48 Hours In Paris – Part I

Posted: August 28, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

On July 23, 2005 my good friends Mike Cybrynski, Dave Ferriera, my S.O. Angela, and I took off from Amsterdam on the E19 toward Paris to watch the final stage of the Tour de France.  I had actually done this drive several times, but Dave insisted on google maps and sitting shotgun as the navigator, while I drove.

We were whizzing by Ghent Belgium when we saw a sign advertising the 162nd annual Gentse-feesten. Of course we had to go.   Ghent has the largest open air plaza in Europe and incredible history.  We saw three country and western bands performing on three different stages.  Yeah, this brought us a bit of cognitive dissonance.  This festival is seriously good fun and worth attending if you ever have the chance.  There are several funny stories from Ghent, which I will write about in future.

By the time we entered the Paris city limits, my navigator(s) were beginning to irritate me.  We all booked a small hotel off of the Champs Elysées called the Hotel Bassano and Google maps told us to turn west onto Charles de Gaulle Avenue instead of East toward the Arc de Triomphe as I knew to be the proper route.  Outvoted 3 to 1, we turned the wrong way and had to spend 20 minutes fussing about the Arche de la Défense before getting back on track. I grabbed the directions, wadded them up and threw them on the floor and drove straight to the hotel.

Upon arriving at the hotel, I parked out front and the concierge came out to greet us.  As my buddies were retrieving their luggage, the concierge greeted me with a hearty, “Mr. Spain, it is so good to see you again!”  The look on my buddies faces was priceless.

They checked in ahead of me and were asked to give up their passports, which is customary in Europe.  With Dave and Mike still there, I pulled out my passport to hand over and the clerk said, “oh no Mr. Spain, we do not need yours.”  Again, priceless looks from the guys.

We’ll pick up this story again tomorrow with funny stories at the actual race….Look for 48 Hours In Paris Part II.

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  1. […] 48 Hours In Paris – Part I […]

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