*Monday – July 28: This was the last full day that we had the car, so we went to Wijnegem in Antwerp. It’s a big mall with many different stores. We wanted to surprise my mom with a nice gift. We were thinking of a new microwave in which she could cook, bake and heat up things. My mom’ microwave didn’t work anymore and she used to use it as an oven because she doesn’t have a big oven. Michael and I looked around everywhere and finally found something that’s fairly easy to use and not to complicated to work with. We also bought a few other things for us yet and that was that. In the evening we took my mom out for dinner at “Chopin” which is a nice restaurant nearby with very good food and great service. We had a wonderful time and the day was over again.
*Tuesday – July 29: Today we had to return the car so we agreed with Maarten that we would meet him at the car rental place in Luik at 2.00pm. In the morning Michael and I went to the mall in Genk for the last time as we had to buy some extra luggage to take everything home. We also bought some more food to take home as well, especially some good waffles, chocolate paste, Belgian chocolates for everybody and more. At 2.00pm we were at the car rental place and Maarten was there too. After that we drove back to Genk where we had a drink with him to say goodbye and thanks for everything they had done for us! In the evening we were invited at my aunt and uncle’s place (the ones that were in Canada last year) for a drink and a snack. We hadn’t seen their DVD of Canada yet that they had filmed here, so we had to see it. We had a wonderful evening and chatted the night away. We went home around midnight. We would see my uncle again on Friday as he would drive us to the airport.
*Wednesday – July 30: Today we didn’t do too much, we just went for a walk, helped my mother in the garden with the grass. We had some people over to say goodbye to us. In the evening we were invited at Kurt and Veerle’s place for a drink and a snack. Veerle is my cousin who lives with Kurt and who showed us around in Maastricht. We had a wonderful evening as it was so nice to be able to speak English all night…this is especially nice for Michael. Marijke, Veerle’s sister, also came by to say goodbye to us. It was so nice to see all of them again this year and to have a nice chat with them. Veerle took us home after a very enjoyable evening. We could have stayed much longer, but they had to get up to go to work the day after and we wouldn’t want them to feel like we are making them stay up too long. Hopefully we would see them again in the future. At least we can stay in touch via e-mail as well!
*Thursday – July 31: This was our last day in Belgium and we mainly spent our time packing and organizing everything for tomorrow, so we wouldn’t have to do any packing in the morning. It was so hot in Belgium for the past few days, it is really uncomfortably hot…I am not too crazy about such weather. Apparently it’s been beautiful in Vancouver the whole time we were gone…it was about 25-27 degrees and sunny most of the time. Well, I must say I had a great time in Belgium and Switzerland but I am looking forward to go home to Vancouver. This trip to Europe really makes me realize how much at home I feel in Vancouver. The rest of the day we just enjoyed with my mom, chatting about the past few weeks and what we had seen and done. I am sure she’ll miss us like crazy, but hopefully we will see her again within the next couple of years. I also called my Dutch friend Ineke in Vancouver who is living there now for 1 year. She offered to pick us up in Vancouver to drive us home. So we chatted for awhile and I gave her all the details of the flight.
*Friday – August 1: We got up fairly early to make sure we had all our stuff and that everything was packed. My uncle would be at my mom’s place around 8.30am as we had to be in Amsterdam by 11.00am. Our flight would leave around 2.00pm. We got to Amsterdam around 10.40am and checked in right away. After that it was close to noon time…so we looked for a place to sit down and have something to eat and drink. These were our last moments together with my mom and uncle. It was kind of sad that we had to go again, mainly because I had to leave my mom behind. I was happy to go “home” again to Canada. We chatted for awhile and then it was time to really say goodbye and go to the gate where our plane would leave. It was sad to say goodbye, but hopefully we wouldn’t have to miss each other for too long. I would call my mother after I got home in Canada. The plane left on time and we arrived on time at the airport. We didn’t have to wait too long for our bags and as we walked out we saw Ineke waiting with her little Dax (one of her dogs). It was so nice to see her again and she picked us up. We were happy to be back in Canada.
Well, that’s the end of our European holiday! It was great, we had a good time and we saw many beautiful things. The highlight for me was Switzerland and Brussels.
Please see my next post "My life in Canada (August - September 2008)" for the rest of the story!