Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Want To Go To There: Ghent, Belgium Light Festival

I'm not exactly sure where Ghent is in Belgium but the architecture reminds me of when I visited Brussels and Bruges when I was 18. Belgium was the first stop in Europa for my bestie Hope and me..we found reasonably priced tickets from LA to Brussels on CityBird - The Flying Dream, a Belgian airline, and decided to visit a foreign exchange student we had befriended named Phillipe. He and his family (including a very cute slightly younger brother Jean Francois who I had a strange relationship with that included sending him VHS of Seinfeld episodes he couldn't get upon my return to the US) hosted us for a week and showed us the sights. I remember hopping in the convertible of Phillipe and JF's sister Marie's friend and heading to the plaza of Brussels one night for peach and raspberry 18, probably our first time having booze in public aside from our jaunts to Rosarita for margaritas by the sea with our other mamacitas. The highlight was visiting the gorgeous little town of Bruges, riding in boats through the canals, eating an insane amount of delicious chocolate and finding cherry beer on tap in one of the many bars in the picturesque little town. Then it was off to Holland to bike through the forest to a pancake house, see lots of tulips and windmills, visit Amsterdam (where we were very good) and to the farmers markets for fresh stroopwaffel and cones full of fries with a side of mayo. We ended our trip with a few fab days in Paris visiting the Louvre, seeing all the sights and getting hit on by some French men who asked us to walk along the Sienne just before Princess Diana's fateful trip through the tunnel below. We were staying close to the Eiffel Tower and heard sirens that night but didn't know Diana had died until two days later when we were on a train and saw an english woman reading a newspaper. Crazy. Such a great trip. I'd love to visit Belgium again..that was my first and only time there but this light festival Luminaire de Cagna looks pretty sweet and might be a good reason to return.

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