Well, Jason was right. I just needed a wi-fi connection. (I was on LAN at the hotel.) So, good news is I found one. Bad news is it's at McDonald's. Oh well, hardly a better place to get a fountain drink than here I suppose.
Our first day here in Brussels was a raging success. We arrived on the final day of the annual Belgian Beer Festival. How's that for timing?
Good beer helps with jetlag. It's a fact. Trust me. I'm a doctor.
Does this look like a girl who's just spent the past 14 hours traveling? (A little bit, maybe. But what beer can't fix, sunglasses can hide!)
We recalled being a bit bummed when we were here last January that the little Meneken Pis fountain statue was not dressed up in a cute outfit, as we had heard he often is. So we decided to walk by again to see if he was more prepared for our visit this time. We were not disappointed.
Later, back at the festival... We noticed this upside down rainbow and couldn't tell if we were a) delirious from jetlag, b) a few too many beers in or c) actually seeing it. So we took a photo. Et viola! We are not seeing things! In that case, I'll have another.
After we sat down at about 3:00 for a snack, we realized that we'd been here for only a few hours and we'd already had beer, waffles and chocolate - three out of the five things Belgium is most famous for. So we figured we might as well keep it going and get our moules et frites on for dinner. And boy, did we ever. A mountain of mussels in a garlic cream sauce and a side plate of fries - perfect for dipping in the leftover sauce at the bottom of the pot.
So now, we're just trying to settle in as best we can. And I kind of take back what I said about living in a hotel. If it were The Plaza or even a nice American chain hotel, I'd probably be okay. But I suppose I had forgotten how small European hotel rooms generally are. When you add in our suitcases which take up most of the floor space not already taken up by the bed, I'm already feeling pretty claustrophobic. We're hopeful our apartment comes through quickly...
I have to say though that I'm finding it a bit more difficult than London. When we arrived there, I immediately knew where to get groceries (Waitrose, right downstairs or Sainsbury's, in our tube station or M&S, on the way to the tube), where to buy beauty products (Boots, in our tube station), where I could get my brows waxed and my nails did (I walked by three salons on the way to the tube), where to get a phone (Phones 4 U, again - right by the tube station)... Basically everything was on the high street or in the tube station.
Here, I haven't seen a single grocery store, a single drugstore, a single salon or a single mobile phone shop. And I can hardly find any information about any of it online. It's getting a bit frustrating but I'm trying not to let any of that put a damper on the experience and just enjoy it for what it is. (But, DAMN. What do Europeans have against ice??)