Rainy Day

Today was another cold, rainy day which was spent doing laundry (the reality of traveling with just a carry on bag), and then wandering around the markt, shopping, eating, drinking, and enjoying people watching. We came across some street performers and lots and lots of adorable pets – even an Old English Sheepdog and a bunny!

In Bruges

After (almost) 3 years of pent up wanderlust, Tim and I have finally hit the road again. We decided to do a quick trip to Belgium, mostly because there were seats available.

The flight over was fine. Okay, honestly, it was noisy (imagine crying babies, screaming children, and lots of yapping and whining from little dogs) and so we didn’t get much (much=any) sleep. Then the customs line was slooooowwwwww. But we finally got on the train to Bruges!

By the time we arrived at our Airbnb in Bruges it was noon local time and we’d been up for 24 hours. We were exhausted…so we crashed for about 4 hours. We got up and walked to the market square (markt), ate dinner, had a beer, and just marveled at the fact that we were finally traveling again. Europe, we’ve missed you!

The next day we did the touristy things – a canal boat tour, and city bus tour…and then just walked around and explored and ate and drank. We learned a lot about the history of Bruges and saw swans and beautiful buildings and the sun was out.

This was the old city hospital. The arrow is pointing to where “ambulances” would drop off patients (by boat). In the lower right corner you can see the edge of a door which is where the dead were picked up.

Oops…

I’ve been remiss in my blogging. At first it was because there were some family issues going on, and then Jack, our Chinese exchange student, needed to be placed with another family and I really didn’t want to talk about that. But then other things kept happening and it kept getting busier and busier, and I got a new iPad and forgot the password for the blog (because the old iPad had it set up automatically) and we were traveling and I just got busy and I forgot! I’m sorry!

And so now it’s the end of the year and SO much has happened this year, and since this blog is primarily a chronicle of our family, I feel obligated to try to resurrect my rusty blogging skills, such as they were, and try to report a few of the events (as succinctly as possible!) of the past few months. 

As I mentioned, Jack’s stay with us lasted only 6 weeks. Unfortunately, there were some family issues going on in another state and we were just not able to be full-time caregivers to another child who needed a LOT of attention. P and I made a couple of trips up to Virginia for college tours, interviews, and scholarship interviews…

   
     

We had a fabulous family Christmas adventure, visiting Washington D.C. And then Belgium (which was perfectly magical…albeit a bit chilly!)

   
                         

   
  

C has had an amazing year this year! He is loving college now that he is living off campus and is finally getting into his major classes more. He worked on an independent research project this semester, started an environmental fishing club, and has been catching and tagging sharks for NOAA. He also found a bunny at work the day before Easter – so he now has Buddy (the bird), a tank of fish, and Roger Rabbit. 

   
                

Let’s see, what else have I missed? Oh yeah – P finally picked a college! After all the trips to Virginia and touring and interviews, she decided on….

   

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY! She’s going to be a Seminole!

Which means that WE will be staying in Florida…and these soon to be empty-nesters are heading out to the beach for a change of lifestyle. 

Here’s a few more random photos from the past few months…