Thursday, September 25, 2014

Into Belgium and the Netherlands

"Engaged??  To a Belgian?!?"
Trivia time!  For the first person to comment on my board identifying what movie this line is from and who said it,  I will bring back some BELGIAN Chocolates:-)
I already know who this is going to be because generally only one person ever makes comments on my blog.  Does anyone want to try to beat Karen??
Onto the post......
Yesterday was a travel day.  We left our hotel in Dublin at 10 AM and didn't arrive in Ghent until 8 PM.  Our flight was just an hour and a half into Belgium but we had to wait at the airport for The Allens, and their plane coming from England was late.  Plus we had some traffic jams driving over to Ghent.  Anyway,  we were happy to arrive at the hotel and more happy to know that we will be stationed here for the next five days.  We've been on the move in 5 different hotels the last six nights so it will be nice to have a home base again.  When we drove into the hotel last night it was already dark but from what I could tell the city was very pretty.  
It wasn't until this morning at breakfast that I looked out the window and saw THIS amazing view and thought, "This place is GORGEOUS!!"  A canal filled with boats and the facade of buildings looking like they just fell out of Disney fairy tale!  I'm gonna love exploring this town!!

A view of the Marriott facade.

So after spending some time at breakfast with the Allens catching up on our adventures from the last week it was already 11:30.  Rick and I made an executive decision and decided that today would be the day that we drove into the Netherlands.  We are very close to the border and we thought it would be fun to get another country under our belt this trip.  I really did not want to have another day of driving because it was going to be a two hour drive to get there but by going today we would have more time on Saturday and Sunday to explore Ghent.  So we took off on our own! (because the others didn't want to travel either) 
It ended up being a nice day:)  We enjoyed the drive talking and we were there in no time.  I'm so thankful for a GPS that has been getting us where we want to go now for the last two weeks:)  We pulled into a town called "s-Hertogenbosch" but is know as Dem Bosch.  It was a lovely town with canals running through it.  We found a parking space in the town centre and got down to the first order of business....lunch:)  It was fun trying some local specialties.  I had skewered chicken with curry sauce, rice and carrot salad.  It also came with shrimp crackers but I took one bite of those and decided to leave those on my plate.  
Rick ordered a sausage rolled in a pastry and some homemade split pea soup.

We saw a girl making a fun dessert and Rick decided he wanted one:)  It is called an apple ball.
It was super delicious.  We are going to try making these when we get home.
Here's how it's done:  Peel and core an apple.  Roll it in cinnamon sugar.  Fill up core with cinnamon sugar.  Wrap puff pastry dough around apple and secure ends in core.  Form dough into ball around the apple.  Again wrap in cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  
Serve with Vanilla Sauce.  

This will be a fun fall treat!! 

Here is the finished product.

After lunch we walked around the town center seeing the sights.

We stopped at a souvenir shop and unfortunately they did not sell ball caps so Rick could not get one for his collection.  He bought a t-shirt instead.  I found a cute bell for my collection and we picked up some cool Dutch shoes for Ruth.  She asked us to bring some back for her:)  
We also got a few small items for the kids.

We passed by this flower shop and the prices were so good I had to buy a bunch to bring back to the hotel.  I also picked up some Tulips to bring for Ruth and DeeAnn to have in their rooms.  Tulips are my favorite!!  And from Holland even!!  I wished I could bring home some giant bulbs to plant this fall.  I couldn't find any of those though:(

A view of the buildings.

We walked along the canal to get back to our car and I just loved these homes across the way.  It made me wonder what it must be like to live in them.

It was a pleasant drive back to Ghent without too much trouble and just as we were pulling into the hotel DeeAnn called to see if we were close and wanted to have dinner with them.  Brad and Ruth wanted to relax tonight in their hotel room so we took DeeAnn and Darrell up on their offer and had a nice dinner with them alongside the canal across from our hotel.  
We sat on the patio under a canopy and caught up on our days activities.  It was nice:)  

A shot just outside our hotel looking over the lights of Ghent.  We will not have a chance to explore the city tomorrow either because we are spending the day in Brugge.  
Luckily, it is just a short drive from here:)

Brugge is the reason we came to Belgium.  Rick and I saw it on a  Rick Steeves program about a year ago and I said,  "We have to plan and go there someday!  It looks so neat"  He agreed .......And here we are with tomorrow being our Brugge day......CAN'T WAIT!!

PS  Tonight's door is this pretty red one from the town centre of Dem Bosch!


  1. Sister Phelps!! Sometimes I read your blog. I've been to Bruges! :) And Belgium. So great. Looks like a great trip. I'm not sure what that quote is from though.... I thought about googling it, but I figure that's cheating. Eat a waffle for me. That was my favorite part I think!

  2. I'm one to read and not usually comment, but I couldn't resist. It was Henry from "Ever After"! Thanks for posting your adventures. I enjoy your blog. :)

  3. What a fun time you're having!! And look at that--someone BEAT ME!! :) I was on the phone with Kamber and she told me that "Ever After" was the answer, and we started remembering how Henry said that and I said, " I'm gonna hurry and send the answer right while I'm talking with you", and Kamber said, "Well, you've got to share the Belgian Chocolates with me 'cause I'm the one who remembered first...." Then I saw that "Arthurfamily" had already GOT it!! (ha!!)

    Your post is really interesting and those buildings are BEAUTIFUL!! The food you're trying sounds delicious, and those 'rolled apples' look really fun to make. Isn't it nice to buy flowers for your room when you are out and about like that?? I love to do that!
    Wow--you are seeing SO MUCH and having such a GRAND TIME!! I'm really delighted to get to stay abreast of what you're involved in. Thanks so much for keeping your blog going during this 'once-in-a-life-time trip!! Love, KAren