Thursday, August 16, 2012

brussels, belgium (part 1)

This was the first time in Europe for most of us, and to commemorate the event, my sister took this picture of me and my Mom right when we landed.  Such tourists, we are!

Our first stop was Belgium.  We stayed in the heart of Brussels, Belgium's capital.  We were blown away as soon as we got out of the train station. 

 Most people rode on bikes.  These were rentals parked right in front of our hotel.  And notice the cobble stones?  As soon as I walked out of our hotel, I tripped on one of them.  It was definitely a foreshadowing of the days to come.  They look great in pictures, but they're a pain to walk on.

The Grand Place took our breath away.  The City Hall is located right in the middle of it and I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.  It was also surrounded by other buildings which were just as spectacular. 

(I actually have better pictures from our second and third day, but I'll break them up in parts.)

For lunch, we ended up on a street full of Greek restaurants.  The cooks/owners stood on the streets and basically tried to sell their restaurant to you.  Pretty annoying, but I have to admit, it worked!

Paul having his first beer on the trip.

They served fries with EVERYTHING in Belgium!  Even Paul's gyro was packed with them.  I could get used to that!

After lunch, we visited the popular Manneken Pis statue.  You get the idea from the picture below.  The Belgians have quite the sense of humor.  I actually thought it would be a lot bigger though.  There is a female version called Jeanneke Pis, but we didn't get to see it. 

I have a slight obsession with doors.

I even took a picture in front of one as my weekly preggo pic.  This is me at 19 weeks.

Just a few blocks away was the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral.

As if that wasn't enough, we took a short train ride to see the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg.

For just 5 Euros, we took the elevator up the very top of the Basilica and saw a panoramic view of the city.  The view was gorgeous from up there.  Well worth every Euro spent!

We went to see the Atomium but didn't actually go inside.  Apparently it's also got lots of great views of the city.  We were pretty tired by this time, with all the walking, and having been awake for over 36+ hours.

We were back at the Grand Place for dinner.  We walked around the Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert to check out the shopping.   

So that's Day 1 of our trip.  Day 2 coming your way next week!


  1. Okay first off, you are one cute preggo lady! Love the belly shot. Second, the pics are gorgeous. You all look so awesome, and um, your mom looks amazing! Whatever she's using, please ask her to send me some, lol.

    1. Thanks Cyn! Yeah, I'm getting bigger every week. I'm trying to keep it under control, but not doing a very good job at it! My Mom works out every morning and is obsessed with it! I think she was skinnier than me even before I got pregnant.

  2. Europe is my favorite for their cobble stones, old historical alley ways, bikes that are old and new....their chocolates, wines, beers, frites...the list goes on. It never gets old and I can go back as many times as possible and still be amazed. OK I'm getting the travel bug just thinking of it!

  3. I know, i'm already itching to go back! Who knows when that will be though, now that we'll have a little one with us. Just move to London so I have a place to stay!


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