Monday, April 30, 2012

Finishing up Brussels

After the photo shoot we put our coats on and decided to head for a spot a little bit warmer. 
Ok so we stopped for a couple waffles. Georgia with the awkward face/pose and I enjoying white chocolate and strawberries!  Breakfast!  
One for the boys and Daddy.
  Next we headed for the Brussels City Museum, right there in Grand Place.  We wanted to check out the Manneken Pis (tee tee boy, as I like to call him) costumes we had heard all about.  The official sight for the manneken pis was photographed later that weekend but we went ahead and enjoyed the museum.  The costumes are sent from countries all over the world and they're stored and displayed in this museum.  Then on most days the Manneken is changed into a new outfit.  He's either wearing something new or nothing at all. OH... And all costumes are custom made for the tee tee.  Yep, that's right!
Poor pics from inside the get the idea.
The Manneken who was way smaller than you would expect.  We went early on Sunday morning when few were there and he wasn't wearing a costume! Bummer! 
On to some other sights around Brussels
 awkward photo much?
Look at those tiny bikes.
Moving in! They use these exterior lifts to take everything up. The couch is next. 
Next up...Lunch of course
Comics Cafe
Cute little area of town...loaded with chocolate shops!
On to a little side trip we took to the little city called Antwerp.  To be honest we went because we heard there was a zoo at the train station.  Yes there was...and it cost an insane amount of money for how cold it was outside.  So we didn't go...instead I treated myself to a starbucks coffee and Nick treated the boys to a little carnival action. 
We ended our Antwerp experience with an small run-in with an American-hater.  No really she hated us and our American-ness!  We were a little bitter...still are but lets just say its really obvious some Europeans don't like Americans and we should do our best to correct their misconception that Americans are self righteous, arrogant people.  We have a long way to go with a few and unfortunately this was the first of a few inscidents on our trip that presented how some Europeans truly feel about Americans.  Pretty sad. 

Lets end with another glorious delightful food that Belgium originated!  The french fry, which is always served with mayo in Belgium and the Netherlands.  Don't knock it til ya try it! YUM!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mackenzie's Magic in Brussels

We were up bright and early the next morning to take advantage of an opportunity that wouldn't happen again.  Back in November my favorite Houston photographer and now friend moved to Brussels.  Well, we certainly didn't pass up the chance to hook up with Mackenzie from Chubby Foot Photography.  We met her in the middle of Grand Place early on Saturday morning so we could miss the crowd. She worked her magic. We were so pleased and so thankful we took the opportunity to book a shoot with her while traveling in Europe.  Both blessings we don't deserve and so grateful for!

Here are some of my favorites...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Brussels, oh the indulgences!

We left Doha around midnight...can't even remember exactly but we were off to enjoy a European Spring Break outside of the desert.  When school lets out in Doha it usually means a mass exodus and its not usual have red-eye flights to get out of this crazy country.  So naturally we ran into some of our best buddies who were heading the other direction to Thailand.  Ready to go in our PJs.
Barrett, Cres, Brooks, Georgia and Emery
We arrived in Brussels, rented a car and drove to our hotel.  I usually pick hotels that are local and give us some sense of the culture.  While it was a tiny room for the 5 of us, it worked just fine. We scored...we had our own bathroom and the hotel had a "lift" (elevator to Americans).  Both not always present.  We loved it and the location was awesome. 
After we got settled it was time to explore and eat of course! Belgium is known for famous tasty things.  First up...Belguim made a beer drinker out of me.  I know...What?  That's right cherry beer.  Delicious and like nothing else! 
We ordered nachos because that was all they offered mid afternoon.  Are we stupid...we're in Brussels ordering Nachos.  You can tell from the picture...they were NOT nachos.  
We ditched the nachos and started walking...
Oh mercy, our first sighting of the glorious Belgium waffle.  There are no words!
 Again, there are no words...this is not like any other waffle you've ever put in your mouth. There's little pieces of sugary greatness in these heavenly indulgences. They are made right there in front of you and topped with ridiculous stuff like white chocolate and more!
   Well I guess we'll sight-see for a few minutes and tear ourselves away from the food but not for long. 
The famous, one and only Grand Place!
Back to what's really important...more food.  Our dinner spot, famously known for the Brussels mussels! Mussels are the specialty and delicacy in this city.  This restaurant is directly on Grand Place.  We walked down into a basement.  Very cool atmosphere and it tolerated our chillins pretty good. 
Nick chowed down on an entire kilo of mussels!  Cooked in white wine and garlic :)  I was a big girl and tried them. Tasty but not my texture of choice. 
A precious little Asian lady came over to our table in awe of our kids, who were really acting like monkeys.  She gave them these cute origami lips!