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February 2008

January 2008

James Bond's Quantum Leap

From Mr. Crab:  I spent the day on the set of the new James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace."  A very cool experience, from interviewing Daniel Craig, Dame Judy Dench and the Bond Girls to touring the set to watching Dench film a scene in her MI6 office!  The film is being shot at Pinewood Studios, just west of London, before it moves on to Austria, Italy, Panama and Chile.

UPDATE: Click HERE to read the story

Greetings from Scheveningen

The Two Crabs spent a lovely weekend in Scheveningen, a beach resort located about 5 minutes from The Hague (Den Haag) and 30 minutes south of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.   The North Sea and "beach resort" are not exactly phrases that go hand-in-hand. But Scheveningen (pronounced something like "Schlay-vin-ing-ehn")  is a cool little beach town with all the stuff you'd find in, say, the Jersey Shore, and lots more including casinos, "coffee" shops and even a red light district.  But it also has a great sandy beach, a huge pier, some nice hotels and a few nice pubs. In the winter, the town is pretty dead, especially when it rains like it did this entire weekend. But in the summer, the town is THE party beach of Holland, attracting Europeans from across the continent.  The photo above is the Kurhaus, the finest hotel in the area and one of the nicest in the Netherlands.

To get there, we flew from London City Airport to Amsterdam aboard VLM, a low-cost airline, then a quick 30 minute train ride to The Hague, and finally a 15-minute tram ride to Schevenigen beach.  Returning to London, we took the overnight ferry from nearby Hook of Holland to Harwich, England. The huge Stena Britannica boat is a pleasant way to travel. The ship has a casino, pubs and small but comfy cabins.  Crossing the North Sea takes about 7 hours, but we were 90 minutes late due to a "technical glitch" -- we were never told what that glitch was about but I assume it was not an iceberg!  From Harwich, it's another 90 minute train ride to London. 

Favourite new British beer

2196853955_942cdfdc09_b Last night we discovered a fantastic new British beer, Duchy Originals Organic Golden Ale. The only reason I bought it was because it was on sale at Sainsbury's!  I had never heard of this brewery until today but I was pleasantly surprised because......

Duchy Originals Organic TASTES ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE SIERRA NEVADA PALE ALE -- our favorite American beer!!

According to the label, Golden Ale is made of elderberries, which gives it that Sierra Nevada-like, semi-fruity flavor. It has a quite strong alcohol content of 5%, yet is still crisp and smooth. A fantastic ale.  Even stranger yet because it's brewed by PRINCE CHARLES

Yup, the Duchy Original food company is owned by Prince Charles. The company makes a variety of organic products from "biscuits" and "crisps" (BritSpeak for cookies and potato chips, respectively) to shampoo and hand lotion. Proceeds from the sales go to fund the Prince's Charities Foundation, so you drink happily knowing your buzz is going to a good cause!

Duchy Original costs about £1.20 ($2.33 USD) per Imperial Pint, 20-ounce bottle, bottle, compared to Sierra Nevada, which is hard to find here in the UK and costs about £1.50 -- or $3 USD -- for a smaller, 12-ounce bottle.   

No, I am NOT receiving a kick-back for this endorsement.  But if Duchy Original is reading, we'll gladly take a case of this fine product off your hands!

Blades of Glory

Last week, the Two Crabs went ice skating at Somerset House. It's one of about a dozen temporary ice skating rinks set up around London during the winter holiday season. It's not the biggest or cheapest, but the rink at Somerset House is the most beautiful. Sponsored by Tiffany & Co., the rink is surrounded by decorations, presents, ribbons, all painted in "Tiffany Blue"!

He-Man visits Mexico

From Mr. Crab: So, I've FINALLY completed my 25,000-word, 52-page book chapter for Lonely Planet's upcoming Mexico travel guide. Please support my first foray into the publishing world. The book will be available at fine bookstores and everywhere in September 2008!

I've also finally started uploading my many Mexico photos onto our Flickr photostream. I'm holding back on uploading some photos, because there's a chance they might be published/purchased by LP. The photo above was shot on the black sand beach of Cuyutlan, Mexico. This was He-Man's first visit to the Pacific Ocean! Click on the Flickr icon to see more!