This past week we had our 1st visitor!!! She’s going to get on me for saying this, but it was a surprise. 😜 We had talked about several dates for her to come, but we never completely confirmed when. So it was a surprise on Monday when I received a text from her that she was in NYC waiting for her connection to come to Bruxelles.
Below is a snapshot of our time together and the trips we took:
Tuesday August 23rd: The day Betty arrived I forced her to attend my weekly workout class, Brussels Max Interval Training (BMIT), in Parc du Cinquantenaire. She loved it, and I almost died!
Wednesday August 24th: We took a day trip to Ghent. We walked the city for a few hours, grabbed lunch, and toured the Castle of the Counts. When touring Ghent make sure you purchase the fresh cuberdons! They are soft vs what you will buy in the grocery store. They can be found in the city center sold in carts outside. You can get 5 for 5 euros. While we were visiting there was a local fair going on with tents up selling fresh veggies/food, wine/beer, meat/cheese, fruit. For visiting hours for the castle visit: https://gravensteen.stad.gent/en
Thursday August 25th: We took a 1/2 day trip to Düsseldorf, Germany. The drive is an easy 2hrs. While there we walked in Altstadt or “old town” and checked out the beautiful board walk filled with cute restaurants that have a great view of the Rhine River. While in this area make sure you grab the infamous frozen yogurt at Yomaro. The place ALWAYS had a line coming out the door. It’s worth the wait! http://yomaro.de
After relaxing and grabbing a snack we headed to the Museum Kunstpalast. http://www.smkp.de/en/ It was a beautiful museum filled with a mixture of modern art, sculptures, prints and drawings, + was featuring of Glasmuseum featuring my favorite artist Chihuly.
Friday August 26th: Today I gave Beth the 1/2 day condensed tour of Brussels. I took her to Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Sablon, Avenue Louis, and Matongé. I was grateful she was down to walk so she could get an even better perspective of the city.
After a long day of walking we had tennis and dinner scheduled with Franck, Bridgette, Ted, and Wil. It was her first time playing on clay and our first time on the court together since college. ❤️
Saturday August 27th: We traveled to Paris to spend the weekend! I think we covered in 2 days what most people see in a week, and we have the steps to prove it! 😜
For our one night stay we chose to stay at the Hotel des Comédies. It had great access to the metro that provided direct routes to all locations we visited. Price was reasonable + included breakfast. http://www.hoteldescomedies.com
We arrived in Paris Saturday afternoon, checked into our hotel then headed to Notre Dame. We took the free tour of the church + paid extra to visit the Treasury. Unfortunately, everything in the Treasury was written in French, not allowing for us to completely understand what each object was.
After touring the Notre Dame and it’s grounds we stopped for lunch where Wil and his sister Pamela joined us. We grabbed a bite to eat a place several blocks walking distance from the church. Le Metro. https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d7282685-Reviews-Le_Metro-Paris_Ile_de_France.html While the reviews aren’t very kind, we found the food and the service to be good. Good enough to come back to should we be back in the same area.
Following lunch, we headed to the Arc de Triomphe. From there we walked the Champs Elysees and ended up at Wil and my favorite spot to grab dessert and people watch, Uni Six. It’s definitely overpriced, but the pistachio macaroon dessert is worth the 11 euros you will pay for it. Would only go here for dessert, as reviews for other food is dismal.
Fortunately, the Eiffel Tower is only a 15 min walk from Champs Elysees. The walk there is beautiful with streets lined with boutiques, hotels, and restaurants. Due to the consistent terrorist attacks in France, the government has added new security for those wanting to visit the Eiffel Tower. They now have gates surrounding the area with individual security checks before you are allowed near the tower. Although this change makes the tower feel less welcoming, it has not stopped the large flow of tourists from visiting.
After walking through the Eiffle Tower and walking up the stairs of the Palais de Chaillot for a better view, we headed to dinner.
For a late night meal, we headed back towards the hotel and ended up at a restaurant chain in Paris called Indiana. http://www.indianacafe.fr The drinks (mojitos) & wings were absolutely DELISH. We will be back!
Sunday August 28th: After a light breakfast at the hotel of fresh pastries, cheese, yogurt, and assorted drinks we headed out to take on the Louvre. Long story short the museum won. We thought we were ready…we drafted a plan upon entrance, but we under estimated how many pieces of art there would be. The place has the most diverse and thorough collection of artifacts, statues, paintings, furniture I have ever seen. We were there walking non-stop for 3 hours and only covered 2 floors of 1 wing + the Mona Lisa. I’m grateful I can say we did it, but will not be back for a while. LOL
After walking ourselves to exhaustion we headed back to our hotel to grab lunch before we hit the road. Would definitely recommend Delaville for lunch + they have an interesting history. 😉 http://delavilleparis.com
Having Betty here for the week with us was perfect. I look forward to her return hopefully sometime later this year or early next so we can explore more of Europe together! Love you and miss you already guh!❤️