Eons ago a Hollywood movie called “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” became popular. It starred Suzanne Pleshette, an attractive brunette who sounded as though her vocal cords had been dipped in dark chocolate. She traveled throughout Europe on a coach bus and found her one, true love. Today is Tuesday and the Lezovich family is on its way to Brussels aboard the Eurostar.
Hoar frost covers the ground and glistens in the trees, backlit by the sun as we zoom by a copse. The land appears as flat as Kansas cropland and much of it looks newly plowed. Some of the earth looks damp and wet as though a rainstorm recently swept through. We’re grateful that we’ve enjoyed sunny, dry weather since we arrived in England five days ago.
Mikayla once confessed that she thought she would be able to see marine life as we took the Chunnel in 2009 from Paris to London. She expected to see fish all around as though the train traveled through an aquarium or a streaming bubble. I certainly can’t explain this feat of human engineering.
In Brussels we take charge of our first house-sitting assignment. As the homeowners return to the USA over the Christmas holiday, we’ll care for their apartment and their dog. I can’t wait to meet Wendy. I imagine she’ll be a bundle of energy as she’s a cross between a beagle and a Jack Russell.
In London we spent four nights at Albany Hotel, a B&B conveniently located in the Bloomsbury area. It lies only five minutes from the British Museum and the Underground station at Russell Square. Holborn and Euston stations are nearby, too. The Eurostar terminal is within walking distance, a relief as we’re doomed to haul assorted suitcases and backpacks.
Mrs. Walsh, the proprietress, busies herself in the kitchen as I slip in and ask how she enjoyed her day off. She spent most of Monday doing her shopping, she said, and she still hadn’t found her Christmas kairds.
“Kairds?” I ask.
“Yes, Christmas kairds,” she repeats. “You know.”
Then I realize she’s referring to those items popularized by Joyce Hall of Kansas City, Missouri, my hometown. In 1815, he founded the greeting card company called Hallmark.
I ask Mrs. Walsh how she and her husband of 28 years, Ferdinand, fared during the London Olympics.
“It was a disaster,” she says. She goes on to explain that the British media told everyone to stay home and they did. She lost business when her regular guests stayed away.
I assure her that everyone also stayed away during the Atlanta Olympics. We didn’t, however. Mike and I stayed in the city, waiting for a new addition to our family, our own pretty brunette, Mikayla.
For the next six months, the Lezovi will be cruising by land through Europe. S/V Happy Times lies safely at Mario’s Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala, awaiting our return in May.