Dinant, Belgium

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The Citadel, Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, and statue of Charles de Gaulle

I visited Dinant with my parents back in 2014, but Koen had never been. We had a bit of sunshine, so I convinced Koen to take the trek down south. Dinant is most famously known as being the home of Adolphe Sax, who invented the saxophone, and the Battle of Dinant in 1914, where Lieutenant Charles de Gaulle was wounded. The landmarks are the Citadel of Dinant and the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame. Important to Koen and me is of course the regional cuisine – the couques de Dinant, Europe’s hardest cookie, the flamiche, a type of quiche, and Leffe beer which comes from the Leffe Abbey. A lot to see and take in!

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Ostend, Belgium

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Picture Perfect Ostend

Although still cold, the sun was shining – so why not take a trip to the Belgian coast? There are so many cities in Beligum I’d still like to visit and Ostend was at the top of my list.

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Christina and Rafaël Visit!

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Christina and Rafaël at the Christmas Market

I’m so happy my best friend is married to someone from the Netherlands. That means every once a while she’ll be closeby and we can see each other! Antwerp/New York City  is a long distance, but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed!

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Lux Restaurant – Christmas Dinner

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Opening my gift at the table

Two years in a row now I’ve celebrated Christmas dinner at Lux Restaurant in ‘t Eilandje. Delicious food and a great atmosphere!

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Otomat (My Brother’s in Antwerp!)

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Grayson and me with the hand of Antwerp

My brother was in Europe traveling through a few countries for work and was able to plan in one day to visit me in Antwerp! We visited De Koninck Brewery and finished the evening at one of my favorite pizza places – Otomat. From their site:

Otomat is the first completely Belgian pizza concept. Typically Belgian is the “beer'” character, with more than 20 Belgian beers and the pizza dough is made with Duvel beer yeast – heavenly pizza with the Duvel inside.

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Hof Van Cleve

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Dinner at Hof Van Cleve!

Koen and I decided we really wanted to try eating at the best restaurants in Belgium, so of course Hof Van Cleve was at the top of our list – Number 50 Best Restaurant in the World 2017 and it has 3 Michelin stars.

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Orso Pizzeria

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Mom and Dad in front of Orso Pizzeria

For my parents’ last night in Belgium we headed to one of our favorite places, Orso Pizzeria. Orso is located in Berchem, a small city in the province of Antwerp – but only 15 minutes away by tram, so not too far! It’s a small place where you definitely need to reserve ahead of time for a table. The pizza is super delicious and they serve their own naturally fermented wines!

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De Koninck Brewery with the Family

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Entrance to De Koninck

My parents are in town! I really love the De Koninck Brewery, so I thought this would be a fun family outing for both my parents and my in-laws to do together!

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Leuven

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Heading to downtown Leuven

A good friend of ours just moved to Leuven, so we came to visit to see the new place and explore! This was my first time in the city, but I knew I wanted to have dinner at Würst – the “haute” dog restaurant by Jeroen Meus. We tried a few varieties, but my favorite has to be the most classic – topped with pickles and sauerkraut. After dinner we went for homemade gelato at Decadenza Gelateria. A delicious evening!

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Girls’ Night Out

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Hannah and me

This past weekend Koen was away in Rotterdam for a boys’ weekend, so I invited Hannah to come to Antwerp for a girls’ weekend! We planned for a delicious Japanese dinner at Osaka (edit – Osaka has since closed its doors after 20 years), followed by drinks at Dogma. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Lints, coffee at Caffènation, and then a walk in the Botanical Gardens to see the cacti! A great weekend!

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