The Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
I’ve always thought February was longest month even though it’s the shortest. You’re stuck in the middle of winter, Christmas has long passed, and you have two more months (at least) until you can pull-off flip flops. So right around mid-February I usually start going a bit nuts. To be honest, London’s not actually that bad this winter, nothing like NY ever was. But it’s still rather gray and cold. And so in the midst of my woe is me winter whining I impulsively booked train tickets to Brussels for Valentine’s weekend. Because there’s nothing more romantic and uplifting than chocolate and beer, right?
Belgian Chocolate + Beer = Love
You can’t travel to Belgium without the obligatory waffle (or two, in my case). I prefer mine with strawberries and crème Chantilly. And in case you are curious, crème Chantilly is French for whipped cream sweetened and flavored, usually with vanilla.
Breakfast of Tourists
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert aka where to buy fancy chocolate
The sweetest window displays
And after all those sweets we took a very long walk and eventually the metro (because the walk was too far) to the Parc du Cinquantenaire. It was a sunny day with just the hint of Spring approaching. The park was full of young families enjoying the afternoon sun. And there were so many different languages being spoken at the playground. Can you imagine your local playground being in the shadows of this amazing arch?
Parc du Cinquantenaire Triumphal Arch
I was completely taken with the Triumphal Arch. It was absolutely huge and gorgeous. Don’t you wish we still built things like this, especially in the U.S? The arch itself is actually relatively new, finished in 1905.
Love Bug Parade
Parc du Cinquantenaire is also home to the Autoworld museum. We didn’t make it inside but there was a great parade of Volkswagen Love Bugs outside. There were literally hundreds of bugs in all different colors. Of course I gravitated to the aqua ones.
After a long of day of walking it’s always nice to take a break. So we made our way back to the Grand Place just as Henry fell asleep in his buggy. Luckily it was just warm enough to sit out on the square and enjoy a very large beer.
Sleeping baby in buggy + beautiful European square + beer = living the dream
We could really get used to this lifestyle… but then…
Henry woke up! And we had to be responsible parents again. So we took him to the most culturally significant thing we could find in Brussels. The statue that represents the spirit of Brussels.
Le Manneken Pis
Henry really seemed to enjoy the little guy. Since he had just recently started to say “pee pee” it was a great talking point. Did you know that Le Manneken Pis has over 800 outfits? Too bad we aren’t quite ready for potty training, I think it could have been a real teachable moment!
We finished our weekend with moules frites, more beer, and of course another waffle for the walk back to the hotel! It was truly a lovely weekend.