She and her husband enjoyed their vacation here on Corfu, but it was to be their last summer on their own... they were anticipating the arrival of a new family member.
With her brother's (my other cousin Jeremy) wedding taking place, our planned trip netted us both a family wedding, and we got a chance to meet the newest family member: Arsène.
The only minor glitch turned out to be that it was market day and the town square and streets leading up to it were all closed off for the market stalls. Still it made for a charming crowd who spontaneously enjoyed the "show"!
My favorite part was after the ceremony, when were were all outside being arranged by the photographers, I noticed here was a small group of Japanese tourists who ended up taking many photos of the wedding party.
It does give one pause to know you are featured in someone's vacation photo packet!!
The reception was in a lovely old 17 century farm near the city of Mons (with cobblestone courtyard! excruciating on feet wearing high heels!) and beautiful buildings converted to serve the meal and have dancing and a nice party afterward.
I thought I'd include this photo of "saint middle son" as you can see the cobblestones we were all standing on for most of three hours! There's a lovely little pond behind him and the building behind the pond was where the dinner and dancing took place. This little farm had historically been on the road to Waterloo and over run by Napoleon and his troops.
The rest of our visit passed in a state of nostalgia for a beautiful and favorite city (Brussels) and great food, wine and amazing beer.
Every time my cousin and I get together in Brussels we race around, dragging our spouses and whomever else is along, down all the same back streets and little places we used to visit as children.
Some pictures of Brussels: the Grand Place
|The Grand Place|
[Particularly when i was a child!] The Spitter (le Cracheur)
Manneken Pis (obvious?)
Side street views I have loved:
a juggler store?
Tintin (with Snowy) and Captain Haddock (I grew up with the little guy!)
Galeries Royale St. Hubert
(first indoor shopping mall I ever knew...)
The amazing theatre of Toone :
which is a bit hard to explain as it's one family keeping alive an almost dead language- Bruxellois, which is a charming patois spoken at one time by the inhabitants of the city of Brussels. Toone is a theatre of puppets, or marionettes and originally they performed plays only in Bruxellois. There's a great deal of satire involved as well as clever interplays with words. There's also almost always a healthy dose of self-mockery that goes as well.
Brussels at times, over the past thousand years, has more like a small country between two others... the Flemish speaking people and the French speaking people of Belgium. Bruxellois evolved to include both languages.
Now for the food!
Moules in white wine sauce,
Frites- hot and crisp and homemade... (incredible seafood casserole in background)
Sole Meuniere perfectly prepared
Croquettes crevettes (with little grey shrimp from the North Sea...)
so many other lovely things... desserts, hard rolls, cheeses... excellent wines, lovely dark and also blond beers...
and of course, the eight pounds I gained in four days.