On Thursday at 11:11 am, Karneval broke out in Köln. We escaped the city the day before for a six-night tour of Belgium, starting with Brussels. After a minor setback Wednesday morning (our train had inexplicably been canceled with the back-up plan being a chartered bus - not something we were prepared to do with Myrna - so we had to wait for the next train an hour later) we arrived by lunchtime. We had a fun jaunt around the city, then returned to our hotel for some "playtime." If we keep Myrna in her stroller or sling all day, she'll sleep the day away, and we'll pay for it later. Playtime is greatly enhanced, though, by the delicious Kaffeebaum coffee we packed along with a french press and a hot water maker. Below is a picture of Myrna in Brussels - looks about the same as the pictures in Köln, with the notable exception of the hotel insignia on the pillow.
We hit most of the Belgian treats that day - a snack of waffles and later we dined on mussels and fries and tasted some delicious Belgian beer. Only the chocolate was missing.
Our second day in Brussels we visited the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art to take stock of the cultural contributions of Hergé and the Ligne claire aesthetic, to survey the history of "the Ninth Art" in Belgium over the past fifty years, and to melt before the more of-the-moment work of artists like Lewis Trondheim and Anouk Ricard. Then it was back to the hotel to get Myrna giggling again and the parents recaffeinated. Oh, and to watch a little Murder, She Wrote, of course. Finally, we capped the day by reacquainting ourselves with an old friend, the Westvleteren 12.
Next stop: Antwerp.