Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Three Musketeers

Our good friend and “partner in craziness” Peggy Sprague arrived this morning for a few days of mischief in Paris. We have known Peggy as long as we have been in San Diego which is more than ten years. We have done some humanitarian work together but Peggy is the real deal when it comes to her work with the under privileged.

We were to meet her at CDG airport at 8 a.m., but we got off at the wrong terminal and were delayed a bit. Just as we were leaving for the Metro, we met a young lady from NYC who followed us to the Metro as she was unfamiliar with Paris. Turns out she is a new screen writer for the show Boardwalk Empire.

We arrived at the apartment without much to report although Peggy managed to count the stairs to our apartment…97 to be exact. Now to put this into perspective for you, the tower to the top of Notre Dame is 387 steps. That puts our apartment about 1/3rd the height of the Notre Dame! And we have no gargoyles.

Diana had planned a visit to the manicurist, something she rarely does, and (are you ready for this) she wanted to experience a fish salon. I mean they put your hands and feet in with some Turkish fish that eat the dead skin. Ewwwwwwww.

So while Diana is fishing (or being fished) Peggy and I grabbed a bite. The flight was finally taking its toll as Peggy was barely keeping awake. We got Diana and brought Peggy back for some much needed rest.

Once Peggy was recharged, we all went for dinner with Bob, went back to the apartment and crashed for the evening.

Now it gets really good, The next day, we decided to rent a car and get out of “Dodge.” Since Diana had reconnoitered the area, she took us on a walk to find a car rental. More like a trek. I opted to go inside a local hotel (Hotel Saint Louis en L’Isle) and ask directions.

The person at the quaint desk immediately saw my Fuji camera and got up to examine it promptly and politely telling me it needed cleaning and we began a long discussion about his Leica M9, past Hasselblad 1000f, Alpas, etc. Photography is an international language. After all, the French invented it and still are passionate about it.

I told him how much I appreciated the discussion and he politely bowed and directed us to an car rental at the Gard d’Lyon “a 20 minute walk.” Then corrected himself “Perhaps 22 minutes.” What a nice pleasant gentleman.

After much meandering, we decided on the Metro. We were all rapidly deteriorating. We couldn’t rent a car without a reservation so we made a reservation for tomorrow. At this point Diana thought she would like to try a fast train for fun....Uh huh.

We found out that that thought might have to wait since a round trip ticket to the closest city was 140 Euro per person!

We opted for a short ride back to the apartment to rest up for the journey to three Cities in the Northwest outskirts of Paris.
More of that in the next blog.

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