Saturday, March 30, 2013
Being soaked alone is cold.
Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.”
― Emily Wing Smith
I meant to get this post out yesterday, but we spent a good part of it wasting time while we waited to get on our ship... boat...floating hotel....whatever you want to call it. At any rate, once we got on the boat, we spent the afternoon exploring it, meeting people, and going to the mandatory safety meeting.
Surprisingly, about 85% of the people on the boat are American or Canadian. The rest are Aussies or Brits. I don't think anyone from any other country raised a hand when our guest services host, John Riley (How appropriate is *his* name?), asked. The crew all had a great time making fun of the Italian captain who was in charge of the Concordia, and John assured us that our captain was French and would not hit a reef or the like. Of course, the captain spoke to us and gave the emergency instructions while a few of the waiters demonstrated with the life jackets.
"Put the life jacket through your head," Captain Frenchman said, "like these show."
"I don't know if my head's big enough to do that," a certain husband quipped back.
"My English, she is not so good," le Captain continued, "but you get." I was laughing a little too hard at my husband to completely hear everything, but you get the drift.
Going back to the morning, though. . . . After we checked out of our hotel, we had about six hours to kill before we could embark, and we decided to just walk around the Montparnasse area. We first had to find a bank or ATM since we didn't want to repeat the krona fiasco of the night before. Business accomplished, we walked. [It's quite amazing to me that I love to walk so much when we are in certain places while I don't particularly like walking at home. (Yes. Yes. I'm lazy.)]
We headed through the Mantparnasse Cemetery (The photo above is of it from our hotel window.) and were amazed, as usual, by the very ornate monuments. The monuments are quite long, large and close to one another. Some had their own little gardens, a small section carved in the granite where families plant annuals to honor their loved ones. I'm not a big fan of cemeteries, as some of you know, but the foreign ones are a little different. Basically, we wasted time, although we feel that observing life in another city is not really time wasted.
When we finally headed to the river, our cab driver was not sure where to go.
"What is the address?" he asked us.
"Quai Andre Citron," I said, and Mike showed him the ticket with that printed on it.
"Yes, but what street address? What number?" he repeated.
"We have no street number. Just this paper," I said.
"Well, we will try," he assured us, and drove toward the river. Slowly, we cruised the banks looking for our boat. "Do you see it?"
"No," Mike said. "Chris, do you?"
"I wasn't looking," I replied. "I'm on the wrong side."
"If I had the number, it would be easier," said Mssr. Taxi Man. I wanted to slap him in the head.
"We don't have a number." I was getting pretty irritated. He finally drove down port side and continued through an industrial area. Finally, we cleared that and saw a local ferry.
"Maybe this way right," he said. "We try a little longer."
To make a long story short, we finally found the boat. . . the ship. . . and there was no number on the slip.
Mike paid the man, in euro, and gave him a pretty good tip to make up for our faux pas the night before.
Fast forward to today . . . We're on our way to Giverny this morning. It's pretty cloudy, although we're hoping the sun will peak out a little when we get to Monet's house.
I'll let you know later today.