Friday, August 22, 2008

Part 3

After trying our hardest to get some sleep, (imagine when little kids close their eyes really tight and kind of squint through so they can look at you while they swear to you that they are sleeping...that was us.), We got up bright and early and packed one of the suit cases then had an informal meeting with "Jozeph Pahsnip" and caught a taxi to the St. Pancras train station.

Tori is ready to go, go, go!

I hate to admit what a couple of bumbling fools Tori and I are but we were a tad bit confused at to where we were supposed to be. We had ordered our tickets in advance on the internet so all we had to do was put our credit card through a machine and the ticket popped out. I realize that it doesn't usually take a college degree in world travel in order to figure out what a train ticket says...but neither one of us could decipher what it said. I found a train station employee and asked her where we were supposed to be and she gave me a very brief answer with a very thick Parisian accent. I have no idea what she told me but I do think I heard her say, "idiotfoolish American" in there somewhere.

We arrived at the train station early enough that we thought we could check in early. Color us both amazed when we figured out where we needed to be and were refused entry because we were too early! We had 14 minutes until our tickets would allow us to go beyond the turn styles so we ran around the station and looked at the shops and restaurants. After that we still had 9 minutes to wait.

Once we got past the turn styles it took us a while to figure out what track we were supposed to be looking for. We were early enough that none of the tracks had anyone waiting so there was really no one to ask. We thought we had it all figured out so we sat down for a little while and just watched all of the people. There is some interesting people watching to be done while in a train station. It should go without saying that even though there were 100's of seats available in the train station the most motley looking person in the entire place came and sat down right next to Tori. Oh. The. Stench.

People started to wait at the bottom of a roped off escalator that actually let to the platform where our train would be so we left the motley one and her stench and got in the line. (read: mob)

I tried to ask these people if this was the train that was going to Paris but no one spoke English. I figured that if we got on the wrong train with these people at least they smelled pleasant.

This next picture didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. The trains station has a glass ceiling and it was awesome!

I thought that we would have avoided this situation by having first class tickets but one of us wound up riding backwards all the way to Paris. Guess who? It wasn't her:

After I had taken this picture I gave Tori my iPod and I did a cross word puzzle in a magazine. When she first put the ear buds in her ears and turned on the iPod she almost leaped out of her chair. I'm a bit hard of hearing so I listen to my music a tad on the loud side. I laughed at her reaction and showed her how to turn down the volume. In an effort to make up for laughing at her I found some drum corps music for her to listen to. (Kingsmen 1974 DCI to be exact.)

So we are riding along...I'm doing my crossword....she's doing "air director", (just like "air guitar" only she's directing the drum corps), when all of a sudden she shouts: "FOX!" I was quite taken aback by this sudden announcement as was everyone else in our train car. The train was going so fast that I didn't get to see the fox but that might also have had something to do with the fact that I was laughing so hard at how loud she had yelled. I apologized to everyone else on the train and told them that they had to excuse her because she didn't get out much. I know this is one of those moments where you just had to be there...but I laughed about this off and on for the next two hours.

The Eurostar train goes under the water for 27 minutes and this fact bothered Tori quite a bit. We went through several tunnels so I was able to convince her that we were in a tunnel when we were actually under the water...and then our ears popped because of the change in pressure and there was no denying where we were. Here is a picture of Tori being a total brave ranger, in the train headed to Paris, under the water.

We arrived at the Du Nord train station in Paris with no further fox sightings or outbursts.
See how clean and nice the train and the stations are? No soot or graffiti...

We went outside of the station to catch a taxi because we didn't want to stand in the taxi queue and we wanted to have a look around the town. This was the first thing I saw upon leaving the train station. (And no, I have no idea what exactly they were selling in there.)
We were in the taxi when I took this next picture. This chair was on the sidewalk in front of a bistro. The door was wide open and there were guys sitting on bar stools thinking that I was taking a picture of them. I don't know who would have felt more stupid if I were to have told them that I was taking a picture of a sun chair and not them.

This was a billboard for a local mall.

And this may sound stupid, but this picture was taken to show the exact time Tori first saw the Eiffel Tower.

If you look really close you can see that the tower was lit up with blue lights. It was very spectacular!

The taxi brought us up next to the Hilton, why he wouldn't take us to the door is beyond me. We got checked in, unpacked and went straight to the concierge lounge. I LOVE the concierge lounge. Free food. Free drinks...books, magazines, newspapers...and a view to die for. Here is Tori sitting on the balcony of the lounge, drinking a bloody Mary out of a juice glass, looking at the Eiffel Tower.

Oh, and I was there, too!

Stay tuned for part 4.



Anonymous mina said...

wow, what an amazing concierge lounge/view!

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are unfolding such a fun read for everyone! Keep it up! YHAS

6:13 PM  
Anonymous YHAS said...

You are unfolding such a fun tale for everyone! Keep it up!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous YHAS said...

You are unfolding such a fun tale for everyone! Keep it up!

6:15 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I am so jealous. That's all I have to say. Jealousy is me.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is all,

8:39 PM  
Blogger connie said...

Tami, You make me laugh til I cry. I can truly enjoy your trip through your writing and pictures. I am so glad you and Tori got to have such an adventure. I am also glad your mom reminds me to read your blog cause I get too busy sometimes.
thanks, connie i

7:52 AM  

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