September is a great month to visit Belgium and northern France, so this was a good thing for my American visitors. My very best friend, Patti Henson, managed a rare guest appearance and arranged to bring some traveling companions along with her: Suzanne Graham and Susan Lee. We coordinated their quick European tour to coincide with my b'day activities. Before Susan's arrival, Patti, Suzanne and I managed to "do" the Brussels tourist thing, including a visit to the flower market at the Grand Place and the inevitable trip to Dandoy's.
Madelaine and Alec came over and did some of their own visiting of friends before showing up to help celebrate. I took a week off before my birthday to "hang out" in Heuchin with them and Patti. A great treat for me to have P.R. as my companion, while Madelaine and Alec concentrated on being brother and sister -- an activity that they had not indulged in for some time.
While Alec and Madelaine concentrated on some of their favorite activities,
Lego raking and e-mailage...
Patti and I managed to do a bit of tourism in the Pas-de-Calais, venturing as far as Cap Gris Nez. I told you September was a good month for visiting northern France!
that hiking, we deserves a beer!
Other activities around the homestead at Heuchin included helping Nathalie celebrate her birthday. Alec and Eric had to verify the pinball machine. Madelaine made quite an impression on Faustine, who subsequently told Nathalie, 'I wish I had a mom like Madelaine'!
A great experience for Patti to participate in a typical French birthday
celebration, including all the kids, as well as Eric's sister Delphine
and her "honey", Alain. Not everyone was bilingual but it didn't seem to
matter, since everyone had a good time!
Daytime activities included making room for the new chickens, rebuilding the barbeque pit, and of course, Patti in her ever relentless quest for capturing time and space (even if I did relegate her to the depths of the chicken coop!).
Two of the new hens.
Mr. Banty Rooster and his two little hens...
Patti sketching out the window of the kitchen.
Off to the restaurant, Voyage à Travers les Sens. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was merely wonderful!
La Maison des Hibous. La Musée d'Horta.
And of course, to quench that thirst....
What can I say? It was wonderful! The best birthday that I've
ever had. A big hug and kiss to ALL!