It’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last post and the time has just flown by! We did so much, that I’m going to break the two weeks into two posts. I can’t wait to share it all!
The kids were off school for Spring Break or as they call it here, Easter Holiday, from Good Friday to April 10. They just went back to school yesterday! We’ve never had a two-week Spring Break and we took advantage of the time together. Hubby was able to take time off and enjoy the break with us. We traveled locally, spending time doing cheap or free activities, and then took a 5-day trip to southern Germany. We had the luxury of being able to look at the weather forecast for our trip and plan it around the best weather days and it WORKED! We had beautiful springtime weather, sunshine and temps in the 60’s (it even got to 70 one day!)
We started break by visiting Gaasbeek Castle, which is only about 7 miles from our house. The castle and gardens were not open to the public yet, the day we visited, but it was a beautiful walk and fun to see. It’s known as a fairy-tale castle because of its design and we saw two wedding parties having their pictures taken in front of the castle. One wedding even rented a “Cinderella” carriage for the occasion! It was pretty magical for Little Miss E.
After that, we drove a few more miles through the countryside and visited the Botanic Garden Meise, which is located on the grounds of the 12th century, Bouchout Castle. We enjoyed walking the grounds, but the highlight for all of us was the Plant Palace. The younger kids had fun playing among the plants and we ALL enjoyed the tropical temperatures in many of the different rooms! Some sections are currently under renovation, but it’s certainly a worthwhile visit and inexpensive, even for a large family like ours! Cost: 7EUR/adult and free for the kids
We spent a quiet Easter day at home, and then visited friends for Easter dinner. We had a blast having an Easter egg hunt with a dozen kiddos between the 4 families. All the kids, even the big girls (15 and 17) participated and had a great time!
Shortly after we moved here, we visited the local zoo, Pairi Daiza, which is on the grounds of a former Cistercian monastery, Cambron Abbey. We decided then, that this year we would purchase an annual pass for the zoo, which is the price of two admissions to the zoo. So, we got our passes mid-week and it was off to the zoo. It is the most beautiful and enjoyable zoo we have ever been to! The exhibits are wonderful and encompass animals from the domestic to exotic. We’ve seen baby goats to a rare macaque. They have an indoor aquarium and an outdoor raptor show. In 2015 it was awarded, Best Zoo and Best Park in Belgium and the Netherlands by the Diamond Themepark Awards, and it was named “Worth the Trip” in the Michelin Green Guide to Belgium. We made our 3rd visit yesterday with Little Miss E for her own Mommy and Daddy day and finally saw the last of the animal exhibits! Each visit we’ve spent 3-4 hours there and there are still more exhibits and shows that we haven’t seen. Here is a little sample:
We did so much this week, including grilling, games, movies, family time and lots of laughs!
Join me for my next post about our trip to southern Germany. We saw another fairy-tale castle, this one is much more famous!