Week Forty-Five: Paris Day One: The Trip Down
So, I promised something big, and decided that no, I wouldn't put it off with my political blatherings. The big trip? I went to Paris! That's right, Paris, the city of love, the city of lights, the city where many a famous writer, painter, and singer have lived and worked. A city with a history! I went to Paris.
The head is still spinning a little, and it hasn't quite sunk in. But I am super excited to share all about it. Paris! My goodness gracious.
So normally, of course, I travel with my family, as this is much cheaper on a college budget. Then this opportunity came up to go with a friend and I took it! At the last minute though, my friend dropped out on me, leaving me on my own in Paris.
Okay, so in a tour group of around 20, but still. I didn't know any of them. I was also pretty nervous I mean, I've never gone on a trip like this without family. For me, I might has well been on my own. It was mildly terrifying. I think God gave me this opportunity though before my big belated birthday trip next month. This let me know that I can travel just fine without my family there to guide my steps, you know/.
So big trip, first one without family. I get on the bus the first day at 5 pm and I look around, convinced the bus is going to have more people. At this point, I believe I'm going to be sharing a room with a chick I don't know. I'm expecting it too be rush rush rush constantly. Right now, my scenery consists of seats made of tan faux leather and a carpet like seat fabric that looks like a digitized sandstone.
The tour guide does a final head count, and I realize something awesome. I have two empty seats behind me, and an empty seat next to me. Superb! I'm reminded, to be honest, of the inside of an airplane, but with uglier seats, and more cramped. Yes, it gets more cramped than an airplane. Still, totally worth it, and I don't exactly need leg room here. So our tour guide introduces herself and the bus driver, and I forgot to ask to use their names, so you don't get those. But the tour guide was a little awkward about it all. It's the start of a new season for her, and had been a few months since her last trip down, apparently.
So, I know you want to get to the meat and gristle of the trip. But I was in the bus driving through the French version of Kansas for several hours. So I am going to describe the bus, because the scenery was nil. Very green, then it was evening and it was very dark. The route we took made the country look down right empty. The scenery that is.
There was a toilet provided, but we were asked to use it as little as possible, so the bus would smell nice on Sunday. No joke. We were also told that no strong smelling food was allowed on the bus, but drinks are of course, and in fact there were sodas, wines and some water provided as well.
There was a movie after a super brief dinner stop at L'arche Cafe in somewhere in between the base and Paris. anyway, I scarfed half a lasagna piece (the thing was huge), some fruit and some lettuce and carrots in a vague attempt at a salad. I didn't get to finish because I was last in line, and it was a thirty minute dinner for the whole bus. I did grab a bag of French skittles in curiosity.
Okay, French skittles: Simply bag design, bolder colors, different flavors. They are French skittles, and skittles, apparently, change from country to country.
We sang Happy Birthday to a really embarrassed teenage boy on our trip, and then settled in to watch Ratatouille for the last half of the trip. Our final destination that night was the Hotel Mercure Paris Ivry Quai de Seine. That, by the way, really is the name. Seven words long, but I suppose descriptive enough. Mercure is the hotel brand (like the Hilton hotel, but better) and it's found in Paris on the River Seine. I'm not certain about the Ivry Quai part, but still.
Gorgeous 4 star hotel. The service was nice, well dressed and polite, and they spoke English. The interior decorating was sleek and smooth, and super stylish. My room was very white with red and mahogany accents, but it pulled so well together that I was charmed. The toilet and shower were in seperate little closets and there was this little separator between the shower and sink area and the carpeted bedroom area that, no joke, could be clear or opaque with the flick of a switch. I video tapped much switch flicking and changing. It was fun.
The bed was absolutely perfect for sleeping or sitting on. There was one little trick to the room however, and I suppose it certainly prevents losing your card or misplacing it. In order to turn on the lights/AC in your room, you have to put your room card in a card holder by the front door. No joke. Remove the card, and after about five minutes it all turns off. Did I play with this to?
Well. Only a little bit.
Anyway, that was my first day. And then it was evening, and I rest.
In the interest of not having way too much to read in one sitting, I'll be splitting this up into about four posts it appears. The final day and all the little things that just tickles me but didn't really fit in elsewhere aren't written up yet, but I have at least two more posts already typed up. Maybe even five posts! Either way, until the trip is up in its entirety, I'm thinking Monday, Wednesday, Friday sound good. That way, it shouldn't take more than two weeks! Good deal?
One Final Byte: Hotels are absolutely fascinating little places to sleep.