Friday, October 1, 2010

Packing it up and heading to Paris

Nestled between the camera bag and the laptop, I was determined to protect the new beret I bought on the next leg of the journey!

Okay, so it's been over a week since I've posted, and I'm back home from France.  Once we left Frontenay and entered Paris, it got a little more difficult to keep up the blog, but I'm back now to finish the story!  So let's pick it up where we left off, which was leaving Frontenay.  Everyone was busy bustling around the house, wiping, mopping and scrubbing.  As the official blogger, I felt it my own personal duty to walk around and both document and supervise the cleaning effort.  But feeling a little guilty, I offered to help, and Julie gave me the job of stripping her bed.  As I was lifting her pillow, I was greeted by a 4 inch spider of yet another French variety.  First I yelled "SPIDER" and my knees started to shake.  Then I ran for the camera as the little devil scurried across the bed and headed up the wall.  Julie, by the way,  seemed totally unaffected by the whole episode.  Although there's no point of reference in this photo to give you an idea of size, let's just say I could have put a little leash on him and taken him for a walk around the block.

That 4 inch spider
I then went upstairs to say good bye to the bedroom I called my own for the last 8 nights, where I did all my blogging while burning the midnight oil.  Remember this photo because the accomo's change tonite!
My cushy bed
Here's a picture I wanted to share of the challenge that Kim faced in her bedroom as a tall person.  Once again you can see that some of the doorways in France were made for small people.  Although Kim's forehead and the beam collided more than once, I never saw her lose her cheery disposition!
Kim in the doorway!
We certainly did enjoy our wine while we stayed at the house.  Here's a sample of the remains before they hit the recycling bin.

Wine bottles
And of course, there was that challenge of fitting 13 people and their luggage..... including their PAINTING luggage back into the three rental cars.  But somehow it all fit, and we started off on our journey to the Poitiers train station, where we would board the TGV for Paris.
Karen and Cate work on fitting it all BACK in the cars
As we drove away, Tant Robert and Christiane came out to bid us a fond farewell.

Tant Robert and Christiane waving goodbye
It was evening by the time we arrived by taxi at the hostel in Montmartre that we would call home for the night.  As you may recall, we traveled to Paris a day early because of the impending train strike on the 23rd, and we were lucky to find accomodations for 11 people on such short notice.  We had 3 rooms.... one with 6 beds, one with 4 beds, and one with a double bed.  Kim left us at the train station to spend the night with dear friends who live in Paris, and Iren headed off to stay in a hotel near the Louvre.  13 artists present and counted for.
Montmartre with Sacre Coeur Cathedral in the background
Motorcyles in Montmartre
Although we were tired from a full day of cleaning, packing and traveling, it was dazzling and exciting to arrive in Paris.  We took a walk to a local bistro for wine and dinner, and then retired to our rooms to get some rest for our first full day in Paris.  Here you can see the cozy room that I slept in.  Stay tuned because next I'll share with you some of the beauty I was lucky enough to take in over the next two days in Paris.
Time to hit the hay in our hostel!

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