How Many Countries Can You Visit in Two Weeks?! - DLRP and more! TR LINK!!!! Pg. 20!!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by IheartDDuck, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Hallo and Goedenavond!

    This is an all new board for me to participate on, and that's super exciting for me! This trip is going to be jam packed full of stuff! A few different countries, DLRP thrown in. I am posting the entire TR, because honestly I don't know where else to put it. But it will all start in DLRP. :goodvibes

    I will also be testing my Dutch and Flemish frequently. I will explain why shortly.

    Let's get down to the details!

    Who -

    Me - Danielle

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    Um....let's try again...

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    I am your hostess, intrepid traveler, tour guide, planner, excessive spender *cough*, and alligator wrestler on this trip. I love Disney, I love to travel, and I love Europe. So, this trip is perfect for me.

    Mom -

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    She loves the Peoplemover.

    Mom is my partner in crime in everything. My dad often says that we share one brain. I wouldn't say that's necessarily the case. Mom hails from Belgium and immigrated here, so it's handy to have someone along fluent in another language. Me....not fluent....spotty at best.

    Dad -

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    We take him along purely for entertainment purposes. I kid, I kid! Mom and Dad have been married for 41 years this year. A feat in today's society for sure. He's a hardworking, funny guy, and often does very silly things. He does not think anything is below him.

    When?

    Departing June 28, 2012 and returning July 14, 2012. The first two week vacation I've had in a while.

    Where are we going? Well....

    Duh....
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    Belgium...which will be our hub for the main part of the trip. Specifically, we will be in Antwerp.

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    The Netherlands.

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    Germany.

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    Luxembourg (little, itty bitty country).

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    And finally.....

    London!

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    I hope you will hop on board as I share our plans and talk about how many changes this trip has gone through. :goodvibes

     
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  3. smallpig

    smallpig Mouseketeer

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    Hopping on board - sounds great!
     
  4. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Yay! Glad to have you here! :goodvibes :welcome:
     
  5. HappyPanda

    HappyPanda Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Looking forward to reading all about your plans and the trip! How exciting! :cheer2:
     
  6. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I'm happy to have you on board! :welcome:
     
  7. NancyLuvsMickey

    NancyLuvsMickey Mouseketeer

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    Yeah!!! More stamps in my DIS passport!!! :cool1:
     
  8. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

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    Excellent! I'm on board! I loved DLP, can't wait to hear all about where in Germany you're going and to learn some new things about some countries I'm not too familiar with!
     
  9. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in, I know nothing about DLP so this should be fun! :cool1:
     
  10. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Wouldn't miss this one for the world
     
  11. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Can't wait to hear more about your plans! :goodvibes
     
  12. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    I know, right?! I only have two more to go. :laughing:

    This should be a fun trip for you then!

    Yay! Glad you're here. ;)

    Yay, I'm so glad you're here. :hug: I'm so excited to share this with everyone.

    Glad you're here! I'm so excited!
     
  13. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    I am extremely proud of where my family comes from. When I was growing up and used to tell people where my mom immigrated from, most people had no idea where the country was. Let me give you a little background. I'm hoping to find some old pictures to scan in as well later on.

    My mom is a full blown Belgian, born and basically raised there. Belgium is divided by some languages. Southern Belgium is French, or Walloon, and Northern Belgium are Flemish (a Dutch dialect), or from Flanders. My mother happens to be from Northern Belgium, or Flanders.

    My Grandparents are from Belgium born and raised as well. It's important to note that they were in Belgium while it was occupied by the Germans during World War II.

    My grandmother was 15 when war broke out in Europe. When we were children, my brother used to make jokes about being starving, to which she would say "don't ever say that. You don't know the definition of starving". She was right. She understood what it meant. We never have. They could only buy groceries periodically during the war. Often, when they were on the road home from shopping, the Gestapo would stop them and take their food, leaving them with nothing. She also remembers experiences with bombings in the country. She once had to hide in a viaduct to get shelter from the bombs that were being dropped on the city.

    My grandfather had a different story. He attempted to flee the country when things started getting hard and the invasion began. Sadly, he was caught trying to flee the country with his friend, and was placed in a Nazi work camp for trying to leave. He remained in that work camp until the war was over. My mom says that she believes that that experience shaped him into the person he became later, which was cold and detached.

    My grandmother says that she remembers the day that the American tanks rolled through the city. She says she had never seen something so beautiful in her life, and at that moment, she knew they were saved.

    Belgium was a neutral country throughout the war, but as you can see from the stories noted above, they were pulled in regardless.

    My grandparents were married in 1947, two years after the end of the war. My mom was born in 1953. My uncle Fred (who has sadly passed), was born in 1948.

    My mom was born in the city of Antwerp. Belgium is a beautiful country, full of history. It's also a mecca for food in case anyone wonders.

    Antwerp

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    Antwerp lies on the River Scheld, which leads directly into the North Sea. Growing up, my mom swam in the canals. I give her grief for this, because Belgium is not a warm country, and I just don't know how she did it in 71 degree weather.

    Antwerp
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    Antwerp
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    My mom immigrated here at the age of 15. She did not speak a word of English. She spoke her native Flemish, also spoke fluent French, and a little German. However, when she was enrolled in high school here, she was taunted for being a "stupid Swede". It's funny how knowing three languages equals stupid, isn't it? Plus, they always got the country wrong.

    Because of her severe teasing in school, my mom enrolled in speech correction class. If you spoke to her now, she has no accent whatsoever. I am angry at those kids who made fun at my mom, because my grandmother's accent is beautiful, and my mom's would have been too. Her speech needed no correcting.

    My mom had not gone home since she immigrated in 1968. She's always wanted to return. In September of 2010, I purchased tickets for us to visit Paris and for her to go home to Belgium. It was a brief trip. But nothing could replace the fact that my mom could see the house she grew up in again.

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    So, we knew it was important to go back very soon, and for a longer period of time.

    We are fortunate enough to have close family still in Belgium. We will be centered in Antwerp for 10 of the days that we're there. Our family has an apartment in their house ready for us to stay for the trip. I love my family so much. You will not see pictures of them though due to requests for privacy.

    The beauty of Belgium is its location. You can drive to Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France to take day trips to those countries. It's a perfect location. Add to it as well that Belgium has beautiful sights as well, and it's the perfect trip. Last time, we were lucky enough to visit Brugge (Bruges), which is a beautiful canal city that is the Venice of the North.

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    Note that Belgium has two ways to spell all of it's cities, because they are a bilingual country, so I will always use the Flemish spelling, with the French in parentheses.

    Of course, we could not go all this way without visiting Disneyland Paris as well. In my next post, I'll talk about what we did when we visited Paris the last time.

    What is Belgium known for?

    Fries or Frites.

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    Can you just see how excited I am? Fries are served by street vendors everywhere. I am a true Belgian and eat my fries with mayonnaise, but they offer a plethora of other options as well. I grew up in a house where homemade fries were a weekly occurrence.

    Waffles

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    Waffles come in several varieties in Belgium. Light and fluffy, dense and chewy, it depends on what you want. Traditional is with only powdered sugar and butter. The waffle should be the star, not the syrup that people drown it in. Again, I was lucky enough to grown up in a house where waffles were homemade every weekend. :goodvibes

    Chocolate

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    Okay, that's not technically just chocolate, but people, sweet things are amazing here. Anything tart like, cake like, or with chocolate is AMAHZING! Trust me. Plus, there are so many chocolate stores everywhere, you just can't help it.

    I know that this post was heavy on words, but I wanted to impress upon everyone how important this trip is to me and how I want it to be amazing for my mom.

    Thanks for listening. :)

    Up next: Where else are you going.

     
  14. Merida

    Merida DIS Veteran

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    Subbing!

    And those waffles look amazing. I love my fries with mayo - I picked it up when in Germany and it's soooo good. Places where the national food is carbs are my absolute favorites.
     
  15. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Oh, those waffles are amazing. Carbs are definitely my favorite food, but oh so bad for you.

    I used to get made fun of so bad for the fries with mayo thing. Now fries with ketchup and mayo mixed together? Bleh. I just don't get it. :laughing:
     
  16. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Wow, what family history. I'm not sure if I read over this, but are your grandparents still alive? I am SO excited for you and your family! I'm even more excited that you decided to bring us along for the ride:goodvibes

    How will you be getting from place to place? Planes, trains, automobiles?
     
  17. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! You know, the funny thing is that sometimes I took that history for granted because it was all I knew. Then you realize when you tell people about it, how special it is.

    My Grandma is still alive. She's doing well enough. She lives next door to me and we care for her daily. My Grandpa passed away in 1992. Sometimes I can't believe it's been that long. He had a pretty severe stroke in the late eighties and he just deteriorated from there.

    We will actually be using all three forms of transportation you mentioned. Very exciting indeed. I'll go into more detail soon.
     
  18. kizzabel

    kizzabel Eating poisonous apples since '86

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    Im subbing too!
    This sounds like its going to be a brilliant trip and that is some pretty amazing family history you have. You should write it down for future generations. We had some interesting tapes of my Great grandmother talking about the Irish civil move for independance in 1916 but unfortunately lost them.
    Cant wait to hear all your plans
     
  19. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

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    That's some great maternal family history. I have to go back to my great grandparents before I hit anyone not born in Canada so I like to listen to other people's immigration stories.
    Belgium looks gorgeous. I've already learned something I think I knew but I forgot -- the dual language thing. Very cool. :thumbsup2
     
  20. Lil'Mermaid75

    Lil'Mermaid75 DIS Veteran

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    I've followed along on many of your TR, but never posted. I have to say I'm so excited for you for this trip and can't wait to hear all about it. I, too, get heckled for eating mayo on my fries. Ketchup is yucky. :) I spent some time as an exchange student in Germany and that's where I picked that up. My DS prefers mayo, too! :)
     
  21. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like an amazing trip!
     

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