As I begin, I should tell you that neither my mom or I are very experienced travelers, particularly internationally. You should also know that my mother and I are polar opposites when it comes to personality. I knew it would be interesting. But, thankfully, we survived without tears or any catastrophic occurrences. The purpose of our trip was to go to my friend Kristi's wedding, and we thought if we were spending the money to fly that far, we should make the most of it. We spent time in Germany, Belgium and France, so it was a lot of traveling, but a great experience!
Before I ever got to Missouri, my car broke down, and I had to go back to Tulsa and have Kevin take me half way to meet my parents. That resulted in us getting to bed sometime between 2:30AM and 3:00AM the night before we would be leaving for this little Europe expedition. Needless to say, we were both exhausted before we even got started. We figured that would be ok since we would be flying for so long maybe our exhaustion would make it easier to sleep on the plane. Well, that didn't exactly work out as planned. I'm quite certain that neither of us slept more than an hour or two on our way across the ocean which left us quite jet lagged. However, the flight went smoothly and we landed in Paris on time at 9:30AM. Being time conscience and overly paranoid about missing the train we would be taking, the train ticket I purchased for the next leg of our trip didn't leave until 6:25PM. When I purchased the ticket a while back, it sounded like a good idea and that would allow us to explore Paris a little near the station, and give us some flexibility if our plane was late or we couldn't find the train station. Well, that plan backfired. We took a cab to the train station, and had about 8 hours to kill. I assumed the train station would have shopping or something, but it didn't. We attempted exploring a little, but we were toting all our luggage so it was a little debilitating. Also, once we ventured out, we realized the area surrounding the Gare de Nord train station seemed a little shady. So, we just hung out doing pretty much nothing for about 8 hours. I think at this point, we were both questioning our decision to come on the trip.
We did stop at a cafe and have lunch. It was at this point that I realized my diet coke habit was going to get extremely expensive over the next 9 days. It was 4,20 euros, there weren't free refills and it was served in a little juice sized cup. They did, however, add a lemon and a piece of ice or two:)
After a long wait, it was nearing time for our train to arrive when we heard an announcement most of which I couldn't understand, but I did hear the time and destination city, so I tried to figure out what was going on. After asking around a bit, it said that our train would be cancelled. A bit of panic set in because if we didn't make this train, we weren't sure we'd make it to the wedding, not to mention we were so ready to get out of the train station. However, it all seemed to work itself out, and they told us to get on the next train. It ended up only being about a 30 minute delay. So after a VERY long day of traveling, we reached our destination, my friend, Kristi, picked us up at the train station, and we stopped by the church for a bit to see the musicians rehearsing, followed by a bite to eat and headed to the hotel in hopes of resting enough to not look like zombies as the wedding the next day!