Monday, September 12, 2005


Well this past weekend was supposed to have been Amsterdam, however, there was a computer conference or something there, and there were zero hotel rooms. Unlike some others who wanted to go (and went) we did not feel like waiting until we were there and then trying to find somewhere to stay. So that trip was put on hold.

Friday we stayed in Differdange, and met a couple friends at Little Miami. While we were there, some 8 or 10 people in their 20s showed up and Raymond introduced them to us. They were in an international masters program that also is located in Differdage. They have 23 people of 14 different nationalities in the program. Talking politics and anything else with them was very interesting, since you could get a take from a number of different nationalities.

Saturday we made our way down to Gravenmacher in the Moselle valley. They had a wine festival this weekend. There was marching and music and some awesome turingers and mettwursts. Also, the Czech marching team (a dozen VERY good looking Czech women) was a good show. The fireworks over the Moselle River that night were absolutely incredible. By far the best show I have ever seen, and John and Daryl agreed with that. They had every kind that normal shows have, plus they shot some in the water that then exploded and kept going off; so many things that were just incredible.

The next day was the Guy Tour. He took us on his own tour of the Grand Duchy. The coolest part was probably when he stopped in the middle of a huge vineyard. It was on a hill and had a fantastic view of the Moselle Valley. There are pictures in my webshots. The grapes were good too; we just picked and ate them. He also took us to the Chateau Beaufort, a really cool castle, of which there will be pictures on webshots at some point. Then we toured the Bernard Massard Wine cellar/winery/cave. This is the second biggest winery in the Moselle, and it had a really cool slide show to begin the tour. It wasn’t as romantic as the Mondavi winery, all the tanks were steel or concrete, not wood. The crazy part was seeing all the individual bottles of wine fermenting to become crémant. (Due to copyright crap, no longer is all sparkling wine called Champagne, only those from the Champagne area are, therefore, Moselle sparkling wine is generally called crémant.) The most famous of their crémants is the Cuvee de l’Ecusson. Guy designed a custom MUDEC label for this crémant, and they put it on bottles for a ceremony at MUDEC a few years back. It took him a long time to convince them to do it, but they finally did, and now MUDEC orders ~200 bottles of the custom labeled crémant every year. They also made a raspberry flavored sparkling wine, called Royal Framboise, and I chose that for the tasting at the end and it was exquisite. This is one of Guy’s favorite Caves, so he has a lot of their wines and crémants in his personal wine cellar.

After the tour, we went to Guy’s parents’ house. We had met them the night before at Guy’s house, and they invited us there. They absolutely stuffed us with pasta and meat sauce. I could not eat any more, and then they brought out a pie. I have never been so full in my life. His dad was hilarious, downing beer, wine, and vodka at a rate that should have had him unable to stand, and the more he drank, the better his English got. He was… bombastic would have to be the word. He also thought he looked like John Wayne, which is a stretch, and the duke would have to gain 100 pounds.

This coming weekend was supposed to be the makeup Amsterdam trip, but Daryl got an email from the monks he and John stayed with in München this summer, saying we could have a free room this weekend. So this weekend is München and Oktoberfest!



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