It has been such an amazing two weeks over here at our place in Antwerp. I still cannot believe my mom, dad, brother and girlfriend all came to spend the holidays with us. I wish the six of us could get together more often! Though I am SO GRATEFUL even for this one Christmas.
The trip started off with my brother and his girlfriend Marcella visiting from New York. They arrived the Saturday before Christmas. My mom and dad didn’t come in until Christmas morning which gave us kids a good chunk of time to catch up just the four of us. It had been over a year since I had seen these two, so it was so awesome to spend time together again.
I was impressed by Doug and Marcella’s stamina. They arrived at 9:30am but were ready to power through the day with us. We went to lunch, had a few beers in the city and then by late afternoon they were ready for a quick nap. For the evening, I cooked dinner at home and we kept it pretty low key. We watched movies and laughed together until we were all ready to hit our beds. The next day we had plans to drive to Germany for a Christmas market, but the weather was dreary and no one was in the mood to be stuck out in the cold rain. We did some walking and site seeing around Antwerp instead. We got wet, but at least home was nearby.
Christmas Eve I forced everyone to go to church. Service was early, so we were back in time to prepare dinner and enjoy a festive evening at home. I prepared a “Feast of Seven Fishes” meal, keeping Garrett’s family tradition alive. For appetizers we served oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon with fixing, and anchovies on crackers. Dinner was my mom’s cioppino with mussels, cod, shrimp, and scallops. Seven fishes!
Christmas morning came early and Doug and Garrett drove to the Brussels airport to pick up my mom and dad. Apparently there was a screaming baby on board and mom and dad got little sleep on the flight. None the less, they powered through mimosas and beers, cinnamon buns and present opening before laying down for a nice four hour nap.
We decided to do all stocking stuffers this year rather than big gifts. I thought this was so much fun! The real present, of course, was everyone being together on Christmas.
And that is just the beginning of our great trip. More to come later, but for now I’ll give the pictures a rest.