Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Picked these glasses up at TJ Max and I am OBSESSED.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Real men help in the kitchen 🙂

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

We had so much fun hosting some of my family for Thanksgiving this year in North Carolina! My mom came out the Saturday before Thanksgiving and my dad, one of my sisters and her fiancé joined us later in the week. We ate SO much good food, I shared the source of some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes below.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

It’s a BOY!

While I had my mom for a few days, we found out that we are having another BOY! I’m so excited! I went back and forth on the gender, but overall felt like I was having another boy. As soon as the ultrasound started, I was positive it was a boy. I can’t wait for Theo to have a little friend! We also took a day trip down to Southport and Wilmington.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Southport, NC

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving day we spent the day cooking and finished the day by seeing the new Disney movie, Coco. I highly recommend it by the way! I loved the message about the importance of family and remembering our family members that have passed on.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017
The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Sisters and 20 week bump pic!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and it was a nice break. We’re super excited for Christmas and we get to fly home in January for my sister’s wedding! So many wonderful things to look forward to this time of year.

Green bean casserole (literally the best one I have EVER had!)- Life in the Lofthouse blog
Stuffing- The Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook
Banana cream pie- Sprinkles Baking Book

**Our ham was from Honeybaked Ham and my mom’s orange rolls are to die for and a secret recipe :). Just kidding, I’ll share with anyone who is interested. For amazing mashed potatoes, the more butter and cream, the better!

**For our turkey, all I do (in addition to following all of the bathing, preparing, and cooking guidelines) is rub the thawed and bathed turkey with olive oil, then rub dry Thyme and Sage all over the turkey. I also stuff the turkey with carrot, celery, and chopped yellow onion. (I remove the stuffed vegetables and throw them away when the turkey is done!). No brining and we LOVE the way it tastes!

Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

-Makenzie

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Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

I’m still feeling pretty sick these days, but we managed to get out to participate in some of the Halloween festivities this month!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

I love going to pumpkin patches, and I thought Theo would be all about it too! Unfortunately, summer lasted a little too long for our liking and it was HOT at the pumpkin patch. I was sort of in denial and still wore jeans which was a HUGE mistake. But there were tons of fun things for kids to do at Philips Farm in Cary, NC and Theo loved riding the tractors and sobbed when it was time to get off. Todd was a champ for riding around with him sweating his guts out in his jeans!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

For Halloween, we too Theo trick-or-treating and it was a blast! He lasted for much longer than I thought he would, it’s amazing what a kid will do for free candy! Last Halloween Theo learned to walk on Halloween so this year was even more fun.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

Theo loves his space helmet from the NASA space center in Houston, so naturally we had to get him the whole costume for Halloween. Todd and I had planned to be the solar system and a NASA scientist to go along with Theo’s costume, but I had zero motivation after being so sick and we ended up finding these awesome sweatshirts at Walmart. Win!

We made chili, passed out some candy, and finished Stranger Things season two after Theo went to bed. It was a great night. I love Halloween and I can’t wait for my family to get here in three weeks for Thanksgiving!

-Makenzie

Hardy Baby Number Two

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

We’re so excited to be adding another baby to our family this coming April! Despite all the morning sickness (or more appropriately named, “ALL DAY sickness”) I can’t believe I am pregnant again. It feels so surreal!

I found out I was pregnant the week of Theo’s second birthday. A few days earlier I had taken a negative pregnancy test and I was feeling  super down and disappointed. I went to the grocery store and planned to buy an ovulation kit. I still hadn’t started my period and I felt a little sick to my stomach, so I thought before I fork out $40 for the ovulation kit, I should take one more pregnancy test.

I went home and took the test, which by the way, peeing on a pregnancy stick is an adventure with a toddler in the room, and it instantly showed positive! I didn’t know whether to celebrate, cry, or to even believe it was actually positive. So I just stared at it emotionless before I went into the kitchen and chugged more fluids so I could take the second test. When I took the second one and it instantly showed positive again, I started sobbing like a crazy person (to the point where Theo was a little worried) on the bathroom floor.

I’m a terrible secret keeper and this was huge, so immediately texted Todd and asked him if we could bring him lunch. He already had a lunch meeting set-up, so I persistently asked if we could stop by with a surprise I had picked up at the store (which was true, I had two positive pregnancy tests from the store in a Ziploc for him!). I pulled up in the parking lot and didn’t have any time to be creative because Todd was waiting for me in the parking lot. He jumped in and I told him to look in my bag. He pulled out the bag of pregnancy tests and when it clicked,

Thus far this pregnancy has been WAY harder than my first pregnancy. I’ve been super sick to the point where I struggle falling asleep at night because I’m so nauseous. Fortunately I don’t actually throw up, though I have sat by the toilet a few times and I’ve wondered if throwing up would bring some relief, at least for a moment.

One pleasant change from my last pregnancy is that I have been able to keep running! I stopped running around week nine when I was pregnant with Theo because I would be intense cramps and pressure every time I tried to run. This time, I feel a lot better running so I have just slowed my pace down and run 3-4 miles a few times a week and power walk with Theo in the jog stroller on my off days.

I don’t have any feelings about the baby’s gender even though last time I was positive Theo was a boy the second I got pregnant, to the point where I was buying boy clothes before we found out! So this time it will be a pleasant surprise. I would love to have a girl, but I think it would be fun for Theo to have a brother too. I really just need boy/girl twins.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes!

-Makenzie

Theo’s Second Birthday

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The only family picture we snapped was on a phone! We really need to get better at taking pictures, although you can see that Theo was over posing at this point!

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

My mom found THE TRAIN from my childhood online and ordered it for Theo along with all of the little people and animals!

I can’t believe my baby boy is already 2! Where has the time gone?? I have loved the 18-month to 2 year stretch. It’s been my favorite phase so far. We have so much fun as a family and Theo always keeps us laughing. One of my favorite things about Theo is that he still loves to be snuggled. Often, he’ll wake up from a nap cranky, so I’ll carry him over to the rocker and hold him while he sleeps a little longer.

For Theo’s birthday, we decided to forgo the birthday party since we just moved and we threw him a big first birthday party last year. This year, we spent the day doing all of Theo’s favorites including making pancakes for breakfast, a trip to the Disney store, Chick-Fil-A for lunch, presents, homemade pizza, and of course, cake!

This was my first time making a cake from scratch… ever! I used a recipe from the Sprinkles Baking BookThe cake was delicious, just not as pretty as the one in the book. BUT Theo didn’t care and that’s really all that matters. I’m so glad we had a simple, fun day together as a family, and I think our 2-year-old feels very special and loved.

Happy second birthday Theo! Mommy and daddy love you!!!

-Makenzie

Utah, Summer, Moving to NC

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Theo’s first movie- Cars 3! He was a huge fan of all the snacks and the recliner seats.

The Traveling Runner's Blog The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Snooze French Toast from one our date nights. So delicious!

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Lagoon Day with the Hardy family.

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

This summer has been a whirlwind for our family! We packed up our lives in Houston not knowing when or where we would open our boxes. We spent so many nights stressed out waiting for the right job opportunity to work out after Todd’s year long fellowship ended. At literally the eleventh hour, or in our case the day before we had to move out, Todd was offered a position in North Carolina!

It was a huge wave of relief after months of not knowing where we would be and putting everything on hold while we waited. The next day, we celebrated Todd’s 29th birthday with a stop at Sprinkles (of course!) on our way out of Houston. We stopped in Dallas, then drove the remaining eleven hours to Colorado.

From there, we spent time in Huntington Beach, CA with my family, surprised Todd’s family in Utah for a few days, and snuck in a few dates in CO before Todd had to leave to drive the car out to start work. Theo and I stayed in CO for an extra week and a half because our rental home wasn’t ready. Although it turned out to be a HUGE blessing that we not only found this home but that we were able to move in two weeks sooner than we had expected. Originally Todd and I thought we weren’t going to see each other for three and a half weeks. I was super depressed, but then the morning he was leaving we got a call from our landlord saying that the current tenants were moving out and we could move in sooner! This made it was easier to say good bye.

I flew out with Theo as a non lap child for the first time and it was a dream. He did so well watching his movie and playing with his cars the entire time. As lame as it is to have to pay for another seat, I loved not having to hold someone in my lap.

We’re extremely grateful for our friends on this end that helped us move in, gave Todd a place to stay for a week, and that just made moving back feel so right. We’ve had a fun and eventful summer, but we are excited to finally be settled into our home.

-Makenzie

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

My dad grew up in Orange County so my family spends a lot of time in the area, specifically in Huntington Beach. Needless to say, this beach will always be one of my favorite places in to visit in California.

We didn’t think we would be going on this trip since Todd was still unsure about his job situation coming out of his fellowship in Houston, but at the last minute everything fell into place and the stars aligned so we could go!

This trip was so fun because we got to take Theo to Disneyland for the first time, spend lots of time on the beach, eat cinnamon roll french toast at Ruby’s on the pier, and spend lots of time playing games and eating good food. We also loved our AirBnB because it was walking distance to main street and the beach, but far enough away that we could avoid the crazy crowds on the Fourth.

The beach is was pretty crazy on the fourth, but what public beach isn’t going to be that has a fireworks show? We love participating in the local 5K, watching fireworks, and my mom and aunt fought the crowds on main street to bring us Wahoo Fish Tacos for dinner. YUM!

We had such a fun time, it was a great way to unwind, relax, and celebrate Todd accepting a job in NC, finding a cute house to rent, and everything FINALLY falling into place after months and months of prayer.

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

This sun shelter from Light Speed is the best! It’s a few years old, but they have similar ones available.

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

How we felt going into dinner at Ola Mexican Kitchen in Huntington Beach. YUM!

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Is it possible to eat frozen bananas and not think of Arrested Development??

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Always with Grandma.

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Spike ball for the win!

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

No time to stop for posed pictures in front of the castle on a busy day at Disneyland!

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Theo’s first Disneyland ride!

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Todd’s favorite picture from the trip… I guess that’s my screaming face?

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Huntington Beach, CA for the Fourth- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Hope you had a wonderful July 4th weekend!

-Makenzie

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

My jumpsuit: Anthropologie My mom’s pants: Anthropologie

Since our time in Texas is coming to an end, my mom flew out for a weekend trip to Waco. I’ll admit that I have never seen a full episode of the show Fixer Upper, but my mom is a HUGE fan. We had a blast during our visit and my only regret is not having more time to do one of the little Waco tours. Next time!

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

We stayed at the Hotel Indigo because of its close proximity to Magnolia Market (less than half a mile). In the morning, we walked over which was great because we didn’t have to pay to park or find parking because it’s always crazy packed. We got in line for the store though I wish we’d showed up at 7 a.m. to get in line for the bakery!

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

They don’t cap how many people can go into the store and it’s definitely wall-to-wall people everywhere you go even if you get in line early. Fortunately it was a girl’s trip and I was able to leave Theo at home with Todd because pushing a stroller through the store while keeping Theo from touching/breaking everything would have been impossible.

Even though most of their stuff in store is available online, the store was AMAZING! Everything is beautifully displayed. I purchased one of their beautiful platters, measuring cups, a bar of soap, a kitchen towel, one of their signature candles, and a Magnolia Market bag. I also purchased some of Chip’s jerky to give to Todd for Father’s Day.

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

After the store, we got in line for the bakery. Even though the line is long, they are very efficient. The staff hand out menu cards before hand so by the time you get up to the register, you can just hand them your order. My mom purchased one of their cute aprons and a cookbook for each of us. Naturally we had to try every cupcake flavor. As you know I am a HUGE Sprinkles fan, but these cupcakes were my second favorite!

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Another thing I love about Magnolia Market is the outdoor area. It’s so cute with the swings, Corn Hole, and big bean bags to lounge in. It’s a very family-friendly atmosphere. My favorite part, however is all of the food trucks! The best one is the Cheddar Box, they have all different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches! We also grabbed watermelons from the Luna truck.

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Magnolia Market in Waco, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Whether you love the show or just beautiful things and good food, a trip to Magnolia Market is definitely worth the trip!

-Makenzie

Austin, Fifth Wedding Anniversary & Moving

Texas Capitol Building- Austin, TX

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Austin, TX- The Traveling Runner

Life has been a little crazy for us over the past couple of weeks. We spent some time in Austin for Todd to compete in the Cap Tex Triathlon over Memorial Day Weekend. He CRUSHED and fortunately the weather cooperated for the race since the day before it was extremely humid and storming on and off all evening.

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Surfside Beach, TX- The Traveling Runner's BlogSwimsuit: AlbionFit

This past weekend, we celebrated our FIFTH wedding anniversary! Unfortunately Todd was gone on our anniversary at a job interview, so Theo and I celebrated at Chick-Fil-A and I made lava cakes for Todd and I when he got home that night. On Saturday, we spent the day at the beach. Theo loves the water and Boston spent most of the time in the back of our open car watching us play from a safe distance. He hates the water, but we managed to drag him in a few times and he loved rolling around in all of the washed up seaweed.

Lately we’ve been pretty MIA because we are moving this month, though to where we aren’t exactly sure yet. Our apartment is in boxes, but we don’t know our end destination. Lots of changes and uncertainty, but we are trying our hardest to stay positive and patient while trying to stay cool in the extreme humidity of Houston’s summers.

Hopefully we will have a better idea in the coming weeks where we are going to end up. We have plans, back up plans, and back up back up plans in place! Whatever happens, we feel really lucky to have our little family of three (two if you count the fur babies!). Good thing we love adventures because life definitely keeps us on our toes!

-Makenzie

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

As much as people say that Ghent is very similar to Brugge, I highly disagree. Ghent felt like its own city entirely. For starters, the walk from the train station is longer and less breathtaking than Brugge. I recommend taking the bus into the main touristy area. If you plan to walk, it’s a good 20-25 minutes if you’re walking quickly.

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

The churches are huge and of course beautiful to see both inside and out and all in close proximity to one another. We went inside Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and discovered that they had some of the most beautiful art, specifically the Mystic Lamb. They have tour guides or you can purchase one of the little brochures that maps out the art and gives you the name, artist, date, and a brief description.

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

We also went inside the the Gravensteen Castle on a self-guided tour. They have old weapons and suits of armor on display as well as a mini torture exhibit displaying some of the devices and methods they used to interrogate prisoners. The best part of the cast is the top. You get a beautiful view of the city. This was the first sunny day of our trip (and sadly the last day of our trip) so we spent a lot of time taking in the views. We had a lot of fun and the castle wasn’t very crowded, so I think it’s well worth the fee to get in.

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Remains of the first stone house dating back to the 11th century!

Since this was our last day of our Europe day we spent the day eating. No joke, we stopped everywhere! We found a Paul’s for lunch and grabbed baguettes and a little pizza for Theo. Todd also had to have ice cream from the little stand outside of the castle. I found my favorite dessert place while walking down the street and spotting someone sitting outside eating a massive milkshake outside a chocolate shop called In Choc. I knew I had to have one. Todd accidentally ordered a hot chocolate first (oops) but when we finally got our shake, it was well worth it! They had tons of funky flavors, we went with Oreo because that was the one I had seen outside. The larger Oreo is a mini ice cream sandwich! I highly recommend going with a group and trying all sorts of flavors, we just split the one. Plan on a longer wait, it takes them about 20 minutes to make it.

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

 We were definitely worn out by our last day of the trip from being on the go plus we had an unfortunate encounter on the train. However, we still enjoyed our day and Ghent and our last day of our trip in Belgium.
Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog
Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog
Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog
Ghent, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog
Like I said in my Brussels post, I’ve got MAJOR post travel blues. Where should we go next?
-Makenzie

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge is one of my favorite places that I have ever visited! Second to the tulips in Holland, this was one of the best days of our trip to Belgium. Not only was this small, picturesque town quiet and much less touristy on our weekday visit, but every street was full of charm and the small, vibrant homes and businesses made it feel like you were walking through a movie set.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge is only a one-hour train ride away from Brussels. There are plenty of trains running throughout the day, so you are safe to go to the station and purchase your ticket the day of your trip to Brugge. If you are planning to travel on a weekend, be prepared for larger crowds. Also, make sure you get in the right car, there is a first class car and you will be kicked out if you do not have a first class ticket. There’s usually a number 1 on the door, but not always.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Our “theme song” of the day was Belle’s opening song from Beauty and the Beast. We found ourselves getting lost in the streets with hardly anyone else around. When you get off at the train station, the short walk to the main square is stunning. We avoided the main shops and spent most of our time weaving in and out of the quiet streets.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Our favorite chocolates in Belgium.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Per Rick Steve’s recommendation, we stopped in for chocolates at Dumon. We went to the original, family run shop and purchased a delicious box of assorted chocolates for only 7.50 euro. The chocolates were amazing and half the price of the chocolatier shops in the more tourist areas. I later bought a smaller box in Brussels at a different shop and it was double the price. If you are in Brugge, you need to stop here.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

We ate dinner at Lizzie’s Waffles and I HIGHLY recommend it. They make giant waffles and incredible hot chocolate. Plus, they are so friendly! When we walked in, one of the employees kindly asked two women to switch tables so we could fit our stroller in. She then talked with us about her daughter and made sure to bring out little snacks for Theo while our waffles were cooking. Lizzie was sick and home, but her husband was cooking the waffles and took the time to talk to me about the giant waffle makers and how often he has to clean them. It was sweet, people like this make travel all the more enjoyable and places more memorable.

 

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

We also purchased frites, though again since we were in the main square, they were very over priced. Still good though, we asked for a slightly spicer sauce on the side so we could share with Theo. We also made a few stops at the waffle carts throughout the day.

We had delicious hot chocolate at this little chocolate shop by the water. The woman running the shop filled the cup with cream and hot water then put a spoon with a huge block of milk chocolate into the drink. AMAZING.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

The BEST hot chocolate in Brugge.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

We had planned to pay to climb the tower in the main square for the beautiful views, but we arrived there at 2 p.m. and they told us that they were no longer selling tickets. Visits to the top end at 3 p.m., but I guess they already had a line of people waiting, so if you want to climb the tower, plan to get in line with your tickets by 1 p.m. to be safe. We were bummed, but it probably would have been toughing carrying Theo up all of those stairs. Instead, we played in the little courtyard and let Theo run around.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Naturally we ventured off to find a park for Theo to play in. This park had a beautiful green area and a nice playground right by an old church. We were the only ones at the playground, so we just let Theo run crazy and burn some energy. We also went inside some of the churches, including the Church of our Lady, which was stunning on the inside.

Brugge, Belgium- The Traveling Runner's Blog

I highly recommend a visit to Brugge, you won’t be disappointed!

-Makenzie