My Photo
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Nous sommes arrivés!

After a hectic week of packing, cleaning, storing and minus 7 degree temperatures in Ohio, we finally headed off to Paris and arrived safely. Paul was delighted to get a BMW 318i for our rental car; I was delighted it was a station wagon as we had four suitcases and three carry on pieces. We were surprised this was considered a compact in the land of the Smart Car.

Paul did a brilliant job of getting us to our apartment. Streets in Paris do not seem to have typical signs - the majority seem to be located in very small letters on the sides of buildings. In addition, the street names change intermittently. Couple this with numerous traffic circles, one way streets, and loose interpretations of merging - the BMW emerged without a scratch. I do not plan to ever drive in Paris.

We did not get much sleep on the plane and have spent the last day and a half recovering. I was up Saturday night/Sunday morning at 3:30am bright eyed and ready to start my day. The normally early-bird-Paul slept on until late morning. I got a lot of quiet laptop work done while he dozed. I think the problem for Paul is that Paris is never quite that bright in the winter. There is a street light right outside our bedroom window, so it appears sort of dusk at all times. The good thing for night-owl me is it always seems on the verge of night. I think we will acclimate soon and be on the same schedule. This will be the third time we have been in Paris in the winter, so we are looking forward to seeing the city by natural sunny light in the spring!

Our first afternoon, Paul was determined to beat the jet lag and dragged me to Carrefour, the French Wal-Mart/Costco, for necessities. It was PACKED! As neither of us much likes a) shopping and b) crowds, it was quite the adventure. My French being terrible and never having learned the words for floor cleaner and fabric softener, I resorted to looking at the pictures on the bottles. This is not foolproof however as I learned when I did some laundry with, I believe, a floor cleaner. Phew - it is surprising how tiring it can be to read and listen so carefully.

Our apartment is microscopic. No, really! It is, I suppose, traditional but wow! My dorm room was larger than this - and sadly I have grown muchly since college. Perhaps this is why the French are so thin. Hopefully, I will return to the states a true Frenchwoman. If our dorm size refrigerator is any indication, we will not be eating much while we are here. We do have two bottles of Coke and one bottle of Evian - that is about all that will fit.

We are heading off to see Paul's campus - more on that later.