Today was an early day. Knowing that it was our last day in France, Henry and I returned to our favorite spot for a big helping of eggs and coffee before making the long walk over to the Lover’s Bridge were all the locks are supposed to be. Henry spent most of the walk speaking and singing: loud and silly as usual. I, too cold to do more than put one foot in front of the other, spent the walk amusing myself by watching the smile that would cross his face any time he said something he found particularly amusing.
By the time we got to the bridge we were both freezing and were highly disappointed to find that there was now glass covering the sections of bridge so that no new locks could be put on. Were we on the wrong bridge? Would it be sacrilege to put the lock on a different bridge? We made our way back to the spot we had crossed upon arrival into France.
“Oooph, my hip is hurting.”
“My sense of normalcy is hurting.”
“How can it be? You have to use something for it to be sore!”
“What…why are you laughing?”
“I just had this image of me saying something romantic to you on the bridge and then turning and throwing the lock in the water.”
“Of course you did.”
“How mad would you be?”
“I’ve dated you long enough to know what level of romance to expect.”
We walked back to the bridge, looked at all of the locks, read some, tried to find a space and then Henry turned to me and said some romantic things about the adventure we’ve had and how neat it is that we haven’t killed each other yet. I could see how badly he wanted to throw the lock.
We threw the lock.
We have our own special brand of romance.
Unfortunately the time to leave had come and we hauled our luggage over to the train station where we were frantically shuffled through some horribly ineffective security and shoved onto a train moments before it left the station. Thankfully the train itself was clean, cozy and had—lots of leg room! I sat down to get some writing down while enjoying the French countryside and was surprised to find that we were very quickly in Brussels.
We had some time to kill before our hosts arrived so we took in the air, the bright pink sky and gorgeous old buildings before stopping at Pianofabriek for a cup of coffee, Barry White sing-a-long, and directions to where we were going.
One jarring bus ride, a slightly confusing walk and a gate from hell later, we were given a warm greeting, a cup of tea and the incredible smell of what would later be sweet potato tacos—a surprisingly delicious combination. Once Corrine’s husband arrived, we dug in and got to know each other; I witnessed the first person who could not only match, but also challenge Henry’s ability to eat all the food.
We took a breather before Euan sat down to work on spreadsheets (they were surprised to find I was genuinely interested in the topic) and Corrine took us on a beautiful albeit cold walk through the park over to get some night fries for desert—this is, after all, Belgium.