One of the most important lessons I have learned in my traveling is to never ever take an overnight flight in Economy Class. Ever. I don’t care how cheap it is, or how convenient it seems, because you will not spend that overnight flight sleeping. The only place to put your head is your tray table, you can’t recline because the seats are packed so tightly that if you do you’ll crush the person to your rear’s legs, the “In-Flight” blanket is a thin and inadequate piece of I-don’t-even-know-what except that it’s disposable, and you are surrounded by people who are capable of watching you sleep if they want to. It was a nightmare. Literally, as in, I’m pretty sure it has actually shown up in my nightmares.
We landed at what was 2 in the afternoon local time and 8 in the morning biological time, after leaving at midnight the previous night. I will say this for Paris: Their airport is stunning. They have an open floor plan, lots of bright colors and natural light, and their bathrooms are the most wonderful public bathrooms you will ever see.
(That reminds me: In the bathroom at LAX, there was some graffiti in the stall Chloe was using which read as follows:
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
you obviously have never used a japanese toilet. )
We caught a taxi to our teeny tiny rented apartment in the outskirts of Paris, where no one speaks English and there aren’t any tourist attractions, and used several gestures and repeated words to communicate who we were to the landlord, and then, finally, after several more minutes of gesturing and using the only words of French my parents knew, we were alone in the apartment and could sleep. And boy, did we sleep. From about 3 in the afternoon to about 4 in the morning. We spent two hours getting our bearings, playing minigames on our phone, inspecting the house, etc. and then ventured out into the Parisian streets.
I don’t know if you know this, but nothing in Paris opens before 10. Apparently French people don’t eat breakfast, or they eat it at home or something, I don’t know. We got pastries from an early-opening bakery, spent a lot of time wandering around, doing little-to-nothing, until finally we were riding a bus and found the Luxembourg Gardens, or, as on the sign, Jardin de Luxembourg. Now, Luxembourg Gardens has a nice castle-y type building with gorgeous trees and flowers in perfectly sculpted landscaping around it. Even the grassy park with trees growing in it like a forest had the trees evenly spaced and weeded around.
We hung out there for a bit, got tea, coffee, and hot chocolate from the cute little beverages stand, (French tea is delicious, more delicious than usual although it’s the same kind. Same goes for coffee, apparently. No idea why, except that French people are snobs and have higher-quality stuff,) and went to the playground which is in the Gardens. We had to pay to get in, but oh my God completely worth it. They had a rope with a plastic platform on it that you rode down a track standing on, and a whirligig contraption that dragged Xander along by his face for a few seconds before I stopped panicking long enough to stop the thing, and even though it was raining we had a blast. Admittedly, I had bruises all up the insides of my thighs from holding on to the rope, because plastic gets really slippery when it’s wet and that little platform was tiny, but still super great.
Tons of other stuff happened, but I’m done writing for the moment so you have to wait until next Monday to find out.
(Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. I thought it was Sunday yesterday until I asked someone around 9:00 at night, so this week we’re doing Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and then Mon-Wed-Fri next week.)
(Sorry about the lack of pictures. Mom’s computer broke down and we lost almost all of our pictures, including the ones we took of the Luxembourg Gardens.