Category Archives: Belgium Year Two

Mons living…

Me right now dancing around the airport because I’m finally en route to meet my grandson Torin the Terrible!  Cannot flipping wait.

Work has been busy, busy, busy, but now I have my week off, all is well.  I survived Homecoming week.

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I’m the accidental junior sponsor this year, which meant overseeing a lunch, Homecoming nominations, the votes, and the big dance.  It was a lot of work, but thanks to some awesome parents and kids it all went off without a hitch.

Things have been busy in Mons as well.  The leaves are turning and the temps are finally cooling down.  Just last week we were still in the 70s.  Our backyard is all confused.  The rose bush is still budding while the tree and ivy are turning color.

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Pic not of my backyard, but of the ivy in a nearby park.

Mons is also gearing up for its 100th anniversary of the WW1 armistice.  This poor city got hit hard during both world wars, and they take the ending of both wars seriously.  The Grand Place has been rehearsing bits and pieces of its amazing light show that premiered last night.  It’s the story of a young soldier and how the war affected Mons.  It will air twice a night through Nov 11, and it’s quite moving.  I’ll try to do a better job of portraying it again.  For now here’s a few shots

 

The spot lights from our park and apartment are also pretty cool.  Looks like we’re being invaded by aliens.

There’s plenty more I can share, but I’ve got to head on over to my gate and wait to board plane one of Oma’s wild ride to Torin.  Next up?  Baby pics!

It’s been a minute…

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We haven’t fallen into an abyss; we’ve just been busy, busy, busy.  Before I fill you in on what we’ve been up to, let me photo blast you the latest addition to my family who is born on 8/18/18.  He’s been raising hell and breaking hearts since the minute he became my daughter’s son.  I get to hold the little cutie on October 27th.  I cannot wait!

 

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This child has no idea how much we’re all going to spoil him.  Oh I soooo hope he and his parents can come visit this summer — oh and when he’s a little older, Christmas!  Europe is so magical around Christmas time.  Okay, it’s always magical, but uber lit in December.

Tickets are booked for Kyle and his girlfriend to visit during Christmas, so I’m also excited about that.

We’ve been busy with visitors actually.  In August we had too much fun with Jordan, in September Joe’s friend Brian came for a week and those two had a great time touring Normandy, and then last week my friend Marna popped in for a few days.

 

Showing off Belgium to visiting friends:  beer, waffles, Brugge, outdoor markets, Mons Tanks in Town and the Belfry.

We’ve also been whooping it up with our friends in Belgium as well.  There’s just so much going on this time of year.  We checked out the flower carpet in Brussels, had too many laughs doing a pub crawl in Brussels, had quite a few Grand Place days, and were mesmerised at the Fire Symphonie in Viller’s Abbaye.  Baroque music and acts in the abby ruins, lit up only by candles and fire.  It was truly amazing.  I hope they do it again next year.

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LOL my crazy peeps tailgating before the big event.  My pictures don’t do the symphony justice.  The musicians, the dancers, the fire acrobatics, lol and the horse act all on a brisk night amidst the ruins of our past.  Villers Abbey is one of my favorite places to go near Brussels.  We’re signing up for more of their experiences!

 

A bizarre in Germany, the shopping street in Mons and the flower carpet in Brussels.

There’s so much more to share, but I can’t think of it all.  Living in Belgium is such a treat for us.  I know there will come a day when we have to leave here, but for now we’re inhaling it all as much as we can.  There’s pretty much a festival or some sort of fun event going on every weekend until after Christmas.  Then we’ll have the dark, cold days of January and February to snuggle up at home, and then before you know it Spring kicks in, and we’re back outdoors whooping it up.

Work has been super busy, so this weekend we decided to just chill in Mons, and lo and behold there was a pumpkin festival…

 

Camembert with pumpkin and flowers, and those birds and flowers are carved squash and pumpkins!  Yum yum.

 

While sitting at our favourite cafe pub Excelsior, this happened! I wish I could tell you who the fur men shaking bells were, but all I know is when they finished performing the masks came off, fur stayed on, and they found their spot in the Grand Place and drank beer with the rest of us.  This is Mons:  Past and Present; Paganism and Christianity all meld together and enjoy a good beer when the sun is out (which has been quite a lot actually)!

I’m slammed at work the next few weeks, and then I’m off to visit the grand baby, but I’ll try to post more frequently again.  And, Badger is ticked at me for not putting the woof in his blog, so I’ll work on that soon as well.  Until then Happy Autumn!

Last Days of Summer…

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Tomorrow I go back to work officially.  Days of staying up late and lounging on the balcony, on the Grand Place, on the couch, on the wherever/whenever I want are over (well, except for weekends!).

I’m glad we returned to Belgium two weeks before going back to work because we’ve had a lot of fun touring here — despite the heatwave — and showing off our hood to new friends (and old).

Bought chocolate in Brugge, beer at Orval Abbey, beer at Villers Abbey, sipped wine at The Abbey where friends live, and ate food all over the place.  It’s been good.

Some Orval shots for you…

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FYI Dog lovers: dogs cannot enter this abby, but they can hang with you in the nearby restaurant.

My favorite Orval pic:  Lord knows I’m going to need someone to hold me up the next few weeks!

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I really enjoyed Viller’s Abbey, which is less than an hour’s drive from Mons (less than that from Brussels).  Josh and Roger, friends of ours, suggested it since we could bring Badger on the grounds, and we’re so glad they did.

The whole area is worth it.  Tourists reading this, I highly recommend you give it a whirl.  It’s a maze of ruins and gardens, which you can get at just about all of the Abbys, but it’s a short drive and not as well known, so way less people.  It also has stage set ups and events planned throughout the year.  Mid-September there will be some sort of ghost walk and the end of September includes a fire symphony, which we’re totally going to.

Outside the Abby grounds are more walking trails, cafes and goodies to explore — including a “Dog Bar” for Badger.

Some Villers Abby shots for you.  LOL, yes there’s a disco ball in them ruins.

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Click here for Badger’s “Shits & Barkles” take on the day.

We also enjoyed cooking out where Mini and Leah, more friends, live. Their apartments are on old abby grounds.  I’ve been there quite a few times, and this is the first time I walked the grounds.  It’s beautiful, and Lo and behold we discovered there’s actually a No Frog zone.

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Frogs say pooh on that because we saw all kinds of baby ones hopping about.

Life never gets boring here, which is a good thing because my next vacation isn’t until November when I’ll finally get to meet my first grandchild (he or she is due August 28, come on lil one!  The world awaits your chaos).

And, I haven’t totally let go of Brazil yet.  LOL a piece of it is on my dining room table.

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Beach wraps make great table cloths!

Well, it’s noon and I’m starving, so time to get out on the Grand Place and nibble on something like this…

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I’m never getting thin again…

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