More Images of Brussels and Antwerp.

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Yesterday I promised more images of our visit to Brussels and our drive back to Brasschaat via the Antwerp quayside and the Port. My mom took these photos. They are really neat.

First up is a better view of the Grand Place in Brussels.

The Grand Place in all its baroque glory.

The Grand Place in all its baroque glory.

We were going to stop and take the elevator to the top of the Atomium but there was no parking within a mile. So, we will do it another day.

This is the MAS or Museum on the River in Antwerp in the Basin area of the Port. We’ll go back some time before we leave for Paris and Venice.

The Atomium structure from the 1958 Brussels World Fair.

The Atomium structure from the 1958 Brussels World Fair.

The MAS or Museum aan de Stroom or Museum on the River in Antwerp port basin.  We visit this weekend.

The MAS or Museum aan de Stroom or Museum on the River in Antwerp port basin. We visit this weekend.

Next to the MAS in the port basin is the famous north sea lightboat, the West-Hinder. It is now a tourist attraction and tomorrow we go back to both the boat and the MAS.

The Lichtboot (LIghtboat) West Hinder docked in the Antwerp Port basin by the MAS.

The Lichtboot (LIghtboat) West Hinder docked in the Antwerp Port basin by the MAS.

As we drove out of the Quayside and more into the Haven or Harbour and port we came across Brabo, the floating Derrick crane with a lift capacity of 800 tons.

Brabo, a floating derrick crane, can lift up to 800 tons.

Brabo, a floating derrick crane, can lift up to 800 tons.

Further along the Quayside road toward Ekeren, where my Mom was born, we passed some Wind power turbines but they were idle.

Two Wind power machines on the edge of the Port of Antwerp toward Ekeren.

Two Wind power machines on the edge of the Port of Antwerp toward Ekeren.

That’s it for now. This is Frederick and tomorrow more of the great city of Antwerp including a few pictures of Brabo and why he is so important to the history and culture of this city.

A Short Day in Brussels.

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Today is the Ascension of our Lord and we drove into Brussels, first to take my Meter (godmother) and Aunt to the airport so she could fly back to Bordeaux France where she lives. Then we drove into Brussels past the new NATO Headquarters being built across the road from the old headquarters. We passed the American and British embassies on the Rue Ducale then stopped at the Royal Palace where I had my photo taken by my dad. We then drove down to the Cathedral of St. Miacheal and St. Goedele where we attended high mass. The mass is said in both Flemish and French because Brussels is an official bi-lingual region of Belgium.

Me in front of the Belgian Royal Palace.  The flag flying means the King is home.

Me in front of the Belgian Royal Palace. The flag flying means the King is home.

Me in front of St. Michael and St. Gudulale Cathredral in Brussels.

Me in front of St. Michael and St. Gudulale Cathredral in Brussels.

After mass we walked down to the Grand Place/Grote Markt where we had lunch at La Chaloupe d’Or. I had a croque monsiuer (grilled ham and cheese). My dad, who is searching for the best Steak Tartar thinks he found the winner at this restaurant. It is in the building that used to be the guildhouse for the tailor’s of Brussels.

Me in the Grand Place/Grote Markt, the main square of Brussels.

Me in the Grand Place/Grote Markt, the main square of Brussels.

My Mom and I at our table in La Chaloupe d'Or on the Grand Place for lunch.

My Mom and I at our table in La Chaloupe d’Or on the Grand Place for lunch.

After lunch we walked down this small street full of people to see the famous Mannenkepis (Litte Boy who Pees). On the way we stopped in the Tintin shop where my dad took this picture of me with Tintin.

Me Tintin at the Tintin Store down from the Grand Place

Me Tintin at the Tintin Store down from the Grand Place

At the Mannenkepis there were hundreds of people and we had to really work our way through to get this photo. The Mannenke was wearing a black “cavalier’s” uniform probably of some society or guild celebrating that day.

I am in front of the famous Mannenkepis and he is wearing a special uniform today.

I am in front of the famous Mannenkepis and he is wearing a special uniform today.

We walked back to the square and my dad took a photo of me in front of the building in which my Papie had his offices. It is another old guild building.

I am in front of my Papie's office's on the Grand Place in the building in the background.

I am in front of my Papie’s office’s on the Grand Place in the building in the background.

We then walked over to the alley’s that have all the little restaurants.

Walking through Alleé Boucher with all the restaurants.

Walking through Alleé Boucher with all the restaurants.

It is called the Rue Boucher which leads up to the Galarié Royale St. Hubert where we stopped for coffee and Dame Blanches’ or what you and I would call “hot fudge sundaes”.

Me in the entrance to Galarié St. Hubert off the Rue Boucher in Brussels.

Me in the entrance to Galarié St. Hubert off the Rue Boucher in Brussels.

I am at the Moven Pîck at the Galarié St. Hubert ready for my Dame Blanche.

I am at the Moven Pîck at the Galarié St. Hubert ready for my Dame Blanche.

We left then for the car which was parked next to the Cathedral. We passed by a famous tavern called Á La Mort Subite or Sudden Death which is named after a famous Belgian beer.

Me in front of Le Mort Subite or Sudden Death named after a famous Belgian beer.

Me in front of Le Mort Subite or Sudden Death named after a famous Belgian beer.

This is Frederick and I am going to tell you tomorrow about our drive by of the Atominium at the old World Fair site but now I am going to play with my iPad mini.

The Belgium Red Devils!

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Me and my Papie in my Red Devils uniform.

Me and my Papie in my Red Devils uniform.

Me and my Meter, Tante Patty with A Belgian Soccer Uniform.

Me and my Meter, Tante Patty with A Belgian Soccer Uniform.

That's me as a future Red Devil.

That’s me as a future Red Devil.

Yesterday, we stopped at Decathalon, a huge sports warehouse, on our way to Central Antwerp. We needed rainwear or ponchos because we forgot ours and it is Belgium. While I was there, my dad saw they had the latest World Cup Strips (uniforms) for the Belgium National World Cup Team. They are called the Red Devils.

So, he bought me a full uniform, shirt and shorts. My Meter (godmother) and Aunt Patty, bought me a Red Devil’s Tee Shirt. I am going to wear my new uniform all day today. I like Belgium to win or be a real danger to the whoever the winner is going to be. Most of their front-line players play in the British Premier League. They have a great defense with Courtois at Goalie and Kompany and Vermaelen and Vertonghen on defense. The strikers are world class with Eden Hazard and Lukaku. The mid-field is their weakest but not by much.

Everyone here in Belgium are excited and I hope I can watch some of the games as we travel.

Here are some photos of me in my new Red Devils strip with my Papie, my Meter (Tante Patty) and me alone.

Antwerp en a Dinsdag (Antwerp on a Tuesday)

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Today we drove into Antwerp where I was supposed to visit the Ship’s Museum with my Meter (my godmother and aunt) while my dad and mom went down the quayside to the Zuiderterras (south Terrace) for coffe with a friend. But the museum was closed so we walked down to the Terrace and joined them. I had a Fanta lemon and showed my godmother some Dr. Who episodes on my iPhone. The Terrace is on the River Schelde and we watched ship and boat come and go. Some with pilot boats and some with not.

It was very gray and misty kind of rain. Before we went to Antwerp Central and the Quayside we stopped at a sports store where my dad bought me a rain jacket/wind breaker since we forgot to bring one. I also was bought a full official World Cup uniform of the Belgian Red Devil’s team. I am pulling for 3 teams: The USA, Belgium and England but Belgium has the best chance to go forward. My Chelsea jersey is “Eden Hazard”, No. 12 and the main player on the Red Devils.

Here is a photo of Central Antwerp along the Quay with Antwerp Cathedral (Onze Lieve Vrouw or Our Beautiful Lady) in the background. Very wet and very gray.

Antwerp Center and Cathedral from Zuiderterras on the River Schelde Quay

Antwerp Center and Cathedral from Zuiderterras on the River Schelde Quay

Tomorrow I will share some photos of me in my new Red Devil’s uniform. Can’t seem to download them as fast tonight.

Home Sweet Berkenstede!

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After walking miles in two different airport terminal’s we got our bags, rented a car and drove to my Papie’s home “Berkenstede” or Birch Meadows. I am feeling much better and even had some “fish nuggets” for late lunch today. Outside in the back lawn a large covey of Doves gathered to pick at the new seed my Papie planted. My dad went for a swim and we communicated using the little walkie-talkie’s we bought to use on the ship and any excursions so we know were we all are at all times. Mrs. Kes, a teacher at my school, gave my mom that idea.

I am going back to my book to read before I fall asleep.

This is Frederick and our first leg has begun – Belgium!

And We’re Off!

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photoOur good friend Kelly drove us up to Jacksonville Airport this morning where we checked in to our United flight to Newark where we then change to our overnight flight on Lufthansa to Frankfurt and then change again for Brussels.

This is a photo my dad took of me sitting at a table in Shula’s Restaurant at the JAX airport. I am having Chili Garlic Chicken Bites and Lemonade. I am playing my iPad mini and reading a book “Dr. Who and The Stone Rose”. I also have two other books I am going to read for school break: The Lewis and Clark Expedition and Barrow Boys (that Mr. DeBennedetto told my dad about).

More from Frankfurt, Germany when we land or maybe not since I may be pretty tired even though we have flat beds for the flight over there.

Big Trip Preparations

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Keep watching this space for my travel log of our upcoming trip to Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, Venice and then a cruise to Greece and Turkey, back to Naples and Rome.  We are going to stay in an apartment in Rome for 5 days then take the Italo train up to Firenze (Florence) for a few days.  After Florence we are renting a car and driving down to Montecatini Terme where we stay a few days to explore the area including a trip over to Lucca, Carrara and Pisa.  We will drive back to Rome and stop in Assisi and Perugia for a night each.  We fly back to the States on July 2nd. We arrive in Washington, DC and we are going to stay until the 5th of July. I want to go to the concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol and the fireworks on the Mall.

I am really looking forward to this trip because my Dad and Mom are going to book excursions that take in all the Greek Mythology and Roman Mythology sites that I have been reading about.  We are even stopping in Ephesus to visit the house where the Blessed Virgin Mary spent her last years.

In Rome we are going to visit the Vatican Museum and take in a Papal Audience on Wednesday.

This is going to be so awesome.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

We start with the flight out of Orlando on May 25th.