After visiting Brookes' grave, we made the hour drive to Brussels. Unfortunately, we rolled in right in time for 5 o clock traffic. And our hotel was located right downtown. So, an hour more of driving, and we finally located our hotel. Then it was time to figure out how to park. Yikes!! Imagine driving a minivan through streets designed for, oh i don't know, bikes, maybe?! Not fun. We basically stopped the car in the middle of a dead end street while Nathan checked in the office of the Theatre Hotel. The actual apartment we were sleeping in was down the street, and up 5 floors on the most ghetto elevator I had ever seen. After some complicated maneuvering of luggage, kids, and a minivan, we were all finally in the hotel room together at about 7:30 pm. So we definitely hadn't planned on getting there that late. Buuut, since we were only staying in Brussels for the night, we packed everyone back up and headed out to the streets for a little night-time exploration of the city. I will just say that the first 10 minutes of our walk were not ideal...in fact I think Nathan and I were both praying that we wouldn't get mugged. It was just a dirty city, lined with prostitutes and sketchy looking people. Not the place you want to be walking around in with your 3 little kids at night. We were not impressed--at all. But when we finally made it to the Grand Palace...we took it all back. It was incredible. All of the hassle of the evening was worth it. The pictures won't do it justice (they never do!)...but we just loved the ambience in that square. I think the evening lights helped make it even cooler. We walked around, bought some chocolate and Belgian Waffles, and visited the Manneken Pis. Not that great. Pis, that is---the food was amazing. Then we gathered the courage to book it back through the sketchy part of town to our hotel at about 10 pm. The next two hours consisted of getting our wired children to go to sleep, and trying to convince an 11 month old that she should just lay still on the bed with mom and dad because the hotel didn't have the packnplay that was promised to us :(. Never leaving home without one again! Nevertheless, we ended up having a fun night, and we survived another adventure with the kiddos. Brussels--check.
This was the CUTEST Chocolate shop I ever did see!!! I died.
Piano in the lobby of our hotel.
The trek to the parking garage in the morning--a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Tired.