5 year anniversary, look how far we’ve got!

nico&fer the chinese wall

It’s amazing, we are celebrating 5 happy years! This year had it’s particularities and in short all I can say is that we enjoyed it, grew in loving each other and decided to enlarge our family.
The more you add years to your marriage the more you get to see your husband in different circumstances and get to know him more and have even more reasons to love him. I’m learning every year that marriage is not a straight line that you follow, it’s intertwined, surprising with it’s doze of routine. It’s suppose to make you feel loved and make you love. And together you get to grow as a person and in your relationship.
As I’ve done every year, here’s what I’ve learnt from this last year:
depend on each other in a way that doesn’t make you “handicapped” in your capabilities, but rather shows that you love
and honor each other enough to let them do things for you. That will make you feel closer, needed and useful.
trust each other; living with doubt can be so harmful.
don’t take each other for granted; not even the time you get to spend together.
talk about your past. It’s empowering to discuss what you’ve gone through together.
• also revisit the happy moments. Celebrate these moments and be proud you came out on top and you just look back with happiness.
plan your future together. Weather it’s a crazy dream or actual reality, it’s so important to share it with your partner. You are two individuals, but you share your lives together. So it’s no longer each for their own, it’s both of you for each other
encourage and support each other. Never underestimate the power of words. You should be each other’s biggest fans. If not you, someone else will.
deciding to enlarge your family should come at a time in your relationship when it’s stable, loving and are actually financially able. Of course, surprises may happen, but that’s another story. I believe it’s not a decision you should take if your relationship is in trouble, having a baby won’t make it better or fix it.
• find something you both like doing together, like sports, traveling, some sort of activity that allows you to spend quality time together and it’s just for the two of you.
• learn to lovingly do things that mean a lot or are important for the other even if that might be an effort for you, like waking up early in the morning, although you don’t have to, just to have breakfast together.
• it’s important to understand that love becomes a choice, with time you discover that neither of you is perfect, but you choose to see the best in the other and love each other every day.
I could go on with my list, but I just want to end this post by saying that I feel so blessed to have Fernando as my husband and friend and get to share my life with him. God knew better whom to bring in my life and I literally couldn’t be happier.

Discovering the Japanese food, loving the ramen

I’ve only been here a bit more than a week and I must say there hasn’t been one day that I didn’t try something new in the culinary department.

In Belgium, we loved having sushi and searching for the best Japanese restaurant, but nothing compares to the real deal. Almost anything I’ve picked here so far has been exquisite.

Friends back in Europe have asked me if that’s the only thing I’m doing. Well, not really, but I feel that experiencing the local food makes me enjoy this place more and more every day. On top of that, I’m quite a foodie.

So far my favorite dish here is the tantan ramen (top left). I love the spicy peanut flavor.

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A few days ago, we went to Yamachan which is apparently one of the classics here. It’s the place for chicken wings. Conveniently, every table has one of those button which you press whenever you need the waiter.

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I’ve never had wings like they do it here, but it’s surprisingly delicious. They have a bit of sauce and come with loads of salt and pepper.

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Along with those I had my fist go at a Japanese desert and I loved it. The pastry came filled with a caramel sauce with small pieces of peanuts, topped with very smooth vanilla ice cream.

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I'll continue to post about he amazing food here as I continue exploring 🙂

Back from holidays

This year has been a bit different. We usually take long Christmas holidays to go visit our family in Panama and Costa Rica. This year we changed, the family came to Europe. This means that we took our long holidays in the summer time.

We had a great time exploring Europe with them, although I should say re-exploring it, since they have already been here a few times.

So, this explains my long absence. On the other hand, I have so many posts coming up, since we got to see so many places.

We stayed for a week in Catalunya (N-E side of Spain), discovered some great restaurants in Brussels and last was a week in London

It was all great and fun. Now, we’re back at work and soon will be posting posts about everything (almost everything) we caught on camera 🙂

The town of Spa, Stavelot Abbey and Cartier-Bresson expo in one

Did you know that the word spa comes from the town Spa in Belgium? There is a little town in the S-E of Belgium that has thermal waters and is famous for its, what else, but spa 🙂

Spa is situated in Wallonia, the South part of Belguim where they speak French. The area is very green, peaceful and quite pretty. It’s also the hilly side of Belgium, the Ardennes, ideal for hikes, bike trails and relaxing week-ends.

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Source: google maps

We went to Spa for 2 days and got to explore a bit the surroundings. As I’m not such a big fan of going to the spa, unless it involves a lot of massages, we spent our time going around, rather than in the sauna. 

So, we took a stroll in the town and was impressed about its architecture, considering its size and its bourgeois feel. It is very neat and clean and has a very resorty feel. The people are very friendly and can get easily into a conversation, which is not as easy in Flanders. Maybe it’s because my French is better than my Flemish.

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The town of Spa

Next day, we went around a lac just 5 minutes from the town, Lac de Warfaaz. It’s very popular with fishers and families. 

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Lac du Wafaaz.

 

We spent some time there going for a pleasant walk around it.

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Lac du Warfaaz

As we were close by, we visited the Stavelot Abbey (built in 650, it now serves aa a museum) for a Henri Cartier-Bresson expo. As a photography lover, I was very excited to get to enjoy his pictures in a place I wouldn’t expect. The location was beautiful and the curation, can’t complain either. 

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Stavelot Abbey

The expo was called “Des Européens” and it comprised the photos that Bresson took all over Europe, encompassing most important historic events happening throughout the 20th C.   

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Des Europeens expo, Henri Cartier-Bresson

Bresson is considered to be THE photographer of the 20th century and I think this title gives him justice. His eye for perfect composition and light impressed me from the first time I saw his pictures. He is also the founder of Magnum Photos, worldwide known photographic cooperative.

All in all, I was quite happy to enjoy such a relaxing week-end, discover part of Wallonia and feel quite silly for not doing it earlier. But, there’s always a first for everything.

P.S. Thank you Fernando for the great week-end!

Evening discovery in Antwerp

Evening discovery in Antwerp

We recently started taking walks around our neighborhood in Antwerp (Belgium), not only using the parks around. I like architecture and I am constantly impressed on how many beautiful buildings and shapes we get to discover in Antwerp. This is some of what we saw last night.

P.S. yes, that is the sculpture of a derriere in the window 🙂