Wednesday – From Paris to Venice

Our last day in Paris was low-key.  We packed and cleaned the apartment and washed the sheets and towels, venturing out only for lunch.  I had one more food I wanted to try in Paris – a crepe with Nutella.  There is a little creperie across the street that Jacqui (owner of the apartment) had recommended, but we were out and about most days, so we hadn’t visited it yet.  We walked in the door at 2:00 pm, and the owner said something in French, shook her head, and shooed us away.  The sign on the door said lunch was served from 12:00 to 2:30, but we didn’t push it.  Disappointed, we walked down the street to the Monoprix (kind of like Target) because we needed to pick up a few things, and we came across another street market (like the one on Sunday, but not as large).  There were several food carts, and one was serving crepes, so I got my Nutella one, Dave had an egg, cheese and ham, and we sat at a table on the sidewalk and had a nice, inexpensive lunch.

At 5:00 we said goodbye to our home of the past week, and set out to brave the Metro at rush hour.  Our flight was at 9:00 pm, and we wanted to allow plenty of time.  We stood, with our luggage, on both transit trains all the way to Charles DeGaulle airport, about an hour total.  At the airport it was as confusing as the rest of Paris has been.  Poor signage, broken escalator, huge airport (I think I’ve read it is the busiest in the world – at the very least it’s the largest and busiest we’ve been in).  We finally navigated our way to the right terminal, printed boarding passes, got our luggage checked, and through security.  Whew!  We had about an hour to relax, use the restrooms, snack a little and wait for our 1.5-hour flight to Venice.

While waiting for our checked luggage at the carousel in Venice, a woman came up and said “Are you from Oregon?”  Surprised, we said yes and asked how she knew.  I brought a little string backpack that says “George Fox University” and have been using it to stuff our two jackets in, when I don’t want to carry them.  On the airplane it was in the overhead bin, and her daughter, a GFU student, said “Look, Mom!  George Fox!”  So we chatted briefly about us being alums and her a student at the Tigard campus, and about where we are going and have been, as well as their route.

Here are some random photos that didn’t make it into earlier blog posts.

Some neat-looking buildings along the Seine. No idea what they are!
On the flight to Venice Dave got this tiny little Coke. So cute!
Also on the flight to Venice, great cup holder on the seat back. I’m a sucker for cup holders!
A cemetery for soldiers’ dogs at Edinburgh Castle
The gnarly fence around Buckingham Palace
Pretty placemat at the cafe at Versailles
Queen Victoria, on her throne overlooking Buckingham Palace
A cool tree at Versailles
My favorite china at the Buckingham Palace gift shop.
A couple taking wedding photos in a phone booth in London

Some initial thoughts on Italy:  I think I’m really going to like this!  Everyone has spoken to us in English so far.  Very good, strong coffee in the hotel this morning.  And overheard at the extensive continental buffet, “Pasta for breakfast?  This is awesome!”  My sentiments exactly.

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