Another quick break from Fitness to talk about Belgium 🙂
Brugge is a little gem for anyone interested in traveling! It was never on my bucket list of countries to visit, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to go, and to be hosted by a long time friend and her family!
I just got back from Brugge about a week ago and all I can say is that I was blown away by the people and the place! This was my first weekend away from the boys and I didn’t really realize how much I needed it until I got back. There are so many truly amazing aspects of being a mom, it’s life changing really; mentally, emotionally, physically, and internally! It is tough work being a mom, a lot more than I EVER imagined! I was working in commercial design with an international company prior to having my second child, Bennett. I was traveling, entertaining clients, giving presentations, and I promise being a mom blows the stress of any job out of the water…it can be SO CHALLENGING! I guess when your heart and your mind are so involved, and you are so determined to make a perfect life for your children, it tends to put more stress on you than anything outside your family. The best kind of stress if that makes sense! Anyhow, the time away really gave me the energy to come back and be mommy again 🙂 Plus the day I got back, Bennett said Mommy!!!! His first word.
Celine and I met while I lived in Singapore about 4 years ago now (time flies!!!!), and have maintained our friendship ever since. I flew in late Thursday night, so I had all day Friday and Saturday to explore the city. Celine is a fashion model, so she had a shoot Friday morning, which gave me time to get a mani/pedi and a massage! Brugge reminded me so much of Amsterdam in that everyone bikes, walks, and the city is easily doable by foot. All of the signs are in Flemish, so in that regard it was a little challenging, but I managed 🙂 My full body massage was on a waterbed, which I found really interesting! If you’re ever in Brugge, you need to visit Xantippe for some pampering!
I also did some shopping, harassed a tourist to take a photo for me in front of one of their many canals, and bicycled around the city. Brugge is known as the Venice of the North b/c of its canals, which did serve a significant economic importance b/c of it’s port; it was once one of the world’s chief commercial cities.
There are so many cute shops on the side streets and since I didn’t have Charlie & Bennett with me, I actually got to take my time in each shop and look at everything I wanted to! This NEVER happens, so I was literally in heaven b/c one of my fav things to do is shop! Ironically enough, I ended up in a baby shop buying things for my babies! I couldn’t pass up this paci from a swedish brand called Bjallra that said Boss Baby! Perfect for Charlie 🙂 I also visited a home decor shop that was out of this world! I wanted everything in the shop and ended up getting a VERY unique gift for my younger sister, Kristi, so I can’t tell you all what it is yet! She lives in Oregon, and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get it back to the US without carrying it on the plane or shipping it! Remind me to tell you what it is!
When I met Celine around 4, we met up with some friends for drinks at the Urb Egg. We stayed there for quite a while actually and ended up ordering some sashimi to nibble on for dinner. The Urb Egg is quite a cool concept; it’s a pop up bar w/ a trendy dj and when it becomes summer in Brugge, the Urb Egg pops up in a different spot every year.
This whale told a very eye opening story. This is ALL TRASH from the North Sea 🙁 All over the city there were sculptures made from all sorts of recyclable material, all very creative and beautiful. Brugge was such a picturesque city!
That evening we went to see Celine’s brother DJ by the seaside. It was a beautiful event that started at 11:00 PM. HELLO!!!! I go to bed at 9:30 latest, so this was WAY past my bedtime, but well worth it. We both drank a little too much, but managed to wake up and go for a 10k run around the city. I felt 10,000x better when we were finished and we ran around the whole of Brugge, which is one big oval w/ a population of 117,000 people. We then met up with a friend, Thibault, (who is one fab photographer, side note!) and spent the rest of the day on the canals and seeing Brugge by horse 🙂
The tour around the city by horse was one of my favorite things we did on Saturday 🙂 The horses were gorgeous! I am a HUGE animal lover for those of you that don’t know me! As soon as we are done having kids and settled somewhere, I want like 5 dogs, another frog, a bird…I think animals add so much life to a house!
Of course I had to fit shopping into the day! And there are some AMAZING boutiques in Brugge. Way too many to cover in a weekend 🙂
After exploring the city a bit, we headed to grab cocktails and dinner at Cookie’s!!! Cookie’s is always packed (if you’re heading there, def make a reser!) and it is an out of this world Tapas Bar! Not only am I saying that b/c it is, but I know both Cookie & Kim, the owners, from waayyy back in Singapore. We all traveled to Bali together a few years back and shared a large villa, the 6 of us. We got to experience Kim’s cooking there of course, but I’m proud to say that it is just as amazing and even when she’s 28 weeks pregnant and feeling exhausted 🙂 You go girl! And you look FANTASTIC!!!!
After drinking way too much wine AGAIN, we wandered home, and thank God we didn’t bring the bikes! Mine got a flat tire earlier in the afternoon and let me tell you it was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t ride home! Sunday morning we went back to the seaside for an IWC sponsered event. Pilots were flying these TINY planes & taking off and landing back on the beach! Celine was brave enough to go! I on the other hand, am SUPER claustrophobic and no one could drag me into a 2 seater plane! Much less take off and land on the beach…Eeeeekkkkkkk! So I observed 🙂
Brugge was such a cute, quaint, little town and a perfect place for a girls weekend! Especially for a mommy of 2 crazy boys! Although I must say, I did miss my 2 littles and my big baby 🙂