Sunday, January 17, 2010

Forced Family Fun Day



Ahhhhh... forcing your teenagers to participate in a day of togetherness. Love it! They (mostly C-Bear) scream bloody murder at first and then they kind of give into it.

We have FFFD every couple of months and last week I got it in my craw that we were due. On Friday (a school and Husband work holiday) I woke everyone at 8:00 am and dragged them to Brussels. Husband came willingly after a cup of coffee.

We decided to drive into town and find a parking garage since the trains are no great deal on weekdays especially for four people. Oh, and I forgot to mention here that a few months back we bought a 1996 beater Volkswagen Passat sedan that gets kick-ass gas mileage! It's diesel and gets about 40 mpg. My heart goes pitter patter and I giggle now just typing 40 mpg and thinking about all the money I'm saving not driving the mini-van.

Back on topic... we arrived in town just in time for lunch. We were a little headachy because the beater car has an exhaust leak, but hey, nothing a little fresh air won't fix.


We wandered to the Grand Place (pictured at right and below), saw the mannekin pis and headed to lunch at Chez Leon - tasty and relatively cheap.



Afterwards we walked up the hill and spent the afternoon at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium www.fine-arts-museum.be/site/EN/default.asp . This is an AMAZING world class museum. It is separated into moderne and ancien (modern and ancient if you couldn't figure that out)... We started with the old stuff upstairs and walked through a maze of galleries looking at very familiar and famous paintings by Rembrandt, van der Weyden and other Flemish artists, Pieter Brueghel the elder and his son (P-Diddle's favorite), and Rubens. We were pooped and still had the modern art wing to hit.

The modern part of the museum is newly remodeled and on eight floors starting with the most modern (20th century) on the bottom floor. This was my absolutely favorite part of the museum and I could have hung out there all day but everyone else had had enough. We headed out and went to dinner at Ikea.

Why Ikea? you ask... because the kid's love the cafeteria self-service style, the Swedish meatballs, the desserts and I love the price! Lunch in Brussels was twice as much as dinner plus dessert at Ikea. Plus I can sneak a few minutes of shopping on the periphery while we are there (go too deep into the maze of shopping at Ikea and Husband is threatening divorce so I don't push it).

As the cap on our FFFD, Husband had pre-purchased tickets for the movie Avatar in 3D in English (with French/Flemish subtitles). Hot Damn, a little taste of America in Waterloo, Belgium! The movie was enthralling, the kid's loved it, Husband and I loved it and we went home exhausted and happy and smelling of diesel.

1 comment:

AirmanMom said...

Thanks for allowing me to walk down my own memory lane of 'teenagers in a family event'. At times, I thought they would rather have their wisdom teeth extracted with no meds, than spend a family day together. It always turned out nice, a good memory.
IKEA swedish meatballs are so yummy, I wish we lived closer so that we could just pop in for lunch or dinner.
Lovely post and beautiful photos!
~AM