Farewell, France!

Our last day in Paris was fairly hectic. First, we had to drop our bags at the Hilton Charles DeGaulle at 9:00 a.m., which of course, meant we couldn’t check in because the room wasn’t ready. Then we headed to the airport to return our rental car.

The hotel checked our bags and said the room wouldn’t be ready for at least two hours. The good news is that we got an upgraded suite and 24/7 access to the Executive Lounge.  It was to celebrate our anniversary. More on that later.

Of course, the signage at the airport was horrible. After going up and down any number of one way roads within the rental return garage for more than an hour, we finally found AVIS, neatly tucked away in the back of the airport, far away from the signs that kept pointing us in the opposite direction.

We had a lot of fun with the car, despite its two missing hubcaps, an absent gas cap, bald tires and squeaky brakes. But maintenance issues aside, it worked for our purposes. The guy checking us in really didn’t care what was wrong with the car, so we didn’t bother to tell him. We wanted to get to Paris.

We needed to catch the B train and purchase tickets. It took about 30 minutes to find the train station and just as we were about to purchase tickets, we heard something about an accident. Security tightened and signs above us stated that all trains, regardless of their destination, were stopping at every station on route for ten minutes, whether or not passengers were boarding. We went to the information desk and asked if there was a problem with the Paris train.

Of course there was!

An accident halted all trains headed to and from Paris. I asked how long it might be before we get the green light. She shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know when service might resume. Before we left, there was an announcement that it wouldn’t be before 4:00 p.m.– too late for us.

We had two other options: a taxi, which would probably be a million euros, or a bus, inexpensive, but guaranteed to take all day to get there. Since we’ve been to Paris many times, we decided to take the long delay as a sign that we probably shouldn’t go. With an early flight to Barcelona, we had lots of writing and repacking to keep up busy.

Our room wasn’t ready until shortly after noon. The hotel staff was smiling as they told us that our suite was on the Executive Floor and that breakfast was on the house as were evening cocktails and hors d’oeurves. The hotel staff said they had an anniversary surprise for us. (Those of you who know me are now scratching your heads and asking how and why and the answer is I’m not sure. If you don’t know what that means, it’s another story for another time.)

Happy Anniversary to us! The rose pedals and swans in our bath at the Hilton Charles de Gaulle.

Happy Anniversary to us! The rose pedals and swans in our bath at the Hilton Charles de Gaulle.

As we opened the door to our suite, there were red rose petals in a heart shape on the bed and two towel swans kissing in the center. There was a similar display in the bathroom using pink roses. It was just beautiful.

Our room overlooked a runway and one of the former Concorde planes no longer in use. We flew on Concorde years ago from Miami, so it was a bit of pleasant nostalgia for us. Best of all, we had sweeping city views, including the Eiffel Tower. Despite our location, our room was as quiet as a library.

On the downside…what downside? This place was great! They even provided comp

Waiting at Charles de Gaulle Airport for our flight to Barcelona.

Waiting at Charles de Gaulle Airport for our flight to Barcelona.

transportation to the airport.

So despite not spending time in Paris, our final day in France was pleasurable and created memories that will last for years to come.

Au revoir, France!

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2 Responses to Farewell, France!

  1. Gene says:

    Thanks for the travelogue! Sounds like fun.

  2. Elaine says:

    Oh Happy Anniversary! It is nice to see you made lemonade rather than let anything stand in your way of really enjoying everything there is! I can feel the energy and excitment you are having on this amazing adventure. So many of us will never make a trip like this, and it is nice to follow it and see it though someone’s eyes!

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