When in France...Or the coach disease
I think I may have caught a cold for the first time in many, many years. The last time I had one, I think was 8 years ago. I know how it happened too. I flew coach.
I went to Europe last week to do some consulting. I was supposed to leave on Saturday, but before day, about 5AM my time on Friday, I get this call. Ike was coming and the team was flying through Dallas, Could I possible leave early?
Like in a few hours?
Now, I love Paris, so it didn't take too much persuasion to have me packed and at the gate in three hours.
Normally I get upgraded on these trips, and I knew my Saturday flights had been upgraded, but seems like everyone had the same idea. The flights were full of folks trying to outrun the hurricane.
I held my breath until the very last minute, but lo and behold, I was seated in the back of the plane. On both flights.
I met my colleagues in Dallas, and we must have looked real pitiful because the flight attendant gave us free wine after we whined about eating with plastic rather than the real utensils you get in business class.
So much free wine that we didn't really care that we got food in a tiny little thing that looked like it was a Jenny Craig meal rather than served on real china. And of course there were no hot nuts.
A Frenchman behind us poked me in the shoulder. "How much is ze wine?" he asked.
I shrugged. "Not sure. We didn't pay."
He wanted to argue with the flight attendant. She batted her eyes and said, 'They were supposed to be up front, so we're bringing business class to them. They're PLATINUM."
Her voice was hushed as if it was a big secret that we were toasted in the friendly skies. Not me, of course, my colleagues were. It was really all about him, and I wasn't mad at him. The more he batted his eyes at the flight attendant, the more free wine I got. Now, if only he could get me some hot nuts.
We got to France unscathed and all looked like it was going to be okay.....until we got to the hotel.
They'd picked one off the list for me and well, I normally am a go with the flow kind of girl, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
The place was walking distance to the Arc De Triomphe and looked quaint on the outside, but boutique hotel in french doesn't mean the same as it does it english.
I checked in, and what it means is, "room that is smaller than my closet, with a salon outside your door where strangers surf the internet with a glass to your wall and a bed that will fall off the wall with barely a blanket on it and no duvet." Did I mention that it also means "ground floor where people outside can look in your window and you feel the vibrations of the metro underneath your head while you lie on the bed?"
French is such a funny language.
I tried to shower, because I absolutely have to remove the 10 hour flying popcorn smell
from my body before I hit the Champs, and the handheld shower attached me! The water pressure was so high, the shower head went crazy like a firehouse, soaked the bathroom and sprayed me in the face. I screamed so loud, the people outside listening through the wall had to knock on my door and ask if I was okay.
I finally got clean and had a few hours, so I headed for the shops, finally redeeming my trip so far with a visit to Louis Vuitton.
Well, I normally would just look, but they had a bag that was sold out in the states, and with the tax back, it was actually a tad cheaper sooo..
and my hotel wasn't so bad after all.
But I did call the travel desk and asked to be changed. to a different hotel.
I'm not that tall, so my feet shouldn't hang off the bed, right? I'm just tooo old for a youth hostel.
Le Meridien was waaaaay better. Even though they had 31Euro Martinis.
I drank wine.
When in France.....