a few firsts and some old favorites

Happy Easter, my friends!

He is Risen!  I have been singing some old Easter hymns from the Mondamin United Methodist Church days on repeat today, and BC is loving it! 🙂  We had a few “Easter Eggs” for breakfast this morning (also known as scrambled), and we have been doing some “Spring Cleaning” as well, despite the cold and earlier snow flurries that would suggest Spring is not here yet.  We are probably going to be eating multiple pounds of chocolate today, since I am unable to control myself at the local bakeries when the chocolates are decorated so cute!  Also, thanks to a package that just arrived from BC’s parents, we have some reese’s peanut butter bunnies and our favorite party mix too!!  We are hoping that our church from home posts their sermon podcast today as well, so we can listen to it tonight!

One of our treats and the surprise inside!

One of our treats and the surprise inside!

Some of you may have seen via Facebook or Instagram that we made a little road trip this weekend too.  Indeed, we did.  BC had Friday off, so we grabbed some coca-cola lights, croissants, and our sunglasses and got out on the open road.  Destination: Brugge, Belgium.  BC had surprised me with the trip as a “thank you for being patient while I have been swamped at work” gift.  I think he deserved a little get-away too!

We made our way South through The Netherlands and then crossed the boarder into Belgium (a very uneventful crossing – didn’t even realize in time to take a photo).  It was evident that we had crossed over, however, because the roads in Belgium were terrible, and we had to pay a six euro toll!  The only remotely cool (and terrifying) part was that they had several tunnels that went under waterways.  That was a first for us…

You know you are in The Netherlands when...

You know you are in The Netherlands when…

I-80?  Is that you?

I-80? Is that you?

Just to prove that we were going under water - here is our GPS screen.

Just to prove that we were going under water – here is our GPS screen.

It was in our 4th tunnel or so that we heard an interesting noise…  After a second we realized that it was DEFINITELY coming from our car.  We pulled over in a terrible spot just outside a busy tunnel and alongside an off-ramp to check it out.  And that’s when we realized another first was upon us…flat tire in a foreign country!  Completely in shock, BC went to put up our little warning triangle (a requirement in Belgium) and I walked down to a random emergency phone alongside the road that looked like this:

Luckily they have these everywhere.

Luckily they have these everywhere.

Side note – I went into emergency/repairman mode, so I didn’t take ANY photos of this happening.  (a great disappointment later on.)  I asked the man that answered on the phone if we were able to stay in that location and change our tire (which I’m sure he thought was a dumb question given that I was at a roadside phone put there for people who might be stuck in that very spot).  Later, the truth came out and BC had assumed and hoped that I was calling for help to come to us.  But no, I have changed a tire in my day, and I knew we could do it!  With my wisdom and BC’s brut strength, we were able to get the tire changed (seriously took us about 25 minutes).

After the successful change, we sat in the car trying to determine our next course of action.  We were only about 40 km from our destination, so we decided to just go for it (slowly though – given the max of 80 km/hr on our donut tire) and figure out something when we got to our hotel.  Luckily, we made it without further issues and our hotel receptionist was extremely helpful.  She called a local tire shop for us and let them know we were coming.  They were able to give us a used tire that was similar to ours in order to get us back to Holland the following day, but we will have to get new tires this week.  We had anticipated much more difficulty in getting it replaced, so we were very appreciative of the helpful tire guys.

Isn't that donut a beauty?!

Isn’t that donut a beauty?!

The tire shop where we made a quick pit stop.

The tire shop where we made a quick pit stop.

Well, with that mess behind us…we got to exploring the beautiful, quaint city of Brugge!  I’m just going to post a ton of photos because we mostly wandered around taking them on Friday afternoon.

Volkswagen Waffle Stand!

Volkswagen Waffle Stand!

The Belfry - You could climb the 33 floors to the top of the tower - we opted for not.

The Belfry – You could climb the 33 floors to the top of the tower – we opted for not.

Hey look - it's us!

Hey look – it’s us!

Inside the main square.

Inside the main square.

A nice reminder of Good Friday.

A nice reminder of Good Friday.

IMG_5832-19

Loved all the old brick combos.

Loved all the old brick combos.

IMG_5842-22 IMG_5865-30 IMG_5878-32 IMG_5883-35

After wandering around, we stopped at a cafe off the main square for a drink and some grub.  Leave it to the Belgian’s to have a beer glass that has to be placed in a wooden stand because it has a round bottom!  That was fun. 🙂  But after a crazy day of travels and a couple (strong) brews, we decided to call it an early night back at the hotel.

Look at these things!

Look at these things!

We were up and rolling early on Saturday morning…starting with a lovely breakfast at the hotel (included in our rate).  We always enjoy an “American-style” buffet that includes crispy bacon, so we were pleased!  Then back out for more exploring, which was great given the low amount of spectators out and about at that point. Here are some more photos!

The "Tour of Flanders" bike race was starting in Brugge on Sunday, so that city was preparing!

The “Tour of Flanders” bike race was starting in Brugge on Sunday, so the city was preparing!

I believe this is the city hall.

I believe this is the city hall.

IMG_5900-42

Preparing for a big day.

Preparing for a big day.

Still a little sleepy.

Still a little sleepy.

IMG_5918-46 IMG_5923-48

How would you like this to by your back yard!?

How would you like this to by your back yard!?

photo-42

I want this door.

I want this door.

We randomly stumbled upon the coolest and craziest Saturday market ever!  Wish we lived near this, because we would visit often.  Check it out:

Sausages

Sausages

This one had EVERYTHING meat.  They even had a rotisserie going in the back.

This one had EVERYTHING meat. They even had a rotisserie going in the back.

Eggs, pancakes, bread.

Eggs, pancakes, bread.

CHEESE.

CHEESE.

Olives, upon olives, upon olives...  I would be in heaven here (only the green ones though).

Olives, upon olives, upon olives… I would be in heaven here (only the green ones though).

Then it was time for some old favorites again…Belgian Waffles and Chocolates!!  We also visited a couple of the famous Brugge lace shops.

Agreed.

Agreed.

YUMMMMMM

YUMMMMMM

AMAZING

AMAZING

IMG_5898-40

This was cool shop to browse through quick.

We headed back to the hotel for check-out and to get the car.  I wish I would have taken a photo of this experience as well…  We made about a twenty-point turn trying to back out of the tightest corner spot possible in the underground parking garage.  Then we took the “car elevator” back up to ground level.  Yes, we sat in our car as it was raised two floors – an odd feeling first for us.  (I’m not a huge fan of enclosed spaces…)

All and all, a great trip and some much-needed quality time spent together!!

Hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them all.

Starting to plan the details of our summer visitors – getting excited!!!

Until next time,
-MK-

Advertisements