My Benelux-urious Experience

Last October, while attending IMEX, one of the industry’s most mammoth meetings events in Las Vegas, I encountered perhaps the luckiest 72hr streaks of my life.  In a span of two meetings’ days and one evening prior, I sat down at a Roulette table and placed a single bet on and around my lucky number 10, and watched it come up 10 on the first spin;  I placed a single bet at Lagasse Stadium for my New York Giants to win the Super Bowl with 35:1 odds at the time – they won the Super Bowl in February; and I dropped my business card into a drawing at a reception being held jointly by Destination DC and Visit Brussels.

Last week I returned from my trip to Belgium.This was an amazing trip which I won, yes won, courtesy of the fine professionals at Visit Brussels, the convention and visitor’s bureau to the capital of the EU, Brussels, Belgium.  They held their reception jointly with the capital of the US and how ironic it might have been were I to have won the grand prize trip to DC – where I lived at the time.  Oh, but I didn’t.  I saw them draw the card and from a full twenty feet away could see the colors and logo I needed to see.  Brett Sterenson with Hotel Lobbyists was the lucky winner of two round trip tickets to Brussels, a two night weekend stay at The Hotel Brussels, and transfers to and from the airport.  I was on the phone to Jaime ten minutes later.  When are we going?

Given this once in a lifetime opportunity, how could we pass up the opportunity to see the whole Benelux Triangle – that is the triangle comprised of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.  It’s a part of the world I’d always wanted to see, but truthfully, it would have been a while before it found itself at the top of my travel list, save for Amsterdam which I imagine I’d have targeted soon.

And so during Easter break, Jaime and I spent two nights in Brussels, a night in Luxembourg, three nights in Amsterdam and then back to Brussels for our return.  But we did more than that.  Having seen Spain by train the summer before, I thought it auspicious to rent a car and try to see this area of the globe by road.  We’d get to see so much more this time and witness the real countryside.  So our journey allowed us to see the medieval cities of Bruges and Ghent in Belgium.  We stayed at a vineyard in Remich, a small town in southeastern Luxembourg bordering Germany.  And we drove the Bollenstreek, the magnificent bulb fields in Lisse, Holland – outside of Amsterdam.

Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolate, Dutch pancakes, and hot chocolate in Luxembourg were all part of our Beneluxurious diet on this trip.  Going in April meant for chillier weather but it also probably made for smaller crowds and easier navigation.  I invite you to see our pictures and I whole heartedly recommend a visit to this part of the world soon!

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