Sunday, June 22, 2008

Roxane and CS take over Paris (part 1)

I know that many of you (expecially you, Roxane!) have been waiting for this story. As you can already gather from the title, this entry will be published in 2 posts. Sorry, but we've been busy bees as of late and the European Championships have been taking up some of our time, too :)

My TGV to Paris left at 08:02 that morning and I was so excited that was afraid I would miss it. Of course, O-X drove me to the train station on time and watched and waved as the train pulled away. I was on my way and would soon be meeting Roxane in a small, but cozy hotel in in the Montparnasse area of Paris.

I reached the hotel first and the receptionist was a bit baffled when I announced to her that Rox and I would be sharing the room. The hotel was fully booked, so we had no other choice anyway. But who needs two rooms if you're going to be chatting the night away, right??? "But Madame," she said, "You will have to share a grand lit (double bed). Let me check which room we gave Madame P." I couldn't care less, I told her. We've known each other since we were kids and had many sleep-overs. After checking her computer, we found out that the room had a grand-lit and a single bed. The room wasn't ready, yet, so I left my bags at the reception, went out for a quick smoke and returned to the hotel lobby to wait for Roxane to arrive. I had barely set my butt on the sofa and opened a magazine that I heard a screech of joy coming from the entrance. I dropped everything and we ran into each others arms. It was so good to see her again!

We checked her in, and went for a short walk to discover the neighbourhood. We went in to a few boutiques (Rox wanted to get a dress for her daughter) and chatted away. Around 1pm, we started feeling hungry, so we decided to have lunch at a small café before returning to the hotel to haul our luggage to our room. I had only an overnight bag, but Rox had packed for 2 weeks, so her suitcare was huge, not to mention heavy! Plus, the hotel didn't have an elevator. Luckily, we were on the 1st floor (2nd floor for North Americans).

The room was comfortably large by European standards, but definitely too flowery for my taste, and it had a bit of a strange layout. However, Roxane had managed to wear colours matching the room. How did she know??? Anyway, at first, we couldn't find the bathroom. I had left the door open because we still had luggage standing there and we thought that we'd have to use a "public" shower room. Whaaat?!??! While Rox ran down to the reception to enquire about our "missing" bathroom, I discovered it once I closed the door to our room. You see, when you came into the room, the door opened to the inside, and right behind it, was the door to the bathroom. So as long as the main door was open, it hid the other door. Whew! The view from our room was by no means spectacular, but it was well kept and flower pots were giving the viewer a hint of nature. It made us both smile.

We settled in and unpacked whatever we thought was necesary, and then we were off to discover Paris. We grabbed a map at the reception and asked for direction to the next metro station that would take us to Paris' most popular landmark: The Eiffel Tower.

As we got off the metro and headed towards the tower, Roxane was telling me how identical the replica in Vegas (the Paris Las Vegas) was to the real thing and that it was very big. Once we arrived at the tower itself, however, she was really impressed. I must admit that even after having seen the Eiffel Tower before, it still impresses me, too. Even more so when you stand directly under it. It was already about 3.30pm and our time in Paris was limited to 2 days, so we decided not to go up (the queues were still very long) and instead, just take a few pictures and then walk towards the Arc de Triomphe and then to the Champs Élysées.

We crossed the Seine towards the Trocadéro, turned at the Avenue D'Iena, then through small streets to Avenue Kleber and to the always busy Place de l'Étoile where the Arc de Triomphe stands.

Here are a few picts that we took on the way.

We finally stopped at one of the many street cafés on the Champs Élysées for a well deserved glass of wine before returning to our hotel.
That evening, we had dinner at a lovely, small restaurant close to our hotel. After dinner, we bought a bottle of wine to bring up to our room. We still had plenty of catching up to do! The last time these two girls saw each other was 9 years ago, remember?


Expat Traveler said...

Oh look, finally I've made it to see your post right after posting..

I think you guys look soooo adorable together!!! I love all of your pics too but think your room view was quaint, quiet and rather beautiful...

I want to know was it weird speaking to the lady at the desk in French? Did she look at you oddly, or did she have no clue where your accent was from...

Can't wait to hear about the second..

And I watch the entire NL vs Rus game yesterday thinking of you guys!

swenglishexpat said...

Hi CS - It seems you had a fabulous time with Roxanne, but I am surprised you only needed one bottle of wine for the catch-up chat. ;-) AND who chose that wallpaper? shocking!

Ginnie said...

You were in heaven together, CS! I think this is just wonderful, how you were able to tell the story and show your excitement for each other. This is exactly how friendship should be. I love it for you...and wait for Part II. :) I bet you won't wait 9 years the next time.

Shelli said...

Holy crap! I am so envious. :P I'm still glad you enjoyed yourselves, though.

CanadianSwiss said...

ET: LOL! No. I can loose my French-Canadian accent just like that. It's funny that you mention it, through. When ever I spoke with Rox, the accent was back. When I spoke to a local, it was gone.

The room was very cute, quaint and quiet, but the deco taste was to be discussed. ;)

Swenglish: We sure did have a grat time. Wait till you read part II. BTW, the first bottle, we had with dinner ;) And yes... shocking wallpaper! LOL!

Ginnie: It was friendship heaven, indeed. Nope, the wait won't be that long this time! ;)

Shelli: Good to see you again :) We had a fantastic time... to be envied by anyone, I think. Part 2 will follow soon.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you, the wunderful time you had with Roxanne.She looks still so young and not very much changed from what I remember, she always had been good looking.I cant wait for Part 2.Dad

Ex-Shammickite said...

What absolutely fab fun! I think Paris would be a super place to meet an old friend, there's so much going on and WOW you two looked like you were having a blast!
I'm back after 3 weeks in England... not quite like Paris, but I did a lot of catching up with old friends and family too, had a super time.

CanadianSwiss said...

Dad: I agree. She hasn't changed much at all. :)

Ex-S: Paris is really great! And although we had a lot of cathing up to do, it didn't feel like we had been apart for that long.

Xmichra said...

isn't it strange how many years can pass between friends and it is like nothing has passed when you get together??

Looks as though you had a very grand time CS.

CanadianSwiss said...

Xmichra: Strange, yes, but probably the best proof of true friendship :)

Jerry in Tampa said...

AWESOME images! I am so jealous of your trip! You have a great blog, glad I found you!

Jerry in Tampa

CanadianSwiss said...

Jerry in T: It's always nice to get a new visitor :) And thanks for the compliment!

TorAa said...

You two sans doubts had a wonderful time in Paris. And you did the right thing: Walked from tour d'Eifel to l'Arch de Triumph. A wonderful walk.
Must have been great, memorable moments.

Thanks for sharing