We took a quick weekend trip to Slovenia in the fall of last year, and loved it! We stayed at Lake Bled, and checked out Castle Bled, Savica Waterfall, Vintgar Gorge, and Ziva Wellness Pool Complex. I posted a little more about Slovenia here, but here are a few more pictures!
We are already one month into the new year! We are heading to Wales and England next month, which we are all pretty stoked about. (Me especially – more castles!!)
We spent a lovely Christmas in Dresden, Germany – a city we absolutely loved. The Christmas market was amazing, the (re-built) architecture beautiful. And of course, our company was lovely: my sister and her husband joined us.
Richard took the boys to the zoo while Bekah, Ryan, and I explored every inch of the Christmas market, and we even took a short day trip to Poland! (I say day trip, but really we were only in Poland for 30 min. I’m not sure it really counts.)
On our way to Dresden, we stopped in Seiffen, a small mountain town essentially defined as Christmas in a mountain village. The famous wooden Germany Christmas decorations? Made in Seiffen and the surrounding region. I was in *heaven*.
A few of my favorite pics:
In theory, I have more time now that the kids are in school. In practice, I’ve started on so many new projects over the last few months that it feels like I haven’t gained many minutes.
In addition to keeping the blog up here, I’ve started working on three other blogs: one about mindful parenting, one focused on writing, travel, and social issues, and one for activism. FingerPuppet Press is a new site focused on mindful parenting and integrating learning with the daily grind. It has a blog, printable activities, and eventually will link to some ebooks I have in the works. I write more serious blog posts on Ris Phillips, and occasionally post photos there also. Finally, I help maintain Get Your Pack to Act, a site focused on providing resources and posts on how to stay politically active with a core group of friends. I’ve also finally finished a first draft of the book I’ve been writing, so much of my writing time has focused on that and will now turn to revisions.
In addition, we’re focused on traveling as much as possible during this last year here in Belgium! We just returned from a quick weekend trip to Slovenia, and I’ll have a post soon with pictures from that. (Preview: it was amazing!)
Despite the many projects, we also are enjoying our last year in Belgium. Wesley has settled into first grade, and though he doesn’t enjoy his homework, he still dives in right after getting home. Vincent continues to thrive in school, also. We are now coming up on the holidays, and are looking forward to both travel and visitors!
Apparently I completely missed posting in August.
Our summer was full and busy! We had five sets of visitors, and took three different trips. Our visits ranged from my former boss who took a train in for 18 hours, to Richard’s brother & his family who were here for over two weeks.
By the end of the summer, we had been to eight countries (3 of them new!). We traveled with friends to Greece, took a roadtrip through Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and France with Richard’s brother & family, and spent a week driving around northern England and southern Scotland, where we met up with a couple different friends.
By the end of the summer, our castle total was up to 120. We finally saw Neuschwanstein Castle, which the walt disney castle was based on, saw a couple new ones in Greece, a few new ones in Austria, and we saw fourteen during our week-long visit to the UK. I need to update my castle list!
Hopefully now that the kids are back in school, I’ll be able to update the blog more regularly!
I’ll need to publish a catch-up post in a couple weeks with pictures and stories from our first two sets of visitors for the summer, plus our first trip of the summer (another trip to Greece!!). In the meantime, Richard’s brother and his family are in town! It’s their first visit to see us, and it’s been so much fun to show them around and have Kyle here to play with the boys.
We’ve explored Tongeren, played at Bokrijk in Genk, visited Vianden Castle in Luxumbourg, checked out the war museum in Bastogne, and played at our park here in town. In a couple of days, we’ll be heading out on a week roadtrip through Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and France, so there will be even more pictures to post!
In the meantime, here are a few pictures from their trip so far:
We had our first (of five!) set of visitors last week, and since I knew my friend liked poppies as much as I do, I scoured the internet for fields close to me. In 2014, the Belgian government partnered with communities to plant 73 poppy fields, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of WWI. One of those fields is about 25 minute from me.
I knew the area roughly, but the map I had found wasn’t exactly pinpoint accurate. After driving around aimlessly for 20 minutes, I finally spotted a woman outside her house, and pulled over to ask for directions. After a series of turns (right, left, right, left, up a hill, on the left), we found it.
It was amazing. We were close to sunset, so the light was beautiful. We ended our afternoon with a beautiful sunset at Reading Between the Lines.
[Boys are playing with their legos in the other room, pretend battling]
Wesley: [something something] SON OF A BITCH!
Me: Wesley! That’s a grown-up word.
Wesley: But momma, I didn’t say it, Batman said it.
Me: Wesley. Are you a grown up?
Me: Then you aren’t allowed to say it!
Wesley: But Momma, BATMAN is a grown-up!