Today was a special adventure close to our hearts.
Nicks grandfather was a fantastic musician. He was awarded a Fulbright Commission back in 1958 to study and complete his doctorate degree in musicology in Liège, Belgium. It’s a scholarship program they offer to a limited number of Americans to come study at their university. About 20 grants are awarded per year, so it’s a great honor to be selected!
Larry, Naomi, and their young daughter Kathy lived in Belgium for 2 years. They all learned the French language and grandpa Anderson even defended his dissertation in French, earning high honors for his work and delivery. Grandma Andersen, Naomi, typed his dissertation in many different languages including French, Italian, and German.
It was quickly in our relationship that I came to love Grandma Andersen and I am so sad I never got to meet Nick’s grandpa Larry before he died. Especially since he was a phenomenal and accomplished organist and here now, our tiny little branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has no one to play except me. I wish I could call him up for help!!
Today we traveled to Liège to see some of the places they were over 50 years ago. Liège is only about 133km from us, a beautiful 90 minute drive.
First we went to see the university where he studied. Unfortunately, it was closed today (not uncommon for Belgium) but we wandered around the music building imagining what it must have been like coming to a new country with a young family not speaking the language. Wow! I can understand a little of what that feels like now, but I’m so thankful for the help in moving overseas the military provides. What an incredible thing they did though.
Next we went in search of their old apartment! It wasn’t far from the university and at the top of a hill overlooking Liège. What a quaint little place in a cute neighborhood. It’s such a cool feeling to think about those you love calling this place home sooo long ago.
Grandma also talks about the beautiful cathedrals in Liège so we tracked one of those down too!
We went to Saint-Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Liège. What an incredible 10th century building! The things these people could build with such limited resources are incredible. It was stunning.
We finished by wandering around Liège, visiting shops, and lunch at The Waffle Factory. Simon bought a postcard and we found the Statue that was in the picture, which he thought was the COOLEST thing ever. Kids are so fun to travel with and although they make it more logistically challenging, I love seeing them run around and explore a new part of the world.
Every time we’re on our way home Simon always says, “Well that was a fun little adventure!”
He’s right. Life is a fun little adventure! I’m so glad families are forever and it was wonderful today to feel so connected with past generations. I love our family. I love Belgium. Life is wonderful!
Other Belgium Adventures!
Next post, Allison’s (sans kids) Day In Paris!!!