I feel like I’m heading back to school after Christmas break. And by back to school, I mean back to life, back to reality, which thankfully does not include those pesky classes/exams anymore. And by Christmas break, I mean leaving my routine to spend so much quality time with my mom that my happy heart could burst. That lady has the softest hands and I got to hold them (and J’s) for a full nine days. She and my great-aunt came over to Europe for the first time. It was fun showing them around and seeing how excited my mom got over our new area of the world, but I might have to say that if the phrase ‘it’s just so different’ is retired, I wouldn’t be mad at it.
We had back-to-back visitors for two weeks and I’m slowly getting back into the normal swing of things. J and I have been indulging in some much-needed us time and I’ve been trying to make the Jolly Ranchers they brought last as long as possible – mmmm American candy. So, let’s see if we can recap the flow of their trip, shall we?
day 1 :: After we scooped them from the airport and gave them a little bit to unwind, the girls took to the streets. I had an Etsy order that I needed to ship off, so we checked out the glamorous post office and strolled around Place Flagey. J got off of work and introduced them to Brussels traffic to see the Atomium.
day 2 :: Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. Mama Jo and I were both disappointed that King Albert and Queen Paola weren’t lounging on their patio with toddies waving to their visitors. There was a (relatively) quick stop at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg and a classic Belgian meal at La Bonne Humeur.
day 3 :: Country numero deux. Clerveaux in Luxembourg to see a castle and how small the EU signs are – welcome to a new country, did you notice? We quickly realized that Nanan is the proudest American there ever was, so we passed through Bastogne, Belgium to see the Mardasson Memorial for the Battle of the Bulge. I’m fairly certain seeing ‘Louisiana’ was the highlight of her trip. Also worth noting, 50 cent restrooms. Their minds were blown.
day 4 :: We drove to the opposite side of the country to visit Bruges by the northwestern coast. After we ‘ooo’ed and ‘ahh’ed over the Medieval city, J drove us home and cooked lasagna rolls with spinach & artichoke dip. Y’all. #Drool. The Croatians joined us and I immediately got bumped down to 1b on my mama’s favorite scale once she met their newborn. I’m going on the record to say that I’m not jealous…although, little one is just lucky I’m such a huge fan too..
day 5 :: Day 5 and we’ve drug them all around the country, maybe we should check out our own city! So, to the center of Brussels we went – the royal palace, Grand Place and Musee Horta. It was our first time checking out Victor Horta’s home-turned-museum too. This guy had some flair. He designed a lot of the crazy cool buildings in Brussels. And he designed almost everything in his home and did not slack on the decadence. Then, Belgian frites from Jourdan (the verdict is still on out on our fave fritkot).
If J has any question where my silly giddiness comes from, he doesn’t have to look far. Like mother, like daughter. Mama Jo brought her Mother of the Bride dress that she adorned last year for our big day over the pond and I took my dress out of preservation. Mais la! We had the best time dressin’ up and dancin’.
And that’s just the half of it.