Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I love Paris in the Fall..

The Gals in Paris
Honey, I'm home!

Yep, made it back from Paris in one piece, and it was fantabulous!

I don't think I'll bore you with all the sightseeing details - some people complained that my last travel blog was so long they almost died of starvation and dehydration with the length of time it took to read. Uh, damn shame, nonetheless, apart from the obvious and overwhelming beauty of the city, what made this trip so special was being with my mom and sisters.

All together now: Aaaaaaw sweet! :-)

Well I landed at Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport and found the shuttle bus to take me to the RER (train) station at Terminal 2, because I had arranged to meet my family there, since they had all landed at Terminal 2. The first thing I did while waiting for the shuttle bus (apart from have a smoke, of course) was switch on my phone to check for messages. Li'l Sis had her phone too, but Ma and Big Sis left theirs in SA.

BEEP
(My phone is very shy. It only beeps once.)

"Can't find Mom"

Bugger!!

OK Don't panic. Take shuttle to 2F where the lost gals landed, ask at info - Yes, their plane did arrive earlier.
No, they're not there.
Take shuttle to 2B where Li'l Sis landed earlier to see if they're still there waiting for her.
Er, no.
Begin to sms Li'l Sis again trying to sound calm and collected while inside I'm starting to go through all the scenarios:
1. They've found a nice corner in the airport to nap in their 3 hours before meeting Li'l Sis, and have fallen asleep & not woken up.
2. They forgot to get off the plane in Paris.
3. They decided not to wait at the airport but headed straight to the hotel to catch up on a nap... after all, they've just flown across the globe overnight and are tired & full of travel grime.

Of course, scenario 3 is the most scary because that would've involved them trying to follow my directions to the hotel which I've never actually been to before so, really, they could be completely wrong. Also it would've involved all sorts of public transport which, being South African, is a completely foreign concept for them.

I began to worry.

BEEP
"It's OK they've just arrived from somewhere"

Yay!!!
Take the shuttle around the circle that is Terminal 2, again, and find the gals waiting patiently on a bench.

Despite the sense of humour failures all round due to extreme hunger, we managed to get ourselves to the hotel in one piece and all together.

We spent the next 4 days shopping, laughing, sightseeing and laughing.

Louvre from Tuileries Gardens

We rested in cafe's in the Tuileries Gardens amongst the falling autumn leaves.

We queued for an hour in a freezing wind to get into the Louvre, were awed at what we saw inside, and then couldn't get out again because some asshole had stolen something so they locked all the doors.

Notre Dame was a treat, not just because of the enormous cavernous architecture but also because the choir was singing haunting hymns that echoed off the ancient stone walls while we shuffled through, gawking at the chapels and stained glass windows.

We wandered the streets back to our hotel in pouring rain, stopping under streetlamps to figure out where we were on the map.

We waited 45 minutes in the sun for a bus to take us to Montmarte, shopped as if we hadn't seen shops in months and sat in awed silence to enjoy the splendour of Sacre Coeur. I have to say it felt a little strange walking past the sex shops and peep shows with my Mother, to take a look at the Moulin Rouge.

Sacre Coeur

We took photographs of us standing outside the display windows of Chanel and strolled up the Champs Elysees to see the Arc de Triomphe, stopping, as one must, to enjoy a cup of coffee at a sidewalk cafe. We were on a budget, so ours was a MacCafe cuppacino, but never mind because we enjoyed it.

And we sat eating chocolate crepes on a bench, staring up at the unbelievable largeness of the Eiffel Tower.

There was much drinking of coffee in many different cafe's, many croissants and baguettes were eaten and hundreds of photographs taken.

Somehow we made friends with the waiters wherever we went - they seemed to find me terribly amusing for some reason. In one establishment I was cheeky enough to close a window behind me which prompted the waiter to run over and kiss me on the cheek. He also handed me a business card as we left... maybe he didn't see my wedding ring...?

There were pigeons everywhere and I kept hearing Anne's voice in my head, warning me, "Whatever you do, Terri, don't feed the pigeons!"
Which is very strange because I don't know what Anne's voice sounds like, but nevertheless I tried very hard to stay away from them.
This was not as easy as you may think because the damn things kept dive-bombing me as if they thought my head might be a giant breadcrumb. Very flattering, non?

Li'l Sis and I were sharing a room and we discovered that if you drink all the little miniature Gins and Tonic in the minibar, they actually replace it the very next morning.
Very handy!
Mom and Big Sis seemed a little perplexed as to why the two of us looked like train wrecks at breakfast in the morning - after all, hadn't we all gone to bed at the same time and had a good night's sleep?
Er, not exactly.
There was a good deal of yakking and Gin consumption until the wee hours.

All in all, four days of shopping and laughing in Paris - what more could 4 girls ask for?!

Sunset over the Seine

11 comments:

Underachiever said...

Terri:

Man this brought back good memories of my trip to Paris in 2003.

I had a blast.

Glad you're back Terr.

Undr(Afraid of heights but I went up the Eiffel Tower. ALL the way)

anne said...

Oh, I'm glad you had a great time. Cold though, non? And the pigeons. Well. You just can't say I didn't warn you. ;)

kyknoord said...

Oooooh! I like that sunset picture.

BUDDESS said...

So happy you had a great time. Can only imagine those gin induced chats!!! Nice to have you back and I posted some more pics if you want to have a look.

Lori said...

Oh WOW Terri it sounds like you had a blast, pics are awesome! Gin, shopping, waiters and pigeons Im so jealous LOL. Glad to see you back in one piece. Missed you.

Bosbefok said...

Im Glad youre back too... :-)

DelBoy said...

Glad you had a good time. Say hi to all from me.

Nice pics too!

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Welcome back from your Parisian excursion. Happy you had so much fun.

LiVEwiRe said...

The image of your head as a giant breadcrumb is most likely going to stick with me for a very long time. As for the Louvre.... {hushed tones} get anything good?! Heehee... your time there sounds wonderful! So happy to hear that you enjoyed yourself. And the waiters tried to enjoy you. =) I couldn't help but laugh at the comment you made about walking past the sex shops, etc with your mother. I strolled the red light district in Amsterdam (no, not looking for work) with my mother and it became rather awkward when I turned and was faced with a penis fountain... pointing up, complete with water, uh, spurting out. You couldn't miss it - it was approximately my height, and I'm 5'9"! Plus... hello... it was a giant penis! Isn't traveling great?! Welcome home!

Ben O. said...

Cool pics - I wanna go.

Ben O.

Terri said...

Undr - well done. We just sat under it & looked up a lot.

Anne - Oui! it was very chilly... and the pigeons, well, I had no idea!

KN - Glad u like it. There are plenty more but I haven't had time to sort through them yet. Watch this space...

Buddess - Nice to be back, as far as I am. It's been a hectic week so my blogging time has been severely curtailed. Hopefully this will improve next week & I am dying to take a look at your pics.

Lori - Well physically in one piece anyway, lol!

Bosbefok - xxx

Del - They say Hi back

Chitty - Thanks Mate ... when you're happy, we're happy ;-)

LiVEwiRe - LOL!! Giant penis! Sheesh, all I had to worry about were dodging the prostitutes, hehe.

Ben - So what's stopping you..?

PS, Thx everyone, I missed u guys too!