly always have a drink and a cigar at The Grand Hotel—or if weather is bad, at the big cigar store. Saturday night is dinner at home and relaxing and chatting and visiting.

Sunday we are usually back in the city, although in summer sometimes a drive to the beach or another small town to explore a bit.

This was a nice relaxing trip. Our routines now take Bear into account as he is firmly established as head of family activities planning.

The room I sleep in at their house has an old style radiator heater right next to the bed. It is super warm and toasty and for some reason I always sleep very well there.

I’m at the excellent Virgin Atlantic lounge at LHR now. Last night I got to my hotel near Kensington around 6:30. I took a couple of calls and caught up on email and then had dinner at Theo’s adjacent to the hotel. I’ve had dinner at Theo’s at the Intercontinental by Buckingham Palace and it is excellent. This location is not as good. Food was pretty marginal and service bad, even by UK standards. I had the salmon and it was overcooked and served with some monstrosity of vegetable destruction that somehow managed to make normally good veggies taste bad. Salmon was overcooked. But the wine was good and I read the paper.

An interesting story in The Guardian that further demonstrates the abomination that was the US invasion of Afghanistan and further corroborates that Americans were both willfully ignorant and intentionally misled about that fateful period. So sad that we are such a nation of dipshits. Trump makes us now forget how bad Bush was. Trump is obvious and has been immensely damaging in a great many ways, but Bush also left the world a far worse place than he found it. Two massive wars of terrific destruction and lost lives and wasted financial resources as well as a domestic economic meltdown. And now, because we have Trump distracting us, and because Bush is a goofy old grandpa-type, we find him being forgiven and slowly becoming normalized in spite of the horrific things he did as president. Oh, and he authorized torture of both guilty and innocent people.

On the way to the airport this afternoon we had a terrific lunch at a Spanish Tapas place. They had hundreds of selections of Iberian hams and great manchego. We had cappuccino’s and sandwiches and cheeses. Beautiful. So simple and so delicious.


Weather here in UK is encouraging an on-time exit. It is grey and rainy and windy outside the windows. In the old days, Delta flew from Gatwick and I frequented that lounge as I was flying back and forth to US almost monthly. I used to take 2 or 3 Guinness’s from the refrigerator and drink them on the plane. They always got mad, but never took them away from me. Today I took some cheese and a big pretzel and will take them on the plane for my meal. A few years back I started getting sick from airline food and so now I never eat on the plane. Except for the ice cream. I do eat the ice cream.

Bear is growing. And growing more spoiled under the daily parenting of Sjoerd and Onah. A lovely dog–who I would spoil just as much or more.

Another very nice trip visiting Sjoerd and Onah. I realize how lucky I am to have such good friends, and even thought they live so far away, still be able to visit them as regularly as I do. Lucky indeed.




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