Last week was good, although I was getting a little stir crazy without the internet. Friday we decided to go "out," and realized that the students here are NUTS. They all go out, and I mean ALL...so we got a little annoyed with that, and are thankful we don't live in the centre now! Most of the students that go out are in their teens...so you can imagine the noise :) On Saturday, we went to Maastricht to shop around and have lunch. We had a really fun afternoon--although I was definitely tempted with all of the shopping. We happened on another festival, and decided to come back on Sunday when we had time to enjoy it. We had dinner plans with Stephen's coworker Pierre-Franciose and his wife on Saturday evening. We had a really nice time! I tried duck pate...which did NOT sit well, but had a really nice meal and enjoyed talking and getting to know them a little better. Sunday we drove to Maastricht and enjoyed the "Taste of Europe" festival. They had a bunch of booths set up with various foods from around Europe. It was mostly an older crowd, but we had a nice time. Today I have an interview with the language school...keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer...I need a day job :)
the Gran Central (or the train station) and watched a few trains load up and leave. We had a quaint lunch and then a romantic dinner on the "Rue de Bouchers," a very popular dining street, with restaurants spilling over each other. Stephen surprised the heck out of me, we had seafood and he tried clams, mussels, ate crawfish, shrimp and rice! He was a very happy boy until the clams. He almost vomited (see pic)! All in all it was a fabulous day, and we'll
You polled, we delivered! Our first trip was to Brussels, Belgium. We left yesterday to fulfill a day's itinerary I had planned, where we visited the touristy places as well as some local delights! We had a great time! The weather was a little chillier than I would liked, but we couldn't complain. We started the day off walking through the Grand Place (town square). It's magnificent, and stately. They do a "carpet of flowers" every even year, so next year we'll have to go and take pictures. We saw some post cards with what it will look like,
and you'll die! Stay tuned. We then headed down to the disappointedly small "peeing child" fountain (Mannekin Pis). I'm not talking about his "endowdness," moreso the entire piece. I was expecting a statuesque fountain, and it was a corner piece--and covered in costume to honor the voted "Best Beer in Brussels." Apparently, the poor boy has many different costumes: santa, devil, graduate, pig, spaniard, tourist, etc. for different times of the year and different festivals. Speaking of festivals, we didn't realize that this weeking marked the middle of a music festival in Brussels. We looked
to see if we recognized any of the bands, wishful thinking I guess. We didn't, but Rihanna is going to be there in a few weeks...might come back for that :) We left the little guy and made our way to the American embassy. We found a lot of cool buildings on our way, including a wonderful waffle shop (see pic) that produced some serious waffles. It kind of made me sick to imagine having those all the time! We also
found many wonderful cathedrals on our way. The architecture and stained glass in these churches is phenomenal! I was taken back...and stayed in there for quite a while! (Mom...didn't light a bunch of candles praying for snow--I've learned a little since that time!) We finally found our way to the American embassy, found the Palace of the Nations and the Grand Palais, which were both amazing. There is a park that Gracie would love to roll in separating the two, which reminded me of Central Park. Very beautiful. On our way back to the main square, we toured
definitely go back!!
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I usually go to the local supermarket, just down the street. But we had to go on an expedition to find a clothes hanger/dryer w/ clothespins thingy. So we went to a Cora-like place, called Carrefour. It's wonderful! On our search, we found a few native things we thought you all would like. For our resident dog owners, I found a new bone for Gracie and Bella to share :) It's a little too big for just one of them, but together they should be able to handle it! For our resident beer drinkers...you can get a case of 24 Jupilers (local, but good!) for $8 euros. You can also get the mini-kegs shown below for about $5 euros. Now the green specimin is cheese...this is frommage I don't even think Patrick would eat Veronique! And lastly, if you are like most Liegians, you can get your smokes in a quaint little vending machine, right at the register! So convenient :) And...for all you TEXANS! They have Old El Paso taco and salsa stuff...but we bought the salsa and it tastes like ketchup with gum. Weird!
August 15th in Liege is a BIG deal!
Across the Meuse, the river that runs through the middle of Liege, is Outremeuse. The town is famous for it's puppet shows, the marionette sort. These puppets and theatre shows seem to be local legends, and the festival is in honor of them! It began after work on the 14th, the parade began at 2pm on the 15th, and from what I hear the Liegians party until the wee hours of the 16th. Belgium declares the 15th a work holiday, so it gets pretty rowdy! Stephen and I went after work on Tuesday, and it was crowded, but not terribly. We wandered around, took pictures of things we saw that were interesting (as you can see here) and ate dinner--yes, it was ANOTHER brat for Stephen. The local drink here, Peket, is served at almost every tent. Some tents boast they have 40 different flavors, others serve trays of 5 or 6 different flavors. It's pretty wild. There were carnival rides for the kids, brasseries for the adults, and concerts for people of all ages. It was a lot of fun. We decided to go home, after wandering in the rain for an hour or so, around 10:30. Little did we know, the party doesn't even start until minuit (12am) or after! We slept in on Wednesday, and around lunchtime headed back over to the party! The parade was a long awaited adventure (about an hour late and not very well organized) but it was GREAT! There were huge puppets, kids bands, polka dancers, you name it! We had lunch there, and enjoyed the afternoon of sunshine before heading back for a nap on Stephen's day off! I love these random days off (well, random to us) and festivals! I could get used to pony rides and cotton candy! :) We've included some funny wardrobe findings...hope you enjoy those as well! The rain hit last night, and it seems its going to continue all day. I'm trying to find a break so I can go run...we'll see! Hope everyone is doing well! We're still stocking our archive of hair styles, I didn't forget!
The following are various options of House Mascots we have seen at the Market! Let us know which one you think we should purchase...but know they will be released when the girls get here :) You can vote on the poll on the right!