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Precursor: The Accident
Whenever you embark on a long time away from home, you always ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen while I'm away?" Well, it happened. I mean, I suppose it could have been worse, and someone could have *died*, but it was damn close.
It may seem insensitive to talk about something as frivolous as a honeymoon vacation right now; all of life's problems have kind of shrunk down and taken a backseat to this new fact. But I can't talk about the accident all of the time; I need a bit of a break from the entire situation. Here's how it all went down: kingfox and I were taking two weeks of vaca; keeping in touch primarily via occasional email check-ins. When we were halfway through our vacation, in the Alps about to take the train back to Paris for our flight to Turkey, we received "call home" emails along with an "emergency prayer request" email. We immediately called, and heard about the accident, but it wasn't until a day later after the event. We had to take the train back to Paris, and by the time we reached the Parisian airport, we were determining what to do. You can imagine the shock, horror, guilt, and uncertainty. In Paris airport at midnight, I remember being on the phone begging, "Just tell me what to do!"
By that time, my dad and brother said that she had "stabilized" and was in a coma. They both recommended staying and finishing the trip, insisting that mom would be mad if we came home, and that there was nothing we could do anyway except join them waiting in agony. We stayed. No matter what the outcome, I will always have guilt about this. I am so thankful that my mother is alive, and that I have been able to talk to her and to hold her hand. So grateful.
These events did put a damper on the honeymoon stuff, but you won't see that in these posts. This is all the other stuff.
Similar to trips of the past (http://jedimentat.livejournal.com/1579.html), I'd like to share our adventures with you. At one point of our trip, when things were going kind of badly, I remember saying to kingfox that we could have chosen some Caribbean beach, and just sat there and had a constant stream of umbrella drinks put in our hands (sounded good at the time, still sounds good right now) but that doesn't make for an exciting story later, does it? ((I still want to post pics and stuff about the wedding events, but haven't sorted through all them yet (or thank you cards!...apologies!! soon!!) There is a lot, so it's broken into several days' worth of posts.
H1: The Beginning
it's worth a mention that the Monday after the wedding, we went to see Iron Maiden at MSG with csmole and graye . Great show!
Left the following Thursday from JFK (the traffic! how inconvenient, and expensive transit!) where, due to a ticket snafu, we sat uncertainly for a good hour before our flight. It worked out in the end though, because our tickets got upped to business class, where we had an unbelieveable amount of legroom for our hop across the pond.
We had a stopover in Iceland early in the morning. Iceland airport was nice, and we enjoyed the feel of the place, and would like to go back for a real visit. On windexcowboy 's recommendation, we had the local spirit Brennevin along with our salmon breakfast. It was pretty funny, because people kept greeting kingfox in Icelandic, or asking him questions. It made us laugh, because when initially planning the honeymoon, my mom had said, "Why don't you take him to the land of his people?" (meaning Norway or some such, when R isn't even Nordic)
"Iceland: So quiet."
Then, we were off to Paris.
Rolled into Charles de Gaulle airport, located the subway, and took it into the interior (Parisian subway= sukked! I was also surprised by the amount of graffiti and the shantytowns along the outskirts of Paris).
Our hotel was an old-fashioned Parisian hotel not far from Notre Dame, near the Fountain of Saint Michel
(detail of the fountain)
It had the feel of staying in a French uncle's cabin
"Honey, do these go together?"
After we deposited our things, we hit the streets, and began strolling through the city.
stopped along the Tuilleries and got our first coffee and glass of wine
(that one's for Larry!)
Detail of the Arc du Triumphe
(did you know La Tour Eiffel lights up and does a sparkly thing briefly at night? we didn't, but saw it after we were rerouting from getting lost...bonus!)
All over Paris, there are these public bikes for automatic rent that you can just take and park at your new location...great idea!
Anyway, we did a great deal of walking on our first day, all the way from St. Michel to the University of Paris to the Louvre to the Jardin des Tuilleries to the Column to the Arc du Triumphe down the Champs d'Elyesees, and (sort of, with some missteps) back, past the Eiffel Tower and along the Seine (which was lovely, but smelled like pee along most of the lengths that we walked). We made so many missteps coming back because it was later evening, we were tired and footsore and crankily accusatory with the map, which did not help us locate our tiny diagonal street, which was hidden like Diagon Alley when viewed from certain angles. However, there was kicking nightlife surrounding our hotel area, and people on the streets and laughing in cafes long into the night. More Paris, a bientot!