Day 3

I am not sure I would have gotten out of bed on day 3, if I knew what was in store for me!  Today was the day that we were checking out of our flat in Montmartre and picking up our rental car!  Now let me just paint a bit of a gruesome picture here…the three of us have 2 backpacks each.  I am not talking 2 go to school or take to an amusement park backpacks…I am talking weeks in the wilderness backpacks on our backs ( you know the ones I am taking about…the hippie backpacks!) and over stuffed day packs on our fronts.

So as we are checking out of our apartment, the gentlemen helping us asks where we are going to pick up the car, and when we tell him, he looks shocked and then says “Ew, zat iz a long way”… not to mention the fact that we have to change trains and  Metro lines…but hey, we got this! I was feeling like an old pro by now with the Metro…but that was before the 30 pounds of important stuff (give or take 20 pounds) was strapped to my back…and a smaller but almost equally heavy pack on the front!

Okay, lets talk about navigating the ins and outs of a Metro car and getting on and off, and waiting for your stop!  People looked at us as if we had 3 heads, we were the freaks of the say on the Metro car!  French people are tiny, and seriously the most I ever saw someone haul onto the metro was a tiny suitcase on wheels.  The best part of our Metro trip  was when we had to get off and walk a 1/2 mile to our new Metro line.  We currently do not have phones that work, so can only get information when we have wifi.  That is awesome when you are trying to find a new line of the metro in the middle of Paris, looking like crazy hippies with over sized packs.

We managed to corner an unsuspecting French man into helping us find our next station.  After a few twists and turns, voila we found it.  We get our tickets, find the train, and hop on.  Now let me remind you it is a bit chilly outside, so we have jackets, scarves, etc… We get onto to the train and I swear it was at least 150 degrees (or at least that is what it felt like).  I look up to see where our stop is…and I find it…10 stops away!  On down the tracks we go…and the further we get…the more sweat we have rolling down our bodies!  I had sweat pouring out of places I didn’t even know could sweat!

Finally, we reach our destination!!!  We are only about 40 minutes late to get the car, and look like sweaty pack mules…but hey all is well!  The awesome thing again was having no phone…didn’t really know exactly where the car place was.  We get out of the Metro on a giant roundabout.  We try to ask for directions…but we only understood about 1/10 of what was said.  Around and around we go…until we finally figure out where it is!  We are running across lanes of traffic with our packs on…and we finally arrive!

When we get in the door, the workers are super friendly and more than willing to help!  We are sweating like pigs, peeling off packs and clothing like some kind of campground strip show!  After some talking and paperwork, we are lead to our car.  Now the car that we got is actually an upgrade, because they were sold out of the smaller car we ordered…THANK THE LORD ABOVE!  We can barely fit our packs and our bodies into this burnt orange car…we like to call Jacques O’ Lumiere.  Yes we all pile into it and put in our coordinates to Strasbourg!  What we quickly realize is that this car is stick shift!  Ha!  Neither one of us has touched one of these for at least 10 years!  Let’s add to that Paris traffic, a pinch of rain, and an almost empty tank of gas!  And you guessed it, a prescription for happiness!

As we crept down the A4, we are in a bit of a panic.  We realized soon after getting on the freeway, that we had less than a quarter of a tank of gas.  Wouldn’t you think they would have mentioned that to us? Non!  The next thing we soon realized is that in order for Reid to have enough leg room, my knees were wrapped around the glove compartment.  Russ was also super uncomfortable driving.  So when we finally found a gas station, we decided to switch places!  It actually worked out well.  The only problem we had now, was that we knew we were going to be late to meet our Air BnB host, and we had no way to contact him!

Now, if you have ever been to Strasbourg you know that you should not bring a car… well we found that out!  Crazy one way streets, people and bikes all over!  It was like an insane driver’s ed nightmare!  We finally find our way into the city center, and to the apartment we are supposed to stay at, and no one is there!  I do see a man out the window of an apartment and ask him if he is Georges, our host, and he says no.  We wait a few more minutes and he comes back to the window and says “Air BnB” and we say yes.  Okay he brings us in, and I say is this 16A ,he says no it is 18 and his name is Julian not Georges.  Well, alright… He shows us around an apartment that looks vastly different from the pictures, but oh well.  He gives us the key  and off he goes.  We decide to go get our bags from the car.  On our way back into the building we see some people who let us know that they are staying in the apartment, not us, there has been a mix up!  We give them the keys as we realize, we really are in 16A staying with Georges not Julian.  the problem is, he is nowhere to be found.  A few minutes later, a lady walks up and says “Air BnB?”.  “Yes” we cry!  Then she asks if we are…fill in the names here I can’t remember…and I say “No”.

So here we are, in Strasbourg, no way to get in touch with Georges, and standing in the rain!  Just as I was getting ready to give up…up walks a very sweet man with his mom…his name…GEORGES!  He shows us to his beautiful apartment, and we could not be happier!  His apartment is right in the middle of old Strasbourg, near the Cathedral, shops, restaurants, etc… Strasbourg looks like a postcard!  It is old, with narrow cobblestone streets, and lots of beautiful old buildings!  It almost feels like a fairy tale! We venture out for some food and drink…and then promptly come back to the apartment and fall asleep.  It was a LONG, CRAZY, EXHAUSTING day…but worth every minute of it!

3 Comments

  1. Lindi
    Oct 12, 2014

    Oh Wendy what an adventure, but at least it is journal worthy and you will always remember this day. You will certainly appreciate the beautiful apartment and city!

  2. Dana Koenig
    Oct 13, 2014

    Sounds like a script from the Griswolds Family Vacation. 🙂

  3. Melissa
    Oct 13, 2014

    oh man, the memories you are making!!!

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