For Marina's birthday we headed to Aachen today and it felt as if we spent an early spring day there. There was lots of sun and temperatures of about 14 degrees! So plenty of people were sitting outside on terraces having a drink and Alex and Matías even enjoyed an ice-cream in the afternoon sun. Not at all the weather you associate with the XMAS period.
This morning however when we woke up in the Val d'Arimont resort close to Malmedy (eastern part of Belgium) the temperature was just above freezing and it took some time to get all the ice off the car windows. So there is a touch of winter, but later in the day it was very far away...
On Saturday we already headed to Aachen, but had to return immediately since we did not know that the 26th of December is a Public Holiday in Aachen, so all shops were closed and the city was kind of dead.
We spent the last 4 days in a little cottage in a valley with a little stream close to Malmedy together with my parents.On Thursday we celebrated XMAS with lots of food and plenty of presents at our place. And as I suspected some Star Wars items found their way to the kids.
For Marina i bought a Kindle ebook reader. For years I told her she should get one, and this year I decided to get one for her XMAS and birthday present. She spent many hours since receiving it reading (and finishing) the first book I did put on it: The Girl on the train by Paula Hawkins.
My parents then stayed the night to leave together with us to the Ardennes. Unfortunately my mother woke up with fever, so they stayed a day longer in our place and joined us only on Saturday. When they arrived at the cottage they confessed that while being in our place they indulged in some Binge-watching of The Killing series on Netflix. Netflix is a service on the internet where you can watch movies and series as much as you want for just 9,9EUR per month. We have the service available through our TV subscription. And since you can watch as much as you want many people, including my parents, spend hours watching all episodes of a particular series in one go. They spent around 11h watching the killing ;-)
In Malmedy we spent the time making nice little walks, swimming (in the indoor pool) and just relaxing.
We also played a couple of games of Quarto, a very nice and challenging board game with a variation on the Four-in-a-row. The idea behind the game is very simple, yet the game play itself is challenging. I am surprised the game was only designed a couple of years ago. But it has won many prices since. And if you like board games, this one should be part of your collection.
While in the Ardennes I only managed to go out once for a run and did it on Saturday night between 8 and 9 in the pitch-dark. But with my headlamp i still managed to run the 10km on a bike-track between the cottage and the little village of Waimes. The bike-track is part of the Ravel bike-track circuits that are available all over the southern part of Belgium.
Tomorrow marina will be going back to work. i will stay home with the kids for the rest of the week.
At work things are quiet for the moment. Last year the XMAS period was very hectic with many customer issues. This year, I have not yet received a single call. Much better if you ask me. ;-)
The pictures of this week are here.