We're finally settled in and have internet access; it took 26.5 total hours to get to our dorm.
We had a few minor hiccups along the way, first, there was some major congestion going into Boston, which meant our plane in Pittsburgh was delayed 50 minutes. We only had an hour and a half layover originally in Boston to get out of our gate, take the shuttle to the international gate, get our tickets there, get back through security and to our departing gate, so having 50 minutes chopped off of that was certainly stressful. The nice Aer Lingus girl at the ticket counter ended up sweet talking the gate attendants into keeping the gate open for us and escorted us through security so we made it in time. With all the confusion, we had no time to get dinner and with the recent cut-backs in the airline industry, we weren't expecting to get any. We were pleasantly suprised, however, to be offered pretty decent meal choices (by airline food standards) of either chicken or beef ravioli and lots of tea, water and tomato juice.
We arrived in Dublin, which was pretty cold and rainy, and made it quickly to our gate for the flight to Brussles which ended up being delayed 25 minutes due to congestion in Brussles. We had our first meal in Europe (pictured below) once we made it to Brussles, a incredibly expensive breakfast (28 dollars) consisting of a coffee, tea, ham and cheese croissant and a pre-made egg and bacon sandwich...guess we know to never plan on eating in the Brussles Airport again.
We got our train tickets and spent about three and a half hours on trains from Brussles to Luxembourg to Metz with some time in between each train.
By the time we got to Metz, we were so exhausted that rather than attempt to figure out the bus system, we just got a Taxi straight to l'université de Supélec where our dorm is located. It was about 4:30 by this time and the RA (or administrator) was not very happy that we were so late...we got into Brussles at 9:30, why on earth were we so late?!? He seemed to think (from what little I could understand of his french when he called someone to complain about us) that we had been going on some sort of pleasure tour of Europe during the day when really, we got there as soon as we could given the train trip we were given. He was very grumpy and slamming things around at first but proved to be quite pleasant by the end and showed us our mailbox, laundry room, and around our dorm (which thankfully, does have a kitchenette). I just would have like to ask him what the quicker way would have been to get there from Belgium, we certainly would have preferred a quicker route to the one we took!
We have settled in well so far, there is something similar to a Wal-Mart Supercenter within a 10 minute walk of our dorm which has been helpful in getting food and other supplies for the dorm, but more on that and other adventures later...it is well past lunch time and I'm hungry!