What else is Belgium known for other than their fries (They are NOT French by the way), amazing chocolates, and their delicious waffles?!?
While in Belgium we stayed with some of Ashley’s family in the center of town. They had a lovely home that they opened their doors to and welcomed all of us into for the weekend. We woke up to a full fledged breakfast, great conversation, and laid out plans of touring us around the city for the day.
We ventured out into the city and had a personal guided walking tour from our hosts. They took us down the city streets getting samples from the thousands of chocolatiers and taking us to try the best hot chocolate you will ever have in your life. They offered to take us there with “Do you like hot chocolate? Well good, than this will ruin all other hot chocolate forever.” That it did.
The creamiest, most delicious hot chocolate ever. I HAD TO buy a container to bring home. I will be hoarding it and rationing portions so don’t get any ideas.
After our chocolate tour we ventured off to see “The Peeing Boy”. He has a different name in French, but it means the same thing so you get it. Legend has it that there was a boy who peed on the igniter of a bomb during one of the invasions or wars way back when and saved the entire city of Brussels. Therefore, they made a fountain of him. Can you guess where the water comes out?
They dress him up every week or even more frequently than that. I truly cannot remember. If you Google the statue you will see it in all of it’s millions of outfits it goes through.
Then it was time for Fries! We were blessed to get the “HolyFries” (we deemed them that) since they were from the stand outside of the church. They have all different sauces that you can dip them into but it seems that the favorite of the Belgian is mayo. I hate mayo, but let me tell you, it’s good on those fries. We also tried samarai sauce, and some spicy sauce, as well as plain ol’ ketchup. For some reason, our hosts told us, Belgium cannot make things spicy. Their’ hot is our mild, or non existent spiciness.
We walked the city streets, took a clear elevator up to the top of a building, then took the metro to the city arches. They are made after the Arch de Triumph in Paris.
Attached to the arches was a superbly cool history museum. They had all types of things from WWII and other military paraphernalia. They even had a giant hangar full of planes, helicopters, and fighter jets. They stuffed it full with everything you can imagine. It was like the Air and Space Museum in D.C.
We walked up 19 flights of stairs (all spiral) to the top of the arches and looked over the city of Brussels. What a cool day.
The two pictures below show a house that is right around the corner from where we stayed. On the ground in front of the door is a golden plate. An artist in Europe goes around finding the history of different Jewish people and researching their stories. The woman whose name is on the plate was living in this house during the holocaust, hiding. She was found, and ended up dying in Auschwitz. The artist does this around Europe, telling people’s stories who would have other wise never been told. It was pretty heavy on the heart to walk past this place. Can you even imagine? What an awesome artist.
We headed back to the house after that to freshen up and rest up for a full night ahead. Friends of our hosts were hosting a barbecue at their house outside of the city and invited all of us to attend. All in attendance were American. We took the Metro to the end of the line and the gracious hosts came to pick us up. Unfortunately we had 7 people to fit into a car made for 5 so two of us had to volunteer to climb into the trunk. Yep, yours truly was one of them!
It was a very cramped and bumpy ride. I hit my head on the ceiling and glass window multiple times over bumps and I am pretty sure that I lost all feeling in my left side for a little while. Ha! It was an adventure!
When we arrived at the party I thought that we had stepped into Home and Garden magazine. The house, lawn, and decorations were beautiful. IT was all decorated for the fourth of July so it felt like we were celebrating a week early. Just without the fireworks.
The night was lovely, fun, and delicious. Everyone was extremely welcoming to us and so very kind. We felt right at home and relaxingly comfortable. We even roasted S’mores in the fire outside. How very American of us!
After dinner and conversation we jumped back into the car (not in the trunk this time) back to the metro and made our way through downtown. We stopped at a local hot spot bar that was in the Guinness Book of World Records some time ago for having 2004 beers on tap. Holy cow! This place, Delirium, was bumpin’. You could completely tell that the legal drinking age was only 16 as everyone around us seemed to look like little siblings to me.
We geared up back at the house after that, sent mom to bed (Where I TRULY wanted to be) talked to my husband for five minutes over FaceTime (whom I am missing, terribly!) before my phone call was sabotaged, and then headed back out to get a taste of the night life in Brussels.
We danced the night away at one place where the music and people watching were truly hilarious. Every song was a 90’s American song (I wanna dance with somebody, Queen, Bon Jovi, and even Ghostbusters) that every single local in the place knew the words to. It made for an extremely good time. Another fun thing about Europeans is that they could care less what they look like to anyone else around them. They dance their heart out and love every minute of it. I loved it. I did not love it anymore when it was 3:30, my feet and hands were swollen like I was 9 months pregnant, and I was dripping in sweat from no air conditioning. I gladly crawled into bed at 4:30am (This was torture) and I didn’t wake up until 10:30am the next morning.
Sunday was full of another wonderful breakfast. These American really know how to host.
All the party goers from the night before were pooped out and not having any kind of action for the day. I got ready to head out and Mom, Jennie our host, and I ventured through the city streets again in search of Belgian chocolates to bring home to our loved ones.
I am so happy that we ventured out. We were able to see the local street festival that had started that morning and see the bustling business of the city. People were everywhere. There were tents set up with arts and crafts for kids, games to play, things to buy, and everything else that you can imagine. Oh yes, balloons. There were a ton of balloons EVERYWHERE!
We went in and out of the shops sampling the worlds best chocolate. No, I have not been around the world, but this chocolate is on an entirely different level than anything else that I have experienced in my life. It melts in your mouth guys. Literally, it’s melting in your mouth chocolate. You have to experience this for yourselves!
After a couple of hours we decided to head back to the house. Then Jennie, our host, remembered we hadn’t tried a true Belgian waffle yet and told us to stuff it down our throats even if we weren’t hungry.
You can get these waffles covered in fruit, Nutella, whipped cream, and everything else. But Jennie told us that the very best way is to get it plain and savor every morsel because the true taste of a Belgian waffle needed nothing else to compliment it. She was right. Oh sweet heaven, these things are good.
Forget any waffle you have had in your life. These things are moist, sweet, and delicious. I would eat them every day if I lived here. They are that good!
Go to Belgium guys. There is so much to look forward to on your trip!