We flew from DC to London, and then took the Eurostar (Liv called it the "bullet train") to Lille, France, which is about 30 minutes from my brother's house.
Our best train story was that we had non-transferable tickets for the train, but we got to the station 4 hours early. I had Mike wait out in the lobby with the luggage while I took the (extremely tired by that time) kids to the ticket counter and asked if we could transfer to the earlier train. The very nice lady took one look at us and put us on the next train for no extra fee.
Here's a picture of the kids on the train:
Once we got to Lille, we picked up our rental car. It was a blue Toyota that could actually seat 7 and had a manual transmission.
I was pretty nervous about driving in Europe, but it worked out great! I think I like driving there better than driving here. Trucks have a slower speed limit than cars and have to stay in the right lane except to pass. Passing is only allowed on the left, and the traffic had a really efficient flow. By the way - turning right at a red light is illegal. Oops. Oh well.
Also, in case you're ever lost in a parking garage in France (not that I'd know anything about that), here's the word for Exit:
We got a little bit lost on our way to my brother's house, but once we made it (thanks to Mike's brilliant navigation) the kids started playing right away in the amazing back yard, and my sister-in-law prepared the most delicious stir fry I've ever eaten. Our guest room was so beautiful too!
Click HERE to read about our first full day in Belgium. We went to the beach. It was chilly, but fun.
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