My email to family, friends, and now you.

Hello!

Currently (8:06) on the bus to Brussels. This morning went pretty smoothly, no problems finding the bus–and vice versa. We left when scheduled, so I think I can say we are getting better at this traveling thing. I think I may be one of the few still awake on the bus (other than the bus driver and his co-pilot–wait. Co-pilot looks to be snoozing also. I’m just assuming he is a co-driver. I can’t say for sure). The bus is very large, much larger than I expected. Every person is able to get two seats! It’s nice to be able to get comfortable; this is definitely where being short comes in handy.

It seems like there is some type of illness that is being passed around here. Nothing too terrible, but general stuffed/runny noses and coughing. I may have caught a mini version, but I didn’t get any of the fatigue that some of the other students had/have. Jeff told us that the second week of a large travel expedition, such as this one, usually is the hardest. By this time the adrenaline of being in a new place has lessened a bit, and the amount of travel begins to affect the body more. Something like that. Hopefully by Sunday or Monday everyone feels better, or at least close to feeling 100%.

This drive is really pretty; we are passing a wind farm now. The rising sun and morning mist is really a sight. I think if it was a midday trip it wouldn’t be as nice, a lot of the built structures have been very reminiscent of what I’d see driving to Columbus or Chicago, except for all the French, obviously.

Laura

Quick update about 10 hours later (21:27)
Brussels is beautiful, except for the most modern area (where their agriculture building is and many of the government buildings around there). Also, their waffles are super delicious (I got one with whipped cream, strawberries and drizzled chocolate. Uh-maze-zing.) and I scored some free samples of chocolate and got an awesome handpicked bag of dark chocolate truffles and pralines, and went to the beer store to get a lambic and a Belgian blond. In a small way, Brussels reminds me of Queens in New York, but a lot prettier. I still haven’t been able to pinpoint how exactly, but it was definitely more of the less-expensive area that reminded me of Queens, not the central part of the city. I believe we (a medium sized group of us) are going to try and find somewhere to dance (a Bal-Musette?) near the apartment-hotel tonight, mostly for fun, partially because its part of an assignment. Tomorrow I have plans to be running around Paris sketching, market shopping (probably more viewing than shopping), and maybe gargoyle kissing (also part of before mentioned assignment). Somewhere beyond the Notre Dame is an art suppLy store that I need to find, and at 7 I’m going on a night bike ride tour (with two others) that ends on a boat with wine! The bikes will stay on shore 😉

Still sniffling a bit, but other than that my enthusiasm/excitement level is pretty high–maybe even higher than the roof of this bus.

Signing off, again,

Laura

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