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Our Last Day in France

I thought you might enjoy hearing about our last day in France since it started out so beautifully and ended in such chaos. I was reminded of it when I transcribed my diary. We laugh about it each time we tell the story. We decided to stay in St. Laurent du Var, the little town where the hotel was located and do a bit of exploring on our last day, we had been too busy rushing off to Cannes, and the little towns in Provence to see our own part of the Riviera. We walked the promenade, the beach is too rocky, but the town has a wonderful Riviera Coastline, which we had been too busy to discover, also, today was the first wonderful day weatherwise.

The coast is lined with little cafes. We sat and drank Perrier and soaked up the last of the French sunshine. The Herald-Trib says it will be 35 degrees in Minnesota tomorrow. Yuk.

About 3:00pm we decided to get a cab to take us to the station and catch the train for Nice. After arriving, we spent twenty minutes hunting before we found the locker section at the Nice la Gare and then we had to figure out the magic lock formula. Finally we got our luggage stowed and had time to explore the city. It was very busy on this Easter Holiday. We ended up having dinner in a Chinese cafeteria since we were too late for lunch and too early for a real French dinner. After dinner we returned to the station to wait for our train to Paris and then began our evening from hell. When we tried to extract our luggage one of our lockers wouldn't open and we had to get help, then the train was late and when it finally did arrive we got on the wrong car and had to haul our baggage endlessly through car after car with aisles so narrow that we could hardly get by and doors that wouldn't stay open, then Stan's overstuffed backpack unzipped and there I was picking up our Picasso plates and schlepping loose luggage over boxes, finally with the help of the porters we reached our little couchette and were able to relax. Fortunately the plates didn't break. We slept amazingly well and were ready for the morning's battles. First there was the metro. At 8:30 am the Paris metro is a mass of pushing, shoving, humanity, trying to get to work. Once we mastered the first leg the transfer to the airport metro was easy, not so many people going to the airport. We picked up a baguette at the airport station and then caught the wrong shuttle to the Northwest ticket counter, finally got on the correct one, found Northwest, went through security, got some coffee to have with our baguette and leftover cheese and jelly from yesterday's hotel brunch. We thought our trials were over until we found out that they didn't like our boarding pass so we were handed from person to person until it was straightened out. At last we got on board and discovered that my luggage handle was missing a screw, and of course by then most of the overhead lockers were full and we had the usual difficult time stowing everything. At last everything was stashed away and we were able to try to get comfortable in our cramped little seats and wait for lunch.

The rest of the journey was a breeze.



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