Strike out, but back in business

Trip Start Apr 07, 2010
Trip End Sep 11, 2010

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Friday, April 9, 2010

paris.  i was warned but i forgot.  went to get a 3 day pass in the gare norde, a VERY BUSY train station where im sure lots of people speak ENGLISH.  but when i asked the train ticket man what the cost would be (i was clearly speaking english) he said something muffled through the glass speaker wall.  i said "im sorry what did you say?"  again, same muffled answer which i thought was english via glass speaker weirdness.  so i ask 2 more times, and i realize he is saying "veinte euro"  very firmly by this point.  ok, would it really be so hard to say twenty euro?  sigh.  but not as bad as the time when the irish customs guy kept saying what i thought was "parachutes" and i kept asking "what?"  until i realized he was saying "departures".....

then in montmartre after getting really lost and having to pee (its amazing how long i can hold my pee in europe - after i realize i have to go, apparently i have about 4 hours left)....i desperately wanted to find a place to eat and pee at the same time, (well not literally)--- but of course i have to stop into a boulangerie (forgive all spelling, i am doomed in all countries until i reach spain) for a baguette.  per usual i am in a long line, everyone knows i am american b/c i try to translate that i dont want ham or pig, and it takes all these hand motions and truncated phrases.  so then im still trying to figure out the whole coin euro thing (coins for 1 euro and 2 euro and 10 cents and 20 cents and colors on bills and blah blah blah) so im digging desperately for those, line is looming over my head at this point and i am so american in my head by now (is it bad that i am embarassed to tell people that?  do they REALLY hate us?)....

i go to grab a 10 bill since the coins are all conveniently hiding at this perfect time. aaaand i rip the bill in half.  in front of the cashier.  now i really am the stupid american.

needless to say i taped the bill at the hotel, got to the bike tour, and it was sunny and lovely and paris. and the bike i picked out happened to be magically named strawberry blonde.   thats all i needed to make it all better.  and obviously a crepe tonight. 

de paris. 

more photos here!

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Your favorite Aunt on

Greetings from Toronto! I love the blog--just read it to my girlfriends. They are all envious--cheering you on--wishing we were with you. Keep up the wonderful updates. I look forward to them. Love you.

Meghan Hennessy on

hahahaha! Love it!

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