Yesterday was my birthday and Brussels organized a huge weekend festival for me: The Jazz Marathon. There was over 100 free concerts in the public squares outdoors and inside clubs across the city. Ok, maybe it wasn’t all for me, but it was perfect way to spend my birthday.
My birthday always falls on/near the Memorial Day holiday weekend so I’ve gotten used to celebrating it over a few days. Now Belgium does not celebrate Memorial Day, but I was still able to spread the celebration across Saturday and Sunday to make it last longer.
Saturday evening I met a group at one of the outdoor squares for the Jazz Marathon. We were so close to the Marcolini chocolcate shop I had to stop in and get some. Marcolini is said to be one of the best chocolate shops in the world and it's located right in Brussels! Unfortunately the prices are not really student-budget friendly so I hadn't been there before. If you're wondering, normal sized chocolate bars run about 9€ ($14)! So this definitely was just going to be a little tasting, we got 5 little pieces of chocolate (each about the size of a key on the computer) for 2.70€ ($4). My choice was dark chocolate with citron (lemon) which is my new favorite.
After the chocolates, we headed to another square where the band did Michael Jackson songs! It was such a fun night singing to his 70s and 80s hits and listening to the group's French monologues between each song.
On the way back to the train station we stopped at a waffle shop and had a Brussels waffle. The Brussels waffle is the same as the Belgian waffles we usually have for breakfast in the USA. (Note: it’s not my favorite that is the Liege waffles with the crystallized sugar inside.)
On Sunday I was back in Brussels at the big square – Grand Place. We arrive just as the music was starting at 3pm and since the sun was so warm, we just sat there for hours. Sitting there in the sun I had my Belgian beer & fries.
It really was such a nice relaxing weekend and I had a GREAT time with my friends. I’m not sure where I’ll be next year on my bday, but I will always remember my big 31.
But if I do happen to forget where I was, here’s my birthday picture in front of the Manneken Pis (thanks for the idea Grandma Irene!).
See you later!
PS. View all the pics online by clicking HERE.