Paris the second!
Trip Start Apr 13, 2010
21Trip End May 31, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hotel Europe St Severin
The only downside would be the Hotel Terminus. Don’t go there. It wasn’t that it was run down, poorly kept, and dated, though all of those things would apply. It was that there was a stain on one of the beds, along with hair. Not the kind from your head.
And to be honest the manager was kind of rude about the whole thing. He asked if all the beds were like that, like that was my issue with it. No, see, someone had a romp in the bed, and NO ONE changed the sheets. Which would lead me to believe that this whole place is CRAWLING with horrifying things that I could see clearly with a black light. It doesn’t matter if one out of three beds is 'clean’, the whole place has been tainted! The guy the next morning was much nicer about the whole thing, I told him I just could NOT stay there again, I thought it would be okay to change rooms but I was up late into the night thinking about the uncleanliness of it all. AUGH. THE HORROR.
Also there were some people who ran through the place at 4 am hooting and hollering and they knocked on my door. Which was creepy and unsettling and made me want to crawl under the blankets, because who knows if that lock is going to hold vampires out? But see, I couldn’t because I was sleeping in my sleep sheet in an effort to have no contact with any of the bed.
That was awful. The positives include being 10 steps away from the station, and being somewhat cheap. But not cheap enough to stay in.
So, other than that stint, I enjoyed my time in Tours. I saw the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci(the chateau in Ambois, which I forgot to write about, and have since forgotten anything I wanted to say about it other than I drank some apple juice there and saw the tomb of Leo. I should probably update more often), I saw roses!, and I relaxed on park benches.
I took the train back to paris the afternoon Adam was supposed to get in, he was supposed to get in at 5:47 according to his email, but looking at the time tables I only saw one for 5:27, so I figured he just got mixed up (this will become key later, and I blame him entirely.)
So I found the hotel, dropped my stuff and headed off to Gare Du Nord. I was all giggly excited, I even drew a sign up for him like those dorky business men, the train starts to empty, loads of people pass. I don’t see him. I start to get ancy when the people with piles of luggage and baby carriages are the only ones still coming through.
Maybe he got bumped, British air is doing their strike thing again, perhaps that somehow effected my boyfriends flight on Iceland air(I was desperately coming up with excuses). So I wait for the next train at 6:17. No adam. I’m in full freak out mode now, I wander down to the ‘luggage’ area. It’s just two security guards sitting there, no luggage, no people. I asked the eurostar people if they could see if a certain passenger got on the train, they can’t release that info, bah, I was hopeful the French would be more lax. I try and find wifi at the station, they have some but my code refuses to work. I get back on the train and head back to the hotel because they have wifi. I read his email, still says 5:47, I look on a timetable for eurostar for anything ending in 47 but for some reason it didn’t come up(it did end up being a 47, but it wasn’t there I tell you! It wasn’t there!!) I think about calling my mommy and crying about how I’m freaking out and I don’t know what to do I’ve lost my boyfriend in Europe. I send his brother a facebook message saying, "hey! What’s his email password? I want to get his itinerary!"(The guy still hasn’t written back as of the first of June. Thanks guy.)
I finally figure out the password myself, I’m 80% certain he had told me before. I look at the time on his eurostar ticket. It’s arriving at 18:47. Six adam. SIX! It’s now 19:10 and I’m in the hotel.
AUUUUGH! I do a panicked run back to the train station, I get my hopes up again, I run to the eurostar spot. No adam. I look at the tables nearby, there’s a guy who looked like he could have been him with a bad haircut. It’s not. I’m having my mental meltdown again now, I wander down the luggage place again, hopeless, I’ve also broken my sunglasses so I can’t do my miserable tears move.
Life is stupid. Eurostar is stupid. Military time is stupid.
I’m walking back and I see a rather tall fellow with a baseball cap standing at the change desk. There aren’t many people in baseball caps in Europe, so I get my hopes up. I get closer and see he had a backpack on, it’s got some red. Adam has a backpack with red on it. I get closer and see it looks a lot like him, I’m almost running by the time I get around the column and come up behind him.
It’s him! It’s him! No jokes this time! I make a threatening motion with my hand across my throat at him. He knows.
So I did finally find my boyfriend at the train station. He came an hour later than he thought, and I had headed back to the hotel maybe 15 minutes before the next train arrived(with him on it). But I found him! And by then I was a professional at getting on and off the metro, we went back to the hotel with the ease of a seasoned regular. The hotel is in this cool little area with tons of food places and cafes, and I had walked past a sign that said ‘burrito’ and ‘fajita’ earlier, so I was bent on that.
It was kind of hard to ask where it was to our hotel person, I keep forgetting that they have no concept of ‘mexican’ food here. But I insist on calling it that because I continue to forget. It takes me a couple of times before I figure out ‘spanish food’. So we got fajitas and burritos. Meh. They were okay. There was no sour cream. I mean, that’s a staple right there. Adam was also feeling pretty ill from traveling that day, so it wasn’t a great experience for him.
After crashing for a good long while we got up the next day to meander around. We’re almost right next to Notre Dame and the Louvre so it was nice to go walk around those guys. We didn’t actually go into the Louvre 1)because I didn’t plan to subject Adam to that HUGE museum and 2)apparently they’re closed on Tuesdays. So we just got to see the outside. I did subject him to the Musee D’Orsay because I hadn’t gotten into that one with Nadia and I thought it looked interesting. I wasn’t actually as impressed, but I think it’s because it’s a smaller museum, so it doesn’t have the powerhouse art like the Louvre that everyone knows. We got yelled at twice for going into doors we weren’t supposed to. Neither were our fault though! The one door did have a ‘do not enter’ sign, except the door was open when we walked in, so we had no way of seeing the sign! The guard guy was all “Look at the sign!” And since he was being a snot I was like “The door was open! There was no sign to see!” I don’t think he really cared though. Then all of 2 minutes later we tried to walk down the ‘up’ stairs. There was no sign, just a man who said “monsieur” and snapped. When he finally added the head shake we figured out he was telling us not to go down the stairs.
We also hunted down Shakespeare Company which was supposed to be an interesting bookstore. I think maybe the interesting part stems from it being all or mostly English books in France, because other than that…um…it was a half price books. A little more crowded and oddly angled. But a half price books.
I did, however, find a subway restaurant. Which is pretty mundane until you realize that they have a self serve fountain machine with ICE. And then it’s this freaking JACKPOT of glorious proportions. It was also incredibly hot and incredibly humid, so it was extra awesome. I’m not sure I got that much coke, but boy, I sure had a boat load of ice. Mmmm. Ice.
So then we went back to the hotel to chill until it got dark and did the whole thing over again to see everything lit up. It was pretty cool, we could just see the top of the Eiffel tower when it twinkled so that was an added bonus.
We had dinner at Breakfast in America. I had originally looked it up for you know, breakfast, but we decided we didn’t have any better dinner ideas so we went there. They had pretty good burgers, but more importantly, they had ROOT BEER. And it looked like it had been imported, because each can had a little French tag on it. It was quite silly. It was also warm, which was a bummer, so we bought two to go and stuck those in our mini fridge.
We saw a man using the street as a restroom while munching on a sandwich. I’d like to tell you it was the least offensive of the bodily functions. So would that gaping black hole in my memory where I’m trying to erase the scarring image from my mind. I’m just sharing so everyone can know my HORROR.
We found what we’re pretty sure is French ‘Survivor’ and watched that for a while. Adam guessed who was going to win, I guessed the second crappiest one. This big buff man burst into crazy tears because he gave some guy one of the tokens to get into the winners circle, we think they had a little something something going on the side. The big buff man and the little twiggy guy he gave the thing to both got to the winners circle, so things ended well for them.
More sleep occurred.
The next morning we went back to the breakfast place, I decided to be all crazy and have the breakfast burrito, adam had the pancakes and promised me one. The burrito itself was pretty meh, but the potatoes they made with it were INCREDIBLE(and to be honest, not really a potato fan). I think one of the drawbacks to the burrito was that they didn’t have the taters IN the burrito. Would have taken it to a whole new level. The pancakes were amazing though, like, really amazing. If these people would just chill their root beer I think they’d really have something going.
So then we metro’d over to the Eiffel tower. We wandered out of the station and there was a nice little park that faced the river with lots and lots of roses and Adam was like, ‘this is pretty romantic, let’s sit here.’
The man never says the word romantic, so I decide to indulge him, even though it’s spitting light rain on us. He says something about not knowing how to ask, and he’s been thinking about it for a while. I was only half paying attention, how was I supposed to know he was saying something important?!?!
There’s suddenly a fuzz covered velvet box in my hand. I know this box, this is his class ring box. That’s a weird thing to bring on the trip. I open the box and there’s no class ring in there, it’s a beautiful little diamond ring, and I’m pretty sure the last thing he said was “Will you marry me?”
I may have accidently and very unromantically said “Are you serious?” because well, I just wasn’t expecting it! After he said yes I forgot to answer him with my wild giggles and smothering him with kisses. I did take a break to mention that I had intended him to take that answer as an enthusiastic YES!
I took a picture of the benches, and then had some stranger take a picture of us on the benches. I was all picture dorky to the max.
Apparently the box the ring had come in was HUGE, so he had gone with the class ring box. He had also wanted to ask on the Eiffel tower, but because he had switched the box, the ring wouldn’t stay in it, and he was afraid of dropping it. I decided he had made an excellent decision, I would have felt like crap if that had happened. Much less giggly. Well, probably not a lot less.
The whole line up to the Eiffel tower I was staring at him and grinning like an idiot, or swooping over for an attack kiss. I really hope he knows what he’s gotten himself into.
I’m just so excited and bubbly about the whole thing! He has single handedly ruined the rest of my trip! Who cares about Windsor castle, I’m marrying the man I love! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Yeah, so that’s a little taste of how obnoxious I’ve been. And Adam has like 4 more days of that. We’ll see if he changes his mind.
The rest of the day we wandered down to the Arc de Tromph and a little bit of the champs Élysées (Yeah, I googled that spelling. There was no way it was going to happen otherwise). We waited for it to get dark and then got to see the Eiffel tower get dark and sparkly up close. It was very cool. I made him take lots of pictures with me, he even started to take off his hat on his own! I like to think I’m practicing for the future. Mwahahaha.
Then we bought champagne! He even agreed to have a little taste. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was celebratory champagne! That always makes it better right?
We did try to call home that night, but our phone cards wouldn’t work on the hotel phone, I imagine it’s some sneaky scheme to get you to pay for their phone services, and then our internet had run out so we couldn’t call over skype. No excited calls commenced. That was kind of a bummer, but we had icy cold root beer to sooth our disappointment.
I did forget to mention the best part of the hotel. They had a kitty! She like, owned the lobby couches too, it was kind of funny. She’d just kind of sprawl out. And then at some point she’d grace the outside world with her presence because we didn’t see her all the time. She was cute.
We’re on the way to London now, I almost got bounced by the UK customs people. I made the mistake of telling the lady I didn’t have a job waiting for me, and I hadn’t brought my itinerary flight home. (Which has now been cancelled. Thank you British Air and the Workers union. You both suck hard.)Sheesh. Just because I don’t have a job doesn’t mean that I want to stay here lady.
It’s a little something called a cheeseburger. And the UK doesn’t know how to make them.
It’s not like I had a career as a lawyer and have given it all up for fish and chips. I’ve got a fiancé now! Of course, I totally neglected to tell her that, it probably would have helped my cause, but she let me on anyway. I realize they’re just doing their job, but come on, I could just as easily lie about the whole thing and illegally immigrate that way.
*pictures will follow when my internet is slightly faster than dried glue*