Friday, December 16, 2011

We're Here in the City of Lights!

Hey all,
Well we're here!  In gay Paris!  Gay, cold, windy gloomy Paris, but Paris none-the-less.  It's been an interesting journey to say the least.

Saying goodbye to the kids was hard, but in a way it was a relief for us all.  I think we were all beginning to wonder if we’d EVER leave Orlando.  As Jessaca put it, “You can’t say ‘one last time’ anymore.  You’ve had so many ‘one last times’ we don’t believe you anymore.  LOLOL

Our flights both took off on time and we were on our way...

The overseas flight wasn’t too bad itself, US Airways is one of the better carriers we’ve been on.  Seats were comfortable and there was space for your feet.  Downside was the meal wasn’t great.  Airline food at it’s normal and they wanted to charge you to use headphones.    (I always bring our own—I’ve learned.)

The bad thing was there were two babies on board and they cried non-stop the whole way.  I understand about babies.  Took one on an overseas trip myself, but it was obvious these moms didn’t get why the babies were crying.  And they didn’t want to learn.  The attendant tried to explain about air pressure and it could be eased by them sucking, but neither mom apparently breastfed, used pacifiers or were willing to give a bottle to the child.  The pain those kids must have been in was frightening and even though the moms were embarrassed they wouldn’t do what was necessary to stop the crying.  Bad form.

Needless to say NO ONE got any sleep.  Baby Johnny would finally slow down and we’d all breathe a sigh of relief but then baby Janey would step up to fill the breach.  I finally gave up and watched a movie.

But we arrived in Paris an HOUR early.  Tailwinds the pilot said, but I think he wanted to get away from screaming babies, too!  ;-) 

Immigration was it’s usual crush.  Disney snake lines and we did the immigration line dance.  Shuffle, shuffle, elbow someone, apologize.  Shuffle, shuffle, curse your carry-on as it hits someone’s abused shins, apologize.  Slide in front of someone, grin in satisfaction and hug your success to yourself.

But once we got through all was good.  Our luggage came through with no problems (thank the Lord) and we jumped in a taxi to go to our hotel.  Which turned out to be surprisingly nice.  I’m not sure what I expected...we've stayed in MUCH worse! A hole in the wall or fighting for bed space with cockroaches, but the residence hotel was a pleasant surprise.  Basic, but we have a microwave, fridge and even a hob (hotplate) so I can cook for myself when Jon does show calls.

We dumped our stuff and then took a short walk to blow out the cobwebs.  We are only a twelve minute walk from the Cirque tent (it's white now) so we went and took a look at it.  Wow!  Can you say amazing.  It’s huge.  We found out later it takes 80+ trucks to move it and the rest of the gear around the country.

After a quick lunch, we headed home to get some rest before we went to meet Jon’s boss and see the show.  We were exhausted, but really looking forward to it.

Once we got to the back of the tent, we met Jon’s boss.  (Really nice!  So different from the asshole Gerard) and then we met the tour service’s gal, Stacie.  (Another great help to us and a sweetheart.)  Then I went and drank coffee while Jonathon did paperwork.  And then we saw the show.

In a couple of words, surreal and astonishing.  It’s a long show…close to three hours long with an intermission included.  I’m not sure what it was about—that is often the case with a Cirque show at first, but the talent involved is beyond astonishing.  Flyers, acrobats, clowns (not scary ones), musicians, singers…I could go on and on.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Even almost comatose with exhaustion we enjoyed it thoroughly.

But when we headed home we ran into a problem.  Our key wouldn’t work in our hotel room and the front desk had gone home for the night.  Apparently in France there are NO 24 hour desk help.  So we were pretty much stuck.  Then…enter our fellow Cirque family members.  And though they couldn’t wave a magic wand and get us in, they did the next best thing.

Johan, who speaks French made phone calls to see if he could find a way to get us inside.  Layla, offered us a room to stay in for the night, and Sherry took us upstairs and gave us a drink while we waited for word from the locksmith.

So getting locked out was serendipitous.  We met several Cirque people and I’ve got to tell you…I was so blessed by their openness to help us…someone they’d never even met.  If all our new show family as is gracious as these three, I know we will love our time here.

After an enjoyable visit, we finally went up to our borrowed room and hit the hay.  We’d had enough adventure for the day and we REALLY needed to get to sleep!  LOL

More later!



Ray said...

Wonderful story. Travel usually comes with problems, but the benefits are sometimes beyond belief.


CJ England said...

So true, Ray. It took me awhile, but now I know to take such things in stride. I save my anger for things worth being angry about.


Phylis said...

I hope you get your lock straightened out tomorrow. I just love reading your travel stories! I'm so glad that you are doing better. Sounds like you have some great people to work with! *sigh* That's just cause I know you get to hear all those sexy french accents! LOL! Sleep well!

Mannouchka said...

Dear CJ
Hope you have a wonderful week-end how is the food and vine and people do you start speaking French