Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Into each life a little rain must fall

Well, none of us slept well, knowing that we had to get up by 4:45 am to catch our suburban train and metro to get to our TGB train to Bezier to get to the car rental place in time!

So at 4 am, the thunder boomed and by 4:45 the Heavens opened and the rain fell like in the time of Noah! So my aunt, in her pj's said good bye and we grabbed our 3 umbrellas and literally ran to the suburban train. We were like drenched, burdened donkeys!!

As side note, Megan and I had a 5 day pass which stopped working after day one so we'd been given a new 5 day pass. So I verified that our passes would work on that 6th day (I doubted the French National Train company - SNCF - would ever give us a "free day") and was assured by the SNCF employee that indeed the pass would work! Then I had also bought 2 tickets from from St. Cloud (zone 3 where my aunt lived) to Gare de Lyon (zone 1 where our TGV train station would be.)

Being so early, the gates to the train were open, Megan and I walked through without "compose nos tickets," but Emily and Mike did their duty for their one trip tickets I'd bought the day before.

When we got the the station where we changed from the suburban train to the Metro, Megan and I couldn't get out verifying that the French government would not indeed give us a free day! So, by the luckiest of fate, a metro worker came and actually unlocked the gate used for people carrying their lives in backpacks and luggage.

Megan and I ran to the kiosk to buy our new metro 1 ride tickets. Then we dashed single file through the Metro turnstyle to find that Mike and Emily's did not work HERE! I guess the SNCF guy had only given us enough ticket to get INTO Paris but no further. So Mike dashed back to the automated kiosk and used the last of his coingage to get tickets too.

But, we arrived with enough time to get a well deserved breakfast at Gare de Lyon before our train came - late. I was so sure that French trains were never late! I learned later, that down here in Languedoc, they'd had some doozy of a weather front - my faith was restored.

Our seats had somehow, mirraculously, been booked in 1st class and we had a lovely 194 mph train ride. 4 quick hours of relaxing and we arrived to slightly overcast Beziers. We picked up our car (a Renault minivan) and GPS looked for bathrooms.

Ah, I think I'd forgotten how to prep the kids for the "porcelain footprints". Google "turkish toilet!" My, my knees are out of practice. I think that's all on THAT subject!

By now, my two day cold and slighlty damp clothes kicked in an I was feverish. So, we stopped by a large store called Carrifour (like a huge Super Walmart but with better food and espridrilles) and buy a few necessities for the evening and go by the villa hoping that it was ready for us early.

With the pleasant GPS lady and our written directions, we found our way to the villa quite easily. But try as I might, I could not get the key out of the key lock.

Now, any company can do things right by luck. But the sign of a good company is to handle a freaked-out, feverish American tourist. And Pure France was great!! Before we knew it, they'd found out the problem and got me the new code and we were in! Everyone crashed at that moment (well, except Megan so I sent her upstairs to her bedroom to unpack and put stuff away). And I mean crashed.

No comments: