Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh, the Chocolate!

Allen had a long weekend, so we decided to travel to Belgium. We stayed in Brussels and started there the first morning. We spent part of the first day in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, which is really a small complex of museums. We spent the rest of the day walking around the old city. We stopped for lunch, where I had mussels. Allen had a wonderful sausage dish. I'd thought that Germany was the place for sausage, but this was the best we've had.
A view of the Grand-Place.

Ashlyn napped while Allen and I shared a waffle (she has stopped napping at home, but will nap in the car or stroller on trips.)

Another photo of the Grand-Place
The skies above were looking stormy, so we packed up and headed towards our hotel. Just as we walked away from the Grand-Place, it started pouring. We ducked into an entryway until it let up a bit.

Continuing our walk past the palace.

The next morning, we drove to Bruges. Bruges was beautiful, and is a place we would like to visit again. We didn't have enough time there.

Ashlyn usually loves water fountains, but seemed disturbed by this mermaid.
While we were in Belgium, we sampled (as in purchased a box)several different chocolatiers. This was our favorite. Yet another reason to go back to Bruges.
Allen inside making our purchases.
View of the Markt platz in Bruges.

Allen trying to get a picture of us, but dorks were in the background.

Walking into the Markt platz, with Ashlyn "helping" push the stroller.
Christopher with a wild looking hair-do.
This was in the Chocolate Line. I don't know if you can tell, but this is a kit allowing you to "snort" chocolate. New meaning to chocoholic.
Unfortunately, we had to leave Bruges in the early afternoon, to head to Westvleteren for our "beer appointment." The monastery in Westvleteran does not sell its beer to distributors. It is only available at the monastery, where you have to promise not to resell. They have three beers that they sell in racks by appointment at certain times of the year. One of the beers is considered the top beer in the world. One of their beers was available (by the rack) the weekend we were in Belgium. Allen tried the other two while we were there.

Allen drinking the #1 beer in the world (I tried it, too, but all beer just tastes like beer (as in not good) to me.)

We went back to Bruges for dinner and more chocolate.
View of the canals in Bruges.
On Sunday, we drove to Tongeren to the second largest antique market in Europe. Even though it was pouring down rain when we got there, many booths were set up with great stuff. We found so many things that we've wanted for good prices . And, a few things that we didn't even know that we wanted. Unfortunately, the 4-Runner is only so big, so we didn't purchase that many things. We want to go back with a trailer. Of course, then we probably won't find anything. I'd planned to take pictures of some of the items, but the rain kind of prevented that.
After looking at many antiques, we wandered a bit around Tongeren, where Ashlyn was excited to see swans and ducks.
Our drive home was the best ever, including a huge puking incident. Lovely.


Brenda said...

Bruges is about 45 min. from our house. We love it there also! I want to go to Tonegren for the antiques, but have yet to make it. Maybe some day. You guys travel so much more than us...I guess we should step it up!

Angie said...

I'm so envious that you are close to Bruges. So, that means you could go to Dumon's and send us chocolate, huh? Please, please, please.

Harrisongranny said...


Love those pictures of chocolate probably won't find those anywhere here at least in ARKANSAS! :)

sara said...

CHOCOLATE BOOBIES! Those are hysterical! All the chocolate looks divine! I'm so jealous!

The Dunns said...

Mussels in Brussels! Score!

That mermaid disturbs me a bit, too.

LOVE Christopher's hair.

LOVE the booby chocolate! :)

Nothing completes a trip like vomiting. Sounds like you had a blast!

amanda said...

I love Christopher's hair! That is the EXACT hairdo Beth had every day until she was 1. It was good, but also kind of sad, when it started to lay down.

Natalie said...

Ahhhh, Chocolate! Yum! So glad you posted this. Matt's in Belgium frequently and dislikes the place. He's always complaining about this or that. Now that I've seen your pictures, I want to go!!! I knew he was just complaining so I wouldn't beg to go!

Anonymous said...

Bob and I loved Belguim. We went to Brussels and Bruges. It's all great...waffles, beer and chocolate. Love the picture of Christopher!

Grandma Vicki

Tracy said...

Love all the pics, mainly the boob shots, the beer shots, and the pic with the dorks in the background! Gotta love it. And everyone needs pucking in a carride. So fun! Hopefully your vehicle was filled with chocolate smells and not that of something else. Miss you all.

The Matthaidess' said...

It looks like you guys had a great time! One day Ed and I will make it to Belgium -- I heard from other people as well that Bruges is the place to go.

Love all of the pics!

jae rin said...

Reading your blog and Natalie's makes me want to be stationed in Europe. Maybe when the kids are older. I'd like to skip the stroller stage.

Misguided Mommy said...

hey angie. i didnt know how to contact you but i wanted to say, i had to throw the breaskmilk out because it was 8 months old and considered expired. i was so mad when i had to do that. sigh!

also. he wont even eat damn cereal

your pictures above made me jealous i want to come

Matt said...

Beer AND choco-teets? I think you just visited man-heaven.