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Archive for July, 2017

Our first full day in Europe was dedicated to exploring Bruges. In the morning we followed the walk described in the Rick Steves guidebook.

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Chocolate!

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And that’s the last we’ll see of Grace’s right shoe. I actually thought they were a bit loose when we left home, but I only had time to find one rubber band. So her left shoe was rubber banded on, and stayed on for the whole trip, while her right shoe was lost on the second day, somewhere in Bruges!

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The highlight of the morning was the Groeninge Museum, where we learned about the Flemish Primitives. Not what you’d expect from the word primitive; these paintings were amazingly detailed. The word primitive refers to times before the renaissance.

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We took a break in the afternoon, stopping on the way to the hotel to buy gelato (banana and speculoos!) and chocolates to take home.

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Dinner was a street waffle!

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After dinner we took a free guided walking tour. A beautiful way to end a beautiful day in Bruges.

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Hello everyone! I’m back from a really great vacation, and I brought mini Grace. June 9-19, Grace and I went to Belgium and the Netherlands.

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We left early on a Friday morning. Ferry, then bus to the airport.

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Telling our facebook friends:

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We flew British Airways to Brussels via London.

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Then we took an unnecessarily long (track construction) train ride to Bruges.

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Feeling pretty worn out, after arriving at my hotel in Bruges, I went out for dinner (Flemish stew!) and a short walk.

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And that’s it for day 1! There’s a lot more to share, Grace and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Charlsea’s Hometown!

Back in May Charlsea and I took a little trip to Salt Spring Island! Do you know where Salt Spring Island is? It’s in Canada, well below the 49th parallel, just a little north and west from where I live.

Our journey started with a ferry off our island and onto San Juan Island.

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We hung out in Friday Harbor for a little bit, enough time for breakfast and some quick exploring.

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From Friday Harbor, we had to catch another ferry to Canada.

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Here’s our first photo in Canada, just off the dock in Sidney, BC:

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Our priority in Sidney was groceries! Specifically, my sister wanted quite a variety of Canadian candy bars. I also picked up Maple Bacon Potato Chips and Canadian Fanta.

Here are a few photos around Sidney:

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From Sidney we had to ride a bus for just 10 minutes to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay.

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And we rode our third ferry of the day!

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It wasn’t long before we were all ashore on Salt Spring Island!

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We were able to catch a bus to our hotel.

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Check out the guy who sat next to us on the bus; he has the same shoes as Charlsea!

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We checked into the hotel, then headed out to explore town and find dinner. It was a lovely evening.

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The next morning we started with the Salt Spring Island Saturday market!

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The market was nice, and it sold all sorts of stuff. Didn’t buy anything (well, except for some poutine later from a food truck), but it was fun to look.

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After we had thoroughly explored the market, we went hiking. But first, this bit of Salt Spring uniqueness:

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We hiked around a park close to town. It had a few different trails, a Frisbee golf course, and carved up trees.

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After hiking, Charlsea suggested we go kayaking.

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But Charlsea wasn’t allowed to go because she left her PFD at home, and the store didn’t have any available in her size! So I went without her, and had a ton of fun, even if my arms were crazy sore later.

And the next morning we headed back home. Here are our last few photos of Canada:

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before we got back on a ferry to Sidney,

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then back to Washington. It was such a nice day for being out on the water!

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This is Charlsea reading the ferry schedule, trying to figure out when we’d get home.

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We had quite a lot of time to wait in Friday Harbor. We spent most of it eating Chinese food. But we finally made it home.

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Salt Spring Island is a beautiful, almost magical place, definitely worth three ferry rides to get to. Until the next adventure!

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