Monday, August 11, 2014

The Itsy Bitsy Bar Fight

For some crazy reason, we decided to go on a family vacation to Belgium with a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old and the grandparents. Oh yeah, I know the reason - the grandparents paid. So I should be grateful (and I am) but holy smokeballs it was the furthest thing from relaxing.

Trip to Belgium: Leo the troublemaker
This guy looks innocent but he's only worn out from causing so much trouble on the drive up.
Us city-dwellers don't often drive so we didn't even think about our toddler opening the door on the highway. So when he OPENED THE DOOR ON THE HIGHWAY we were like "Holy crap, he just opened the door on the highway!"

I managed to close said door from the front seat, then held the handle as I frantically flipped through the 5,000 page manual (still shorter than a Game of Thrones novel, natch) to figure out a) why the locks didn't work and b) how to set up the child safety locks.

Apparently the locks only work from the outside. Useful in preventing car jackings along dangerous Flemish highways. Except... newsflash: the only dangerous thing on Flemish highways is us and our car door.

When I finally found the child lock info, I memorized it before Mika pulled over to a dangerously narrow shoulder. I put the child lock in place and tested one, two, three times, then we were on our way.

Leo continued to pull the handle the rest of the trip.

We eventually arrived in the cute little town of Jabbeke, where we were staying. Well, actually, we stayed at a campsite just past the town. But I'm no camper so we stayed in the ritzy district of the campground, in a 3-bedroom mobile home with running water, a kitchen, and crappy wifi.

Trip to Belgium: Mobile home at our campsite
Home Sweet Mobile Home
And spiders. A whole lot of spiders. I only spotted three inside the mobile home but I lost count at eleventy billion just outside. You'd throw open the curtains in the morning, singing "What a beautiful morning!" and stop short when you saw a spider peering at you through the glass.

Trip to Belgium: Spiders at our campsite
To help you visualize the scene, I've marked where all the spiders were. I might have missed one.
"Oh, don't mind me!" the spider would say. "I'm just sitting here with EIGHT legs in my creepy ass web that I spun last night while you were sleeping. You're not actually afraid of me, are you, wimp? What if I move this leg right here a little bit? Like this? *wiggle, wiggle* Does that do it? MWAHAHAHAHA!"

We checked out the beach towns of Knokke, De Haan, and Oostende. Knokke is known for their storks. Thankfully we didn't see any because I don't need any more kids - I have my hands full enough with my two poop machines, thankyouverymuch.

Trip to Belgium: Family photo on the beach
Me, Mika, Poop Machine #1, and the top of Poop Machine #2's head
It was just my kind of beach vacation - slightly overcast and a tad too chilly to actually swim. Which means no swimsuits and minimal sunscreen (as in, only putting sunscreen on twice per day instead of 47 times). Par-TAY!

Trip to Belgium: Beach library
How cool is this - they have a free library on the beach!
I want to live in this library. Not only is it in a prime location but it's about twice the size of my apartment.

Trip to Belgium: Leo loved "La Mer"
Leo, the French romantic, bidding adieu to "la mer".

Trip to Belgium: Selfies at the bar
My daughter and I love selfies.
We snapped this purdy portrait on the bar patio, which was not only my favorite spot on vacation but the site of a bar fight. Because nothing says classy like getting in a bar fight at a campground.

The best part? The fight was between two ladies! Or I guess I should say "women" because there was nothing ladylike about them.

After the fight got broken up, the smaller, scrappier of the two headed to the bathroom, which was just past where we were sitting. She saw Stella and just had to stop and tell her how cute she was. At least I'm pretty sure that's what she said. I'm rusty on my drunken Flemish, but it went a little something like "Flurgety burgety floogen flop" while she pinched Stella's cheeks. Unless she said "I know a chipmunk who looks just like you!"

Trip to Belgium: Day trip to Gent
The gorgeous city of Gent.
Next stop: Gent. You might notice the old buildings and their beautiful reflection in the water. Or if you're my son, you'll notice the trash truck. He is OBSESSED with trash trucks. His eyes lit up when he saw this one, in an expression that said "They have trash trucks HERE too? Best vacation ever!"

Trip to Belgium: Castle in Gent
Note to self: don't let hubby take a picture of me in front of the castle from the ground - makes me look as tall as the fortress and three times as wide. I'm really only twice as wide.
By the end of the week, the wifi was still crappy but I'd finally gotten in the groove of feeding, bathing, and putting my children to sleep in a place other than our own house. Just in time to head back home.