Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 926: My Dream Trip To Italy and France
By BGE from Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada, Spring 2005
Page 32 of 38: I Just Called To Say I Love You...
Today is a day full of phone calls, bringing good news and advice, assistance and encouragement.
At 8:30 A.M., Dave calls again and I tell him the good news. I get 3 extra bonus days in Paris... he’s so happy for me!
I call Lauren, my rental agent, and guess what? I can stay here for the extra days with no problem... and for very little extra rent! Lauren’s so sick with the 'flu, yet she is so kind and helpful.
So, now we’re cookin’. I can hardly wait to tell my son. I hope he’s going to be happy with this great news and happy also that he has his mom back, and not some emotional basket case, like I’ve been for the last 5 days.
He calls, and he’s delighted!
“That’s great, Mom,” he says. “Now, we need to see if we can stay here at the hotel a little longer.” The angels are smiling on us today. He calls back and tells me that the hotel has just had a cancellation and they can stay on for 4 more days!
Now that I’ve taken charge of this and made some positive decisions about the whole scenario, I feel so much better. I am not in control of the creeps stealing from my carry-on and vandalising the contents. However, I AM in control of the rest of my trip, I’ve just taken charge of it and it feels damn good!
I have 3 whole glorious days to spend in Paris!
With my son!
How cool is that?
Is this flow, or what?
So, what’s the lesson here?
Maybe I’m supposed to be on the plane on Saturday and not the flight on Wednesday…who knows what is happening here? All I know is that it has made me deliriously happy.
After lunch, I meet M. & D. at the Louvre again. This time we are going to see Mona Lisa! The room that she is displayed in is very small, with a line-up of people going back to forever. When we finally are allowed inside the room to see Mona, there are 6 security guards standing at the front, in an intimidating lone behind the security chain. As we enter, they are counting off 15 seconds for each person to see the painting and then get the hell out of the room!
“15 seconds, Madame, move along, move along smartly.”
"15 seconds, M'sieur... move along, move right along."
They repeat this to every person who makes it to the front of the line. The crazy thing is that for everyone who gets to the front there are 17 more who are squished completely out of the picture! I tell ya, a total mob scene. Mosh pits have nothing on this chaos. I take several poorly framed, crowd-jostled blurry Mona-photos, and leave.
Later when I look over my photos from today, I find one of the back of some blond chick's head, framed neatly by the frame on Mona!
We spend the rest of the afternoon in the Louvre. Rather than running madly from room to room, trying to catch glimpses of everything all at once, I choose to stay in the section where Michelangelo’s Slaves are located. These pieces are stunning, and I am so in awe of what this guy was able to create with a bit of marble and a few chisels. The beauty of these statues withstands the test of time, without a doubt.
There is another piece that is my most favourite of all. It is a sculpture of a woman with a veil over her head. The coolest thing is that you can see her features as if looking through an actual thin fabric veil, and it is perfectly done.
There is so much to see and we are on limited time, so I choose to stay within a small area and look thoroughly at what I see, rather than running all over and seeing nothing.
Sitting in the sunshine that is pouring through the windows, I am in awe of this gift of creation that these artists and sculptors had bestowed upon them. There is a creative gene as well, I suppose, but really and truly this kind of ability must be God-given. I’m not sure that we humans have the capability to create pieces like these on our own.
After a few hours of soaking up all the lovely atmosphere inside the Louvre, we go across the street and power-shop... in the rain, no less! I swear I can hear Gene Kelly singing in the background, as we walk along the sidewalk.
Gifts for everyone are chosen, purchased and stuffed into my large shopping bag. I find a Laguiole pen for myself, with the trademark bee on the clip! I love these pens and it is coming home with me. We walk, shop, talk, laugh and become as before, the tears and anger forgotten totally for now. Everyone is coming to my apartment tomorrow night for dinner. My heart is happy and my day has been superb! What a difference a day makes, huh?
After getting off the bus on Damremont, I buy cheeses for tomorrow's meal at the little cheese shop next door. As the owner wraps my purchases, I see some boxes of crackers on a shelf, and ask her if I may buy a box or two to go with the cheeses. She draws herself up to her full height, looks down her nose at this plebeian, uneducated peasant Anglaise tourist standing in front of her and she says,
“Madame!"... long pause... for effect....
"We do NOT each crackers with our cheese here in Paris. We eat cheese with only BAGUETTES! Here, take this cheese and go!
Buy a baguette, Madame!
I buy a baguette.
It has been a long few days and I am eternally glad they seem to be over. Today, it feels like I have myself back again, thankfully. My son has his mom back again and that must be a relief for him.
It's late and I am exhausted, but exhilarated at the same time... does this make any sense at all?
Best Things Today:
~ feeling the flow, as it unfolds right in front of my face
~ guardian angels everywhere...
~ Dave's help
~ Lauren's help
~ my son's hotel having a vacant room for a few more days
~ the exquisite pieces in the Louvre, especially the Veiled Woman!
Worst Things Today:
~ the worst is apparently over... so there is no 'worst'!
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