Monday, January 31, 2011

Gent Light Festival

Saturday night we went to the Gent light festival.  It was something else!  Some of the exhibits were a little bizarre but a few were breath taking and the entire night was just fun.  I think every single Gent resident was out despite the cold (~20 degrees).  My camera does not take good night pictures anymore so I included the link for the festival which has better pictures.  Click on some of the light switches to see the exhibits.  I like the first one,  the city lights shine bright every time a baby is born in any of the Gent maternity wards, Awwwwwww!  The best, in my opinion, was the light show on the Post building.  The pictures don’t do it justice but is was a cirque du soleil type projection onto the fa├žade of the building and was set to pump’n music, just awesome!  Had to be there though.  I posted a picture but it was something that couldn’t be captured on film.

These lamps belong to Gent residents.


The Post
Here is a better video of the Post building:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiaXquVQvJk&feature=related

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alex is crawling

He has been "scooching" around and crawling backwards for a week or so but he finally figured out how to move forward, and he's not a crab-crawler!  Here is a short clip of Alex on the move and a few other random cute pictures of my little nuggets.
video
Check out my teeth.

Yummy baguette!

Fun in the ball pit.


Weeeee!  B slid by herself today!

video
video

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2nd New Year's Drink

Well, we had our first night out in Gent without the kids and…it was GREAT!!! Love the little rug rats but it was nice to dress up and go out for a relaxing evening without worrying about where to change diapers or nurse. The babysitter was nice, and seamed very mature and responsible. This was our first time leaving the kids with someone we didn’t know but she came highly recommended by someone Steve works with. She said she would watch the kids again so things must have gone okay.

The night was great. We went to yet another New Year’s drink at the town hall, an old building in the heart of the city. The event was held in a beautiful ballroom, chandeliers and all with wine and appetizers served all night…for free! The mayor spoke in the beginning about expediting services for expats. Essentially they are creating a “fast lane” at the city hall for expats to get their residence cards in a more timely fashion (we STILL don’t have ours and won’t until Feb 24th). There were probably about 40-50 expats from all over the world. Fortunately, our relocation specialist, Lieve, was there and she introduced us to several other people in the room making the evening much less awkward. We had a great time & met really interesting people. The night went too fast so hopefully we’ll get to stay longer at the next event.

(Sorry no pictures.  My camera suffered some serious damage in London but hopefully I'll get a new one soon:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

London

We went to London this weekend to check the city out and to see our friends from West Seattle, Alison & Dave. It was fun seeing them (it’s been about 6 years) and London is a pretty cool place to meet and catch up. We weren’t too impressed with the food and the best beer on tap was Belgian of course! I do love that pubs are like Starbucks, on every corner. We did find a small Italian restaurant with the best pizza we’ve ever had (Vecchiomondo ). The first night we tried Indian and it was good but it was no Natraj (2nd St., Long Beach).

Saturday we met Dave & Alison at a huge flea market in Notting Hill. It only happens on Saturdays so if you go, try to plan your trip around it. It had everything: antiques, silver “stuff”, touristy nick-knacks, food, street performers…I am so glad A & D new about the flea market, it was the highlight of my trip. We then proceeded to walk to Piccadilly Circus which looks so close on the tourist map but Hyde Park must be 18 miles long because it took forever. We walked for about 6 hours that day but got to see a lot of the city. The “tube” is not double stroller friendly though we did use it on Friday night during rush hour, good fun! It was easier to walk everywhere so we got a pretty good work out during our weekend getaway too. B finally got to see “Big Ben Clock” which she is still talking about. It was awesome watching her face light up when we heard “Big Ben.”


B swinging at the Princess Diana memorial park
Me and Alex with Alison & Dave at the flea market

The London Eye

The parliament building & Big Ben clock tower

The Big Ben clock tower

The parliament building


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The New Year's celebrations continue...

On Sunday, the city of Gent hosted a new year’s toast with free wine, beer, coffee, hot chocolate etc... The kick off was at 11 am at St. Baafs square and began with several of the church bells and clock chimes ringing at the same time. It was such a beautiful noise especially to Bronwen who is extremely into clocks and gets a thrill every time the clocks chime in the city. Shortly after the “ringing” there were trumpets and then the Mayor of Gent gave a toast. I love that we are still celebrating the new year and it’s not over yet, we have another new year’s toast Jan 20th.


St. Baafs


B & Sofie