For a big part of the week the Smeyers-Pascuzzi family was an extended one with both my parents staying over from Monday to Friday. This week was a school holiday week and instead of having Alex and Matías go over to their place, my parents came to our house. This had the advantage of us being able to see the kids every day and my parents giving us a hand as well in the household. In doing so this was a week where we had a somewhat more relaxed time. Especially for Marina it was less stressful then normal since she did not have to hurry to school after work and then home to get food ready for the kids. Both Marina and i could come home to prepared food and relaxed kids every day, a real luxury. Once more a very big thank you to them.

We had plans for using this opportunity as well to go out a bit, but apart from a very nice diner on Tuesday we used the time mostly for relaxing. We also thought about going to the movies to see the “The Revenant” movie. But since I found out that it is based on a book i started reading it and that took away the need to go see the movie…

With my parents around we did not do any yoga sessions from Monday to Friday. We did not feel like doing that in front of them. But we did 2 sessions this weekend thus limiting the damage 😉

On Sunday the Sarcophagi exposition drove us to the Royal Museum of Art and History at the Cinquantenaire park in Brussels. The museum houses collections of of national archaeology, antiquity and non-European civilisation. The Sarcophagi exposition exhibits a series of mummies and sarcophagi which obviously interests the kids (especially Alex). Inside the museum there were a couple of games for the kids and also a series of papers they could take home to build mummies and a sarcophagus. That kept them busy part of the afternoon as well.

The entrance to the exhibition also allowed us to walk around the permanent collections. It was more than 10 years ago since i went and i did not remember that it is such a big and impressive building with very eclectic architecture styles behind the exterior which is typical neo-classical. For example, the antiquity part looks like a big Roman temple build around a huge original Roman mosaic floor

and the collection of clocks and sundials is housed in a gallery that you typically see around the internal courtyard of an old church and/or monastery complex.

I am sure the Roman temple was built/erected when the museum was constructed. For the monastery gallery I am not so sure. It really looks like the more recent museum (from the end of the 19th century) was build around an existing construction. But I can not find any reference to an existing building on the location of the Cinquantenaire from before the constructions of the current buildings…

There are also some 19th century halls typical for the museum from that era.

So apart from Indian Totem poles, Chinese traditional beds and decoration items and a whole series of statues in all sizes and shapes, the architecture inside is worth the visit.

Today I once more went out running together with Alex on his bike. But to make it a bit more adventurous for him (the 15km is no real challenge for him anymore) we left home at around 5h30pm to make sure that we would be spending a big part of the run in a dark forest. Alex got to use my headlight throughout the run/cycle tour. And apart from an occasional statement that he was a bit scared whenever we stopped to see how dark it got without the light we had a great time. We plan on buying a new bike for Alex’ birthday in May and will then be able to make even bigger tours. And in a couple of years I then hope to be able to also take Matías along as well.

We ended the week with a simple Saint-Valentine dinner at home. For the past years now we do not go out for dinner on this day anymore, but rather enjoy a nice fish-inspired dinner whcih resulted in fish-soup and a fresh seafood platter with things like oyster, langoustine and snails.

The pictures of this week are here.