March 13, 2011

Benelux Trip

Well, it's been a few weeks since our trip, but I'm finally getting around to posting about it. It was just a quick trip, but a lot of fun. We packed a lot in for three days, and for having three little kids with us. We definitely made some good memories. We did a Benelux trip (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Everything is so close together here in Europe. It makes it easy to see a lot in a short amount of time.

Before the trip, I prepared a bunch of food to take along... we like to travel cheap... although, that's tough to do when one tank of gas cost us about $200... gas prices in the States really aren't so bad after all, huh? Also to cut costs, and to make for a more memorable experience, we stayed in a little B&B in Belgium for two nights. It was our home base to go see everything else. It was a little farm house with chickens, sheep, and cats. The ladies there also cooked yummy organic food from their garden, so we ate dinner there one night and it was amazing... squash soup, a leek/potato/cheese dish, and some chocolate pie for dessert. It was also a lot of fun to talk to the Belgian ladies (we learned that Flemish is actually Dutch... in northern Belgium people speak Dutch, and in the south they speak French). These ladies spoke Dutch so we learned a few Dutch words. There were also a couple of cute little girls that lived there, so it was fun for the kids to interact with them. The kids liked visiting the chickens and goats and watching the cats. There were a couple of cats that looked a lot like the cat my family had when I was growing up, and that died just last year. The kids loved that cat so they enjoyed seeing some that looked so much like him.

Some of the things we did:

We visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery (a huge cemetery where soldiers killed in that area in WWII are buried). General Patton is also buried there, as he commanded soldiers there during that time, and died there later on, after the war. We also saw a German cemetery there. It was strange to walk through the two cemeteries and think that many of those soldiers had probably fought with and killed one another. And in different circumstances, many of them probably could have been great friends. I take comfort in the thought that maybe some of them are now.

We also drove through Luxembourg City, where I snapped a picture of the statue of the large, colorful woman. We spent several hours in Brugge, Belgium where we tried some Belgian chocolate (it tasted like chocolate) and a Belgian waffle (it tasted like a waffle), and saw some really beautiful medieval architecture. It was freezing that day, and as prepared as I thought I was for the trip, I didn't pack hats or gloves and we just had thin jackets. You can see our freezyness quite clearly in the picture below. We also visited the Bastogne Historical Center (which is all about the Battle of the Bulge), Waterloo (where Napoleon was defeated), and the Valkenburg Caves and Castle.

It was so much fun, and we're excited to plan another trip soon!
(Probably not for awhile though, as Hub is going to be totally bogged down with studying for the next couple of months.)


  1. So jealous!! (not of the gas prices, but of everything else). Also, you guys look like this perfect little European family. Shay--you're looking very Euro-chic right now. Whatever you're doing, keep it up. Also, please give the little belly baby a kiss for me (not literally, that would be dangerous, but more in spirit if you will). I'm glad you guys are seeing so much of the world...again...very, very jealous. If I'm lucky I might get to see Western Massachusetts in the next couple of weeks. Frankly I don't think traveling gets more exciting than that. Miss you all!

  2. Hey Challis, Thanks! It's nice to know that we can blend in here. :) And I will make sure to let belly baby know that you send your love.

    Also, you know you are welcome to come travel Europe from here anytime! And by the way, I'm jealous that you get to see western Massachusetts. With all this "world travel" there is still so much in the States that I have not seen.