We arrive in Brussels, Belgium on an early autumn day. The sky is cloudy and it rains off and on. We left Dallas yesterday, flew into Atlanta and out of it just before Hurricane Irma blows into the US east coast.
At Brussels Zavantem Airport, we wait for a couple of friends who are flying in from Vietnam to join us on this trip. Pretty soon, Vinh and Van arrive, then we are joined by our friend in Brussels, Hoa, who has come to pick us up. Airport security today is not as tight as last year, people get to come inside the airport to wait for the arrivals unlike last year when they had to wait outside.
We load up our luggage into Hoa’s van and begin the 30-minute drive to his beautiful home in Wavre where his wife, Ha, has been awaiting us. Our wives (Lee, Van, and Ha) are childhood friends who went to the same school in Vietnam but scattered all over the world after the fall of Saigon but they had reconnected and we get together every once in a while to go on trips. We greet and hug each other, and catch up over small lunch that Ha had prepared.
Lee in front of Hoa and Ha's house in Wavre
Dinner at Issan Restaurant in Brussels
Ha, Lee, and Van in Ha's beautiful backyard
I would give Issan 5 stars
Beautiful and delicious foods
Nine of us will be traveling to France's Brittany Region tomorrow: Nhan and his wife Oanh, Hoa and wife Ha, Vinh and wife Van, Bo (not in picture) and wife Lee, and our single friend (Thu Ba)
At the restaurant owned by Oanh (sitting), our travel friend
After lunch, Hoa drops us off at our hotel and go back to the airport to pick up another friend, Thu Ba, who is on a late flight also from Vietnam.
At night, all of us get together and drive to Brussels to a Laotian restaurant owned by Ha’s friend, Thu Oanh.
The Issan Restaurant has a convenient location, warm atmosphere, attentive service, and the foods are unbelievably good. We sit at a long table along with other of Oanh’s guests and enjoy a sumptuous dinner of pork, sausages, shrimps, rice, and vegetables; and everything is fresh and delicious. Oanh pairs the wines for us and that makes our dining experience even more enjoyable.