April 23, 2015 - Brussels

We start with pastries and coffee at the house (where the eclairs were the biggest hit), then take a train to Brussels.

What a chocolate wonderland!

The main square is opulent, even by the standard of other European capitals.

The girls love it, too.

Ella and I enjoy another sunny day.

We see Mannequin statues everywhere - and Ella doesn't know what to make of them.

We have waffles for a mid-morning snack, but this time, we go for Leige-style waffles, which have a sugary batter that caramelizes and needs no syrup at all.

I've checked several beer stores, looking for a specific bottle.
I haven't had any luck yet, but I feel good about this store...

Here is is, Westvleteren, the
best beer in the world.
I get two bottles (and a the two pictures) and keep walking.

Here he is!

I wonder exactly where the hose goes in on his backside...

Adorable market.

We head down this shady little street, then to a shadier side alley...

...to find Jeanneke Pis.
The moms take a close-up.

OK, I will, too.

Gosh, it has been nearly 1/2 day since we went into a fancy chocolate shop, so we go inside this, one of Paul's favorites in Brussels.
Totally worth it.
They have samples!

Ella watches TV and struggles with her Euro-hard roll.

After lunch, we hit a cookie shop.

They're divinity (dried meringue cookies), covered in chocolate and nuts.

Spring in Belgium has been exactly what we wanted - and even better weather than we hoped!

We leave the moms and Ella at the train station for a bit, then go up to hit a couple of more stops - Pierre Marcolini's chocoalate shop, his pastry shop, and Patrick Roger's factory store.
(It is there where I am recognized by the owner of a cheap Chinese restaurant in front of the Alpharetta Radiant office. It is equally impressive that he recognized me so out of context when I haven't been to that restaurant more than twice in the last three years - and that his cheap Chinese shop lets him travel to Europe and shop at the fanciest chocolatiers!)

We walk back down some cool streets

Back to the train station and home.

...then the three of us leave the adults with salad and lasagne at home to go grab another nice dinner in Ghent (and it was nice - the food here is great, espeically when travelling with a 'local').