On to Paris

I’m not sure where to start.

Have you ever had that kind of day, where you get back home and don’t even know where to start your description of the day?  Well, it’s like that.

Perhaps I’ll start at the end and work backward.  Why not?

We’re in our room and Ray is watching soccer while I do my thing.  So relaxing.  But a few minutes ago we were down on the street, walking in a steady downpour of rain.  Ray was soaked…at least he was wetter than I was because of karma.  Earlier, when we arrived at hotel in Paris, the nice young woman at the front desk checked us in and assigned us to room 403.  Ray, as he always does, insisted that we get everything out of the car, which was parked half on the sidewalk and half off.  So that’s what we did.  Well, the elevator didn’t hold all of it because half the elevator was filled with?  linens?  towels?  whatever it was it was in a heap and it took up half the space.  Did I mention that the elevator was very, very small?  So Ray took up some of our “stuff” and I waited in the lobby.  About 5 minutes later he came back and proclaimed that he could not get the lock to work.  So the nice young woman  behind the desk scurried up the stairs (she didn’t wait for the elevator).  Well, Ray decided to take the elevator.  So a few minutes later, she came down and said, “where is your husband?”.  I informed her that he just took the elevator (ascenseur) up.  So she ran back up the stairs.  Well, Ray came back down in the elevator.  Finally, she came down and announced that the lock worked.  So they both went up.  A few minutes later, she came down and was panic stricken.  The door did open but someone else had the room.  Luckily they weren’t there.  Ray came back down and we took the elevator with the rest of our loot to room 304, rather than room 403.  Getting lost is rubbing off on everyone.

So, I’m not saying our room is small, but the charging cord for computer goes 3/4 of the width of the room!!  Alas, that is really not a problem because our big window opens to a boxed shaped interior exterior that does not face the street so we’re happy.

Next bridge to cross was that we needed to park the car.  The hotel does not have parking but they have an arrangement with a car park down the street several blocks.  So we jumped in the car and looked for the car park.  It was closed.  Two women were trying to get inside.  I think their problem was worse than ours.  We couldn’t get in.  They couldn’t get out.  We went around the block several times and it kept being closed.  So we returned to the lobby and the nice young women behind the desk informed us the car park was never closed.  She had no solution.  So I said that we ought to just take the car to the airport and park it there and take public transportation back.  Ray said okay.  We had two paraplouies (umbrellas) with us.  I wanted to take both.  Ray only wanted one.  There was a “discussion”.  He won.  We only took one umbrella.  We got in the car to drive to the airport and Ray suggested we just park on the street over night and park in a car park in the morning.  We need to be at the airport tomorrow night (Monday) to pick up our new french friends who are returning from our house at 1835 or 6:35 p.m.  Okay.  We’ll do that.  We parked on the street and retreated to our room to figure out where to eat.

We found a place, got a reservation for 7:30 and killed time watching the world championship petanque tourney on TV.  A very interesting french game.  I sent a picture earlier.  Anyway, we left for the restaurant.  I had the only umbrella and he had his golf jacket and baseball cap.  Well.  That’s how he got soaked.

Okay.  Dinner.  The place was tiny.  We arrived and were the first people there.  By the time we left, it was packed.  Ray order gazpacho with goat cheese and arugula on the side.  I ordered a carpaccio of artichoke with three little pieces of pork tenderloin.  He won the first round.  We always compete to see who can order the best thing.  Second round, he ordered salmon with cucumber salad that had shelled mussels and other things.  I ordered cod with fois gras and julianne of various veggies.  I won.  And I don’t even like fois gras.  But the combination was sublime.  Sometimes you take a leap and it works out.  That was one of those occasions.

So, this morning we cleaned and washed sheets and towels, etc.  We left at high noon in the rain.  And darn it.  It rained all day and it’s still raining.  We had lunch (1/2 sandwich each)  while sitting in the car because there were so many people at the gas station restaurant, there were no places to sit inside.  And we drove to Paris and found the hotel without much incident!!!!!  But you know the rest of the story.  It was a day of yings and yangs.  And we’re in Paris!!!  Even saw the tip of the eiffel tower lit up in the rain tonight.  Fabulous.

The pictures.  Starting at the top, I took this while we were waiting in line for gas (diesel, of course).  The picture illustrates what the french people do when they go on vacation in a small car.  While in line, grandpa got out of the car.  He was sitting in the back seat.  He came back about 5 minutes later and got in the car.  Then he got out of the car, opened the front door, and let the dog out.  He walked the dog and came back and installed both himself and the dog in the car.  Then junior got out.  He went into the gas station.  About five more minutes and he came back.  The teenage daughter was in and out of the car many times.  Lots of energy there.  By this time, they were one car from the pump (about 30 minutes, I’d guess) and dad got out of the car and went inside.  Of course, then, the line moved so mom had to get out of car and get in the driver’s seat and pump the gas.  So, not only did you have five people in the car, but you also had the dog (30 pounds at least) and all that stuff hanging off the car.  What a hoot.  But they don’t own a gas guzzler and they do get by.  The french have these little baby open trailers that they hook on to their small cars to carry extra stuff.  You see them everywhere.  That’s how they solve the space issues of the small car (along with the roof top storage and the bike racks).  When you are around town, you take the little trailer off.  When you go on vacation, you hook it up.  Oh, you also hook it up to take yard trimmings to the dump etc.  Pretty smart.

Dessert our last night in La Ferte.  The local pastisserie produced this!!!

An example of signs (unlit at night) that dot the roadways.

Where we ate last night before everyone showed up to be with us!!

A street light.  They have a good system.  In order to see the color of the light, you have to stay behind the line.  And you cannot see what the other lights going in the opposite direction are doing….so getting a jump on a light is tres dificile (very difficult).

It’s now the next day.  Couldn’t get a good wi-fi signal.  So, I putting the finishing touches on yesterdays happenings before going down to the lobby to transmit.  It works fine down there.  Ray is the shower.  The shower is the smallest shower we’ve ever seen.  I dropped the soap and, well, let’s just say when you drop the soap you have two choices.  Stop the shower, get out, pick up the soap, and start over again.  Or contort yourself in such a way that you may need to go to physical therapy when you return home to work out the kinks.   I contorted.

More later!!



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