Thursday, March 10, 2011

A sunny winter day at the Abbaye du Rouge Cloitre (Red Cloister Abbey) playgrounds and surrounding area (Mar 8)

This past Tuesday the weather was so nice in Brussels that I decided to take Reagan to the Abbaye du Rouge Cloitre (aka Red Abbey) to explore the grounds and most importantly the playground, Reagan would say! The area around the Abbey is very pretty with a few ponds where people can fish or watch the ducks and geese swim by. However, Reagan found it more fun to throw sticks in the water. The Abbey also houses an Art Gallery which I wasn't able to go in this time, but hopefully I'll get another chance when Reagan isn't around or maybe sleeping. On the weekends, I believe there is a cafe open to the public. There are also a few horse stables on site, so we were able to see some friendly horses. Reagan even fed them some hay. She's not afraid of anything! The horse basically gobbled it out of her hand and she didn't even wince!

Reagan definitely had the most fun at the playground at the Abbey. There are actually three different ones for different age groups. Two of them are suitable for Reagan while the other one involves more climbing and is quite a bit advanced. There's even a zip line for kids at one of the playgrounds, which I'll have to try with her another time. Though, I was very impressed with how brave Reagan was in going down all the slides by herself. One of the slides was a bit intimidating since it was in the design of a tube / tunnel, but after I went with her a few times and she saw some other kids do it, there was no fear factor any longer! After a bit of play, we had a picnic lunch consisting of a chicken curry baguette, banana, milk and no-bake cookies for dessert.

After we were done with the first playground, we ventured down the path to the next one which we didn't actually play on since it was way too advanced for her. Then we saw the third playground just a bit further down the path which was in the shape of a boat. It was really cool! There were several wooden bridges, walkways and slides going off of it. Reagan and I played on it for a bit before checking out the rest of the grounds.

She was in heaven just being outside and being able to run free. I wish every day could be this nice, but I have to remember where we live! Regardless, we try to make the most out of any day, rain or shine!

We parked a little ways a way, so this is the Abbey from a distance. By the way, we were lucky not to get a parking ticket since the police were ticketing cars when I returned to the parking lot, but hadn't gotten to my car yet! We were only allowed 2 hours and I was about an hour over with my little blue clock that you're required to put in your window in some parking areas.
Reagan enjoyed the large green spaces in front of the Abbey. She was running away from me and laughing as I was trying to take her picture.

Compound of the Abbey
I think this is where the cafe is located, but only open on the weekends.

Reagan picked up stick after stick and threw it in the water (notice the stick in mid air in the second photo). I was afraid to snap a picture in fear that she'd fall in the water while I was doing so!

I believe the Art Galley was in this building.

You might think she's pointing at the "Abbay de Rouge Cloitre" sign, but she's just showing me some cool rocks she picked up!
First playground we went to and spent most of our time at. Reagan loved the bridges and slides.
Zip line they had at the playground for older children
Walking across the wobbly bridge. She only managed to fall once and it was at the end of the day since she was swinging on it.
Getting ready to fly down the slide!
Thankfully Reagan likes Chicken Curry baguettes (sandwiches). We split it along with a banana and some no-bake cookies for dessert for our little picnic at the park. Initially I thought we might use the picnic blanket my mom gave me for Reagan's birthday, but the ground was too wet. There was a little hut with benches that we ate our lunch in instead.
"I think I can handle this baguette!"
"Oh wait, maybe this is more my size!"
Playing peak-a-boo between the fence

"I love this cool tunnel slide...I'm such a daredevil!"

"Some friends I met at the park who helped me overcome any fear I might have to go down this monster of a slide!"
Overview of Playground #1 and the best one suited for Reagan's age which by the way is almost 20 months. There's also a sandpit in the distance.
Playground #2 - for older children since there's more climbing involved
Playground #3 was also pretty cool since it was shaped in the design of a ship

Lots of neat walkways, slides, poles and steering the boat options

There were also two horses between the Abbey and the playgrounds which Reagan really liked.