May 16, 2014

Europe with a Toddler, Part 2: Brussels, Belgium

Here we are!  Part 2 of our 5 part Europe travel series, chronicling our whirlwind of an awesome trip to Europe last month.  If you missed it, see Europe with a Toddler, Part 1: Paris, France {here}.

Today I'm sharing our Brussels, Belgium photos with you.  We only got to stay in Brussels for a few hours as it was a quick pit stop in our drive from Paris to our friends' house in Germany, but I'm ever so glad we did stop because had we not we would have missed one of the most breathtaking vistas in all of Europe.  That vista, you ask...the Grand Place.  It's the central square of Brussels and it's surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture you'll ever see.

 (I promise, she's almost happy here)

Random traveling-with-kids tip: As much as fluorescent colors can make your eyes bleed, it's worth putting your kids in bright colors when you travel abroad.  They're so much easier to spot quickly!  For example...below.

 Belgian selfie time!

It's usually not worth it to eat on the most touristy plazas in Europe - the upcharge is at least double what you'd pay compared to a cafe just a few blocks away from the hubbub - but I can say it was WORTH IT to experience a little bite with this view.

Because you can't leave Belgium without experiencing a Belgian waffle, we indulged.  And, because they're famous for their chocolate too, why not add that on top??

Not to rub it in...yes, it tastes even better than it looks.  Not to rub it in even more...yes, my people are cute.

Here's a photo of the City Hall building in the Grand Place that was constructed in the 1400s!  That's right folks, Columbus hadn't even found his pretty little way over here to North America by the time this baby was near finished...sadly, the timeworn patina of architectural beauty like this is something we simply do not get to experience here in the States.

Although it's a seemingly unnecessary annoyance to pay to use the bathroom at most restaurants in Europe (like a Euro a squat!), sometimes you get worthwhile opportunities to climb the stairs to the bathrooms and take photos like this from above.

One of my favorite family pics from the trip...  (Thank you Instagram filter!)

Here are a few wikipedia pics of the Grand Place - to help you take it all in - because I didn't have a wide angle viewfinder on my iPhone.  It's honestly jaw-dropping in its splendor.


They install the above "flower carpet" display in August every two years.  It's made up of begonia flowers arranged in an intricate floral design.  We didn't get to see it, but I would love to see that in person someday.

We also didn't get to see the Grand Place at night, but it looks truly spectacular glowing with lights at dusk in the photo above.

Although we were only in Brussels for a short time, it was long enough to want to go back and experience so much more of the beautiful country.  It's back on my long list for sure!!  We at least have to go back and see the peeing statue, being that it's bucket list material and all...

Next week, I'll share our small town Germany and small town Netherlands photos...til then!


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