Thursday, May 31, 2012

return to the kellerwald

Oh hey, remember how I went to visit Gemma last month? Those were good times! Of course the best part was getting to reunite Gemily for 5 days, but it was also fun to hang out in my old Franken stomping-grounds. And that meant one thing, and one thing only - a return to the Kellerwald.

You remember the Kellerwald, right? My favorite place in all of Forchheim. Maybe on my list of favorite places ever - but that's another post for another day.

When Gemma and I went, there was no question which Keller we were going to - our favorite, Rappenkeller. What makes this Keller better than the rest? Well, honestly, all the beers and all the food at all the kellers are all fabulous, but what really sets this one apart for us is our favorite server (who I introduced in this post). And, sure enough, as soon as we got there she came right over and sat with us for a few minutes to catch up. She even gave us some free Jägermeister sunglasses. Classy, no?

All in all, it was the perfect Kellerwald reunion - if anything, too short. But really, isn't any visit to the Kellerwald too short?  Great company, beautiful weather, and delicious food (but more on that later) - I can't wait to go back! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

sixth graders' thoughts on [my made up version of] New York City

So for the past way too long (I think about 4 weeks now) I've been doing activities with New York City with my 6th grade class. Do I know anything about NYC? Not really, the last time I went there was about 16 (maybe?). But NYC is like the American Mecca to most my students over here, so I figured it would be more exciting for them. Besides, they'll never know that I was making it all up. 

Well anyway, aside from a watered down (read: made up) map of the city and an embellished (read: made up) description of [real] sites in NYC, it was a really good and resourceful lesson (oh sorry, this is hard to type while patting myself on the back). And it all ended with a small writing assignment for the kids to tell about their "week holiday" in New York City.

While I didn't get quite as many gems as with their first writing assignment, I still got a few hilarious ones I had to share. Seriously, the things kids think to put in these are just fantastic (and there are some adorably endearing language errors too):

"Later on Friday i'm on The Statue of Liberty , that was great for one time seeing but don't often. After i get shopping on 5th Avenue." 

"My week in new yourk was very good. we saw a lot of buildings. the empire state building and the national Statur of liberty. It was fun and i am happy, i hope you too." [The best part is, that's the entire letter!]

"When we left the plane i was very tired, because we had a Jet-Leg"

"At the first we went to the wall street, there are only walls! In the afternoon we went to 5th Avenue, a street. On Tuesday morning we went to the central park, there are sleeping people in the tree."

And for the record, my insides melt from the cuteness with the Jet-Leg sentence every single time I read it. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

You guys are making me blush!

So das Blog has been noticed by a few awesome bloggers recently. Heather over at Heather Goes to Deutschland even nominated me for the Liebster Blog award, a little recognition for little blogs like mine - which just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Now, I'm supposed to nominate 5 other little blogs of note - but honestly love every blog I follow! So I wanna know who you would nominate. Do you know any bloggers out there with a new and/or little blog that should definitely be checked out? Leave a comment and a link and let me know!

Along with the award, both Heather and Karen at Have Lipstick and Laptop Will Travel tagged me in a little blogger game. You basically answer 11 questions they ask, ask 11 new questions yourself and tag other bloggers to answer them. 

But first thing's first, here are my answers to their questions.
From Heather: 
1) What was your favorite cartoon character or show?
as a fellow ginger, I've always had a soft spot for Strawberry Shortcake. Side note: in Germany her name is Emily Erdbeer, which just means me, Strawberry Shortcake and Germany were all meant to be.

2) James Bond or Jason Bourne? (and coincidence that both are J.B.?)
If it's Daniel Craig, then definitely James Bond. 

3) If you were a passenger on the Titanic, would you have survived and why?
part of me says no, because I'm super cheap and definitely been staying in 3rd class. BUT I've practiced the scene of Rose calling for the life boat to come back so much (whistle sounds and frozen swimming included), that if I were alive in the water, I'd totally make it in the end. 

4) You have to take up a new hobby, what will it be?
Underwater basket weaving. Or I'd really like to learn a 3rd language. Does that count as a hobby?

5) What is one place you are dying to visit?
Italy. I've lived in Europe for 3 years total and still have NEVER been to Italy. Before I started learning German, Italy was basically the only place I wanted to go in Europe. Soon enough though, my dreams will be realized, but more on that later! 

6) And on the other hand, is there a place you have no desire to go?
I'm sure India has lots of really awesome things to see and do, but I don't like crowds. And I kind of imagine with 3 times the amount of people in 1/3rd the space of the US, I would probably cry. I wouldn't say no if the opportunity arose, but I'm not in any hurry to go out of my way to get there. 

7) What is the best song to wake up to?
I always keep my iPod on shuffle and my iPod is my alarm, so each morning it's a surprise. However, one morning it was this song and I got to start the day with a giggle, which was fun. 

8) What is the best book you've ever read?
I have a pretty varied taste in books, but Harry Potter will be my one true love till the day I die. 

9) Beach or mountains?
If I say both can I live in Switzerland again? Ok, there weren't really beaches with oceans, but palm trees, lakes and snow covered Alps in the bag ground was pretty much the best of both worlds! 

10) What is your guilty pleasure?
This. Or spending too much money on a really good glass of beer. 

11) Your house is on fire, what do you save (excluding family members, obviously)?
I have no shame in saying my computer. It's got all my pictures and other memories I'd want to save. It's basically got my entire life on it. Clothes, books and other such items can be replaced.

And from Karen: 
1. How would you describe yourself with exactly six words?
some things just can't be described.

2. What’s a great book you can recommend for my next vacation read?
Anything by David Sedaris, particularly Me Talk Pretty Someday

3. What are the top two countries you want to see that you’ve not yet visited?
I know I should be more creative and adventurous and think outside the Europe box, but when I found out I'd be moving home, I said there were 2 countries I'd spend lots of money to be able to see before leaving: Italy and Ireland.

4. Do you collect anything (what)? If not, is there something you’ve thought about collecting?
I used to collect pins. I don't really know why, I just wanted something to collect. I guess you could say I collect local beers... by trying them where ever I go.

5. If you could name a lipstick color, what would it be?
...I've worn lipstick once in my adult life, so I guess I'd have to go with "transparent - you never even saw it coming" And yes, my lipstick does have a tag line.

6. What outdoor activity do you most enjoy?
Swimming - in the American sense of the word. That is to say, hanging out in or near a pool and drinking with friends.

7. Which non-profit organization do you (or would you like to) passionately support?
This one.

8. Which household chore do you most loath?
Putting away clothes. I will wash and iron till my heart's content, but holy crap do I avoid putting away clean clothes like the plague. This is made 10x worse by the whole I have no dryer here thing. Because When I hang my clothes up to dry, I really don't ever technically have to put them away. Which means my room is almost constantly inhabited by my hanging clothes.

9. What’s the earliest “appropriate” time of day to have a glass of wine?
What time do you wake up? Kidding... of course... If you have a good reason (such as nice weather, good company, etc.) you can start anytime you want.

10. If you could have one of the following personal service providers come to your home free for a year, which would you most want to have?

a)      house-cleaner
b)      a meal planner/cook
c)       a personal trainer/fitness instructor
d)      a masseuse
e)      a nanny
Definitely C . I need someone to tell me everyday that I need to get off my ass and do something! 

11. What’s the oddest thing anyone ever asked you?
Oh I have a whole list of odd questions I've been asked. It tends to happen when it's "Ask the American" day in a 5th grade German class. 

Ok, I'm gonna be a horrible cop-out again and not tag people, but I'll post 11 questions if you feel like getting in on the fun! I'd love to know what all your answers are, so if you've got a blog, answer my questions and leave a comment to let me know to check it out! Or, you know, just answer the questions in the comments! Everyone and any one is welcome to participate - and I hope you do! 

1. What is your go to can't sleep movie?
2. Are you more likely to be the friend taking the pictures or the friend telling all your other friends to remember to post their pics on Facebook?
3. If you were to ever become moderately famous on the internet, what would it be for (and it can't be for your blog!)?
4. What is your favorite thing to eat when you're too lazy to cook?
5. What is the most played song in your entire iTunes library?
6. What's your best party trick?
7. What is the best vacation/trip you've ever been on?
8. How old were you when you had your first beer (without your parents around)?
9. Do you prefer TV series or movies?
10. What new language would you love to be perfectly fluent in tomorrow?
11. What's the best way to get you out of a funk when you're feeling blue?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fulbright FAQ Friday, week 6

Today's advice is partially for people applying and partially for grantees preparing for their grant year to begin. It is also completely, 100% not Fulbright endorsed. I mean, not that any of my advice really is... 

"Do you have any advice about the side project? Does it have to be research related?"
Oh, the side project. For those of you applying/those who've already applied for an ETA, you'll know that Fulbright wants to think you're going to be Olivia Overachiever and so they want you to convince them that you're going to do something productive with the 30 hours of the work week that you're not required to teach. It does not have to be research related, but lets be honest - you're just gonna tell Fulbright what they wanna hear whether or not it's a legitimate plan. I find it best to get creative. What is something you're interested in that sets you apart as a candidate? 

As a double major in music, I decided to exploit that for my side project. And I kid you not when I tell you my "proposal" went something along the lines of "I'm gonna take my horn with me and play some music with the Germans." With a lot more fancy words, of course. I mean, really? That's not a side project. That's not really a project. It's maybe a little side... My only advice for the side project is to make it something believable/reasonable. Stick to something you have actually know/really have an interest in and be prepared to present a legitimate [rough] plan of action (a plan is all you need though) for how you could do your side project. 

Basically, you just have to convince them that you're not going to spend your free time watching hours upon hours of How I Met Your Mother, Buffy, Doctor Who and so on (who would do that?? Definitely not me...)

"What happens if you are not able to follow through on your side project? Is there a check up?"
Nothing. Absolutely nothing happens if you never do anything about your side project. Now it just so happens I did take my horn and play some music with the Germans. But had I not, absolutely nothing would have happened. The Fulbright police would not have knocked on my door in March, stripped me of my grant and sent me home, never to mention that I was once associated with the program. There is a mid-year and end-year report where they'll ask you about your side project. You can either a.) just tell them it's all going swimmingly regardless of it's actual success or b.) tell them you never did it and watch how they just don't care. 

Now I'm all for a good side project if you really want to take advantage for your Fulbright year for that, but I also like to spread the truth that you shouldn't spend your nights worrying about whether or not your side project is quality enough for Fulbright or how on Earth you're actually going to succeed in carrying it out. 

But if anyone asks, you didn't hear it from me. 

other Fulbright FAQ posts can be found here
other questions can be emailed to me here or left as a comment on this post

Thursday, May 24, 2012

that time Mitfahrgelegenheit ruined my day and then restored my faith in humanity

Oh Mitfahrgelegenheit. You're such a ridiculously long German word, and yet you've enabled me to travel so much this year. Including my 24 hour trip to Hamburg with Katharina. We had such a nice driver from Dortmund to Hamburg and the whole visit, while family and friends inquired about the integrity and reliability of the system, I had nothing but positive things to say. "OMG, I've never had a bad experience!" "The drivers are so friendly" "It's always been very punctual and reliable!"... 

Enter: foot in mouth

For our ride home we had arranged to be picked up between 7 and 8pm. Since we weren't really in a hurry and the guy was picking us up where we were staying, we were flexible on the time and just asked him to call us about 20 minutes before he was planning on leaving. 

And then 7:40pm rolled around without a word from him, so we decide to call him.  Of course his phone doesn't even ring and goes straight to a message saying phone calls are not available to the number, but we can text. Not a good sign. After another 5 minutes the panic set in and we decided to do an emergency scan of the website to see if we could catch any last minute rides home. Finally around 8pm we found a new driver who had 2 spots free and still had heard nothing from our original driver. But it couldn't be that simple yet: our new driver was leaving at 9pm from a place across the city that takes us almost an hour to get to. 

The next 40 minutes involved a lot of running for subway connections and cursing our original driver, but eventually we made it to the meeting point in time. 

This was the point that my faith in mankind was broken. To this day, we never heard from the original driver who was supposed to pick us up. Not even so much as an email to be like "oh, I was attacked by a bear while the ghost of Dumbledore stole my cell phone so I couldn't call" (I mean really, any excuse!). He basically just left us stranded in Hamburg with no word, no warning, nothing. Not to mention late in the day. At 8pm on a Sunday, not many people are starting the 3.5 hour drive to Dortmund. 

And the panic had still not completely passed. Our new driver (pretty much the only one left at this point) was only driving to Unna (a smaller city about 20km from Dortmund), so we still had to catch a train from Unna to Dortmund. But now that we were leaving almost 2 hours later than originally planned, we were fairly certain we weren't going to make our last train home. 

Our new driver knew about our time crunch, so he was doing everything in his power to get us to our destination on time. This meant really exploiting the Autobahn for all it's speed-limitless glory. I'm not gonna lie (and I can feel my mom yelling at me as I type this), we hit speeds up to 200kmh (~120mph). And all the while the 2 other girls riding with us were helping us look up train times (oh did I mention Katharina's phone battery was dead and I had no prepaid money left... not that I could look up train times on my phone anway...). The last train for the night was leaving Unna at 12:27am and it kept looking more and more unlikely that we  would actually make that. 

Finally the woman who was getting off in Kamen (a town about 15 minutes before Unna) said there was an hourly train from there that definitely went at 12:30am. Since that was a more realistic goal we started getting our hopes up again. 

When we arrived at the Kamen train stations about 6 minutes before the train was supposed to leave we noticed it wasn't on the electronic departures board. But it was on the printed daily schedule that never changes. We looked around trying to figure out the discrepancy before our driver left us. 

And of course - with all the luck we were having that night already - we saw it. A notice hanging that said for that night only the 12:30 train to Dortmund was canceled for construction. Only that train, only that night. Seriously. Seriously?!

And then my faith in humanity was restored. After everything that had gone wrong that night, our new driver - who had to be at work in 6 hours - offered to simply drive us the rest of way back to Dortmund. Granted it's not terribly far out of the way, but for a complete stranger to offer to go out of his way at possibly the most inconvenient time (it was already past midnight at this point) instead of stranding us small-town Germany until the morning trains started in about 4 or 5 hours was seriously one of the nicest things I've ever experienced. Not to mention he only asked for an extra 5€ total from us for going the extra mile (puns!). I mean, I was ready to empty my wallet in his hand if he had asked. 

So around 1am we pulled up right to our door, thanked him profusely, and finally made it up to our own beds.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If you only have one night in Hamburg...

...and it just so happens we did only have one night in Hamburg, you should be sure to hit up the Reeperbahn.

I'd heard about the Reeperbahn before, but we didn't manage to make it out last time we were in Hamburg. Basically, the street (or area, really) - which is lined with restaurants, bars, and clubs - is famous for going out. So when we drove up to Hamburg for one night in April, going out to the Reeperbahn seemed like the perfect way to feier rein two birthdays...

Oh right, back story. Katharina had her birthday in April, and it just so happens to be the same day as her sister's boyfriend. So quite spontaneously we decided to head up to Hamburg for a 24 hour birthday celebration. We would leave Saturday afternoon and come back Sunday night. Just enough time to go out Saturday night and then do the family thing (you know, plus me) for the actual day on Sunday. 

By the way, to feier rein literally means "celebrate into" and is one of my favorite German concepts. See, over here, it's bad luck to celebrate/congratulate a birthday before the actual day. As one of my students told me last week: "I'd rather celebrate 2 weeks after my birthday than 2 days before." This also explains why there is a way to say "happy belated birthday" in German, but really no way to say "happy early birthday." If you do that, you might as well just say "I spit on the day you were born and curse your family" (ok, maybe not that extreme, but just don't do it!). But, with the ability to feier rein, you can get away with celebrating one night early and waiting till midnight to literally celebrate into the birthday! Just make sure you only wish a happy birthday on your way out the door, and not when you arrive. Genius.

But I digress...

The Reeperbahn makes for a great night out and a wonderful way to feier a birthday or two rein. For someone that generally does not like to bar hop or go dancing (or so I say in the daylight), I had a fabulous time trying out as many new places as possible and rocking out to the Backstreet Boys (yes, that really happened) till the wee hours of the morning. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

an ETA's bff, part 2

My other secret weapon, imported game is called Scrabble Slam! On an educational level it blows Catchphrase out of the water, but - to be honest - it's not as much fun. That's not to say it's not fun at all though, I don't think a week goes by that I don't play this with one group or another. 
I tweak this game a lot based on the level of the group playing, but the basics always stay the same: you begin with a four-letter word and each student must change by laying 1 - 3 of their letters on top of the letters in the word to create a brand new word. Each card has two letters on it - one on the front and one on the back. This means that if a student is holding 3 cards in their hand, they have a selection of 6 different letters, but (clearly) letters on the same card can not be used at the same time. 

So the original version is basically chaos, the 4 letter word is created and the remaining cards are dealt evenly among the players who then just lay down cards to create new words as quickly as possible without any order or turns or anything. 
However, that clearly does not make for a very beneficial learning environment, so I here are my versions:

for younger students (I've never played with a group younger than 7th grade, but really, the age is just up to your discretion of the students' abilities): each player gets to hold a total of 5 cards in their hand to change the word with, but they are only allowed to change a maximum of 3 letters. Everybody draws from the same middle pile and always has 5 cards in their hand at the beginning of their turn. For those of you keep score at home, you are right, this version has no winner. I guess you could get creative and count how many cards each student total uses, but I've never had any problem motivating students to play without a winner thus far.

For older students (again, in my experience it's been 10th grade+, but it's really up to you): make you 4 letter word, then deal the cards evenly among the students. This is now their "pile." They pick up all new cards from the top of their pile and can only ever have a maximum of 3 cards in their hand. Who ever uses all the cards in their pile first wins. 
What makes this game really amazing: students are encouraged to keep their hands open for all to see, that way if they're stuck on a word I - or another student even - can give hints for a possible new word they see. For example, if the picture above is their hand the student is stuck, I might give the hint "when you first meet somebody, you ask 'what is your...?'" to get them to guess the word "name." It's even more awesome when students give each other hints. I sometimes I might also require them to define or build a sentence using their new word before it can be accepted. 

Things to watch out for: you can't really play this with a big group, I would say 6 students maximum. I mostly play this actually while tutoring, but I also play with my smaller classes. 

It really is just an awesome game for learning a foreign language! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

An ETA's bff, part 1

Today and tomorrow I'm going to share with you blog people some ETA trade secrets - games! But not just any old "you can play this anywhere, anytime" type of game. These are games I brought with me from the US that make playing them that much more exciting (well, I like to think so anyway!).

Catchphrase is pretty much the greatest game ever. If Hot Potato and Taboo had a baby it would be Catchphrase. I already loved playing this back home, even when I wasn't trying to warp enrich the minds of the youth. It's just fun! 

So how do you play? Well, first the group needs to divide into two teams, then they sit in a circle with teams sitting every other person (ABABABAB etc.). Then you hit the start button on the fun little handheld device and it gives you a word you must make your team guess and pass on to the next person to make their team guess a new word and so on. All the while there is a really annoying little beeping sound - much like a bomb ticker counting down and getting faster and faster (remind me to take the batteries out of this before I get on the plane home...). Eventually a buzzer goes off and the round ends. Whichever team is caught with game in their hands loses the round and the opposing team gets a point. 

Things that make this game super awesome: the fact that it's a little electronic device. I mean really, if you show up to class with some slips of papers with words on them or a little round electronic game that makes noises and has buttons, they're gonna go for the noises and buttons. It's a great way to review old vocabulary and practice explaining things. And the annoying beeping/countdown force you to think and form thoughts/sentences quickly. Did I mention it's also fun - which is a great decoy for tricking students into learning things

Things to look out for: it has a lot of cultural references, idioms, and phrases that students might never have learned, so it's important to encourage them to be creative about getting their team to guess the word. Instead of just going for the definition they can break it down into single words or do opposites, rhymes with, etc.  Also, this is most definitely a game that can only be played with older students. I play it mostly with my 12th graders (and once with my 10th graders). I don't think I would play it with any group younger than 10th grade. 

Every class I've played this with absolutely loves it - so that's a big win for Catchphrase! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fulbright FAQ Friday, week 5

OMG, you thought I was gone! But I'm not! I'm back today to warp the minds of new Fulbright grantees with shameless, unsolicited advice. Ok, not completely unsolicited, these are questions that get emailed to/asked me all the time. And today we're going to focus on the Mystery Man behind the Fulbright ETA in Germany. 

"Who is the PAD and why do they keep emailing me?"
First of all, to prevent any interested parties from wasting too much time - the PAD applies 100% ONLY to English Teaching Assistants in Germany. If you have a research grant or are in any other country, you do not and will never need to know about the PAD.

PAD, as you've probably noticed from the countless paperwork you've received from them stands for Pädagogischer Austauschdienst. They are in charge of selecting and organizing ALL language assistants in Germany. That's right. Not just English assistants. In fact, not even just Americans (don't you remember those silly Brits and Australians, they can be ETAs too). That annoying second application you had to fill out in January/February, that was for the PAD if you'll remember, because they make the final decision on all language assistants in Germany. They are the ones that place you in your school. They are the ones that run orientation. They are the ones you contact first if you have any problems pertaining to your Assistantship (school, payment, etc.). 

Basically, I love the PAD and they love language assistants. In the end, you will come to know and love the PAD too. Probably more than you'll know and love Fulbright. 

p.s. PAD may be for all language assistants worldwide, but Fulbright is only for the Americans. So spare yourself the embarrassment confusion and don't ask the Brits, Australians, Canadians, etc. if they applied through Fulbright, too. They all applied through the corresponding organizations of their home country. 

"So what does Fulbright do then?"
Accept for a select few in the diversity program (you know who you are, so if you don't know, don't worry) and a handful receiving their monthly payment directly from Fulbright, you will have very little to do with Fulbright during your ETA year. Basically Fulbright does 3 noticeable things: 1. pay for your travel 2. show up for a day at orientation 3. Have a party conference in Berlin in March.

"Am I still a Fulbright grantee?"
Yes. It just get's really annoying to explain the whole thing to outsiders when you tell them you have to do something for the PAD, then you have to take 10 minutes to explain that all Germany Fulbright ETAs are run through the PAD, but not all PAD language assistants are Fulbright grantees. 

other Fulbright FAQ posts can be found here
other questions can be left as a comment on this post or emailed to me here

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

After 10 days (and almost a month's worth of blogging), it was time to say auf wiedersehen to Patrick and Karrie. It was so much fun to have them in Germany and explore Brussels together! But we are family, which means sometimes - after extended time together - our pictures go from this:

to this: 

But despite the angry faces, I always enjoy Patrick's visits! And thus, the Great Belgian Adventure was brought to an end and I made my way home with no more visitors in tow. In fact, I have no more visitors scheduled yet till my future husband comes in late June - but more on that later

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

death by [Belgian] chocolate

It's recently occurred to me that Belgium has a lot of "typical" things. I mean, we've had Belgian beer, Belgian waffles. And we haven't even hit on Belgian fries! but today, we will discuss the wonder that is Belgian chocolate

Chocolate shops can be found in all shapes and sizes and styles all over Brussels. Seriously, on ever corner there was another chocolate shop - and each one looked just as deliciously inviting as the next.

The displays alone were enough to make you die of happiness, and yet they still barely did the actual flavor justice. 

And since we were in town on Easter weekend, we got to enjoy all the amazing Easter displays and special seasonal treats.

...Ok I'm gonna go shove my face with chocolate now. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

IHOP's got nothing on Belgium

Of course when you go to Belgium, you can't forget to try a real Belgian waffle. Waffle-eating opportunities present themselves all over the city. You could get one at an ice cream shop, they had little walk up windows that served waffles, but my absolute favorite were the little waffle vans. 

I mean, first of all - genius! Waffles to go on the go! Need I say more? Also, isn't the little van pretty much the most adorable thing you've ever seen? 

When Patrick and I made stop for a waffle, we went with the walk up window option. They had so many different toppings to pick from, and I really enjoyed how they displayed it for people to pick their preferred topping. 

Once you've made your selections the waffles are made fresh in front of you and served hot and delicious! 

Patrick went with the trusty topping of Nutella, while I was feeling a little more simple with just brown sugar sprinkled (or, you know, caked) on top! 

And I can tell you for sure, Belgian waffles are every bit as good as their reputation implies. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Brussels, as experienced by beer.

Remember that time that I professed my love for Belgian beer? Well, imagine how magical it was for me finally get to experience all that fantastic beer in it's homeland. My favorite part was all the beer shops. Little shops with walls covered floor to ceiling with beer and all the matching glasses for every type of beer.

Even if they are just little tourist traps, I had no problem picking up my only souvenirs from the weekend there. 
But buying bottled beer to bring back was only half the fun of the trip. I made it a rule to never drink the same beer twice while out in the city, so I could try as many different types as possible during our long weekend. If you follow me on Twitter, then you got the beer tour in real time. But if you don't, this was my trip to Brussels as experienced by beer. 

this beer got ordered by accident. It was too sweet for me, but tasted just like a tootsie roll!

Delirium Nocturne at the Delirium Bar

this beer has potentially topped Chimay as my favorite Belgian beer. It was delightful!

all three of us enjoying Delirium Tremens and Nocturne at the Delirium bar.
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