December 2nd, a day I was anxiously looking forward to for a very long time. I was constantly counting the down the days, waiting for the day when my parents would arrive in Belgium.
They arrived around 10:30 am Saturday morning and I was more than ready for them. I made sure our apartment was cleaned, candles lit, coffee on the pot, and our favorite pastries waiting for them! I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. I kept checking the window, looking for their car. I would sit down and try to relax, and then 30 seconds later, pop back up and look at the window. Finally I saw them pull in, and you best believe I scurried down the stairs as fast as I could. I am 27 years old, and seeing my parents still makes me scream with excitement. They are that amazing, people.
Tate had to leave for practice, so my parents and I chatted away until he came back in the door. It felt like it had only been 15 minutes, but I know it was a good two hours. You know when you are just so excited to talk to someone, you lose all sense of time and you feel like you are trying to get in as many words as possible? That was me. And my mom. It was amazing and long over due.
We spent the day showing them around our stomping grounds. We showed them every little possible thing. We showed them our apartment, the Christmas market, our city center shopping area (where I spend majority of my time lets be honest), the gym, our grocery store, where we get gas, my favorite “roads”, and the list goes on. You know, the stuff that really only your parents will care about?
We ended the night at one of our favorite burger joints, Ellis Burger. We stayed there for about two and half hours because 1. we ordered the entire menu and 2. the conversation was so good and so fulfilling.
Sunday morning, we took them to Bruges! It is seriously one of my favorite spots in Belgium, and those of you that read my blogs, probably know all about it because I won’t shut up about it 😉 Everyone nodding their head yes.
I was a little nervous about them coming in December, because it would be so cold. I didn’t want things to look “dead” and gloomy, but Belgium in December is actually quite beautiful. Everyone decks out in Christmas decoration and it makes it feel so happy and cozy! I loved that they came during December.
We wandered around Bruges, admired all the canals and pretty buildings, and we went and saw one of Michelangelo’s sculptures that my dad was dying to see. We peeked in all the windows that had fires blazing in giant fireplaces, and the windows that displayed all the yummy Belgian chocolates. We went to an old brewery and tried Belgian beer, we had multiple cups of coffee, and ate dinner at an underground Jazz & Blues restaurant. We ended the night (obviously) with a Belgian waffle! The best way to end a night.
I knew this blog post would be a long one, because it was one of my favorite weeks ever, but I do need to pick up the pace. I am only on Sunday!!
Monday morning my dad, mom, and I left for Paris. Eek! We were going to be in Paris for about three days. Quick trip, but we were determined to do and see as much as we could. My sweet brave dad drove us to Paris, the real MPV. I am going to do a Paris Travel Guide in a few days, so I will save all my thoughts, advice, and recommendations for that post. It was amazing though. We stayed at the cutest boutique hotel, tucked away in a quiet square. It oozed cozy. Anything that oozes cozy, I am all about.
They had fires going in the afternoon and into the evening, an “honor bar” that allowed you to make yourself whatever drink you wanted, all you had to do was write down what you took. They had big sofas and oversized chairs that served as dining chairs. Their coffee was good. I am talking really really good. I don’t know how they did it or what kind of beans they used, but we all were obsessed. Coffees to go every morning, on top of our multiple cups during breakfast.
We went to the Eiffel tower the first day, and went to the top. It was honestly a lot more scary than I remembered. I was legitimately scared to take that ‘typical Eiffel Tower picture’ near the railing. There was absolutely no way I could fall but for some reason I didn’t trust it. Ha! We ate dinner at a local “mom & pop” restaurant, and let’s just say I got roped in to eating duck liver. By my mom!!! Talk about betrayal.
Just kidding, she thought she ordered frog legs for us, instead of duck liver. Which honestly isn’t that much better?!
The next day we were up and at em, explored the Marais area, grabbed baguettes to munch on, shopped around, and ended the night with the most magical dinner boat cruise. Highly recommend doing this if you are ever in Paris and want to splurge on a fun evening! I will rave all about it on my Paris post!
I literally can’t describe how much this past week meant to me, but specifically these three days I had with my parents. Ever since Tate and I moved overseas in August, my heart has been longing to just be with my family for a few hours. Some of you might be thinking “August…that was only 4 months ago…” and ya I KNOW. But a lot has changed in my life, and being this far from home has been an adjustment to say the least. So good, but an adjustment.
Getting time with my sweet parents was the biggest blessing. We talked for hours about anything and everything. We talked about all of my siblings and every unnecessary (but necessary) detail of their life. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to feel as if I was right there with them. My parents and I finally got the chance to talk in depth about all my new transitions, marriage, living overseas, new hobbies, etc. It was so good for my soul to have my parents across the table from me, listening, affirming, offering wisdom, and constantly encouraging. I will treasure those conversations for a long time!
We came back to Belgium on Wednesday, just in time for Tate’s game on Thursday. I was so glad my parents were able to see a game while they were here. It was a home game too- yay! After passive aggressively telling Tate that “I really hope he plays well while my parents are here”, he pulled through and had an amazing game! 😉 It was a blast having my parents experience game day with us.
Friday we took them to Ghent, another one of my favorite spots in Belgium! I am thinking I will do a Travel Guide on Ghent soon too, so I won’t share too much about the different places. Ghent is breathtakingly beautiful. It has so much charm and history. It was the last day my parents were here, so my heart was a little heavy, and I was dreading saying goodbye. I was trying to savor every minute we had with them that day. Our conversation that day was so fun. We talked about kids, our childhoods, memories my parents remember, and memories Tate had from his family/childhood. We talked about my parents when they were newly married, different places we have lived, and raising five kids. It was so fun for Tate and I to listen to their stories, experiences, and advice.
The Friday night goodbye was pretty hard. I was getting used to having my parents here with us, and it was starting to feel normal. I have missed being around people that know me, in and out. I have missed being around family. I cried like a little baby as I hugged my parents bye, and honestly I cried for a couple days after! As sad as it was to say goodbye, that whole week was filled with so much joy, laughter, and fun. Literally my heart was bursting at the seams because I was so happy and filled! We made amazing memories and had heart warming conversations, that will last forever.
Tate and I are now accepting more visitors! So if you want to come have a lot of fun, eat a lot of waffles, drink a lot of coffee, have sad goodbyes- come on!!