Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to a brand new work week and another opportunity to be great! I begin this week feeling refreshed and a little less stressed than I was at the beginning of last week. Why you ask? Because I took my own advice and went on a quick getaway to relax and take my mind off of work. One of the consistent themes of the Chronicles is that professional women need to take time to de-stress and relax away from the work place, even if for short period of time. Time away is necessary to maintain ones sanity in the crazy business world…absolutely necessary!
So… it happens that I had Friday off from work due to Veterans’ Day, and the Stud and I took a quick trip to Brussels for a little R&R.
I would first like to go on record by saying the Brussels is EVERYTHING! I had been wanting to visit Brussels since the Stud went last year. Unfortunately I was unable to make that trip, but I wasn’t going to miss it this time! After a 7 hour flight, we landed in Brussels early Friday morning. We spent the entire day sightseeing, eating, and doing a little bit of shopping. On Saturday morning, we hopped on the first flight back to NYC, and arrived Saturday afternoon.
Now I know that some of you are wondering why we decided to visit Brussels for one day. Sometimes, that’s all you need…and all you have. We were able to experience a different culture, walk around an unfamiliar city, and eat at amazing restaurants…without Blackberries, laptops, cell phones, etc. We just had fun, and we thought about work not once. Like I said, one day was all I had, so I took it! It turns out that one day was all I needed to calm my nerves. The quick getaway was a success….and here’s why:
|The European Parliament|
1. Beautiful City – If I had to suddenly move to the European city of my choosing it would definitely be Brussels. The city is beautiful! Everything from the red brick townhouses to the elaborate government buildings was a sight to see. We took the local bus to get to our hotel, which allowed me to see both residential and business areas. Our hotel was in walking distance of the European Parliament, which is which is the parliamentary institution of the European Union…gorgeous building!
We also took the train into Central Station where we headed to the Grand Place, which includes the city’s town hall. This was also the place where the people of the city came to hang out. There are scores of restaurants, cafes, bars, and food vendors throughout the street. There is also a great shopping center in this area. All of it was simply beautiful...no other words come to mind! The one thing we didn’t see is the Manneken Pis statute…you know the one I’m referring to don’t you? A little boy peeing comes to mind…
2. Amazing Food – Now I have been to a few European cities, but Brussels has by far the best food of them all! Everything I ate was delicious with no exceptions. The prawns risotto at Café Des Epices was hands down the best risotto I have had the pleasure of tasting. The ravioli scampi and asparagus at Pasta Queen was unexpectedly delectable. And don’t even get me started on the Belgium waffle with ice cream I purchased from a street vendor…unbelievable! I even indulged in beer, which I generally hate. Actually, it was a beer called Krik, which is made from cherries and tasted more like a fruity wine cooler than a beer…I would have it no other way! In sum, I ate more than I care to admit and will be busting my butt in the gym this week. It was totally worth it though!
3. Great Shopping – Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I will find a mall/shopping center in every city I visit…don’t judge me! Brussels has a great shopping center right in the middle of town. There were a bunch of street vendors selling scarves, purses, and various other souvenirs. There were also plenty of shops selling clothes, shoes, and Belgium chocolate. I was not disappointed with the items I saw and purchased. I barely noticed how chilly it was outside…especially after I purchased a cute little scarf from one of the shops!
At the end of it all, we had a great time and I managed to relax and de-stress…and get fat! Thanks to Brussels, a more relaxed Diva will walk in the office on Monday! Cheers to Brussels! I hope to visit again very soon!