Friday, January 22, 2010


This past weekend we took advantage of both an Easyjet sale and my in-laws' hospitality and hopped a plane to (less-than) sunny Brussels for some frites, waffles, touristing, beer and family togetherness.

We arrived a couple hours later than we had planned thanks to flight delays but all of our travel-stress vanished as we were greeted with a Southwestern-inspired meatloaf and cheesy-chili-rice - mmmm!

The next day we all slept in a bit late. Once everyone was awake and dressed and fed, we ran some errands and did some shopping. We ended up at a huge culinary store that sold pretty much every food-related item available in the history of all things nom-worthy. Behind the butcher counter, a hoof beckoned from the Spanish ham it was still attached to. The muddled scents of the cheese counter almost knocked me blissfully out. Rumor has it the chocolate aisle glows with an inner light and someone mentioned hearing harps while passing through... but I couldn't make it past the cheese and chips and crackers. Among other things, I found red onion chutney kettle chips that were luscious as well as bacon-cream-stuffed crackers that we actually forgot to eat!!!

On Saturday we awoke in a more timely manner as we had "things to do" and "places to see." We figured out the bus and the subway and headed to the downtown area. We checked out the Grand Place before heading to the Musical Instrument Museum, which was really well done. Upon arrival, you're given a pair of headphones. As you walk from exhibit to exhibit, the headphones play bits of music related to the display you're looking at. In an effort to stall on our return to the cold just a bit longer, we had lunch at the museum's restaurant, where Mr K learned that "filet americain" is Belgian-French for "steak tartare" which is Switzerland-French for "MEGA raw cow - moo moo." Mega-tasty raw cow, that is...

After lunch, the parents headed back home to care for the doggies while Mr K and I went off in search of a brewery my touristy book mentioned was worth touring. We only had a vague idea of where to find it, so we did some wandering through some of the more colorful parts of the city before finding it. The first thing that hit me was the smell - like plants and rain and peppery mold, but in a pleasant, nose-tingling way. The tour was self-guided and finished with a taste of two of their beers. I'm not a beer drinker, so Mr K won out on this one as I took a sip of my two beers, made the requisite "yucko" face and passed them to him. We got a tee shirt and a pack of beer to take back and share with the parents and made our way home for dinner - mmmmm veggie soup!

On Sunday, we headed back out in search of the Comic Strip Museum. It was fascinating to see so many original pages by so many different artists - the shrunk-down printed page does not even begin to do justice to the colors and lines and details in these originals. Comics (generally of the non-super-hero variety) seem to be much more popular here. The book shop in our mall has a whole hallway of the large-sized hardback format that is the most popular here. Sadly, they are expensive - usually 15-20 dollars/francs per book - a far cry from the 2.50-4$ soft copies in the US. Despite the price, I'm tempted to pick up a few for the French practice. After the museum, we met a friend who showed off the Mannekin Pis before taking us to a pub, where Mr K tried a variety of beers while I sipped a couple of the fruitier variety. I was interested to find that each beer comes in its very own distinct glass, no two beers alike. Our favorite was the Kwak glass. After a couple hours of sipping and catching up, we went for a short, waffle-punctuated walk before heading home for some hot chili and a rousing loss-er-game of Trivial Pursuit, Ancient Edition. I forgot how much fun that game is, even when you have no idea what the answers are!

The next day we headed back to Switzerland, stopping first at possibly the greatest art supply store I have ever seen in my life. We left with only four new pens, thanks to our already-stuffed backpacks. (Oh yeah - I forgot to mention we took only backpacks this trip - I felt so Euro-backpackerly!) At the airport we took advantage of Switzerland's not being part of the EU to hit duty-free for some chocolates. Back home, we cuddled the cats and collapsed to dream of frites.

And waffles.

1 comment:

Katie said...

sounds like you had a good time! i think i would have enjoyed the comic strip museum! your blog posts make me soooooo hungry!