Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week is Comic-Con

Geeks everywhere are thinking "Duh. Everyone knows it's Comic-Com."

I'm sure some of our Comic-Con ventures are covered under the Geek label in Chickenblog. The funny thing is we feel like we were already there this year. But the food was too good, so we must have been in Bruxelles! My first post about Bruxelles alluded to the comic theme and the good food, to Tin-Tin and the Grand Plaçe, and then I promised a visit to... Atomium!

Somewhere in the comments was a nice remark about our 'many pictures' and how we 'must have lots of photo albums.' We have many up until about 2001, and then came digital and I have practically stopped printing. And once I started blogging I gave up photo albums. Chickenblog is our family photo album. It would be nice to rectify this. I know it would be nice to have real books with prints that we could leaf through and enjoy. We don't even have family pictures in frames... very bad. Shame.

Well, no point dwelling. And until I remember how to make prints or learn how to take a memory stick to the printshop, then I will at least try to keep Chickenblog as up to date as possible.

Comic-Con has crowds.

Bruxelles has crowds.

Comic-Con has art and people to admire the art.

Bruxelles has art and people to admire the art.

Comic-Con has forums for self expression, for demonstrating your interests, talents, points of view.

Bruxelles has forums for self expression, for demonstrating interests, talents, points of view.

Comic-Con has people that dress in character.

Bruxelles has people that dress in character.

Comic-Con has vendors.

Bruxelles has vendors.

Comic-Con has food convention center nachos, dry pretzels and tall sodas.

Bruxelles has waffles, chocolate, sweet strawberries, frites, beer, hearty and fresh sandwiches that are stuffed with delicious veggies, Speculoos, Nutella, onion soup, mussels...

Comic-Con has been around since the 1970's.

Bruxelles has been around since before the 10th Century.

We love Comic-Con enough to return year after year.

Bruxelles has us smitten too.

On our way out of town we were lamenting how little time we had to spend in Belgium. I had read about this place called "Atomium." Dallas had mentioned it too... a place we might enjoy seeing. But we felt the need to race off to our next reservation, so we assumed we'd have to miss it. But as we settled in to the highway and had our course charted, we saw the shiny mecca on the horizon, rising like a gleaming geek siren above the trees. Once again we made our GPS go bonkers when we steered away from the charted course and tried to find our way to Atomium.

Go to the webpage to get a handle on what Atomium is all about. This 1958 World's Fair attraction, a big, shiny representation of a ferrium crystal, was well worth the price of admission. We loved the sights. We loved the engineering. We loved the design. We loved the shine. We loved the retro back to the future vibe. If we could have worn jetpacks and slept in pods we would not be here right now...

We would be pondering the joy of comics and science converging.

We would still be playing with the endless wonder of digital photography and big things.

We would be riding up and down the elevator to the top atom.

Then we would be looking down.

Down is where we saw the city and the woods and the tiny cars.

Hey, there's our car!

And there's Mini-Europe!
I want to go to there.

No. Wait. I want to go to there!
That looks awesome.

We were surprised how much of the Ferrium Crystal was accessible. With stairs, the main elevator and escalators we were traveling all over Atomium.

Wouldn't it be cool if they could achieve zero gravity in here?

Don't let their expressions mislead you. Those are the reverent faces of geeks in awe of science and technology. Okay, and Maria is a little sad her ice cream is all gone.

You can't get this at Comic-Con, but we're going anyway.


nikkipolani said...

Okay, I admit I've been living in a cave in darkest Somewhere and have not heard of Comic-Com, but you've certainly sparked my curiosity! Roomie lived in Brussels for many years - I'll have to nudge her to visit you and see if she recognizes any of these sites.

Dallas said...

Cool! I'm glad you guys were able to stop by there on your way out. And I'm glad you enjoyed Brussels - it's really fun to see what you liked about it. It's often overlooked and called a boring city, but I think it's got it's charm.

CrazyCris said...

What fun! You make me want to go up the Atomium myself!

I can't believe in all the times I went to Heizel (to visit Mini Europe or catch a film at the Kinepolis) that I never went up! I guess because a lot of people told me it wasn't worth the admission price... but I must say, from your pictures it does look a lot nicer now that they've fixed it up a bit!

I'm guessing you didn't make it to Mini Europe? Pity, that is a fun way to travel all over Europe in a couple of hours! I should try and go back and see if they've added new sights since the EU has grown from 15 to 25...

I'm really enjoy all your photos and tales! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and photo albums? Try looking at the digital options that can print directly into an album! Here in Spain they've become very popular! You download the software and basically insert the photos in the pages wherever and however you'd like, then upload it to the internet and they'll mail you your printed album! It's like getting a photo-book, no more worries about prints falling out of their little corners! ;o)

helen said...

take memory stick to walgreens.....stick it into photo computer.....follow directions.....wait an hour then pick up prints.....walllah! Grandma Nancy wants photos...i am just the messenger.

love chickens and bunnies abroad photos and memories!!

Missy said...

Lurve the photos! I especially love the escalator shot of your gang and the photos of Maria posing all over Europe...wonderful!

judy in ky said...

I love geeks! I come from a long line of geeks. We'd be better off if geeks ruled the world!

Jennifer said...

Ah, looking forward to the report from this year's ComicCon; yet another reason why we're sorry we don't live out your way. We're huge Tintin fans, too -- did I ever mention that?

warren said...

I like all of the pics...we use our blog as a family album won't be lost if something happens to our house...that's what I always think about it!

calamity kim said...

all i can say is wow
i wish i had your passport!
waffles and chocolate fountains...gorgeous pictures, as always and i don't have any photo albums beyond flickr so you are not alone.
happy summertime, sweet chicken lover.
i am baking banana bread, made some deviled eggs and then some tuna fish and trying to stay cool.
xo, kim

aussiechic said...

Nice trip!!! I love to travel - Aussies do it all the time - we love to get out and explore the world.....and I love to read about others and their travels is great you guys go!!! Your kids will benefit from it in so many ways......

Theresa said...

Glad to hear you had fun!!

Italo said...

Natalie Your post describes exactly Bruxelles! Nice photos. Your blogi is funny, I will follow you with pleasure. CIao, Italo.

helen said...

did you see johnny depp at comic-con?

Raul e Joel Carvalho said...


view your blog and found it very interesting.
I am responsible for a blog of wine in Portugal and I would ask if he can not put the link on my site to your blog.

Link to my blog:

If you put send email to this address: pirusas.carvalho @

La Fillette en Rose said...

Hi, I'm from Brussels myself. Thank you for visiting my town. You portraid it very well. The comic walls, the chocolate, the vendors of sea snails, the Atomium,... This is the real Brussels!