This weekend Marissa, a niece of Marion, and her friend Tanja stayed with Marion and me at my place. Marissa loved the idea that I am living so close to the sea. As she told me it was for her some time ago that she made a walk along the beach. Of course she was welcome at my place and her friend Tanja, who I have meet some times before, as well.
Apart from all the fun and nice things we had planned for the weekend, something else came up during the last to weeks. As Marion and me, she loves to play online adventure games (so called MMORPG’s, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). She plays World of Warcraft. I knew this and I have been teasing a lot by telling her that Everquest II (the MMORPG that Marion and I play) was a lot better then World of Warcraft. In the more serious conversations we had about this, it turned out that Marissa was getting a little tired of World of Warcraft. Her clan was dying and she couldn’t find another clan she felt comfortable in. She started to dislike PvP (Player versus Player. the fighting and killing among players themselves). And yes, PvP often attracts jerks.
I told her how these were in Everquest II. That made Marissa already enthusiastic and after seeing some screenshots she really wanted to get to know more about Everquest II.
Anyway, Marissa and Tanja arrived here Friday evening by train. I picked them up from the railroad station here in Heemskerk. Back at my apartment we waited for Marion to arrive. We chatted a bit and had some tea and coffee. After Marion arrived and she had a shower, we did go out for dinner at restaurant Halfweg. Marion and I have been here before, so we knew it was good. It is rather close to where I live. I assumed that the three ladies had enough travelling for one day. The dinner was indeed very good again.
Later that evening while Tanja was chatting with Marion, I showed Marissa a bit of Everquest II. She loved the graphics of the game (which are indeed a lot better then of World of Warcraft). She was amazed by the activity and kindness of the guild where I am part of. No way that someone could force PvP upon you (at least not on the server where we play). The enormous content that the game offers. The rich lore. The houses that you can own decorate in every way you want. At certain point Marissa made the remark that she really would like to switch World of Warcraft for Everquest. She was very serious about that (I did check that).
I, and also Marion, liked the idea to have her playing Everquest. So we bought online for Marissa the Collector Edition of the latest expansion of Everquest II (with digital download). I never seen someone so fast cancelling a subscription for World of Warcraft and create a new subscription for Everquest II.
During the weekend we helped her in some lost hours to help her with the first steps in Everquest II and made sure she made a good start there.
Marissa really the streets of Qeynos, one of the mayor cities in Everquest…
The castle of Queen Antonica Bayle…
The player decorated houses…
Early Saturday morning I waked up by some noises in the living room, where Marissa and Tanja slept. As I heard them talk softly and look through the cupboards in the kitchen, I already had an idea what they were doing. And I was right, they made a very nice breakfast table ready for us. With warm breads and croissants from the baker near by. Eggs, tea, coffee…. everything was there. Marion and I really appreciated this.
Saturday morning we all went for a walk on the beaches north of the town of Castricum. The weather was awesome and it was very enjoyable to walk along the beach. I always love to see the sea and I know that I am not the only one.
In the afternoon the three ladies went shopping in Amsterdam. I wisely stayed home. I have my experiences with Marion and shopping in Amsterdam :P. And this way I could do some things I still needed to do.
The ladies had a great time in Amsterdam and the well filled shopping bags showed that they had been successful. I don’t even start to wonder how much money they did spend :).
Being lazy and tired, we watched a movie in the evening. “I am Number Four” is a good movie. In short the movie is about aliens living here on earth how are hunted by other aliens who occupied the homeworld of those they are hunting. Lots of actions and special effects. Lots of humour. I liked it. And the movie just needs a sequel.
Of course the movie we enjoyed wine, beer and some very snacks as chicken wings, “kroketten”, French bread with garlic butter and more of such.
Sunday morning we all slept kinda long. Very often I go Sundays for a swim. And so this Sunday the four of us went swimming. It was fun… but to be honest, a man alone against 3 women… it is not fair (but still fun).
As so often on Sundays I made a nice dinner. But cooking for 4 persons is something else then cooking for 2. Specially by preparing the meat…
The meat was a very fine kind of beef (something like a steak, but then of a special breed of bovine). It was baked very shortly in some oil until all of the outside was nicely brown. After that it was wrapped up in aluminium foil and placed in the oven for 20 minutes on a heat of 180 degrees Celsius. It was very soft and nice of taste.
The sauce on the meat was made of fine cut oyster mushrooms, flower, fried unions, pepper, milk and cooks cream. Some shortly fried oyster mushrooms were place on the meat before putting the sauce all over it.
The mashed potatoes were home made. To give it a very nice taste shallots and thyme were added. And on top it after serving some parsley.
A mixture of kinds of lettuce was enriched with a dressing of honey, mustard and little oil.
Also a mixture of fine cut eggplant, zucchini, tomato paste, unions, red paprika, salt, garlic, thyme and olive oil was added. This mixture was shortly cooked it all was nicely warm.
To make it all complete some apple sauce with cinnamon was added.
As said, it was all very tasteful. Specially the meat was very nice (and so it should, it was not cheap at al). I was wasn’t dissatisfied at all.
After dinner everyone helped to clean up again, so my house was all tidy again. Some coffee and tea and then the time arrived to bring Marissa and Tanja back to the train to would bring them home.
Although I had great weekend that I enjoyed a lot, I was happy that we could spend the Sunday evening just with the two of us. Some moments together are just as important! But Marissa and Tanja are always welcome again. They are really good company!