2018-08-17 Greetings from Europe

Dear Joseph and Lucia,

I’m writing to you this morning from Tervuren, Belgium. Michele and the girls and I came over so all the family could get together. Michele’s mum and sisters live in Belgium, so it’s a nice treat for her to get to come visit and be with her family. It’s been four years since the last time we were here.

We’ve only been here for 5 days so far and it’s already been quite the adventure. We flew in via WOW airlines. That’s an Icelandic airline so every flight to Europe is routed through Reykjiavic. We didn’t get to see much during the layover on the way here, but next week, I’ll get to spend a whole day there. I can’t wait. Michele and the girls are staying another week. I just don’t have that much vacation time yet at work.

The day after we got here, we all packed our bags again and headed off to the beach where Michele’s sister is on holiday with her kids. It was a fun 2 days in Knocke-Heist. We walked a LOT! We stayed in a rental cottage half a mile from the beach, so if we wanted anything, we had to strap on our shoes and hit the road. We even rented a bicycle built for 6 people. It might look nice in the pictures but it was hard work.

Michele has two younger sisters: Vicki and Elizabeth. They each have children between 8 and 12: Joshua, Nandi, and James. The two boys are full of energy and always up to no-good. Luckily, I brought my laptop with a whole bunch of movies loaded up, so they got to watch Black Panther, Coco, Lego Batman and the such. It gave all the grown ups a well needed break and time to catch up and relax.

On the way back, we stopped in Bruges for the day. That is probably my favorite place in Belgium. It’s really old and full of huge churches, canals, chocolate and lace shops, and fine restaurants. All the roads are cobblestone so after a long day walking, my feet were killing me. It’s ironic. I’ve gotten more exercise on vacation than I ever do at home.

Yesterday, I dropped the girls off downtown Brussels so Michele could meet up with an old classmate of hers who came down from Holland to see her. Mel and Rachael went along too. They got rooms at the Hilton right next to the Grand Place. I hung out with them for a while before heading back to Michele’s mothers house in Tervuren.

It is so lovely here. A hot day might get into the 80’s. Right now I’m sitting in the sun room listening to the city slowly wake up and the last of the rain from last night drip off the trees. Linda (Michele’s mum) has a wonderful garden full of life and little secrets if you look close enough.

So as always, my thoughts drift to you guys and how much I wish I could share this with you. It’s just such a great experience that stays with you for the rest of your life. I hope and pray that one day, I can bring you two over here and show you all these wonderful things. But until then, I’ll wait. You are both getting old enough to start wanting real answers. I’m here anytime you want them. Just ask. But until then, just know, you are always in my thoughts and I love both of you so very much.

Love,

Dad

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