Thursday, July 21, 2016

Special Day, Special People

What could be better than spending a lovely day in a beautiful place with a group of very special visitors and topping it off with the world's greatest pizza and calzone!  

Not much!

The Belgians---Koen, Anja, Hanne and Emma (aka Rapunzel who does not work because she's a princess!) arrived at the Lovestead around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, and the rest of the day was filled with happy smiles, good visiting and special moments never to be forgotten by the hosts or their company. 

I think Koen Swennen said it best during a moment last night at Second Avenue Pizza.  If it weren't for geocaching, this would never have happened. 

And, we all agree.  Geocaching played a huge role in this meeting.  Our daughter Annie met Koen, who lives near Brussels because of geocaching.  A geocaching event led to Annie traveling to Brussels where the Swennen family treated her like royalty. 

Bill and Marianne met Koen in Dublin at a geocaching event arranged by Annie. Koen told us if he ever was in the area, he'd come to Sandpoint for coffee and a biscuit. 

Well, that finally happened yesterday.  There was coffee but no biscuits.  

Instead, we sat on the deck when the family from Hasselt, Belgium, first arrived and enjoyed huckleberry sundaes and occasional hummingbird sightings, which delighted Koen's wife Anja. 

While Anja loved the hummingbirds, Hanne and Emma fell in love with the 4-wheeler, taking it for numerous spins through the woods and the yard. 

These young ladies also did the honor of signing the Lodgepole log----in English and Flemish. Later, Emma, who has learned most of her English from You Tube, taught us a few Flemish words. 

During that same time at Second Avenue Pizza, where other family members had joined us, Swiss Miss aka Laura contributed to a general conversation about language differences. 

We all enjoyed a fabulous time around the dinner table, and, then the selfie stick came out as Hanne snapped a few photos of the group. 

The Belgians are on their way this morning, bound for Blue Lake to meet with other geocaching friends and eventually on to Seattle in a few days where they'll see Annie at work at Groundspeak, Inc. (geocaching headquarters). 

Koen is a reviewer for Groundspeak, in that he checks out potential geocaches in his general area and approves or disapproves. 

Yes, geocaching is truly a phenomenal multi-dimensional activity.  

Besides taking people on pursuits to find caches, we believe the sport's most valuable aspect is its tendency to create special friendships among people around the world.  

Time and time again, we feel so fortunate to have our lives enriched by the geocaching phenomenon and the fantastic people we've met thanks to the sport. 

Thank you, Koen, Anja, Hanne and Emma for your visit.  Do come back!  

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