There's spot along Colonel By Drive in Ottawa. I can see the Rideau Canal, the Chateau Laurier and the Convention Centre, with the Parliament Buildings looming in the background.
Comfort, relief, relaxation.
When I’ve been away from Ottawa for a bit and drive back into the city and hit that spot, that’s what I feel and it intensifies when we turn off Rideau Street into our neighbourhood.
It’s the feeling of being home.
Not just home to our house, but to our community and our regular life.
I called this blog “Homes Away from Home” because my hope was that the three of us would create that feeling wherever we go.
I think we did that in Brussels.
We spent a night away in Amsterdam last week and when we returned to Brussels and the taxi turned down the road that leads to our apartment in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, I recognized where we were and my shoulders relaxed.
Even though we’re living in someone else’s house, far away from the city we love, and only for a month, it feels like home right now.
I don’t take photos whenever we leave the house anymore, we have favourite spots, we have routines, we say hi to the neighbours.
The last few weeks have been good.
We saw the Flower Carpet in the Grand Place, visited a chocolate museum, went out for mussels and fries, visited a new playground, sampled more Belgian beer, went for a long walk through the Sonian Forest, and spent hours just sitting in the dining enjoying the breeze from the open balcony doors.
We’ve settled in here.
LJ is at ease as well. So far, she’s adjusted to this nomadic life better than we expected.
She did two soccer camps while in Brussels. The first was run by the Centre de Formation Sportive and the second was with the Real Madrid Foundation. Both were completely in French, she knew no one and she was the only girl. But she jumped right in without an ounce of hesitation and had a blast. She made friends, got to travel on a coach bus to another town for a tournament, ate ridiculous amounts of baguette for lunch, and played soccer until she could barely stand. A couple times she walked home by herself and yesterday, she went and bought stamps and mailed a postcard. Her confidence and independence are soaring!
The other day, during a late-night metro ride back to the apartment she asked, “Are we almost home?”
We leave Brussels today and we'll be moving around a lot…Six countries in six weeks.
We’re ready to leave though. Ready and excited to move on to the next phase of our adventure.
But it’s a little sad. We’ve made a little home here and it can be hard to leave a home.
But our time in Brussels made me confident we’ll find another.
Belgium with Kids - Part 2