Well, our week of vacación otoño is coming to a close. This morning we slept in and then seven of us went on a waffle hunt. Usually I eat just because I know I need to, but Belgian waffles are different. They are so delicious and usually less that $2 from waffle trucks. Sara, Anisha, Rena and Elise lead us back to Grand Place where we were last night and we got to see it in the daytime. We finally hunted down the perfect waffles and then headed back to the apartment. We cleaned up a bit and before long it was time to walk the girls to the train station to catch a ride to the airport for their flight back to Valencia (but not before a group picture and an attempt at an awkward family photo). After we dropped them off, we began a little exploring ourselves.

We started at Grand Place and walked down to see Manneken Pis, the famous statue of the little peeing boy. We also walked past several cathedrals and through a park to see the palace of Brussels. We decided that for dinner we would buy groceries and cook since our apartment has a very well-equipped kitchen. The boys found ravioli and I bought sugar and milk for coffee since we have a coffee maker and found grounds in the cupboard. 

Rachel and I cooked and chatted with the boys for an early Friday night dinner. I put on some choral music and started some coffee brewing, realizing in both instances how much I am my parents' daughter. As we sat down to eat I made some comment about my coffee getting cold already and suddenly realized just how much I am my mother. I told this to the others and we talked about how we are all becoming our parents in some way or other. We continued chatting about family, friends, and significant others while dining in our cozy little apartment. 

I think this was the best Friday night I've had since I've been in Europe. This whole week I've been traveling, I've been having a great time but also feeling rather homesick as I think about how much my family would love to see what I'm getting to see. Tonight, though, I felt so at home with our simple pasta and salad meal as I chatted with my dear friends and thought of Friday nights at home and coffee with mom and choral music with dad. I miss that, but I love that no matter where I go I am still so much like both of my parents. Even though I can't physically bring them around the world with me, they are with me in my thoughts and actions every step of the way. I love you and miss you mom and dad.
Sheri Seibold
11/2/2012 04:59:58 pm

This parent is tearing up right now. What a wonderful end to a great week with some fabulous new friends. It sounds nearly perfect. It can't quite be perfect because we aren't there with you, but I do feel like we've experienced many of the moments with you this week through your blog.

Oh, I do miss our Friday nights with the fire and the coffee and just us four, but I love to hear how you've spent this Friday night, you will remember it always.

We are headed to the annual Hymnfest this evening, so good music for Dad and later coffee for me. Logan sings, this should be a nice evening here too.

Safe travels back to school. Love you goo, mom

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grandma
11/2/2012 08:30:12 pm

What a cozy Friday night! 'Brought tears to my eyes as it did your mom's. You've had a really good week---and it's almost over. What a great vacacion Otono. Wonder what's next? Have a safe and happy trip back home.

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Elena
11/4/2012 10:54:25 am

Shelby! Your pictures are little stories and I LOVE THEM!!

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arielle
11/6/2012 05:43:25 pm

The town center looks amazing! So many little details in all the buildings. And your friday night sounds so nice and relaxed. By the way, I must say, not many better people to emulate than your parents :)

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Tu Tía Carmen
11/7/2012 05:06:56 pm

Y'all were very cute Brussels sprouts!

Shel, this is a lovely reflection about your parents from the perspective of a now cosmopolitan young woman. You're amazing.

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