What a day! First and foremost, a few fact checks on the below:
1) It was not foggy on arrival, I think mommy had a fog from her lack of sleep. She is correct in that the kids slept like angels, and we did not. Although, I’m not sure how that happen. I was the one sandwiched in between two twin tornadoes, mommy had a seat all to herself.
2) We’re on the 2nd floor, not 4th, just saying…it’s not that bad. And I love the extra steps – it’s more of a wear-the-kids out factor. (We are still debating this, in that Europeans call the first floor Zero (0), so technically per US standards, we are on the 3rdfloor, we’ll split the difference and agree to disagree).
3) I must say, my French is excellent so far. I was able to perfectly tell an older lady in the produce section in the grocery store, in French, that I did not speak French. I asked her if she spoke English, she said no, and we smiled and said have a good day. Yes, the first thing I said in French was I don’t speak French, but at least I pronounced it right! 🙂 Additionally, I asked someone in French, excuse me, where is the park for the children, and was greeted with a smile and directions. I think our French is o.k., not saying it doesn’t need work, clearly it’s not as good as our Italian or German, but at least we’re trying!
4) I don’t know if I got carried away with the ‘beverage’ selection, I call it more of ‘stocking up’. Come on, we’re going to be in Brussels for at least a month, Chimay and La Chouffe for $5, who wouldn’t?!?!
5) And I’m just going to piggy back on Mylan, the circus bear doing barrel rolls, it was hilarious. I was sitting there working on the computer, and he kept backing up and barrel rolling by me, sitting up and then starting over. I looked at Cierra and said, I don’t even know what to do with that. On top of all that, he woke up at 2AM and refused to go to sleep. Needless to say, all of us have adjusted to the time change, except Mylan. All of us (including Sienna) kept saying, Mylan…go to sleep!!! It was a ‘you had to have been there moment’, but it was pretty priceless for the family.
Now that the facts have been set straight, on to today shall we!
We woke up and had a glorious breakfast of eggs and Belgium bacon (one might call it Canadian bacon where we are from). One thing was for sure, it wasn’t American strip bacon. The kids loved it and it was a good starter for the day. We then decided to brave the metro and tram system. First, we set out for the Brussels Mid-Train Station (Gare di Mid). Keep in mind, this was a long walk, but all downhill. We kept watching Trams zip by us with the #81 on us, and decided that no matter, no matter we were taking that #81 back uphill later in the day.
We found our way pretty easily to the Train Station, and after navigating a few kiosk and train station personnel, we managed to find our way down to the Metro Train system. The kids were pumped, finally a train ride! We’ve only been promising Mylan for a few months now a train ride since he was ‘potty trained’. He thinks that potty training means potty train..ing. He’s asked us every day at least 10 times a day when he can go on the potty train. So Cierra and I were very thankful to scratch the first potty train ride off the list.
Luckily, we found our way right to the city center, just a few stops up and ascendeded right into a vision from memory, well before kids. Last time we were here, Sienna and Mylan were just a twinkle in our eyes. It’s been a while, but we didn’t miss a beat. We walked right to the Grand Palace, the good luck statue (rubbed a foot for good luck), meandered down the avenue to the Manneken Pis (the famous little statue of a boy peeing that goes through a daily costume change – this was by far the highlight of the days for the little ones), then across the street for lunch at a restaurant where Cierra and I sat just over 5 years ago before kids. Then we hit up the Jeanneke Pis (girl version of the Manneken), and then finally a Belgian Waffle topped with chocolate, whip cream and strawberries, shared by Mylan and Sienna. They somehow managed to become part of the attractions (as always) as tourists snapped pictures of them as they devoured their wondrous waffle!
In the middle of all this and not to be missed, Mommy and Daddy discovered that the annual Belgian Beer Festival is happening this weekend in the city center. Uh, where do we sign up…and we did. We received tokens for a glass, and bottle caps in exchange for beverages for the weekend. There is a parade, monks and city folk in traditional costume, bands and an amassed crowd to try Belgium’s Top 50 Breweries and more than 400 beers. Only we would stumble upon Brussels’s Beer’magedon, oh yeah! You know what we’ll be doing this weekend!!! After wearing the kids out, we hit the Metro and that #81 Tram back, right to our doorstep. Success in public transport navigation for the day! It was a fun day for both little and big people! More to come on this Belgian Adventure!