It can be August and Brussels is still empty, but you will always have to wait some minutes in line to get a taste of the best fries in town… Maison Antoine in Place Jourdan is a must if you are visiting the city. Right now they are serving their fries from a van, but soon they’ll open a new place in a brand new building. Enjoy!
Back at home in Brussels, it’s time to update the map showing the countries that we’ve visited together (for this summer, we can add Mongolia and Switzerland). We are not talking about a very long list but we are working on it…
This wonderful work of art was made by my sister, Maria Chiara, and the only problem it has is actually my fault: the plywood of the frame is too hard for the pins we are using and sometimes they just fall off. Sooner or later, I’ll fix also that!
We’ve made it! Our last flight for the summer is over and we are finally home. And we are both so, so happy.
We have absorbed, enjoyed and made the most of all the love we have been surrounded by and showered with and we have now made it home again, after a little more than a month.
It feels good to be home and to be able to spend some time with each other. To go back to all the old habits, but with a new role and a new awareness. To go get groceries together, cook for each other, go back to our old running routes – which can get boring, but are also reassuring -, pick clothes from a wardrobe and not from a suitcase – even though we are quite used to it even under “normal circumstances”.
Worry not, we will be writing on the blog because we have now grown quite fond of it 😉
P.S. You will be happy to know that we have managed t bring along some of your wonderful gifts without breaking anything and ALL of your heartfelt cards. We have been absolutely blown away by all your wishes, congratulations and expressions of love and we want to keep you close.
My wedding day was perfect, because I knew it would be. I was going to marry the man of my dreams, my one love, The One. What could go wrong, as long as we were husband and wife at the end of the day?
That said, any wedding can prove tricky. I had been told that there would be glitches, but I didn’t believe them. My wedding would just be perfect. And it was! But we did have glitches. So here comes my very personal list in 6 points (plus 1) on how to survive on that very special day.
- Break your shoes in (and have a spare pair!)
I am a trainer type of girl. I do wear heels at work but I deeply care about my ankles, toes and nails and was worried about how I was going to run a trail marathon just days after my wedding. I had a pair of trainers to change into and just loved them. I wore my beautiful heels during the ceremony and even during the reception, but those customised trainers saved my life during the photo shoot.
- Use compeeds
On the same note, you can identify the spots where the shoes are going to cause you blisters and prevent them with Compeeds. I did find them useful, but do not try to peel them away before they come off, or you will regret it (been there, done that).
- Have someone keep tissues handy
I didn’t want to have to carry a clutch but I did need a few essentials, and I had my sisters and my mum put a survival kit in theirs. That included the above-mentioned tissues, lipstick (which I forgot in my sister’s clutch when we went away to take pictures), stain removal wipes and contact lenses. Of all, I only really needed the tissues, but quite a lot of them.
- Allow yourself to feel everything
I was dead calm until around 5 pm the day before my wedding, when I started feeling a sense of anticipation in my stomach. I didn’t sleep at all. The next day I went running at 5 am, under a light, quiet rain, which helped me focus. I then went from excited to impatient to incredulous my wedding day had actually come, to feeling waves of love, merriment, and a profound and deep awareness of what I was about to do. I felt the luckiest person in the world and asked myself if I deserved all that joy. And even though I got emotional even before the ceremony and I knew my makeup would suffer, I allowed myself to feel everything, absolutely everything that went through me. I cried my eyes out during the ceremony, and laughed my heart out during the reception, and I felt absolutely blown away by all the love I was surrounded by.
- Remember it’s your (and your husband’s) day
We were so lucky to have the wedding we wanted. Still, there will be guests who will try to monopolise you because they want a thousand pictures with the bride and groom; or there could be a conversation you seem to be unable to come out of with grace; or your wedding planner could be all over you. Don’t let it get to you. Enjoy your day, the company of your friends, and most of all your newly-wed husband.
- Have a good breakfast (and lunch, and dinner)!
I always kick off my day with a good breakfast. My mum, my sisters and I allowed for an extra half hour specifically for breakfast. And make sure your hotel has you covered for dinner! My husband was so hungry by the time we got to our hotel after we had said goodbye to all our guests that we went down to dinner still dressed in our wedding suit and dress. Everybody loved it!
- Pick the right guy
Once you’ve nailed that, everything’s cool.
Up in the Italian mountains to spend the hottest days of summer with family and friends…but we found also an excuse to try a new running location along the Adige river!
Check out our run on Strava:
Yesterday I worked, today I wanted to go to the seaside. But it was raining, so we decided to set our sight on a new mission: finding the very elusive Tuscany training camp.
We turned in circles for maybe two hours in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Tuscany. We stopped to ask for directions two or three times, with local people being very kind to us and pointing us to other people who should have known more, but nobody could point us to the right place. What we were looking for was the track on dirt that hosts the training sessions of a group of strong Ugandan and Burundian runners.
We were going to give up, but we wanted to go down every possible avenue before heading back home, so we went to the tiny village where the runners live. We got to their hotel and saw a fast-looking guy. We approached him and we chatted for a while. He offered to show us the track and kindly accompanied us to see the track. We weren’t particularly impressed with the track itself, but mainly with the extraordinary kindness and peacefulness of this young runner, Jacob Limo, a sixteen-year-old from Uganda. He has already represented Uganda internationally and we wish him all the very best for his running career.
Sometimes the best things come as a surprise. It was refreshing to talk to this Ugandan boy whom we would have probably never met, had it not been for our passion for running.
So, we’ve travelled, we’ve run…time to get back to work now, at least for one of us! Today, we are in a scorching hot Tuscany (near Grosseto) to FestAmbiente, where Chiara is working as interpreter for Philip Lymbery, author of the book “Dead Zone”.