Day 2 of my adventure in Belgium for TMJ.
It is Saturday Nov 7th and I really want to go sight seeing but have no idea how to go about it.
I ask people at the front desk how to get to the train station and they say by bus.
Me, “Well how do I get to a bus?”
Front Desk, “They don’t come on the weekends.” (Which was not true!)
It was very frustrating in how I couldn’t really get good information like where to go to get on the bus and I just got totally different answers depending on who I talked to and I was thoroughly confused.
Luckily a lovely lady attending the convention found out real details and told me how she was going to Mol on Sunday if I wanted to join her. We made plans to meet early the next day and go sight seeing a little bit in Mol.
I just had 3 goals when it came to sight seeing in Belgium.
- Eat Fries with lots of sauces. I found out that Belgians are saucy people and that they have 11 different sauces to dip their fries in. I live for sauce, food is just the delivery mechanism for sauce! I must try some sauces!
- Eat a waffle.
- Buy some chocolates.
After making plans I then went to eat breakfast at the breakfast buffet restaurant there at the resort. I asked if I could join some British people who were very friendly and hospitable. I got to meet Graham, Thelma, Kevin and Andy.
Left to Right: Thelma, Kevin, Graham, Andy
I told them I was from Chattanooga and Graham makes a reference to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, we have a song about after all.
I tell them that even though I come from Chattanooga, I had never been on a train before until I came to Europe. This just tickled Graham especially. He just thought that was hilarious. It would be like being born in France and never having wine before until going to America, lol.
I think it was right then and there that Graham decided he liked me, I felt like I won him over from that moment.
I loved how he and Thelma made fun of me. It was in love and it made me feel at home, (my friends and husband make fun of me all the time and I love it), and they were a laugh. They both really made me feel accepted and at home, I wouldn’t have had as much fun if it wasn’t for their constant laughing at me and hospitality.
Kevin is a very colorful character and you will want to just listen to everything he says. Very sweet guy and very entertaining.
Andy is super nice and I loved his accent and voice.
If you can ever get a chance and go to a balloon event, hang out with the British balloon bunch. They are very warm and hospitable and love to laugh.
The breakfast was awesome. The croissants were way better than anything I had in the states and there were lots of cheeses. They also had cool hazelnut spread in a packet. The grape or cherry tomatoes were a ton more flavorful. I had the same breakfast everyday.
It was fascinating to watch what other people ate and how they made sandwiches, it was totally different than what I was used to.
After breakfast I go volunteer again to keep making decorations for the lobby. Back on quick-link lines duty. I meet Marioke from Holland in the room and we work on the links together as well as a South Korean fellow named Hyun-Gu.
I have lunch with Marioke, she is just a dear of a person, and her husband and 2 kids and we have burgers and fries and sodas. The burgers at this place I like a lot because they have a really tasty sauce that is reminiscent of a Big Mac. Note, they charge 70 cents for a single ketchup packet!
Her kiddo’s tell me they want to see this Walmart that they hear so much about and see the people that go to Walmart, lol!
They told me about Holland and I told them about the U.S. They were just lovely and super nice people.
I found it interesting that everyone who talked of wanting to go to the states, New York and Miami were the two places everyone said they wanted to go visit.
That evening I hung out with the Brits again. Graham, Thelma and this time I met a Paul who is British with the best laugh you ever heard, Lulu also British & a wonderful face painter who painted my face and Liz my Irish Mum at the convention along with her right hand gal Clare, also Irish. I met Tanya from Scotland as well.
Graham made jokes as he introduced me to people and said that I was his Best Friend even though we had only just met. He has a great wit, I wish I wrote down all the witty things he said. A little girl said it was her birthday and he said, “It’s my birthday this year too!” Things like that.
Liz bought me my first beer. I hate beer and could never get past the first sip. I heard that they had a sweet cherry beer and so I tried that. It was called Kriek. I actually liked it!
I drank the whole beer and because I rarely drink alcohol, it affected me quite quickly. Belgian beer is also a lot stronger than American beer, the alcohol content is higher. I was very laughy. Liz said after I finished the beer, “You’re Irish Now!”
Graham and the others were of course surprised to hear that that was my first beer ever. There were a lot of firsts for me on this trip, I really live in a different sheltered reality, lol. I had also never been on a city bus and rode a city bus for the first time in Europe, lol.
Me, Liz, Clare and Tanya stayed at this restaurant in the resort for hours and listened to a band play and did lots of singing along and dancing in our chairs. They were such a joy to spend time with and I just had a lovely time.