Antwerp Zoo China Lights

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Antwerp Zoo China Lights

Antwerp Zoo China Lights

The first week my 5-year old son was enrolled in Belgian school, he went on a field trip to the Antwerp Zoo. “But Mama, we didn’t take the tram, we took a school bus,” he jumped around like a kangaroo when I picked him up from school that day. He loved the zoo – the animals, the playground, the bus ride. A few months later, as he blew out his candles for his birthday, he wished the whole family could go to the Antwerp Zoo. On a chilly day in December, Sinterklaas rang our doorbell and scurried away on Amerigo

Continue Reading

LamberMontMartre

LamberMontMartre

The depressed clouds had been crying off and on all morning – their tears flooding our patio then drying just as quickly. Like a confused husband, we shrugged and decided to move forward with our plans. It was a once-a-month outdoor event (only occurring during the summer months, at that) and promises had been made to our daughter. We skipped the tram and drove into the city – to the free parking lot just a few blocks from the impressive but lonely museum. We’d seen the museum the week before – after a visit to Antwerp’s newest and (in my

Continue Reading

Alice

Alice

“Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland. Droplets of wax pool at the base of an antique candlestick holder. An orange flame breathes and extends towards the painted ceiling. Rows of teapots smile from the shelves – winking and whispering to the suiker and sucre jars across the dining room. Glistening chandeliers cast a glow over tea-sippers and bounce rays of warmth off walls the color of a rain-kissed rose. This is Alice. I’ve found my new favorite tearoom in Belgium. We’ve come to Gent for the GentseFeesten,

Continue Reading

Planckendael

Planckendael

The crush of cars choke the roadway. The children – shoulder-to-shoulder in their carseats in the backseat compete for dominance and attention. I press my head into my hand and stare out the passenger window. My husband grips the steering wheel and leans forward, willing the vehicles to move beyond the bottleneck traffic light. The green light allows us and one other car forward before teasing the others and flashing red. We take and left and are free! Only to gaze in horror at the packed parking lots, the cars jumping curbs and grinding to a halt in the weeds

Continue Reading

Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp Zoo

“The Antwerp Zoo is stunning, it’s really a botanical garden with animals,” a fellow expat friend told me last fall. “Have you been?” she asked. Despite the numerous times we’d visited Antwerp while living in the Netherlands, we never had taken the kids. Passed it plenty – it’s just steps from the Antwerp Centraal Train Station, but with daily prices at a rate of 19 Euros/child and 24 Euros/adult – 86 Euros just seemed like a lot to shell out in one go. Upon moving to Antwerp we quickly discovered the beauty of the zoo membership. For 189 Euros, the

Continue Reading

Waag

Waag

When I lived in the Netherlands, the Leiden Weigh house (De Waag), rich with history, stood vacant at the convergence of the Mare, Nieuwe and Oude Rijn canals. The building was originally opened in 1659, replacing the wooden structure that had stood on the site since 1455. Goods from cities around the Netherlands (think: cheese from Alkmaar or tulips from Lisse) were transported via the canals, and large cranes would unload the goods. The goods were then weighed and traded inside the building. The building itself was created in the Dutch Classicism style, which is similar to the town hall

Continue Reading

Beluso

Beluso

“Hum, how about Portuguese? It has five stars. . . and it’s just around the corner from the museum,” I raise an eyebrow to my husband. He grips the steering wheel and leans forward. Parking in Europe, the anticipation of the unknown, stresses him out.    “Like I said, it’s just around the corner from the museum,” I eye my phone, the Citadel park in Gent is coming up on our left. “Sounds great,” he exclaims and smiles when he comes upon a parallel parking spot the size of a moving truck outside the STAM museum.     We unload the

Continue Reading

Balls & Glory

Balls & Glory

Intrigued by the name, hungered by the concept, I made dates with Balls & Glory in multiple cities and I can attest – this isn’t just marketing. Balls & Glory satisfies the strongest of cravings, leaves you pining over an unforgettable experience, and calculating your return.   All play-on-words aside, meatballs are a tradition of Belgium and Balls & Glory takes this yummy goodness to a whole new level. Whereas most meatballs are small and smothered – Balls & Glory handmade meatballs are the size of a baseball and sauce fills the inside – resulting in a taste explosion! My

Continue Reading