Saturday, May 23, 2015

When in Brussels

We spent some time in Brussels and really weren't sure what to do.  The parks are excellent, so that of course filled lots of time.  Somewhere, we stumbled upon information about this Chocolate workshop at Zaabar.  We figured, well, if you are in Belgium, you have to do something with chocolate.

It was a good time.  We used toppings, fillings and spices to create decadent truffles, mendiants, and chocolate bars.  We were thrilled that the only offer was of dark chocolate.  As Butterfly Twirl said "Who can even eat milk or white chocolate?" 

The highlight probably was when our chocolate bars were done and we packaged them up just like real bars (see the pic.)  If you are in Brussels, definitely one of the better activities to fill the days. And as a bonus, ZaaBar isn't too far from the shopping.  I am sure I need some new shoes...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Paradise of Pastries

When you go to get your pastry in the morning, there are so many choices to make.  First, you can decide DocRunning, Rock Monkey, and I all prefer flaky pastries.  You have to search to find the right shop.  The second consideration is to choose the right pastry.  There are so many kinds of pastries, and they sometimes are different at each pastry.  I like a plain croissant.  DocRunning prefers a Pain au Chocolat.  Rock Monkey likes a variety of pastries. 

We've moved around a lot, so we had to find the right place.  Here's a list of some of our favorite places (by city):

Paris - Eric Kayser
Chartres - La Fournee
Brussels - Charli

We've shown some of our favorite places, tell us your favorite places for pastries in the comments.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Parks and Playgrounds are Paradise

Maze outside Chartres' Cathedral, France
Traveling with kids means not just monuments and museums but a considerable amount of playtime. As Climber Girl noted, it's tiring being on high alert all the time. High alert means watching for cars, navigating through crowds, standing in lines, worrying about what you can and can't touch, etc.  So play time is important - pretty much every day.

For playtime, playgrounds certainly are nice (you may have ready read our impressions of the Jardin du Luxembourg where we spent more days than I can count), but playgrounds aren't necessary. A few hours on an open grassy field yields, a pile of imaginative games, learning to make Daisy chains, and insightful observations can easily provide a much needed break from sightseeing.  Parks also present an unique opportunity to interact with other cultures.  We have all met interesting people and learned about other cultures as well as gotten some recommendations for our own travels (The Canadian tourism office doesn't need to worry, the many Canadians we have met have promoted the country well!)

Seeing less and enjoying our travels is definitely better than being turbo tourists. Besides, skipping things just gives us an excuse to come back. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chickens in the Park

At the park in Chartres where we were expecting to play, we found...


Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Favorite Places in Paris

A water lily in musee de l'orangerie
I like many places in Paris, but some places i like better than others.  Here's a list of some my favorite places in Paris:
Sacre Coeur
  • Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) a beautiful white church
  • Jardin de Luxembourg a delightful playground 
  • Tour de Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) take the stairs to the second floor saves money
  • Musee de l'orangerie a small place with big Monet water lilys
  • Jardin des Tuilleries a lovely garden with a nice playground 
Now that I have shown you some of my favorite places, try adding a list of places on the comments (below) from a city that you think is cool.

The Musee du Orangerie (In the rain)

We have learned that spring weather in Paris is very unpredictable. the forecast said that there was a 30% chance of rain  at 9:30, and at 9:30 it was pouring down rain. At 9:30 we were standing in line for the Musee du Orangerie. It was not fun. However, once we got inside it was quite fun. We saw the water lilies, and they were huge.