Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day trip in Brussels

Atomium


Yesterday, the hubs and I took our kids on a day trip to Brussels, Belgium. From where we are staying in the Netherlands, it's only about an hour and a half drive into the city. The weather was nice for sightseeing, at a perfect European 75 and partly cloudy. We seriously have been getting so lucky with the weather on the days we make it out to do some major touristy adventures.

If you read about our trip to Amsterdam last week, then I'm happy to share that this week I also planned ahead and made a super detailed itinerary of all the attractions and sights I just had to see in the city.  It worked so well for us again, however, we were unable to make it to allllllll the places I wanted to visit because we spent a little too long at the Brussels Park play ground and the babes just couldn't keep up. All was ok though because Jake was such a good boy at the restaurant during dinner, something I will take over any old monument ha. (Seriously though, he has been awful eating out and this was the best he's been in months). 

Brussels is a city I have wanted to visit for many years. I have always wanted to see the United Nations Building and the Atomium. When we first arrived in the city center, it was not the grand entrance I have come to expect from major European cities. To say I was a bit disappointed by Brussels would be an understatement. Outside of the few -gorgeous- blocks of old buildings, tourist attractions and the royal palace, the rest of the city, for me, was nothing special and no place I'd ever want to return. I've seen it, no need to go back. And that just breaks my heart because I really wanted to like it. I did, however, get some pretty cool pictures of the nicer parts of the city. 

Overall, the day with my family walking around the city, eating sweet treats, and being tourists was wonderful. And the buildings within the center are some of the grandest I've seen before. Oh, and the Atomium is by far one of the coolest buildings (yes, it is a building) I've ever seen/experienced. It really is quite special. 

I'd love to hear if anyone has been to Brussels and what they thought of it... were my expectations too high? Did you absolutely love it? And for those who haven't been, is it on your bucket list like it was for me?? 

Monument of Leopold I
Brussels City Museum
Hotel de Ville de Brussels
Grote Markt
Hotel de Ville de Brussels
Manneken Pis
Royal Palace of Brussels
Mother Statue within Brussels Park
Cour des comptes- Rekenhof
Mont des Arts Garden

The kids and I are getting ready to take the train to Austria for a week. Wish me luck that Jake does better on the train then on planes lol. Have a wonderful Monday!! 


42 comments:

  1. What a fun trip!!! Looks like you saw a ton!!! <3

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  2. These pictures are gorgeous, I love the one at the top with your baby in the air it looks like he is floating! So cute xx http://www.fadedspring.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you, that one is my favorite, too!!

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  3. I found you through a FB group, that led me to your instagram profile and now you're blog. You're my hero - taking three kids to Europe. I'm trying to convince my husband to go next summer - our girls are 6, 4, and 3. I love all your pictures. I'll be sure to share with him so he catches my travel bug. Thanks!

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    1. You're so funny lol and thank you for finding me! I've been traveling with my kids since they were all tiny and now that they are getting older, the challenges are changing. With your girls ages it would be no problem, just make sure to plan and find a park/play area in all the cities you go to. And if you take a train, most international ones have a children's sitting area. And ask for the bulkhead on long flights. Lol those are my tips! Tell your hubby that traveling with kids is awesome!

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  4. Well Ashleigh! You are visiting places I didn't know about, and for that reason this place is not on my bucket list. Lol I'm following your journey and excited to hear about all the places you guys are visiting and as I was reading your posting I was wondering, are there any graffiti, ugly places, homeless people in Europe?

    I really hope Jacob does better on the train! When we are going to a new place I try to tell Isaac everything we are doing such as, Isaac we are waiting for the train it might be a little noisy,but I'm sure we'll like it, what do you think? And then I pretend I understand what he's telling me and just keep talking laughing and smiling to him. It actually works for Isaac!, I also try to ask for his help too when possible. I'm sure you tried it all, but I hope this helps a little bit. ;-)

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    1. Hi Irma! Yeah, we are all over the place! To answer your question... yes! There is tons of graffiti in Europe! Especially in the main cities. Some worse than others (like Brussels) but yeah, it's here. Even when we were living in Switzerland it was there in the cities. There are homeless people or beggers but it depends on the country. Many countries in Europe are Socialistic and the gap between the rich and the poor is smaller, and there are much less homeless/poor people (which I think is a great thing). Great questions! And thanks for the tips... he did ok for the most part. His deal is that he loves to walk and talk to everyone and not stay seated! He's my social baby lol!!

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  5. I always love your photos! Too bad this trip wasn't everything you had wanted it to be, I'm sure you made many wonderful memories with your family though!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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    1. Thank you Brandyn! It wasn't what I had imagined but it still was a wonderful day with the family!

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  6. I visited very briefly as a high school student - more years ago than I'd like to admit. Sadly, I don't remember much of our visit. I loved re-visiting the city through your pictures, though! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. How neat you got to visit in high school!! Thank you for stopping by!!

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  7. You always have the most fun and beautiful trips! I love reading where you have been and what you have done!

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    1. Thank you for following along with me! I just love your recipes and being able to check your page for dinner ideas, even when traveling!!

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  8. That looks like so much fun! Maybe one of these days I'll get to travel :)

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  9. I can't believe how beautiful the buildings and architecture are there, wow!! I would love to be able to visit someday!

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    1. The buildings really are so beautiful and detailed here!

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  10. I've been following your travels for a while now and love to look at your pictures. I've added a few places to my "must see" list. I'm going to have to look up what the Atomium is. It's such a strange building, but very photogenic.

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    1. Thank you for following along and for your interest! The history behind the Atomium is so cool (built in 1956!) and a must for a bucket list!

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  11. Beautiful Architect, Looks like a wonderful place to visit.. thank you for sharing...

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  12. Never been to Brussels but it looks beautiful and family friendly. Love the second photo!

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  13. We went to Brussels a few years ago (pre baby) and absolutely loved the city! The architecture, people, and beer! When we went there was also an awesome Jazz festival going on and we stumbled across a wine festival as well both of which were phenomenal!

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    1. Oh my gosh Claire, my husband was like a kid in a candy store with the beer lol! How lucky you got to experience two festivals while there! Jazz and wine...what could be better?? I'm looking forward to your photos when you go to Germany in a couple months!!!

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  14. Awesome pictures! I want to go there. Looks like such a neat place!

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  15. Hi Ashleigh!
    I'm from Belgium, but I don't live in Brussels.
    I've been there a few times and I absolutely love the city. Its historical centre is the most beautiful part of the city in my opinion. I love the little stores and the big old buildings :)
    Too bad you didn't like it.
    But I can understand why. Belgium is such a tiny country compared to other countries like France, The Netherlands, Germany and basically every other country in Europe :p
    So we don't have these giant cities here. But I think that's okay, we are small and therefore have small cities, even our capital city :p If you'd compare Brussels to Paris, it would seem like a town instead of a city, right :p
    If you'd ever go back to Belgium, try to visit Bruges, Ghent or Antwerp :p Those cities are small as well, but carry so much historical value ad beauty :)

    I'm sorry if I totally bore you with my comment xD I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip! :D

    p.s. please go eat some awesome pies in Austria!

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    1. Hi Sarah! I will agree that the historical center and the surrounding streets have some of the most beautiful buildings and sweet shops I have ever seen/experienced! Those buildings are what I wanted to see most about Brussels. I like smaller cities as opposed to the larger ones (why I like Salzburg so much) and didn't mind the smaller sized feel to it. When we head back up to the Netherlands next week, I hope to make a day trip to Antwerp and maybe Bruges...I've heard wonderful things about it. And Belgium as a whole has been wonderful. Staying in Maastricht, we've driven into Belgium a few times now and really enjoyed it!

      Thank you for your input! I really appreciate it!! Have a wonderful night!!

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  16. Amazing pictures! I'd love, love, love to go to Brussels!

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  17. Looks like you had a gorgeous day, your photos are beautiful! I have been to Brussels, but mainly to go to the airport. I can definitely recommend Bruges, it is a lovely Belgian city, Antwerp too. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

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  18. omg, absolutely LOVE the photo of your hubs tossing kiddo!!!!

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  19. Love it! I feel like I am on vacation with y'all...keep the pictures rolling!

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  20. Wow! What amazing photos! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. I have been to Brussels once, but that was many years ago. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

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  21. I love traveling the world through your photos! Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Monday Blog Hop! Can't wait to see what you have this week!!

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  22. Wow I have not through about visiting there but after hearing your thoughts I am torn now as the buildings you shown was so pretty. But it would be expensive to travel from Fort Worth, Texas to there. So I am not sure it would be worth what we would spend.

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  23. the mannekin pis was all covered up, that surprises me. we went only for an afternoon on our way home from bruges, and while i loved walking through the grand place, i was approached by a gypsy child asking for money while i was eating. at a restaurant, on their deck. they shouldn't be allowed to do that, to enter an establishment whether indoors or out.

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  24. Great pictures- need to get to Brussels NOW

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  25. I only went to Brussels for a stop over but I love how it had a lot of parks. I like that picture with the child in the air. So nice.

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  26. To be honest, I'm only after Belgian beer and chocolates if ever I will be Belgium, but you made me realize that there's more! Thanks!

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  27. You got some good photos here. I've never been to Belgium when it didn't rain. Even in the middle of a UK heatwave it still managed to rain in Brussels. But I do admit the buildings are stunning.

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  28. Oh I love Brussels, we were there in the middle of winter for the Christmas Markets brrrrr! It was lovely though :) Beautiful photos too!
    Simone x | The Aussie Flashpacker

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  29. What a beautiful city! I just love that pic of your husband throwing your son up in front of the monument. What a perfect moment captured in time. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.

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  30. Such a beautiful city indeed. I was there for my internship back in 2004 and enjoyed my stay there

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  31. You are lucky indeed. What a beautiful place, love the action shots, excellent.

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