Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It's a family travel tradition to revolve as much of our trip as possible around eating. I mean, why travel if not to try new foods? So here's a sampling of the stuff we enjoyed.
Seems we ate a lot of ice cream.

One of the things atop my Paris to-do list this time was visit Laduree and get some macarons. Here are my selections: Lavender Black Currant, Raspberry, Rose, Dark Chocolate Lime, Orange Blossom, and Lily of the Valley. Exquisite.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I'm ashamed we've been back so many days and I'm just now getting a blog post in. Almost a month after my last one. Ah me- how time flies. If you haven't been following our trip via my Mom's blog...I'd like to direct you there now because, well, she's done as superb a job
blog-chronicling the whole trip as she [and Dad] did planning it to begin with. It was lovely really, we just showed up in Brussels and were whisked away on one dream excursion after the next. It's the only way to see Europe. ;) As usual, I couldn't decide on a good way to post pictures...I considered setting up an online album or something but have ultimately [as usual] decided that it would be easiest just to post them here. There may be a billion and two so prepare yourself. I've only selected a few favorites. :) And I tried not to duplicate any Mom used in her posts. No since
being redundant. They are not in any particular order. I apologize in advance for the disorganization. When I tell you I had hundreds of pictures I am not exaggerating.

No trip to Belgium would be complete without at least one visit with Mom and Dad's neighbors, Annemie and Jan.
Paris was actually the capstone of our trip. It was my third time to visit, Frazier's second, and Josh's first. So we hit all the important sites to show him and took a boat ride down the Seine.

Taken from the road:We spent a lot of time in the van my parents rented, and this is how I like to remember our travel...pleasant:
On our way to Paris, we stayed in Chartres. We literally stayed RIGHT NEXT to the famous cathedral so we visited it twice.For a fee, you can climb the three hundred steps to the top of this tower. The view's worth it.Maison Picassiette is also in Chartres. This whole little complex is done in mosaic. Kind of inspired me. I may be plastering and mosaic-ing my back patio or something one of these days.I wish everyone could see the Alps in person once in their lives. Because seeing pictures just isn't good enough. And breathtaking doesn't begin to describe it. Josh took this first picture from the top of a mountain. He took a cable car up and I'm pretty sure it was (understandably) the highlight of his whole trip!This was the *heated* pool at our hotel in Chamonix-Mont Blanc. What a view, eh?It seems like my family often happens upon streams. And stops to check them out. It's uncanny how often it happens.This lake in the mountains is easily the most beautiful place I've ever been. It was unreal. Un. Real.I wish I could have immersed myself in it, but it was cold. And I do mean cold. So I just waded. Because, I mean, the water was so clear and the bottom was all smooth, round stones and it looked so beautifully refreshing I don't know how everyone else stayed out!Certainly one of the highlights of the trip was visiting my French family, the Walters. It's been almost fifteen years since I stayed with them and their daughter, Emilie came and stayed with us, but it didn't feel like it'd been that long since. And in a way, it felt like coming home. Emilie has a daughter a year younger than Frazier, Adelie and the two of them got along well. I hope they get to meet again.One our way to the Walter's we stayed in Strasbourg. I'd visited there the first time I visited the Walters, but remembered very little about it so it was interesting to go back. It's a picturesque little place.One of our day trips was the Antwerp to the zoo. It was an amazing zoo, and one of the oldest in the world. It was the first time I'd been to a zoo right in the middle of a city.Some of the zoo's original aviaries. No birds in there now, but for the time they were built, they were considered spacious!I think this was taken at the playground in Hasselt. Slides were always the favorite...regardless of the playground, though, so it's hard to say.Fraz and baskets of Holland souvenirs.I think this colony of gnomes was at a store in Holland. Seems like every trip I come back with a picture of a bunch of gnomes.The following few pictures were taken in Noordwijk on the North Sea. The only beaches Frazier's ever been to have been on the North Sea. This beach was littered with shells which only made it more beautiful.I wanted to put this picture because it's Ross's apartment and one of the few pictures I have with him in it! We always enjoy our time in Leuven. This time Ross and I got to go out shopping just the two of us and he took me to some stores he'd found that were so ME it was fabulous.
These are two of about...I dunno...a bunch of pictures we have of Frazier and Winslow. Good pair, these two.These two, too:
This is us eating pizza (what else?) in Italy.
And this is Frazier and Josh playing with (what else?) beer bottle caps back at Oma and Opa's in Belgium.This is Mom and Dad's little yard. Cozy, no?The tulip fields were actually our first excursion, and please believe me when I tell you pictures can't do them justice. It's astounding, really, to stand at the edge of a sea of flowers. See Frazier in this one?And this is Frazier on the flight home. One day maybe I'll do a post on air travel. I think we've got it down now.
What a trip! It's hard to believe it's over!