Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beer, Chocolate and Mr. Pis

The first weekend Brit was here happened to also be one of FIFA's international breaks. Which means, Luis didn't have a game. Which means, he would get the weekend free.  Which means, we could all go somewhere together!

We were looking for something cool to do, the three of us, when Luis's friend, Danny (you'll meet him later in this post) told him about a beer fest in Brussels. Brit and I aren't so into beer, but Brussels means Belgian chocolate so we were totally on board. 

Plus, Danny found a good deal for a room at the Hilton, directly in the city for 99 Euro and Brussels is an easy drive, just four hours from us, so we snatched it up and our weekend was set!

Since Danny decided to join us it was perfect because it eliminated that awkward conversation that we were all avoiding about room arrangements between a girl without her husband and a married couple. 

We no longer had to wonder "Will we get one room with two beds and Brit just sleeps in the extra bed next to us?" "Do we get one room and Brit and I share a bed, giving Luis his own bed?" "Do we loosen the money bags and get two rooms?" 

Instead, Brit and I would get a room, Danny and Luis would get a room, and we would have girl/boy sleepovers. I'm sure the boys were not planning to call it a sleepover. But this is my post, so I can say what I want.

Oh but wait, I'm leaving out one important detail. Luis found out the day before that the "Individual Training" that was listed on the schedule for Saturday had to be done in the stadium, and not at home as we had hoped.

No problem though, we just pushed our trip back a day and decided we would leave Saturday now, instead of Friday, after Luis's training. 

Oh but wait, then we found out on Friday that the "Individual Running" scheduled for Sunday had to be done in the stadium, and not at home as we had hoped. And guess how long he had to run? 

30 minutes. Seriously, why can we never get two days off in a row?!? 

Poor Luis, he stayed home and we went off on our adventures. 

Brussels really surprised me. It was way more modern and chic than I had pictured. And suuuper clean. And jam packed.

Especially the Beer Fest.

It was a challenge getting through there without one or more of the following taking place:

1. Having beer spilled on you
2. Getting a cigarette puffed in your face
3. Getting groped...because apparently idiots passing by in a crowd think that girls will just think someone "accidently" grazed them. But that's why they're idiots because there is a HUGE difference between grazing and grabbing and girls can tell the difference.

I guess I didn't really know what to expect of Brussels having not known much about the city other than that it is where the NATO headquarters are located and it is considered to be the primary seat for the European Union.

And look, they have Forever 21! 

 Definitely wasn't expecting to see that.

 The city was really cool.

And so beautiful. 

We spent most our time in the Grand Place.

The architecture here was incredible.

Oh and look, heeeeeere's Danny.

He was our chauffeur/body guard for the weekend. And he was a really, emphasis on really, good sport to put up with us girls.

Especially considering that when he agreed to this trip he thought Luis was coming and even when Luis had to back out, he was still willing to take us. 

All you single ladies reading this, Danny's available, and a super good catch. He's really sweet and kind, and is a solid guy. And come on, he's a pilot, which is just freakin' awesome. And he's practically the Hilton's best friend so you know you'd always stay in a good hotel (with a delicious and free breakfast valued at 30 Euro) no matter where you go.

As I mentioned before, there was a beer fest on this particular weekend. 

 And these guys were certainly dressed for the occasion.

There were two things I learned at the Belgian Beer Weekend. 

1. Beer does not make you fat.

2. It is actually possible for me to consume and enjoy a beer. 

Behold the fruity beer.

This stuff was delicious. I hardly even realized I was drinking liquified wheat.

It is debatable whether what we drank can be considered a legit beer. And if you're German it is not at all debatable because they most certainly would not consider what we drank to be beer.

Another favorite "beer" of ours: the rosé.

Please excuse my disgustingly massive hand. 
We discovered the  rosé at this awesome little stand next to the fenced off area called the Belgium Beer Cafe.

And we got this sample platter for free...

...compliments of our kind waiter who took pity on us because apparently you had to have these special tokens in order to pay which of course we didn't know about until after we ordered.  

Ignorance certainly worked in our favor in this case. But if you go, don't be like us. Find the token selling stand and purchase a good number of them.

Even better than our chick beers: the chocolate. 

And right here was the best chocolate ever.

You have to go to Brussels just for their salted caramel chocolate. To. Die. For.

Here's something else I learned, Godiva originated in Belgium. 

Who knew. Probably everyone but me.

Something else we didn't know about: this statue, Manneken Pis, which is apparently really famous.

The only reason we have a picture of it is because we figured with everyone gathering around taking pictures of it it must be important. And actually, to be totally honest, I was really taking a picture of the chick climbing the fence to get a picture of the little peeing guy and of course Mr. Pis just happened to get in the photo.

I wish I had taken a picture of it the day before because he was dressed in a graduation cap and gown. 

Dude was everywhere. 

And so were these.

The famous Belgian Waffles, which sadly we did not eat while we were there. Our tummies just couldn't take any more food. 

But we seriously considered it because we couldn't bear the thought of leaving Belgium without having a Belgian waffle.

And yet we did, and amazingly, we do not feel any less cultured as a result. Shocking, I know.

This is the Hotel Ravenstein, the only surviving building from the 15th century in Brussels.

There's a restaurant next to it, Le Ravenstein, that looked interesting enough to try had we had more time. If you go, it seems like it might be worth the experience to check it out.

All in all, it was a great weekend filled with great food and great company. Brussels is definitely a place I would visit again, if for anything to try me a waffle!

And maybe to check out this fitness plan that seems to get such amazing results. I mean just look at how it changed their posture and how much happier it made them.

This definitely was a good laugh. But you know what wasn't a good laugh? Luis got that Monday off after we got back. No joke. 

Such is life I suppose. At least the life of a football player and his wife.

And there you have it, Brussels, finally. It only took me a week! Paris will most likely take even longer because we have at least 300 pictures from that trip alone. Wish me luck and have a happy hump day!


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Would Danny like to date a Super Awesome Church secretary?

Jaci Moseman said... Best Blogger Tips

Cara!!! you just made me miss Brussels so much! It was so much fun to live there! Wish I knew you were going. My husband parents still live in Brussels. They would have let you stay at their house. When you want to go back, there are some great things to do there and around Brussels outside of a beer fest :) Let me know. I will get hold of my inlaws and try to hook you up! Love your pictures

Carissa said... Best Blogger Tips

The anonymous one is mom isn't it!
Loved your post Cara, I am glad you guys had so much fun and got to try to much awesome beer and food!

Cara said... Best Blogger Tips

Ooh most certainly Mama! How do we arrange it?!? :) @ Jaci, i didn't know you lived there! So cool, I will definitely keep your offer in mind for next time!

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