A much-cherished event this week with a double-dark (both Monday and Tuesday off). The Totemites scattered – to Spain, Italy, Germany, France.
I spent most of the past month trying to plan activities for these two days, changing them, cancelling them, and planning new ones. We considered dozens of different places to go, but most, in the end, just seemed too exhausting or expensive. In the end, here is what we did.
Day 1 – Amsterdam. Baz pointed out to me that there is still a lot we haven’t seen in Amsterdam. So, after a stay-at-home morning catching up on things, we went out in the afternoon and walked around the city a bit. It was, unfortunately, freezing out, which made it less-pleasant than it could have been. Still, we saw the Magere Brug and the Carre Theater, had lunch, and then went to the canal house museum. In the evening, we went back out again, taking the kids to see Rapunzel 3D! - their first movie-theater trip in about a year. We all thoroughly (and surprisingly, in the case of me and Greg) enjoyed the movie, and went across the street for an excellent Italian dinner afterwards at La Traviata.
Day 2 – Brussels. We took a train (2 hours, 45 mins) to spend a day in a different city. I didn't do a lot of research on Brussels before going - for example, upon arrival, I had no idea what language people spoke there. I spent a while trying to listen and figure it out - but there are so many internationals in Brussels, it was hard to tell who was native. I finally asked someone. The answer: French, as the first language. Second is Dutch/Flemish. (I'm not sure of the difference). English and German are the next most common after that. ...so, I enjoyed being able to chatter en francais for the afternoon
Most of our time was spent at the amazing Natural History Museum. We were all dazzled by their Dinosaur Hall, including many full skeletons of allosaurs. I snuck out for a little while to visit the nearby European Union Parliament building.
And then of course there was the Brussels Christmas market, and this marvelous light projection on the Town Hall.