Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Europe 2010 - Part 1

Where do I really start? I did not know that I could pack so much excitement into ten days. G and I have always wanted to travel to EU and had also kept our friends living there on a line for the last six years. Finally this year we gave ourselves an ultimatum and booked the tickets. Plans were made, changed, visas were acquired, bags were packed, panicked a bit but by the time it was 7th morning the three of us were ready for the vacation ahead. I want to keep this as a travelogue to which I can come back after a few years just like I read my India trip journals here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. So obviously I have to write down a few memories that we made during this trip too.

This was Bab's first trip out of the United States and that freaked me out a little. I was not sure what I can get for her in EU that will be comparable to what she likes here. So I packed everything she likes for at least the first five days of the trip. Babs was also very excited that she would be celebrating her birthday in EU for which I had given her a lot of build-up. I promised to sing Happy Birthday to her when we were up at the Eiffel Tower and that had her happy.

October 7, 2010   Leaving Dallas!

We had our bags packed and the house cleaned and set up for post trip blues. I hate to return to a dirty house. Our friend B came to drop us off at the airport and off we went. The first time I would actually be sitting for extended periods of time. I had spent most of my previous two days running around buying stuff or cleaning the house or packing that I was having horrible leg and back aches. I was actually looking forward to sit in the flight. We boarded the flight at 1.35pm and landed in Chicago to board our flight to Brussels, Belgium. Babs behaved like an angel. Touch wood. I have never had her cry or throw a tantrum during any of our flight trips ever. I had books for her to color and keep her busy. She slept though most of our flight to BRU while G and I tried our best to snooze a bit ourselves which was pretty unsuccessful.

October 8, 2010      BELGIUM

Landed at BRU at 7.50am. I had already told my friend PS about my schedule and he was going to pick us up at the airport. I had not met him in 8 years and I was really looking forward to it. When we got out of the immigration and customs it took me a couple of minutes to spot him while he screamed my name out I was trying to orient myself to see my friend with long hair.

Babs boarded her first train in BRU to go to his house which was a ten minute walk from BRU central station. We saw the Manneken Pis and laughed and then proceeded to his house which was a thirty second walk from this most popular Belgian landmark ever. I don't know why, maybe it is a Belgian thing.

My friend lives in a house that is out of an interior magazine. Perfect. Spotless and perfect. Beautiful. But we took care of that and created a mess to keep things in balance. Showered and ready we walked around the Grand Plaza and the city center before grabbing lunch. G enjoyed escargots and mussels while I tried to the Rotisserie chicken. I got to practice a little French. We headed back home and slept like three little jet lagged babies.

In the meantime PS went and booked our Paris trip and got his house prepared for a party to make us meet some of his friends in BRU. We got ready once again just in time to say hello to his friends, all of them French who spoke English with a heavy accent.

Then we went to another restaurant and enjoyed a meal. Actually the food was just okay for me in both the occasion. G had enjoyed his lunch while dinner was just okay. Babs made friends with Sebastien's friend Remi and they got along so well. Babs surprised us by introducing herself to all of PS's friends and shaking hands with them and letting them kiss her hand. She acted a bit like a diva but made friends only with Remi. By the time we headed back to the house we were dead tired and it was close to one on the clock.

G and I were determined to have a more productive second day and decided to wake up early and hit the road. PS suggested for us to visit Brugge. We had no idea what was there but that is what we were going to go as we were not sure what was there in Belgium for us to see. As it is a lot of our friends were surprised that of all the EU countries we had chosen to stop in Belgium.


PS: 

  • Food in Belgium, super expensive.
  • Everyone speak English and are super helpful.
  • Restrooms were always located in the most inconvenient places.
  • There is cobblestone everywhere in Belgium. Even the roads and sidewalks. Think twice if you choose to wear heels.
  • Trains are awesome here.
  • People are super friendly.
  • Restaurants take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. They are slow and relaxed and want you to enjoy the experience of eating out. But it was really inconvenient for us.
  • People made tons of adjustments because we had a three year old with us.
  • G fell in love with the beer's here that he did not even miss black label.
  • Belgian waffle is nothing like the waffle you get in USA and no, they do not it eat it with any syrup. But that is for Part Deux.

2 comments:

Arul John said...

Nice! Waiting for part 2.

Megha Bansal said...

babs is an angel! no kidding.
sounds fun so far!