Eleven years later - My Family Travels


Eleven years later

By: Katherine M. Collins

Eleven years ago my family and I went to Belgium to visit our family. I've always wanted to go back. Eleven years later my family and I were able to go not only to Belgium but also to London. We had an interesting time on the way to Belgium. I spent two weeks in Belgium and two days in London. Before going to Belgium my parents picked me up from the beach. We drove for five hours to Orlando and waited about three hours till our plane came. When it came we flew from Orlando to Boston. It was a huge plane. When we made it to Boston we asked one of the employees where the gate for the delta airlines to London Heathrow was. He told us it’s in terminal E which was on the other side of the airport and we have forty minutes before our flight leaves. So we go to terminal E and asked again and that person said it’s in terminal A which was where we were when we asked the other person. So we go to terminal A, and it ended up being three gates down from where we were. So we got there fifteen minutes before the plane left, which made us lose twenty- five minutes. After flying for ten or so hours, we make it to London. We made it in plenty of time to catch our train to Brussels. We rode in it for three hours, and took another train to Namur. Instead of taking us three or so hours it took us a little longer because some kids got on the train tracks so the trains had to stop till they get off. We finally made it to Namur. My grandparents and aunts picked us up from the Namur train station. We spent two weeks in Belgium. We made it there on a Sunday night around eight o’clock at night, which is one p.m. in the states. I spent a few nights at my grandparents’ house. While staying with them we went to a pastry shop for breakfast the first full day we were there. I also helped my aunt get my cousin from school. The next several days I stayed at one of my aunt and uncle’s house. I was able to spend time with my cousins while I was there. On a Friday me and my mom had a girl’s night with the girls in my family. We watched Letters to Juliet and Bride Wars. The first Sunday I went to church, I was able to sing in the choir with my uncles, grandma, and cousins. After we sang my grandpa preached, of course it was in French so my cousin translated for me. The next week was busy. We went to Dinant, and Brussels. It was really fun. Even though we had to leave after the two weeks were gone, we had fun spending time there. Before going home, we spent two days in London. The first night we were there we walked so much it took a whole night’s rest to regain our strength. The next day we did a lot. We went on the London Eye. We went on cruises and on the Big Red Tour Bus for the whole day. We visited a lot of cites. London was so beautiful. I can’t wait to go again when I get the chance. Being able to visit Europe in general was so wonderful. I am so glad we got sweet deals from the AAA Company. They definitely saved us some money.

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2 Replies to “Eleven years later”

  • katiebalou6

     Travel Blog Essay

    Medieval castles, winding river valleys, and literary poignant tours! Sound exciting? I had the privilege to visit my mom’s side of the family in Belgium and tour London in fifteen and a half days. Her parents are originally from the United States; however they are missionaries to Belgium. This past summer, I had the opportunity to visit my mom’s family there. Traveling with my parents to Europe was a great learning experience. The thrill of spending time with my family, discovering the important cultural history, and dealing with foreign money, made this trip exciting.

    Going to Belgium and seeing my family, was a heartwarming experience. Seeing my cousins and an uncle after ten years brought me tears of joy. I spent most of my two weeks shopping in downtown Namur, Brussels, and Jambes. Being able to spend time with my family by sightseeing and shopping was an experience that I will always remember. Not being able to remember how I felt when I was six, but going back when I was seventeen was like a picture worth a thousand words. It was indescribable. Learning about a new culture was an interesting experience in my opinion.

    Being able to experience the cultural history of Europe first hand was incredible. Going from battle sites to seeing what comic strips were like in Belgium was incredible beyond belief. Did you know that the smurfs original name was the shtroumpf, and that they were originally made in Belgium? I did not until I got there. Also in Brussels we were on the main street that had all the shops and there was a golden statue. I loved seeing the reaction of some of the people walking by. The statue was portraying a mime and yes it did move too. There was a real man in there. A person would walk by and jump when he moved. We could definitely tell we weren’t the only tourists there.  London had some historical sites too: the big Ben, The London Eye, the tower of London, and so much more. Me and my parents went on the London Eye and loved it. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. We could see thirty miles out when we were at the top. It was very beautiful. The last thing that was definitely a learning experience was dealing with foreign money.

    Here in the United States we have dollars, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. In Europe they have Euros and pounds. Having to exchange dollars for Euros and pounds was somewhat of a challenge. One pound is one dollar and ninety-three cents. One Euro is one dollar and thirty-one cents.  I was so glad that I didn’t have to give them the amount in dollars for what I needed in Euros and pounds. I was so use to American money that I couldn’t handle European money much because I would have gotten confused. Thankfully, my parents gave me money already in Euros and pounds. So I didn’t have to deal with giving twice as much for one of the currencies. Even though it was tough, I still had fun in the process of learning all of it as a whole.

    Dealing with all of this within a few weeks wasn’t that hard once I got used to it. What made it more interesting was asking for everything in French. I had help from my family, but a few of them barely spoke English so I had one of my cousins translate for me. Overall, traveling to Europe was an interesting experience. 

  • katiebalou6

    out of the three I put up please use this one for the scholarship because this is the one I want ya'll to judge for the scholarship.

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