Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Various Horrors of Extremely Long Car Trips

The car ride was highly not fun. Not the one yesterday, and not the one today. Yesterday, the A4 was closed, all trucks were being searched, and there was at least one, possibly two, car accidents. We must have passed and been passed by at least 40 police cars and ambulances. We had to take detours through multiple tiny French towns. We started going to Luxembourg in places, and for a while were going back the way we came. We finally begin to understand the inspiration for the movie “Weekend,” during which a family is just in these constant traffic jams as they go throughout Europe, and start passing things like flaming wreckage but are so sick of being in the car they don’t even pause to look. We stopped at a hotel that was part of a European chain called Mercure, (this particular on was the Reims Mercure) and was the most bizarre hotel you ever did see. The walls were a sort of sparkly purple, the places where it wasn’t like that were black wall panels on hinges (?!), and it was just sort of generally unpleasant. I’d rather be in the one-man fishing hut of previous posts. With three other people. Today, the A4 was closed again, and when we finally reached Paris, we couldn’t for the life of us find the Hertz rental car drop-off. We finally figured out that it was in an underground parking place, and promptly went in. The signs kept taking us lower and lower, until we finally reached what my father rather aptly titled the “Sixth Ring of Hell.” Then we discovered that the elevator didn’t work, and thought we would have to walk up to the Hertz office, which was all the way back up on the first floor. Fortunately, we raised enough of a fuss that the staff person on our level took us and our luggage up in his car. Mom was just about sitting on me, Jonah was riding on Dad’s lap, and every time we went around a curve, the two of them nearly fell out of the car. Needless to say, the Hertz person in the office was met with my father’s boundless fury. Somehow, he managed to continue to be civil. My breakfast was some hot chocolate from one of those shops that are always at gas stations and a piece of pain au chocolat, had at lunchtime. My lunch is (I’m still consuming it) some little tomatoes, balls of mozzarella and noodles from a salad, and three bags of Lay’s potato chips, had shortly after what was sort of lunchtime. Words cannot describe the horrors of the past few days. As for what happened in Reims, well, if we hadn’t been there, Daddy would have punched the waiter. Up until this point, however, the trip has been fun.

1 comment:

edna said...

We hope you have nice and restful day today in London before you leave for your flight home - a nice tour on a sightseeing boat on the Thames might be nice, or a visit to the wonderful Tate museum of Modern Art - it is truly fabulous.
How is the hotel in London? Is it raining?
See you sson