Sunset over Brussels. View from the south end of the city.

Last weekend we went to Brussels, and it turned out to be Belgium ‘National Day’ on the Saturday we were there. (Their national holiday is actually called ‘National Day.’) This coincidence made our trip so much more interesting because we got to see the king of Belgium (along with 100 horses) as he was going to mass on Saturday.

For the holiday, two of the main roads were closed down because they were filled with tons of activities and booths for children. We saw all sorts of things like face painting, rock climbing and French concerts in the park. Something that was really different from the fourth of July in the U.S. was the the focus of the Belgian military. Almost every booth and activity was run by role-playing soldiers from different time periods, and there were old planes and military trucks on display. It makes me wonder about different national celebrations around the world. But Belgium did have a parade and fireworks like the U.S.A. on the fourth of July.

Brussels is also home to the European Union, and although everything was closed, it was cool to walk around and see the buildings and parks.

Belgian waffles: to die for. One shop in Dandoy claims to make the best waffles in Belgium, and I’m not arguing. It was sweet and fluffy with a tiny bit of caramelized syrup. Oh so good! And the chocolate. Amazing! The shop lady explained that the truffles would last six weeks because they were handmade, but with us they didn�t last more than a day, as we proceeded to eat the first round right outside the shop.

Life is great here. Last Friday we even went water skiing with some Germans. Naively, we thought that we would be going out on a boat but instead we went water skiing on a wire above some water, at some sort of water skiing park. Other than being freezing cold, we all had a great time.

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