Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Day Out in Antwerp

After all the May holidays and far away jaunts, it was time for Kirk to get back to work which means time for us to get back to day trippin'! We had been wanting to return to Antwerp for quite some time now since it is one of the Belgium biggies in tourism and the last time we popped by Antwerp was in the dead of winter. Plus, any city devoted to fashion icons and shopping has to be fun. I think this is where the European Sarah Jessica Parker would shop for her shoes and classy, funky clothes.We went with Karen and Brady on a deep blue sky day. Antwerp is only about 30 minutes from Brussels so it makes for an easy hop, skip and jump. The first thing we saw was the breathtaking market square. There were kids on a school trip, a new bride posing for photos, a clip-clop horse drawn carriage and a grand fountain to admire. Connor and Brady were in heaven. By the time we got all settled and a plan for the day mapped out we were of course hungry. You can never get too far from food with toddlers in tow. It is a stop, start, stop, start kind of a challenge! We found what is supposed to be the very best fritterie in town and had some lunch.
We had grand plans to see so much including the Diamond District, the Museum to Fashion (MoMU), sights along the water, and several art hot spots. But as soon as we hit the main shopping street we all got distracted. It was an alluring wide pedestrian avenue with happy window displays that beckoned us in. I can't tell you why the Antwerp stores feel so much better and more familiar than those in Brussels, but they do. They are clean and colorful; even the people seem more helpful. We popped in and out and I got two adorable summer play dresses for Connor. I am a sucker for discounted sundresses!

It wasn't too long before we realized we had not made it to A SINGLE ONE of our tourist to dos. But the kids got sleepy and were ready for naps. So we turned around, grateful for the sunny day and vowing to return one of these times to actually see the places in our guidebooks rather than simply shopping the day away!

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