Birthday Prep, a Brocante, and a Really Good Burger

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So the holidays are upon us and in this family we have an extra.  Little E’s birthday falls four days before Christmas.  Right in the middle of all the merriment.  Which means not only do I plan for, shop for and prepare a Thanksgiving meal, plan for, shop for and wrap all Christmas presents, decorate, make and deliver teacher presents, make sure I don’t forget the less-fortunate family that the Girl Scouts have adopted for the holidays, attend tree lightings, family dinners, Navy Christmas parties, office Christmas parties, go ice skating at several Christmas markets, prepare and ship all cousin presents heading to the U.S. early enough so they’ll make it on time, and then tell you all about it, but I also get to prepare for, decorate for, shop for, wrap presents for, bake for and throw a little boy’s sixth birthday party.

Much more on that to come.

But first!  There was some easy preparation to be done.  You see, E decided on Star
Wars as a theme for his party, but… he had never actually seen the movie.  So Friday night, the kids donned their made-for-the-upcoming-party t-shirts, sat down with a Death Star shaped pizza and finally saw Star Wars (New Hope?  Part One?  Part IV?  You choose).

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While they may not seem too enthused above, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  So much so that the movie was back in the DVD player the next morning.  Fair warning: if you show your son Star Wars, you will be asked to make a Millennium Falcon the next day.

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Sunday morning we ditched Star Wars and headed out to the brocante in Waterloo for the first time.  Turns out this is the one we should have been going to all along.  I would have gladly dropped Euros at every, single table.

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That jar is one of my new favorite belongings.

So we were hungry after our brocante morning and, since Waterloo is a suburb of Brussels, we headed in to find some food.  We decided to stop near the Royal Palace and have a look around.   A restaurant called Boston Grill looked nice so in we went and would up having the best burger we’ve had since leaving the states.  Nothing fancy, just a really good, American style burger.  Plus fries with mayonnaise, because this
IS still Belgium, after all.

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Let’s go settle that burger with a walk around the Parc de Bruxelles.  Across the street from the Royal Palace, it’s the largest park within the city.  On the other side of the park sits the Belgian Parliament, with a long path straight from one to the other, a reminder to the King that Parliament is keeping it’s eye on him.  Away from the prying eyes of both Parliament and the King were two geocaches.

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Why, yes that does say “vitriol”.  On the wall that separates the park from the palace is the word “vitriol”, spelled out in huge metal letters.  Backwards.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.

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The next cache was supposed to be much more difficult.  Unfortunately the person who placed it forgot that trees lose their leaves when summer ends.

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With both geocaches found, it was time to just aimlessly wander, try to catch some falling leaves, stumble upon a playground, pick up some chestnuts to add to our holiday decorating, and just enjoy the park within the city.  While keeping an eye on both Parliament and the King.

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I’m totally going back for another burger.

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