Jeanne Bice used to always say ‘Life’s a party – so you have to celebrate EVERY day!”
And one of the best times to celebrate with a party is when it’s someone’s birthday. Jeanne also said “When you have a birthday, you get to celebrate all month long!”

Well, last month was my mother’s birthday – and trust me, I have no doubt that she is STILL celebrating! And I was lucky enough this year to have been able to join her on her actual birthday – in Brussels!

Mom and Dad had never been to Brussels before. They have some really good friends who go there every year – and this year they asked my parents to join them. Coincidentally, they were going to be there this year when Mom celebrated her birthday. Since London is only 2 ½ hours away from Brussels by train, it made perfect sense to me that I should be there as well to help Mom ring in another year.

Here I am about to board the Eurostar train – I still can’t believe how close we live to the mainland of Europe!

I don’t know how much you all know about Brussels – but let me tell you, it is a beautiful city! It’s the seat of the European Union government and many international businesses – but to me, Brussels is known for it’s beautiful architecture – and its food – especially chocolate and sugar waffles!! On almost every street corner in the central part of the city, you can find waffle vendors – and the sheer amount of different toppings you can get on them is simply amazing!! Here’s a picture of some of the many choices – can we say ‘Quack-A-Licious’?!?!

We also saw a chocolate shop with some yummy handmade chocolate ducks – they looked almost too cute to eat – but that didn’t stop us from enjoying them – after all, this was Mom’s birthday – and we were NOT counting calories on this trip!

One of the first stops we made was to the Grand Market. This is in the center of the city and is one of the oldest market squares in all of Europe. They still have weekly markets – sometimes they are crafts markets, sometimes chocolate markets – and in the spring there are flower markets in the square. I have to say that it’s one of the most beautiful European squares I’ve ever seen. Here we are on the day we visited – you can tell the weather was perfect for Mom’s birthday!

After a full day of wonderful sightseeing, we all headed out to celebrate Mom’s birthday over an incredibly delicious meal. Here we all are celebrating Mom’s special day:

Of course it wouldn’t be a celebration without cake and candles – or should I say ONE BIG CANDLE! It took all the hot air Mom had in her to blow out that giant candle!

One of my favorite pictures of the whole time we were there is this one of Mom & Dad after our meal that evening – don’t they look so happy?!

The next day we all woke up early and took the train and headed out of Brussels for the day to see the beautiful town of Bruges. Now I have to be honest and say that I really enjoyed Brussels, but Bruges is one of the most beautiful and charming cities I have EVER been to – and if you ever find yourself in Belgium, you MUST, MUST, MUST go to this gem of a city. It was my first time there and it definitely won’t be my last – that’s how much I loved it. It’s a small city and therefore it is so easy to walk around – and it’s easy to do in one day’s time. Here is Dad and I waiting to get on the train that morning. (Do you think we look alike?!?)

One of the highlights of our day in Bruges was taking a 30-minute boat trip with a guide through the canals of Bruges. Like Venice, Bruges is full of cute little canals – and by taking a guided boat trip, we were able to see a part of Bruges that cannot be seen from the street – it was simply breathtaking!! Here is a picture of the beautiful waterways – and one of us on the boat:

After the boat ride, we walked around and I saw this gorgeous hydrangea bush in a public garden.

Jeanne loved hydrangeas – and as you might remember, our incredible design team made a great hydrangea top in honor of Jeanne. Is it part of your Quacker collection? Here’s a picture of my friend Alicia in it at one of the live audience shows last year – doesn’t she look great?! (By the way, here is the link to the top – AND it’s clearance priced! CLICK TO SEE!!

The next day was our final day in Brussels – and we headed to the museums – Brussels has some great ones! Here we are at the Magritte Museum – I just love this picture of the 4 of us!

After dinner that night, we ran into some of the BIGGEST flowerpots I’ve EVER seen in my life!! Here’s a picture of me in front of one of them – can you believe how big it is?! I wonder if we’ll see QVC showing any of these next spring?!?

What a Quack-Tabulous trip it was – and it was even more special because we all got to be there together to help Mom celebrate her birthday! Now before you ask me what I gave Mom for her birthday – I’ll tell you…

Why of COURSE it was more Quacker Factory clothes!!! It’s not hard to shop for a mother who loves Quacker as much as my mom does – especially DreamJeannes! CLICK HERE to see our entire collection of DreamJeannes – including my mother’s favorite – the 5 Pocket Straight Legs: CLICK HERE TO SEE THOSE!

I hope that you’re all having a Quack-Tastic summer!! What have you been up to – and have you been celebrating EVERY day just as our dear Jeanne would have wanted you to?!??!

Quacker Hugs & Love From Across The Pond!



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By |2017-02-16T18:36:25-05:00August 15th, 2014|Fridays @ The Factory, Remembering, Stories, Travel|3 Comments


  1. Gail Norusis August 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply


    Is the Magritte museum about the works of Rene Magritte? Love him. What an interesting mind the man had. I’ve seen many pictures in books but don’t recall seeing his actual artwork in any museum. that must have been a great experience. Hope your Mom loved her QF gifts. We’ll see you on Monday!


  2. Colleen August 16, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hi Patrick,

      Looks like all of you had a wonderful time on your trip to Brussels.  You did look pretty small next to the flower pot. That would be interesting to see how QVC would ship a planter that big. lol  Love the pictures. Sometimes I think you look like your mom and then sometimes you look like you dad.  You have both of them in you. You could send us a sample of the waffles they look delicious. lol

       Have a great week-end


  3. adele shanbar August 17, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Hi Patrick

    I loved all the photos of your family, and the wonderful time you had.  Say a belated Happy Birthday to your dear Mom!

    Get those chocolate Ducks on QVC- all us Quackers want one, for sure!!!


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