Kyle, Tea, and I took a bus in to Leuven today to do some bumming around through my old stomping ground. Tea was so excited about the bus ride we could have ended the day there and he would have thought it a success.
We stopped in for a quick visit with Meter and Bompa, my AFS grandparents, who are now 85 and 89 and living in a great, independent apartment near the station so that they can be out and about. They like to take trips away from the city from which they start their daily walks. They are active and sharp and adorable as always.
We walked into the center of Leuven for my favorite lunch in that city – kebap. It’s sort of like a gyro but 97 times yummier with the best bread you have ever had.
Tea napped in the Ergo while we wandered over to the beguinage, which is where you and I would have lived had we been born in 15th century Leuven and Kyle and Jim died of gout. (Can gout kill you?) It was a community of religious women who wanted to live an independent but committed life outside of a recognized religious order. They made self-sufficient “cities of peace”. This little enclave of streets and houses and a church is out of a medieval fairy tale and I adore it. We lingered long enough to find a geocache hiding in a brick wall, and for Tea to wake up to see the inside of the church and be told “Don’t Run on the Cobblestones!” roughly 48 times.
We meandered back to the Oude Markt to drink beers on the terrace in the sun. Tea enjoyed an apple juice and is now learning the art of people watching. Then we had ice cream. Because we’re on vacation.
We went to my sister Elke’s home for dinner with her family. They modified a 100-year-old home into a modern beautiful work of art. Amazing. No pictures, because they wouldn’t do it justice (and possibly because I was too distracted to ever take any). Dinner was delicious but the real fun was Tea and Hannah playing together on the trampoline.
The jet lag made it possible for Tea to be awake and personable until nearly 10pm. Hmm…we will probably pay for this tomorrow.
Meet us at the train station at 10am tomorrow for an excursion!