|Pops at the Tyne Cot Memorial Cemetery in Passendale, Belgium|
They made it!
Finally, Chris' grandparents, his aunties, Elizabeth and Christy, and Christy's son, Jake, made it to Europe after two days of dodging tornados in Atlanta. They missed London, but thankfully they didn't miss out on their entire vacation. "The stranded five" arrived into Brussels several hours before we were scheduled to arrive in Belgium. It was impossible to switch our tickets, and I felt a little anxious about them arriving into Belgium without Chris or I there to welcome them. I called our friend, Bert, and without hesitation, he offered to do whatever I needed to help make "the stranded five" feel a little bit more comfortable. What a blessing it was to have Bert there! Our family made their way from Brussels to Roeselare, and in our little city, they found Bert with a box of Belgian chocolates in hand ready to welcome five weary, stinky, American travelers.
After such an ordeal, naturally, their luggage didn't arrive with them. It was promised that the luggage would arrive the following day, but in the meantime we had plans! We washed the clothes that "the stranded five" had been wearing for two days straight, ordered pizza and just enjoyed being with family for the evening. Everyone was relieved to finally be together as planned, and at the end of the evening, the weary travelers were more than happy to retire to comfortable accommodation at R&Breakfast.
In the morning, we were accompanied by five of our Belgian friends to the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Passendale, Belgium. The cemetery is built on the important western front of the First World War and is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. It's quite humbling to walk through the museum and the graves themselves and try to grasp the complete devastation of the landscape and such overwelming loss of life.