We’re just home from a whirlwind trip up to Paris to get some documents legalized by a US Notary. Believe it or not, the ONLY opportunity to get this done was all the way in Paris!
We considered going by train, but at 5.5 hours each way (and €165 each), we simply didn’t feel we could leave the dogs alone that long. So after agonizing about it, we decided to make it into a road trip with the dogs. A 6 hour drive, but then the babies would be with us and we’d have a car and maybe have a little fun too!
Unfortunately, winter finally arrived, and we had rain a lot of the way. But we made it in record time and had booked a beautiful little boutique hotel right in the middle of things. After checking in and unloading some of our stuff, we looked for parking on the street, which is challenging with our ‘huge’ BMW 520, so we headed for the underground parking garage a few blocks away.
Somehow, when we came up through the pedestrian exit, we got turned around and headed the wrong way. Anyone’s who’s been to a European city centre knows the streets are not parallel and, for me at least, directions are very confusing. Well, here’s the funny part. Theo’s in his dirty-old-man “flasher” raincoat, I’m in my long bag-lady raincoat with my bright pink Crocs on, we have two mongrel dogs, and a large plastic shopping bag with a blanket in it for the dogs. We’re walking, looking for the hotel, walking, looking for anything familiar, walking, thankful that it’s not pouring. People are out, the town is lively, and we keep walking. Finally I get Theo to admit that we are hopelessly lost. Thankfully, I have my overloaded bright orange purse flung across my chest and I dig for my ever-trusty iPhone. Of course we don’t remember even what the hotel was called, much less the street it was on, so we access the confirmation on Theo’s email and plug the address into the map. It took us this way, then that, but we finally circled around from the ‘back’ way and found our hotel! We were never so thankful. It didn’t occur to us until the next morning how we must have looked, stumbling around Paris in the dark of the evening, looking like hell after driving straight for 6 hours, with our plastic bag, our doggies, and my fuscia Crocs! Hilarious!
Our room was cute and very (ahemm) cozy—just as you expect in Paris. But after covering the bed with our doggie blanket, we noticed that Annie seemed to be having confinement issues. Up on the bed, down on the floor, over by the window, back on the bed, by the closet, then by the bathroom. Restless at best. We did make it through the night, but this squashed all ideas of a second night in Paris. And just in case you’re in Paris with doggie friends, the staff at the hotel were absolutely amazing with the furry ones and we highly recommend it: Le Chaplain, www.chaplainparishotel.com.
The other amusing thing was that we didn’t eat out the whole trip. Imagine, traveling to Paris, and not eating out! Wahaaa! I had baked some teriyaki drumsticks and we bought some snacks for the road. We stopped and picniced on the way down, then when finally in our room, we were too exhausted to head out again with the dogs, so we just settled in, and promised to visit The City of Light again very soon, for a whole week, without dogs. I have a new mission to find some dog-sitter candidates (Lawrence and VL, do you KNOW how much we miss you???)
On the morning before our Notary appointment, we wanted to visit the famous Jardin du Luxembourg, which was just around the corner from the hotel, so off we went. Got to the entrance and there were no dogs allowed, but my honey who pretends he cannot ‘read’ the big sign of a dog with a red slash over it, marches right in. It was raining lightly and I guess he never believed we’d actually get caught, so hiding under our coat hoods and umbrellas, we headed for a gravel area to let the dogs run for a bit. And out of the corner of my eye, I spotted an official looking man walking quickly toward us. Yes, we got thrown out of the park. I knew it. How embarrassing! But the officer was very nice about it and told us where we could let the dogs run outside the park. Again, we must return to study the absolutely amazing number of espaliers in the park.
The appointment at the US Embassy went well and we tried to not think of what danger we might be in being there. There were plenty of armed guards everywhere, but all went well. We powered home that night, through the pouring rain, snacking on the rest of the chicken, boiled eggs, veggies & hummus, nuts, crackers & cheese, and fruit that we had packed. We were so happy to be home, with Annie being the most delighted!!!