We all went to the town church service last night. It was great to see some people riding their bikes to church at night! Blauberg is a small country town, and it seemed like everyone attended. For me, the highlight was the band. They sang in nice harmony and kept everyone engaged in the service. The bow ties and suspenders were charming. After the service, everyone stayed and drank cups of warm wine, soup, or cecemel, a drink similar to chocolate milk. We wanted to talk to people, but the language barrier is difficult. You can't just go up to someone and start speaking in English! Vicki knows how to count to ten and name the days of the week in Dutch, but those aren't exactly good conversation starters.
There were lots of fireworks right after midnight, but I didn't pull myself out from under my warm covers to check out what was going on. Celebration, I'm sure.
This morning, Shaun and I walked down to the bakery for some bread and treats. The place was packed! I think everyone in town went to the bakery this morning for fresh bread and pasteries and chocolate treats. The bread here is delicious! There is no Pepperidge Farm preservative-filled crap you can buy in any store in the US that sits on the shelf for weeks without molding. This is real bread, fresh baked, sliced for you when you buy it, and delicious. I am really going to miss the bakery when I go home. Oh, and the pasteries! Here is Shaun enjoying one. I am still not sure how it is possible that Belgians are not fat.
Well, I've got to go do some bike maintenance. Then this afternoon I'm off for Hofstade, the site of tomorrow's World Cup race, to preview the course and pick up my race number. I am so nervous and excited! I hope I will be able to sleep tonight!
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.