June 12, 2007

A Day in Brussels

A Day in Brussels

We got up early this morning so we could have our breakfast and catch a cab to the Leonardo DaVinci airport. We had ordered a cab the night before so it was waiting for us right at 7:30. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time and got our first taste of how they allocate checkin space in a european airport. The trick is that all the checkin desks are common and the airlines are just assigned a desk or two for their flights for the day. After some looking we finally figured this out and found a display board that told us the number of the desk that Brussels Airline was working from.

After some initial difficulties with their computers we finally moved to a new desk and got checked in. Three security checkpoints later we were waiting at our gate for our flight to be called. The Brussels Air plane was an old 737 that was a 3 and 3 configuration with about 6 inches of legroom.

We arrived at the Brussels airport and were reminded how nice and new and clean it seems. After all the initial security in rome we were surprised that we did not need to go through customs or passport control after arriving in Brussels. In order to get our luggage we had to walk a very long way, after getting our luggage it was a very short walk to the hotel shuttles and our holiday inn van had just arrived.

The Holiday Inn was quite nice. The lobby was clean and nice and they had Internet! We were initially disappointed with our non-smoking room that smelled like an all night poker game had just wrapped up, but after opening the window and putting the air conditioner on vent it didn’t take very long to get things aired out to the point where it was OK.

In addition to the swimming pool the pool area also had a hot tub. This was a great way to relax a bit and any thoughts of catching a train to downtown for more site seeing vanished. We ate at the hotel bar for supper as we didn’t really feel like paying 40 euros for the evening buffet. Josh and I had a bacon cheeseburger, Kaia had pureed vegetable soup and pasta, Jane had shrimp skewers. The kids were very excited because they could get chocolate milk! Their first milk in many days. Jane and I had draft beers of the local Leffe variety. I had ‘Leffe brune’ and Jane had ‘Leffe Blonde.’

After dinner we retired to the room for a final night of 500. Josh and I were victorious again! We won two games quite convincingly with Josh carrying me on his back most of the way.