This past week Aunt Lulu, mom, and Catherine came to Brussels to visit yours truly! Mom and Catherine even made it after they put up a fight with AirFrance. Those French…always messing with your mind. Because of complications with air traffic controllers, or something of the sort in Paris, Catherine and mom’s flight was postponed until Monday morning. I’m just glad they made it here, and got to stay an extra day!
Anyway, the week started with Aunt Lulu’s arrival! I was pleasantly surprised with the hotel room that was essentially bigger and nicer than my apartment. Needless to say, I stayed there most of the week. Once Aunt Lulu arrived I showed her around a bit and then went to Fatboys (the American bar), and had a delicious BBQ burger and Leffe Brune (which is now one of my favorite brews). The jet lag and time difference was catching up with her, so I joined her for a nice little cat nap. After that we met Bruns and Molly in Place Jourdan for some beer and frites and stayed out until 2 am…so proud of her!
Sunday, the plan was to accompany Molly to Bruges, but the hurricane like weather made us change our minds. Especially after Bruns’ umbrella literally broke in half when she was walking to the hotel. So we took the opportunity to have a PJ/movie/study party. (I had my art history midterm Tuesday morning), this was actually pretty successful. Although we did have a very successful shopping spree at the fresh market (mmmmm. lasagna) and ate the first cafe I ate at in Brussels! I forgot about that cute little place.
Monday, Catherine and mom arrived early morning! We spent no time lolly gagging… and headed straight for the Grand Place. We saw the Mannekin Pis first, and Aunt Lulu and Catherine had a street vendor waffle (the best kind). We also did some chocolate shopping around the area. I showed them the beautiful square, and went to Chez Leon for moulles et frites! After Chez Leon we did a bit more chocolate shopping, and then headed to Delirium for a beer. It was weird being at Delirium during the day, but I liked it…a nice calmer vibe and we actually got a table. I introduced them to the famous Kinder happy hippos, and they all fell in love — I knew they would. Mom and Catherine were exhausted…so they wanted to take a nap, which was perfect because I needed to study.
Tuesday, was my art history midterm at 8:30 am, barf, and then I had to work afterwards. The other 3 ladies went to Bruges! After getting a bit lost, they found their way and had a really good time I think. I’m glad they liked Bruges so much, and had good weather for it too! After they got back we went to this pizza place Mamma Roma and had suchhhh good pizza and a couple bottles of red wine! I had my first slice of truffle pizza, it was actually pretty good…but I probably couldn’t eat more than one piece of it.
We went to the comic museum Wednesday! Did you know Brussels is famous for it’s comics? The Smurfs and Tintin were created here! Although all the comics were in French, I still had a really good time admiring the artwork, and laughed at the ones I could actually figure out! After the museum we did some shopping at the City 2 mall that was really close by. After that, I showed them where I worked and a couple of my favorite parks.
Thursday, was perfect weather and we went to Ghent! It was the most beautiful city I think I’ve ever been to. Yes, I know I said this about Bruges…and yessssss I really mean it about Ghent! We went to the biggest church I have ever seen, St. Baafs Cathedral. We also went to Graveensteen Castle…I’ve never been to a castle before so it was really neat! I think my favorite part was walking up and down the canal just admiring the dutch inspired architecture…picking out my future homes and such. I definitely want to go back, perhaps tour it on bike this time.
Friday, I showed them Cantillon Brewery. I liked my second trip with them a lot better because it was in a WAY smaller group and we got t see a bit more. The were actually in the process of brewing too, so we saw it all in action! I think this brewery is one of the coolest things Brussels has to offer. It’s the last family owned brewery in Belgium, and they ferment the beer in the open atmosphere. So it can’t be produced anywhere BUT Belgium. I did look on their distribution map and noticed there’s a spot in St Louis, MO where I’ll have to get my fix of Cantillon Geuze…after I turn 21 of course. After the brewery I showed them my favorite town in Brussels…Sablon! I showed them the cathedral, and park full of tradesmen…I think they really enjoyed it. It’s practically impossible not to. After this we headed back to our new favorite bar in Place Jourdan and got frites with samurai sauce from Maison Antoine and enjoyed Aunt Lulu’s last night. After a few drinks, Catherine and I met up with my friends and headed out to a few bars…including Delirium where I met Franziska who was out for her birthday!
Saturday, Lu left very early in the morning…sad to see her go 😦 The weather was once again perfect, and we headed back down to Grand Place to look in some comic book stores and walk around. We found a cool one, and I bought a new Banksy coffee table book. I’m obsessed with it! We then wandered around and listened to a bunch of different street performers…it was pretty interesting. I’m always amused by street performers. We found a veryyyyyy VERY yummy cookie shop, and picked up a few and headed home. We then met up with my friends at Fatboys to watch the Mizzou/KU basketball game. Unfortunately we lost, but the beer and company (and mexican nachos!) were all very good!
The next morning Catherine and mom left…I didn’t want them to go AT ALL! I was so happy they came! It really does give you a new perspective when you play tour guide…the “oohs” and “ahhs” from visitors really gives you something to be proud of. A somewhat “homey” feeling. Brussels has become my home, and I love it more and more everyday.
This Thursday we’re off to London, and I’ll be there until Sunday! I can’t wait! We get to see Betsy, Wolf, and Strick!!! FISH AND CHIPS FISH AND CHIPS HARRRRRRYYYYY POTTTTERRRRRR!