Ever try to listen to someone explain a peak experience to you like the crazy, intricate dream they had last night or a strange trip they once had in college? It’s the worst, right? The only thing more insufferable is having someone swipe through 500+ vacation photos on their phone as they wax on nostalgically about how great the food was in that cute, little café or how charming the expat tour guide was.

There’s a reason people do that. It’s because they want you – their friend – to experience the same emotional response that they had to the experience. Well-intended, but it always falls short, right? That’s why here at the Lowlands Group, instead of telling our staff how amazing the Benelux region of Europe is, we take a crew over there every year to experience it for themselves.

A group of sixteen Lowlands Group staffers – including branders, bartenders, chefs, managers, operators, marketers, and more – just returned to the states on Wednesday from one of those peak experiences mentioned above. Instead of writing a missive on the arcane facts of the history of Antwerp’s diamond trade, subjecting you to a 2-hour podcast about every bier we tasted, or inviting you to a day-long webinar that is nothing but us talking through a slideshow of the 2000+ photos we took on the trip, we’ve decided to just pull a small selection of photos for you here along with some short and sweet captions. No fancy gallery. No geo-referenced interactive guide. Just a page of photos you can scroll through. Or not. Because you know how we feel about looking at others’ vacation pics.

If you dig this kind of thing, we invite you to follow lowlandsgrandcafes on instagram. Throughout the next year we’ll be #latergramming some choice shots of this trip and others our crew will be taking throughout the year. Better yet, next time you’re at one of our cafe’s, ask the bartender or manager there if they have been to Belgium or the Netherlands on our annual trip. If they have, be prepared to hear long, monotonous stories about their amazing experiences.

Hmm… Maybe just follow us on instagram.