cdgval, chicago, coiffure, family fare, gare, gomina coiffure, haircuts, holland, indiana, jeep, Marina cruise ship, mcdonald's, michigan, monsieur alix, o'hare, Place du Marché aux Légumes, ramparts, rennes, tsa
This is the last blog for our trip to France in 2017. A little sad, but there is next year! Back in the USA.
le lundi 25 septembre 2017 – Monday September 25, 2017
Sandy walks through the Place du Marché aux Légumes her way to the boulangerie each morning. She noticed today that the trees lining each side of the place were full of birds. There was a lot of chirping, singing, etc. She wondered if they were getting together here in France as they do in the USA just before they migrate.
We had our final tutoring course with Christine for this year. Sandy has learned a lot from her and she makes learning fun. On the way to Christine’s house we went past a chocolate shop with a funny sign in the window.
While we were waiting for the bus to return a delivery truck stopped across the street at the butcher shop. We could see right inside the truck when they opened the doors. Two full size pigs were hanging by their feet inside. They had been skinned and the head removed. Too much visualization for us. Our bus trip to her house and back was uneventful and not crowded.
After lunch Sandy organized our prescriptions. She made a list of the kind and quantity of medications left in our apartment. That will make packing for next year a little easier.
le mardi 26 septembre 2017 – Tuesday September 26, 2017
Today was our final haircut in France. The coiffure is very skilled and we like the way she cuts our hair. We wished her farewell and a good winter. We told her we hoped to see her next year.
Sandy shopped for the last time at the marché. She told Monsieur Alix she would see him next year. He will also begin his vacation on Friday.
After lunch we returned Sandy’s last book from the library, mailed a letter at the Gare and bought a baguette to have with meatballs for dinner. We sat by the harbor for a while and the temperature was warm. Much too warm to even wear a light jacket.
le mercredi 27 septembre 2017 – Wednesday September 27, 2017
Our final day! Sandy brought home a baguette for breakfast to help us finish the butter. We cleaned, washed clothes, put away, sorted, and finished packing everything we could for today.
We took a last walk around the ramparts and spotted a cruise ship in the harbor. It was called Marina.
On the ramparts we found a lot of gulls. Sandy had some leftover bread in her pocket so she feed the gulls.
While walking the 1 mile around the ramparts, we saw the court. Our friend Alain was not playing today.
We did take time to get a picture of ourselves on the ramparts.
We called our friend Alain, and emailed other friends to say farewell for this year. We checked our travel plans, train, hotel, airlines, and rental car. Our condo building distributed new door FOBS while we were gone and the old one we brought with us to get back into our building in the USA won’t work. Hopefully, our son left a new one so we could find it.
le jeudi 28 septembre 2017 – Thursday September 28, 2017
We were up, showered, dressed and walked to the boulangerie for breakfast before 8 am. It was still dark outside and Sandy was glad Phil was with her. We enjoyed delicious baguettes, croissants, orange juice and grande cafe creme for breakfast. We told the boulangere good-bye for the year and we would see her next year. We finished a few things in our apartment and walked to the bus stop. We got on the 9h35 #3 bus to the Gare. We waited just a few minutes, boarded a RER local train and departed. The train made 5 stops in 55 minutes before we arrived at our destination of Rennes. Rennes is a large city and the capital of Brittany. There was a lot of construction at the station and the noise was very loud.
We bought a sandwich to eat on the train, waited 55 minutes and boarded the train to CDG in Paris. Our trip was very uneventful. We traveled in 2nd class. The train car and seats were similar to Amtrak. We then took the CDGVAL, which is a tram that runs between Terminals 1, 2, 3 and long-term parking. We reserved a hotel room at the IBIS Styles hotel which is literally between the IBIS and Pullman hotels. It was just a few feet outside of the airport doors in Terminal 3. We had checked in online and our key was waiting. The hotel had been built after 2014. It was a decent sized room for Paris standards, was clean, everything worked and was very convenient.
We had dinner in the hotel dining room which was fairly small. There were 3 choices for a meal and 3 choices for a sandwich. We tried to check in online for our flight. We both received messages that said we were unable to check in and needed to see an agent. We didn’t understand this.
le vendredi 28 septembre 2017 – Friday September 29, 2017
We were up and eating breakfast just after 6h30. The breakfast was included with our hotel and was fine. The restaurant was busy even at that time.
We took the same shuttle from the previous day to Terminal 2A and were ready to get in line to speak to an agent. has many kiosks for self-service check in. There was an agent at the kiosks and Phil explained our need for an agent. He said he would help us at the kiosk. There was no problem checking in and printing a boarding pass. We dropped off our luggage to be checked and headed for TSA. In less than 45 minutes, we checked in, went through border control, TSA, and were headed for our gate.
However, we were very early (3 hours before boarding) because we thought we’d have to wait in line a long time to see an agent. We were relieved! It was almost boarding time when they called many names to see an agent – ours included. It seems Sandy was one of the randomly chosen people for extra security screening. We found out that the screening was the reason we couldn’t check in online. When we looked at our boarding passes, Sandy’s had printed on it. Phil’s boarding pass had different letters, none were an S. Sandy and about 20 other people were taken individually, to a spot at the top of the boarding ramp. She was asked to lift up her shirt at the waist to show she didn’t have pockets. She was asked to lift up her pant legs and roll down her socks. She had to open her purse and backpack, take both U.S and French cell phones out and lay them on the table. She and her items were scanned then the scanner was checked on the computer. After passing these measures, she and the other people were not allowed onto the plane or back in the waiting room. They waited about 20 minutes together before boarding the plane ahead of all other passengers.
The plane ride home took off on time, was uneventful and landed 40 minutes early. We paid extra for first row of so we would have seats. It was definitely worth it! Phil stretched out his legs completely and there was no one in front of us. The meal that they served was delicious and the snacks were fine. Phil reminded Sandy that the food was prepared in Europe and that may have been the reason they were better to the food served on the way to France.
We landed at 13h40 local time which was 20h00 Paris time. We stopped at the Passport kiosk to print our re-entry ticket, waited to go through customs, picked up our luggage, stopped at the border control booth, and were in the rental car shuttle in 35 minutes! We were given a Jeep SUV for the ride back to Holland.
The road traffic on a Friday afternoon was bumper to bumper on the tollways, but we had been in worse. Indiana highways were still under construction, but the traffic thinned out in Michigan. We stopped at a McDonald’s for a yogurt parfait, Family Fare grocery store in Holland for breakfast items and were in our condo parking lot by 20h00. We were exhausted after being awake for 20 hours. As soon as we put the clean sheets on our bed and unpacked necessary items we were in bed. It was a relief to be back.
le samedi 30 septembre 2017 – Saturday September 30, 2017
We both slept fairly well. The 6 hour time difference between Michigan and France is difficult. The eating and sleeping schedules are awkward. We returned the rental car and stopped at the grocery store for fruit and a few more food items. We took it easy and rested or napped a bit. We both still felt like our bodies were in motion.
Bill Brouillet said:
Welcome back! We got home from our 23 day vacation on Thursday, Oct. 28th. Now we need to get together to exchange stories and share pictures. Glad you are back and look forward to getting together.
Sorry, I meant Sept. 28th, not Oct. 28th. I guess that long vacation made me too relaxed.