christmas magic in brussels and brugge

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^^ can you spot the little mo with his favourite girlfriends on the very left of this photo? <3<3<3
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every december we like to take an especially “christmassy” trip in europe. our first year living in london, we went on an epic road trip through about a dozen christmas markets in switzerland, germany and austria, and last year we went to copenhagen for a weekend. this time around we took a quick trip under the english chanel to belgium a couple of days before christmas. we had heard the town of brugge is particularly lovely at christmastime, and planned our route there from london on the train via brussels. brugge lived up to any bit of hype, and we were surprised and blown away by the magic we found during our quick “layover" in brussels.

we came up the stairs from the subway in central brussels and were immediately wrapped up in glittering, electric christmas wonder. moses looked at us incredulously as if to say, “you mean this is where we were headed on that long train ride?? this is ammaaaaazing!” he started hollering excitedly, squealing with thrill, with his hands in the air. when we walked into the grand place (brussels’ big and stunning main square), he could hardly contain his excitement, and the same goes for us! all the buildings lit up and the big christmas tree in the middle and the festive celebrators filling the cobblestoned space - it was just amazing! pictures don’t do it justice and i can’t describe it. it just really was magic.

after dropping off our bag and the buggy at our hotel, we watched the sound and light show in the grand place. we were, all three, almost stupefied and totally enchanted by it. the buildings and tree illuminated in a dance to the music, moses danced his little heart out and ran around on the cobblestones under the night sky, and we just couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces. we wandered the markets just outside the main square and got some dinner and treats and then, as we crossed back through the grand place, we saw dozens of couples waltzing around that huge christmas tree as nutcracker music filled the chilly air. of course we joined in! - holding each other close and spinning and laughing. i don’t know if I’ve ever seen moses grin quite that wide. this little moment in time quickly became one of my very most favourite family memories to date.

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^^ the buildings and trees changed a bunch of different colours during the light show! ^^
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^^ i love that, in all the christmas markets we have visited in europe, there is always a nativity scene. this one was pretty spectacular. ^^
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^^ waltzing around the christmas tree!! ^^
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the next morning we took a train to brugge … and met up with our dear friends the schwartzes! they were the ones who planted the idea of brugge at christmastime in our minds (they had been several times before in december) and we were so pumped that it worked out to meet them there! we strolled the town - around the markets, canals, chocolate shops, gorgeous decorated buildings and … horses! everywhere you look in brugge there are horse-drawn carriages - which of course only adds to the already thick charm of it all! taking a ride in one is definitely overpriced but still totally worth it in my opinion. we went for it and it was so fun. moses loved hanging out with his favourite girlfriends and we all just had a great time together. by late afternoon, just as it started getting dark, ian and mo and i had to leave brugge and the schwartzes to get back to brussels and catch our train back to london - so it was a quick trip, but so so wonderful!

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moses is at the stage right now where he just wants to walk/run around no matter where we are. it can be exhausting to chase him but it’s also so fun.
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man we love those schwartz girls … and amy and rob! they are our family here in england.
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there are a lot of chocolate shops in brugge. we went to this one ^^ and got hot coco twice! they gave us a cup full of warm milk and a stick with a cube of luscious belgian chocolate on the end. yummmmm.
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^^ cutest christmas shop windows, and this ^^ is the face moses makes when you ask him to smile, haha!
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it was a perfect christmas eve eve in brugge (and christmas eve eve eve in brussels :) )!

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