Last summer, Dave and I traveled to Paris to visit my best friend and her husband. Her Husband, Oren, is French and has lived right outside of the city his entire life. The main reason we decided to visit was of course so I could be reunited with Allison again, but we knew a taste of Europe would then be with us forever. Since Oren has his own car, we were able to see all of Paris is a day. This left 8 days of wandering, shopping and more traveling! When we began planning our trip, I spoke with Allison about the multiple places we could visit when we arrived. The top two on our list were Belgium and The Netherlands. We decided on Brussels and Amsterdam when we arrived.
The night before we left for our road trip, we booked a hotel in Brussels about 10 minutes from the city. It was only 55 Euros, so we weren’t expecting very much. After driving about 2 hours, we arrived! Can I just say how it blows my mind that traveling from country to country is just like driving from state to state in America? That is crazy awesome! As to our surprise the hotel we were staying in was amazing. It was also the top pick for TomorrowLand guests that were not camping. As soon as I walked in the lobby I found the desk where festival goers checked-in for their festival transportation. Talk about wanting to cry? I can’t believe I didn’t realize they were happening at the same time!
The 4 of us checked in and made plans to meet back in the lobby in an hour. We ventured up the stairs (seriously, 4 flights with no elevator?) and found out our room was huge. I couldn’t believe we got all of that for 55 Euros!
After changing we were off to explore the city. I instantly fell in love. Everything was beautiful and filled with culture. We stumbled upon an area surrounded by 5 castles and decided to have lunch. Allison, Oren and Dave were excited for mussels, but I was more excited for the beer! We ordered the flight sampler and were able to discover the best beers I have ever had. Some were flavored like cherry and peach, and I crave them every week. I was very happy with my choice to drink as much of it as I could during our day and a half visit. After lunch we walked around a little more, and Allison and Oren decided to head back to the hotel to rest up, while Dave and I explored some more. I really enjoyed these few hours of aimlessly walking around exploring such a beautiful city. We took breaks and sat in parks, gardens and on curbs just to take in everything around us. We really had a wonderful time. We ended our few hours in the same spot we started between the castles. We grabbed some chocolates and a bottle of wine and waited for Allison and Oren.
After everyone was well rested we went to a corner bar around our hotel for some drinks and snacks before changing for going out that evening. I really wish I had taken pictures of this area because it is the time I think about most when reflecting on Brussels. All of the seating was outdoors, with tables and lounge chairs and people passing by on bikes or walking dogs. We had such an amazing experience. A party bus even passed us with people dancing on the roof, supposedly that is something they have every week. I wish we had that in Baltimore! We were able to get more amazing cherry beer and some baguettes and cheese. After our great conversation over perfect food, we went to the hotel to get ready for an evening out. We ended up going to a club that was inside of a real cathedral! It was simply the most beautiful place I have ever danced before. However, it is crazy to me that you have to pay to use the restroom. We were there until about 4 am and decided we should leave since we would be on our way to Amsterdam the next morning. So we took a nice walk back to our hotel, crawled to our rooms, and now we remember the wonderful memories Brussels has given us.