Today we woke up bright an early and did a quick breakfast at the hotel again before boarding a charter bus that took us to Kings Cross Station to get on our 2 1/2 hour Eurostar train to Paris.
Security was completely insane as we tried to get on the train and foolish Julie forgot to take her money belt off so I got a lovely pat down from a grumpy lady, and was then sent on my way. I then exchanged my pounds for Euros (yay no more confusing pounds) and we waited to board the train.
The train ride was a nice sleepy ride along a beautiful countryside. Upon arrival of the train station, 10 people of our group, including our tour guide and my roommate Erin, couldn’t find their luggage and had to wait behind and search other train cars until they finally located their luggage. Once we were all together again, we boarded a Mercedes-Benz motor coach and had a tour guide named Viola teach us about the city as we drove around.
We were even able to get off the bus and get some quick snapshots of the Eiffel Tower including a classic “OHIO” picture among them.
After the tour we went to our Hotel, the Campanile Hotel, which was so cute, green and very modern. The room was even smaller than the last one but the bathroom was at least bigger.
Erin and I changed into dress clothes for the evenings festivities and I ran down across the street to get money from an ATM. A future note to myself–paris ATM’s are slow, so after I chose my money amount it just showed a ‘thank you’ screen and gave my card back. I was confused and thought the transaction didn’t go through so I started to walk away; but luckily I looked back and saw that the money was just then being ejected from the machine. So glad I looked back!
We met everyone in the lobby and boarded the charter bus to head to Chez Chement classic french cuisine. The worst part of this ride however was one of the kids on the bus, who said earlier that he didn’t feel well, got sick in his lap about half-way to the restaurant. So our bus driver pulled over, let him get off and cleaned up, and then he and his cousin, who is also on the trip, just walked back to the hotel while the bus driver frantically cloroxed his seat.
We arrived at the hotel which was on the main shopping strip of Paris and it was darling inside! Full of fancy dishes, small cozy tables and bustling waiters scolding us in french for being in their way. We got a 3-course dinner which consisted of egg quiche and a salad with horseradish dressing (talk about spicy). The main dish was beef in red wine sauce, mashed potatoes and white wine. Desert was creme brulee!
After feeling warm from the wine, we all got back on the charter and went to the Siene River for boat tour at night. The boat wasn’t what I expected as it ended up being just a two-level barge with an open deck on top and a covered indoor deck underneath with both having plastic folding seats bolted to the floor. Not the dinner cruise I was expecting, but it was warm inside so that’s where we all sat. Those who wanted to, also bought bottles of wine at the grocery store across the hotel before leaving, and brought the bottle onto the boat. We cruised up and down the river all the while passing Notre Dame, the Llouve, and the Eiffel Tower! Just as we were leaving the bus, the Eiffel tower burst into its iconic twinkling lights that were so beautiful there was no picture I could’ve taken that could have done them justice. After that we just made our way back to the hotel.