Wednesday morning, Tim accompanied us on a train to Brussels. He was on his way to work, and we were off to explore the nation’s capital.

Manequin Pis and all foods beginning with ‘Belgian’ were at the top of the list.

The real Manequin Pis Brussels, Belgium
The real Manequin Pis
Brussels, Belgium
The waffle eating Manequin Pis
The waffle eating Manequin Pis

We did ourselves proud and found a city pass that allowed us access to many different museums. After a Belgian waffle (sweet!) we went to the Belgian Beer museum (hoppy!) and the Belgian Chocolate museum (filling!).  Then the comic book museum (Smurfs and TinTin), two art museums, and a museum of musical instruments which highlighted all things saxophone (Ben’s instrument of choice).

Going to museums is not typically my cup of tea. But we started the day on the right track- who can complain about fresh beer and chocolates at 11 in the morning?- and by finding our way to each museum, we were able to see much of the city and soak in the sun.

And of course, Chocolate Manequin Pis Brussels, Belgium July 23, 2014
And of course, Chocolate Manequin Pis
Brussels, Belgium July 23, 2014
Belgian Waffles
Because this is exactly what you want to see. Be jealous- even I am!

Thursday morning I received Travel and Leisure’s daily email with a headline reading: The World’s Most Beautiful Train Stations. On the list: Antwerp, Belgium.

The beautiful Antwerp Train Station Antwerp, Belgium   July 24, 2014
The beautiful Antwerp Train Station
Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014
Antwerp Train Station Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014
Antwerp Train Station
Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014

Guess where we went that same day? Antwerp! A few years ago, this train station was brought to life with a flash mob dance video that went viral. Any Facebookers may be familiar with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

This city hall of Antwerp is decorated year-round with 87 unique flags, and makes a great backdrop for cafes and restaurants Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014
This city hall of Antwerp is decorated year-round with 87 unique flags, and makes a great backdrop for cafes and restaurants
Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014

Zoos and Diamonds made up most of the rest of this city. This also marked the day on our journey where baguettes filled with scrumptious salamis and cheeses just would not cut it anymore. Being “European” was fun for a time, but this whole baguette thing was getting tiring! No worries though- Doug was to the rescue. An amazing Bostonian traveler ended up next to us at dinner during his first European travels and had many recommendations.

Proof: Beer is cheaper. Historically, peasants would opt for beer instead of water because water wasn't safe to drink. hmmm.... Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014
Proof: Beer is cheaper. Historically, peasants would opt for beer instead of water because water wasn’t safe to drink. hmmm….
Antwerp, Belgium July 24, 2014

We took many of these to heart, and ended our trip to Brussels with a great amount of running around, incredible food (have we ever been at a loss?!) and a final stop at Mary’s Chocolates- one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die”.

Mary's Chocolates- on the list of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. And ohhh SO worth it! Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014
Mary’s Chocolates- on the list of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. And ohhh SO worth it!
Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014

Before we knew it, a week into this amazing adventure, our final day spent in Brussels was at the Royal Palace. To walk through the palace, admire a lifestyle beyond comprehension, and to get a glimpse of what a country was built upon was surreal. This was the first day in my lifetime that I’ve found a true interest in history, as I was able to see these connections and realize that each minute event really does matter. The study of history is pretty great. Just don’t tell anyone I told you.

The ceiling of the Belgian Palace's mirror room is covered with the wing cases of 1.4 million Thai jewel beetles- it looks like the Emerald City! Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014
The ceiling of the Belgian Palace’s mirror room is covered with the wing cases of 1.4 million Thai jewel beetles- it looks like the Emerald City!
Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014
A statue of Lord Everard 't Serclaes which brings luck and grants the wishes of those who touch it. Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014
A statue of Lord Everard ‘t Serclaes which brings luck and grants the wishes and return to Belgium for those who touch it.
Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2014

Till next time, Belgium!

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