The Simple Joys in Life


One of the upsides to traveling is spending time with friends who get to play tour guides with me. And as you know, you never really see the touristy parts of your hometown until you have guests, so it’s new to all parties involved. On this particular occasion I meet up with old and new friends at their flat in Brussels. I have to confess, the voyeur in me LOVES to be invited inside private homes just so I can see the similarities and differences around the world. After lunch we head out to Waterloo to visit the Butte de Lion (Lion’s Mound), which is cast in iron and commemorates the site where Prince Orange was injured during battle.

It takes 226 steep steps to get to the top, and I’m nearly wiped out from the climb, not because of the distance or elevation but from the wind that’s trying to knock me off the hill.


At the top you can get a fabulous, panoramic view of the area…

but we’re all so cold on this day we just want to head back down…

and go grab something warm at the pub across the street…


We’re still trying to work off lunch so we circle back to Brussels and walk around the Grand Place.


Here’s a better shot of the Bourse (stock exchange) that I’d mentioned not too long ago:


Glass windows show the archeological remnants under the building:


We duck into a trendy bar for drinks. We behave and no one orders alcohol. I choose Moroccan Whiskey (sweetened mint tea).


By the time we get out, it is dark. The Grand Place is even more spectacular by night:


By the way I’m suckered into rubbing the frog under this sculpture–I’m told it’s for good luck and find out after the fact it actually means I’ll have four babies! Grrrr!


We then drive to the Atomium, which was built for the 1958 World’s Fair. There are 9 steel spheres connected (one has a restaurant) and at night they light up like floating blue orbs:


The smell from the fast food restaurants at the base of the Atomium makes us crazy,  so we drive around to the supposedly best friterie in Belgium–check out the crazy long list of sauces to go with the fries:


My friends tell me they will send me back to the US toute de suite if I order ketchup.


I get ketchup. The twice fried frites come in a double-layered paper cornet (cone):


The braver ones order the mitraillette (literally, machine gun), or a sub on baguette filled with various meats, sauces, and frites…and here I thought the Big Mac was evil!


As we walk back to the car it starts to snow. Ah, the simple joys in life!


  1. scholastican

    MissL, that pic you took of the Bourse, it shows the Marriott we stayed in last summer! and Belgian frittes with mayo are the best, along with chocolate crisps that look like Pringles!!!

  2. Catherine

    Again, you do really make me want to start traveling again!

  3. Catherine

    Hey Ms. L, the four babies part is sooooo funny!!! btw, get a peek of your J12, nice!
    Have to say, today’s article makes me laugh several times! Love it!

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