1. Travel Time: see earlier blog post reporting on the outbound trip from London to Brussels (where we saved 50 pounds, thereby losing us 9 hours of vacation time each way... ie 18 lost hours in total)...the eurostar from London to Brussels takes only 1 hour 45 minutes. Sigh.
2. Our stomaches: on the way to Brussels (before boarding the bus), Steve bought a bag of samosas for us to eat during the day. They turned out to be the greasiest samosas in the history of time... oil was dripping out of the bottom of the bag onto our clothes and gear. There was a nice grease stain all the way down the leg of steve’s favourite jeans. We are all feeling a bit off samosas now...
3. Our Cash: on our first day of vacation, Steve has his eyes off his wallet for just long enough for someone to relieve him of both his euros and british pounds. Ouch. At least the thief was kind enough to leave the credit cards.
|Christmas Eve with wifi and Stella|
5. Our Sleep: See above. Alex, sick and dozing in and out of sleep, kept shouting out during the night that he couldn't sleep, and it was not fair that the rest of us were sleeping when he wasn't [note: uh... nope... the rest of us were sharing his state of wakefulness]
6. Our Phones: Plural. Steve's was the first to go. Well... not the ‘whole’ phone. Steve watched with horror as his phone dropped to the ground and bounced near a grate. The back popped off, but he managed to find both front and back and pop the phone back together. It was several hours (and several unsuccessful phone call attempts) later that he realized there was no longer a battery on the inside. I guess it is laying somewhere at the bottom of the grate. As for mine? I think it fell out of my pocket in the bathroom at the Customs Control leaving France.
7. Our Way: yes... we ‘lost our way’. Or rather, Steve lost his way, trying to take the train to the airport to pick up the rental car. He got on a train going the wrong way, and ended up instead in Leuven. He says that this 'loss' ended up being one of the happy moments of the trip, since the train went right past the Stella Beer Bottling Plant.
|Dinner with Sophie|
8. Skin: It was only Duncan who lost skin... We had a great dinner at my friend Sophie Moonen's house, and she introduced the kids to Raclette. Yum, yum....Duncan now knows to hold the little heating pans by the handle, and not to touch the metal directly. A lesson we all learn at some point. He also learned that you can eat an entire meal while holding one finger in a glass of ice water (which you can see him doing in this photo!).
9. Integrity: well.... that was sort of by accident the first time! We were running late to get to Sophie's for dinner, and hopped on the metro without having a valid ticket first... there wasn’t a gate there, or a ticket booth, so... well... no excuses. Our integrity was compromised (though we weren’t caught!)
|At the Metropolitain Police...|
11. Our regularly Scheduled Route: Once we got home, we discovered that the Northern Line (which goes to our house) was down for the week for maintenance, so we had to find a bus to get us home from Victoria Station.
I know there are a few more bizarre moments mixed in there, but my fingers are getting tired of typing.
So.... what do you do with a vacation like that? As the British would say, "Stay Calm & Carry On". It was like the Mastercard commercial on TV... the list of expenses followed by the tag line, "Memories? Priceless!" I guess that about sums it up (in a dysfunctional and sick sort of way) A mixed of hysteria and hysterically bizarre/funny.
In short... just another normal family vacation!