All good things must come to an end....

And so it goes....our final days in Europe come to a close. We leave for Brookline this Wednesday, August 8 with packing, tracking down souvenirs, thank-you gifts and final to-do lists to fill the time. Two days ago, we left sunny, chaotic, risky, beautiful, warm, physical Southern Italy and arrived to orderly, empty (all are on their 4 week summer 'vacances'), behaved, careful, clean, regulated, precise Brussels. Fortunately, the weather was sunny in Brussels. A nice greeting. Unfortunately, two of our three bags didn't make it with us. Alitalia. ALITALIA. Always Late In Take-off, Always Late In Arrival. Or, aka, the one airline notorious for mysteriously losing or misplacing luggage. Worst kind of bad stereotypes come creeping into your head with this situation. Naples, Italy - a total zoo. Zippered, unlocked luggage. Ugh. But after a couple of days of haranguing the airline,we recovered both bags, all in tact. And delivered to our front door.

And so now our last minute errands include amassing Belgian chocolates, Belgian beer, and a random collection of Belgian cool stuff (like super cheap fleur de sel, speculoos cookies, and godknowswhatelse. Apparel or other wearable accoutrement, not so much. Very Boden/Ann Taylor-safe in Brussels. Antwerp, very hip, very Dries Van Noten, but didn't get there) that I can find. But specifically, that means Scott's got a very important excursion to: "De Bier Tempel"


In the Grand Place. When I first heard of this my thoughts went right to some stinky pub and gave Scott the "yeah....right...." but then I got more info. and apparently, if you're a beer snob, this place really is like a temple. A shrine. And what they do sell, which is the main purpose of this pilgrimage, are these larger than life size bottles of beer. Not just 1.5 liter size, like the size of a bottle of wine. You can get 3, 4.5, on up to 12 liter bottles. And each has some biblical name to the size. For instance:

A 1.5 liter is a Magnum,
a 3 liter is a Jeraboam,
a 6 liter is a Methuselah,
a 12 liter is a Balthazar,
and the mother of all sizes is 15 liter, or Nebuchadnezzar

If it weren't for the incredibly high quality of beer that each contains these would merely be behemoth novelties but you can't really find them in the US any more and they're great for dinner parties...hence the purpose of the errand.

Although fun to image Scott toting these big, heavy bottles. "What? It's just beer."

The kids have emoted, in their own freaky, hyper, epileptic manner of expression that returning home is a little stressy. Maia said that she feels excited and scared and both emotions together make her feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. Tearful now and then. For a somewhat emotionally repressed kid I thought this was pretty cool. Colb, on the other hand, goes back and forth between ultra-silly bathroom boy stuff to just lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling. Both have said that they have had an amazing time...'better than expected'. So, high-fives for that.
And for me, it has been like a dream. Our little apartment was really perfect. Our days, rainy or not were are filled with something new and different. Italy was really over the top. But in general, Brussels provided us a look into what I didn't know was possible, granted it's a super-livable city for an American, but it's nice to know we pulled it off. And hopefully, some day, we can do this again.

So home we head. To Brookline. Emerson Park. Lucy. River. Dear, missed Abrams, Roland-Kalbs, Hiltons, Corrados. And Rhode Island. Family. Narragansett Beach. All very warm and wonderful folks to return to. So much to be thankful for.

Not sure if or how I'll continue this blog but it's been a wonderful way to journal our highs and lows. Cathartic and totally self-indulgent, if nothing else. Come back for a visit now and then, if you so desire.

And because I still love Tintin so much (and never tire of the colors of these illustrations, Capt. Haddock being my all time fave), the whole gang bids a fond farewell...


beachbungalow8 said...

can we, please, just make this 'bonjour brookline' or maybe, 'oy! brookline'? i need to keep reading your writings.

have a safe trip. i'll be flying to (gulp) k.c. let's cross our fingers for each other.

Karen @ BonjourBruxelles said...

wo-wo-wo....KC!!?? We must talk. Need all the deets and then want to hear how it goes (not demanding of me at all).

As for the blog, Ima thinking about it...maybe bonjour brookline? need to put some thought into it but it's been a helluva lot fun writing. who knew?

thanks Megan, for everything!!

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