Christmas markets are all the rage here. Every community has one and some are more famous then others. They are set up like a small little village in the cities centre. Small wooden huts are set up and filled with local goods. There are food stands and of course delicious Gluhwein (mulled wine). I find it really sweet but on a damp day it really hits the spot :) My mom sent me an email to let me know about a market she saw on the internet in Valkenburg. They have their market in caves. It was a short train ride and we walked through the village. It was a really great trip and I found a silver charm of a bicycle for my charm bracelet. We spent a quiet Christmas Eve together at home and opened presents together on Christmas morning. On December 25th they have Christmas and on the 26th they have Christmas #2. They actually call it Christmas day 1 and Christmas day 2. We stayed here but it was really quiet. Everything is closed for the 25th and 26th. We did a few runs in preparation for our race and just to get out. We were beginning to get cabin fever. On December 27th we took the train to Bruges. My mom and dad surprised us and paid for the hotel, train and a nice dinner. It was a wonderful trip and we really enjoyed it :) We stayed for two days and one night. The city was very romantic with old buildings and canals running through the city. There were horse drawn carriages and of course, a Christmas market. The photos are from our visit. We stayed in a boutique hotel in the city centre. It was perfect! We had nice dinner and a wonderful time wandering and exploring the city. Bruges gets two thumbs up from me :)
Last night we went out for dinner with Nick's boss Luc. He took us out to a little Irish pub for some conversation and to catch up and then we went to a Thai restaurant on the Reichstraat. I had been eyeing it for some time so I was really excited when Luc suggested it. It was delicious!
For New Year's Eve we are doing a 5km road race with friends and going to a party. I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be an
amazing year! I've been reflecting on 2011 and how many wonderful things we experienced and how we have grown. I think 2012 is going to bring even more excitement and growth. Bring it on!