It wasn’t Italy but who’s complaining?

Today I am supposed to be wandering around Greece and buying a great knock-off purse for the fall. But no. Instead I am listening to Strawberry Shortcake entertain Georgia while I get up the courage to go gut the fridges (because yes, there are two of them).

You would think that finding out on Thursday that alllllll the laundry I’d spent the week catching up on, the shiny floors that were meant to collect dust, the sparkly dress I have yet to wear and the forms I had to sign just to pull my kids out of elementary school for a family vacation would mean a total and complete shattering of my general joy and happiness.

And yet I woke up yesterday morning in my own bed, on my own birthday, and I could see that the sun might actually make it’s way through the stuffed up skies and perhaps–just maybe–shed a little light on my birthday. So I did what every smart birthday girl does: I pulled on my favorite leggings, opted to leave my bra on the dresser, did not fix my unruly mop but let it air dry before stuffing it under my favorite hat, popped in my go-to earrings, boots and new Pashmina scarf my girlfriend Audra had her husband send all the way from Turkey (seriously, how could the day go wrong?), and I let my husband and kids whisk me away for Plan B.

It was the best day ever.

Honestly, how can I complain about missing Italy when I spent the day in Belgium and Luxembourg doing one of my favorite things ever: wandering through a flea market looking at old junk.

We drove an hour and a half to Arlon, Belgium and spent a good two hours winding through the streets at one of the best flea markets I’ve ever seen. Lots of little stuff, old stuff, junky stuff etc. We always give the kids 2 euro a piece to spend and it kept them mostly entertained. I was on the hunt for one thing; a really great door knocker to put in my house someday.

Here’s the photo parade. Jason let me meander at whatever pace I wanted and kept the kids out of my way.


Rex has been looking for “Steve” for his Halloween costume. He’s going to be the dude from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. 

Rex steve

Loved this guy. I have a thing for Organ Grinders and he was fabulous. The girls gave him some change and danced to “Rock Around the Clock.”

organ grinder


And yes, Georgia looks very…not cute. It was my birthday and she surprised me by “dressing herself.” We just roll with it around here. Harry came home with 2 euro in his pocket because he couldn’t find anything we could agree on. This is his can-I-please-buy-an-old-rusty-knife-I-promise-I-won’t-stab-my-sister look.


I wandered into this little shop that was playing the most enchanting french music and this little darling teapot asked to go home with me. They wanted 20 euro for it, I bought it for 10. It was kind of one of those moments when I had to pinch myself that we live here. I can still hear the music and smell the antiques…


I love watching people at these places, then taking stalker-like photos of them while I pretend to delete something from my camera.


Accordians. They were everywhere.

accordian2 accordian1


I would really like to load a photo of my kids waiting for me so you can see how miserable they were. The pic won’t stick but suffice it to say it was not all fun and games while Mother rummaged.

We looked down the last stretch of vendors and the kids were literally melting and trying to pee in the street. But in two hours I hadn’t seen a single door knocker that I wanted, I couldn’t go back. So they parked at the top of the hill and I quickly skipped down through the vendors…and there it was. Waiting for me. And the photo won’t load. Gah.

 We grabbed some lunch, let the kids play at a park, and headed back to Luxembourg City. There we wandered through the old fortress and ramparts for an hour, exploring and enjoying the amazing views and lovely fall weather.
otsannie luxlast luxembourgcity1 georgialux
archesfam fampiclux
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go listen to the prophet. I’m only part-heathen.


  1. Oh my this is beautiful! Can’t wait to live out there. Happy Birthday Annie!

  2. Mary Richards says:

    Love your outfit, love the teapot, love the description of your kids about to meltdown! I laughed out loud.

  3. just remember, you owe us a door-knocker photo. it can be on your home or not. We are not picky.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. I want to see the door knocker, too! Anytime…I’m so glad you had a great birthday, how fun would it be for the Valentine and Seaberg girls to wander through there without kids? When you get back to the States we need to find an antique store and do that, although we probably won’t find anything as darling as that teapot 🙂