SATURDAY: In the morning we took a taxi to the auto shop to pick up our rental car. We ordered an intermediate sized car through Auto Europe for ten days. It was supposed to be a Renault Laguna or equivalent, but it turned out the only auto available was a diesel Renault Scenic mini-van. Not what we had in mind, but it worked out okay and got good mileage.
After dropping the car off at the hotel we went to a flea market frequented by locals. It was interesting, especially the food area. In the afternoon we went to the lace school to watch them....make lace, of course. Then we walked through the museum and museum shop. There are two lace museums, and the one referenced here is out of the town center, but worth the 10-15 minute walk. There was a little girl about ten years old working the bobbins at the school as if she'd been making lace since she was in the cradle -- very precise and confident. The museum shop had some lovely items for purchase, and we were assured that the lace was produced in Belgium.
SUNDAY: Uneventful but scenic drive across Belgium. We stopped once along the freeway for something to eat at an exit displaying a knife and fork. We came across hotel/restaurant Chateau de Vignee serving Father's Day lunch. We knew we were in trouble when we saw the table set with four glasses per person. I'm still not certain what I ordered, but it was not to my liking. The setting, however, was pretty and we enjoyed the unexpected long lunch. Our "snack" turned out to be our most luxurious mid-day meal. www.chateaudevignee.be
We drove past Luxembourg and over the border into France to L'Horizon Hotel in Thionville. The hotel has the Romantik Hotel & Restaurant designation. We got there late in the afternoon without a reservation and lucked out by getting a large room (#7) that could accommodate three peole. This was our most expensive hotel on the trip with the room costing about $150 including continental breakfast. The hotel and the dining room were elegant and we dressed up just a bit for dinner....well, at least we changed our shoes. Dinner was very good. I ordered monkfish with saffron sauce. For dessert, a variety of cheeses. Thionville is not a tourist destination, and you would need to know the hotel is there -- you would not stumble upon it. www.lhorizon.fr/the-hotel-horizon-thionville