Day 9 & 10: Paris / Brussels / Hawaii
"Paris Brussels Hawaii"
Day 9: Paris to Brussels
Arrived at Paris Bercy and caught the train to the Paris Nord train station. Boarded the train to Brussels. We had nice seats for the 1 1/2 hour ride. The train was empty. Went to the tour desk and got a room at Floris Grand Place which was right next to the Grand Place. Great location for $85 night. Caught the bus to the hotel and eventually found our hotel. It was a good location with a nice room and bathroom. We were very happy with it. Walked around the area and found a tour bus. Talked to the guide and decided to take it for $12. We had to run for the tour bus because it was leaving. The bus was full and Cathy and I couldn?t sit together. The tour was 1.5 hours long. We drove around the city and admired the beauty and cleanliness of Brussels. There was this funny young couple sitting in back of Cathy. They were making all kinds of comments and jokes. We stopped by the Ion Structure atonium which was the symbol chosen to represent the 1958 World Trade Fair. The 9 ions represents each of the 9 provinces which make up Brussels. The tour was not very good but worked out well for us since we got to see lots of the city and didn't have to worry about seeing more. We could enjoy the rest of the day casually. Brussels is a clean city and I noticed that there was not as much graffiti as I saw in Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. After the tour, we managed to find the Manikin ***. It was about 5 minutes away from our hotel. The manikin was really small but was a very popular tourist attraction. It is rumored that the boy was the king's son who saved the city. Got a Belgium waffle, which had chocolate and whipped cream on top. It was very good. Decided I wanted a Stein as my knick and knack. While searching for my stein we stopped by a pizza place and shared a slice. It was the best pizza I had in Europe! Also saw a huge vending machine which sold water, soap, food, and misc. items. It was pretty neat to see something like that on the street. Finally, we ended up back at the stores by the Manikin *** and got finally selected a stein. Cathy was nice and decided to buy it for me. What a Sweetie. Cathy got a good eating place tip from the girl in the store. The restaurant was a couple of minute's walk from our hotel and called T' Kelderke. So we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. When we got to the restaurant, it was really full and the stressed out manager said the wait was 1 hour long. Cathy wanted to put our name on the list and he said no. Cathy asked him if he would remember her face and he said ?"maybe". Cathy and I thought that guy was pretty humorous. We went outside and took several pictures at the Grand Place. So, we decided to walk around and find another restaurant. It was fun walking around and looking at all the different restaurants and menus. We eventually found another one, sat down and then decided to leave to go back to the original restaurant. We only had to wait for 10 minutes and got a seat. A girl was eating a good-looking dish which looked like ham. I decided I wanted to eat that. Cathy asked the waiter which dish was that It was the daily special. I had the ham roast and Cathy had the sausage and potatoes which the girl in the store recommended. I had 2 beers and Cathy had 2 wines. Our tab was $39 including tip. It was very good and really cheap.
Day 10: Brussels to Hawaii
Had breakfast at the hotel. Hot scrambled eggs and cereal. Caught the taxi to the airport ($40). Rode 1st class from Brussels to Dulles. Our next flight from Dulles to SFO was in 30 minutes so we had to sprint to the gate. People in the customs line let us cut. We were happy about that and everyone was really nice.
Landed in SFO and caught the flight to Hawaii. Arrived in HNL at 11:30 and dad picked us up. Had to work the next morning.