Back to Brussels & Bruges (Sept 12-13)

Hamburg, Germany Wrap-Up

Just a few points to mention that my lovely wife missed before wrapping up Hamburg and back to discovering additional Belgium adventures….Well, Hamburg was a success!!

There for work, I was able to attend SMM – the biggest International Maritime show held in the world, once every 2 years in Hamburg, Germany. Work mission – meet as many new business contacts as possible which will eventually lead to more revenue for the company. Fun mission – have fun…as always! SMM was football field, after football field, after football field of companies, customer and exhibits. Everyday I would get up, walk to the show (about 30 minutes), be on my feet all day, literally all day (there was nowhere to sit in this place), and then walk back home (another 30 minutes). As I reached the door daily, I would buzz up to the 5th floor. Cierra ‘Is that you honey?’. Me…crying…’I can’t feel my feet’. Seriously I couldn’t, by the last day I was wore out. I had a box full of business cards and more ‘I’ll follow-up with you laters’ than I could shake a stick at. Coolest work thing related about the trip…at the show I received an exclusive invite to the US consulate to schmooze with other business associates and government officials. Drinks and hors’d’ovures on the house…oh yeah. The consulate in Hamburg is called the ‘little White House’ because the architectural design was modeled after the White House in DC. It was a formal event that did not fall short of it’s reputation, fun, fun, fun. Now about that train ride back yesterday…..yeah, about that, that was not so much fun.

September 12th – Hamburg, Germany to Brussels, Belgium

So we wake up (Friday morning), head to the train station and get our rail pass stamped, first of this trip, we officially have 2 months to now wear this thing out. The guy at the counter clearly was a) new or b) hated his job, because he gave us a haphazard print out schedule and somewhat friendly smile before sending us on our way. After looking at the schedule, I knew there was something that didn’t feel/look right, but this guy is the rail expert, not me, right?!?!? Well, apparently, we shouldn’t sell ourselves short and know more about this train riding in Europe thing than we think. We are a little rusty but after this journey yesterday, have certainly shaken off the cobwebs. After trips through Osnabruck, Germany, Amsterdam, Netherlands and then a fussing by the ticket agent on a Thalys line right before Rotterdam, we decided to jump off and right the ship. And right the ship we did, finally making it back to Brussels on one heck of a train riding day. Sienna’s comment as we exited our 7th train of the day (the Brussels metro) and made our way to our door, “Daddy, I love train rides, but not that many!” I about fell down laughing. “Me too honey, me too.”. Mylan on the other had was mad that the train riding was over for the day. There is at least a 4 train ride minimum for the day in his book. He’s always mad when we come back to Horta (our metro stop near the house), because it is then that he realizes we are home and through with train travel for the day. After dunking the kids for a bath to get off the train travel funk, we all passed out!

September 13th – Bruges, Belgium

Needing a little bit of a relaxing reset from yesterday’s hellacious train travel, we decided to head to Bruges. We have been to Bruges, but well before children. We were excited to share this amazing city with our newest additions to the Weatherly Family. To many, Bruges is know as the Venice of the North, and once again it did not disappoint. Just short of a 1 hour train ride West from Brussels towards the Atlantic ocean, Bruges stands a city made up of church spires, canals, green and rose colored ivy and medieval architectural design that instantly throws you back in time. Without missing a beat and remembering the way from many years ago, we exited the train station and hopped the bus to the old town. We wandered the streets, danced to a classical street performing band (only our kids break dance to classical music – check out those moves below), got lost in meandering streets, talked to locals, admired homes, sampled Belgium Chocolate and took an amazing boat ride that lasted well over 30 minutes through twisting canal ways and by sleeping dogs and relaxing residents and tourist, just happy to be out and about on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was an amazing day and as we sit here now, with the little ones fast asleep, we are excited as we discuss the many adventures that tomorrow, next week and next month might bring. All for tonight…we are tired and calling it quits for the day….until next time! Bonne nuit et que Dieu vous benisse..Au revoir.

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