Birthday & Antwerp

Um…oops? 🙂

The last two weeks have been a blur. I had a birthday on Friday, and celebrated quietly… for four days straight, haha. Thursday night, my friends and I (including KB who was also celebrating her birthday!) went to the best restaurant around, Soleil d’Afrique in Matongé (I went earlier in the summer as well.)

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On Friday, my actual birthday, I took care of business at work and then let myself catch up with my far-flung friends. I heard from some people I haven’t seen in ages and it made my day. I vaguely remember some of my college friends discussing buying our own retirement community when we’re old and have money and nothing else to do, I think that would be awesome. Can we make that happen?

Birthdays are like New Year’s Eve to me (my favorite holiday, BTW). They’re time for reflection and re-assessing and updating and changing habits, not just celebrating surviving another spin around the sun. I took myself for a long walk around my neighborhood and ended up finding a cozy little restaurant serving one of Belgian’s specialities – moules frites. It was everything I wanted and more, haha. I’d like to point out the mayonnaise in the corner, which is for the frites. Ketchup isn’t a thing.

I also needed to knock two more beers off my bucket list, so I tried I Chimay Rouge. (I had the ‘misfortune’ of finding my favorite beer on the first try, so I’ve had to force myself to branch out).

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OEP kids, it wasn’t until I sat down that I noticed the name of the restaurant was Carpe Diem. I felt like it was an appropriate end to the year, hahaha.

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JB took me out for drinks that night at L’Athenee because she’s a doll, and I tried a caipirinha? I’d never heard of it before but apparently it’s Brazil’s national cocktail. Olé indeed. The next day we met at Bruxelles Centrale and took the (crazy-€4-cheap) train to Antwerp. It was beautiful.  Afterwards we sat outside in Parc Royal listening to the sweet jams of K’s choice and drinking margaritas outside the Brussels summer festival entrance.

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This guy was amazing - Tobias van Hattem. I found him on Facebook but I don't know if there are any videos of him playing. He rolls the piano around to wherever he's playing.

This guy was amazing – Tobias van Hattem. I found him on Facebook – and here he is playing price tag, haha. Awesome.. He rolls the piano around to wherever he’s playing.

I did some research on the big statue in the middle of Grote Markt. It depicts the hero of Antwerp Brabo cutting the hands off the giant who used to take money from ships who wanted to enter Antwerp's harbor (because if the sailors didn't pay they suffered the same fate). It's actually a major swipe at the Dutch who used to restrict traffic going into the harbor - HA!

I did some research on the big statue in the middle of Grote Markt. It depicts the hero of Antwerp Brabo cutting the hands off the giant who used to take money from ships who wanted to enter Antwerp’s harbor (because if the sailors didn’t pay they suffered the same fate). It’s actually a major swipe at the Dutch who used to restrict traffic going into the harbor – HA!

because why not.

because why not. oh, and that’s an inflatable dragon behind me, haha.

grote markt. very typical flemish architecture I learned.

grote markt. very typical flemish architecture I learned.

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Today was the last day of my internship (I’m really sad about this), but I need to pass in my thesis by… oh, tonight. ReadysetGO.

Also! Thank you to the newly-discovered-by-me blog Journeys of the Fabulist that gave me a shout out on her recent post about visiting New York and Boston. I hope I was helpful! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Birthday & Antwerp

  1. No dumbo! But both of us are intrigued. The Wikipedia entry (and you) made it sound like a great area for a ramble- apparently just no time towards the end of the week. Next visit for sure. Thank you for taking the time to let me know of a corner I hadn’t heard about before!

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