Monday, November 17, 2008

Settling In!

So we have arrived in Brussels (toting NINE checked bags, not to mention the stroller and other carry ons!) and are finally connected to the internet in our apartment after 2 weeks!!! Hooray. Up to this point we have had to take turns at night going down the block to the McDonalds with free WiFi after Connor goes to sleep at night! But thank goodness for the McDonalds - not only for free internet but an indoor playground and a Ronald McDonald to boot. Connor likes those! Mom does too on rainy days!

It has been a busy time since arriving. We rented an unfurnished apartment right in the center of town - you can literally see the "Grande Place" from our street! It is a great place with easy access to public transport and markets and it has a lot of European charm. We decided that if we rented an unfurnished apartment and furnished it ourselves with IKEA furniture that it would come out about even cost-wise over the 18 months - and would give us a chance to personalize it and babyproof it the way we wanted versus a prefurnished apartment. Now that we are a million IKEA boxes into this endeavor and our arms ache from putting together so much furniture (bed, couch, dining table, lights!) we are still happy with our decision - but definitely underestimated the task. Things are getting set up and homey slowly but surely!

We have already made a big trip to Portugal. Kirk had a 4 day holiday weekend right off the bat (Belgian Armistice Day) so we decided we shouldn't let that time go to waste. Portugal was amazing - great weather and a perfect escape from the boxes and moving exhaustion! We went to Lisbon, Sintra (an enchanting fairy tale town of palaces and forests) and Oporto (the home of Port wine). We also rented a car and went to Santiago de Compostela in Spain to see the famous church that so many pilgrims have come to - this is considered the third largest Christian city, next to Rome and Jeruselum - but it was a quaint college town. We had fun marveling at Portugeuse tiles, tasting port wine and also finding every playground in Portugal for Connor to enjoy!

More to come, but enjoy our blog! --- Reid

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