October 29, 2010
-A black ghost
-A muslim apparation
-All of the above
-None of the above
Arnaud and Stephanie, nee Fanuel, Fieve
Please excuse my tardiness in posting our trip to Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Austria last month. My enthusiasm to write faded as my digital camera was destroyed when our canoe overturned on the Vtlava River in the Czech town of Cesky-Krumlov. I have had to rely on some photos emailed to me, stock photos, and memory. Hopefully, more photos are forthcoming from our European friends. After a week of hard rain, the weather was unusual for Belgium, sunny.The Wedding "Day": Bride's First Appearance
Pictures taken in the garden of Stephanie's parents in Charleroi, Belgium
The wedding started at 9:00 am from Stephanie Fanuel's, the bride's, home in the French-speaking Belgium city of Charleroi. There a continental breakfast with champagne in the parent's garden started the day as the groom, guests, and town people awaited the appearance of the bride in her gown at the top of the family's staircase. The apparition of the bride created quite a stir not only for the groom, Arnaud, but for all young women at the bottom of the stairs who were anticipating Arnaud's reactions.
The Wedding "Day": The Official Ceremony
Vows at Brussel's Woluwe-Saint- Lambert City Hall
Group picture outside City Hall
The legal marriage in Belgium in a civil ceremony conducted at the city hall. It may simple signing of papers or what we might call a full wedding ceremony. Arnaud's and Stephanie's marriage we drove about 30 miles from Charleroi to a city hall in Brussels for a full wedding ceremony conducted by a city official at 11:00 am.
The Wedding "Day": The Church Wedding
Saint-Lambert's Church, Brussels
The church wedding was conducted at 3:00 pm in the 12th century church of Saint Lambert in the Woluwe district of Brussels. Mary and I helped the wedding party of about 20 bride's maids and groomsmen prepare the church for the 1 1/2 hour ceremony.
The Wedding "Day": Outdoor Reception
Then it was a 15 mile drive back south somewhere near Genappe to a old chateau converted to a country inn with stables now a dining and reception area accompanied by a beautiful outdoor garden. Champagne, hor d'ourves, helped to grease bringing together the various family members and guests. The wedding party started their own celebration by tossing Arnaud high into the air.
The Wedding "Day": Formal Reception
With Arnaud, his mother, Francoise, and brother, Jerome, at formal dinner
Moving inside for the sit down dinner started about six (very early by French standards). The early start was needed as we were treated to a multi course meal with interludes between courses serving as a smoke break and for the couple's many friends to show videos, toasts, and make jokes. Wine continued to flow.
For those interested, this was the menu:
Le ravioles de langoustines aux petits legumes bisque parfumee a la vanille.
Filet de canette de barbarie au miel et aux epices legumes rotis en cocotte
Vacherin glace et coulis de fruits rouges
Bordeaux "Chateau Anniche" 2008
Bordeaux Superieur "Chateau les Paruades" 2007The Wedding "Day": The Dance
A honeymoon memorable moment, a Mauritius dolphin
Quentin Sibille and Christel
Arnaud's long time high school friend, Quentin, his partner, Christel, and their Jack Russell dog, Harper, served as perfect hosts, drivers, and friends to make our stay at their home in Braine-l"Allude more than we had ever hoped.
The Mutter Museum
If you don't know what it is, don't bother to try it, even at Philadelphia's "Historic" Reading Market. I do know what it is and I did try it. Now I have had scrapple that you can swallow before, but this stuff they sell to tourists, even the poor Dutch settlers wouldn't recognize.