Initially Chuck and Barbs were in one column of seats and Hannah and Cedar were in the column of seats across the aisle. Some crotchety old Spanish-only-speaking man got upset when he realized his assigned seat was not next to his wife/partner/girlfriend/daughter (?), 30 years younger than he. Because of this, noble Chuck offered to switch spots, and ended up sitting on our side of the aisle.
There was some sort of ventilation issue on the plane, and before we took off the smell of B.O., onion, lime and cilantro filled our nostrils. We looked around, eyes watering from the smell, but NOBODY else noticed the stench!! Not even Barbs!! It would come and go, and each time we had to breathe through a filter (such as a shirt or a sleeve) in order to keep from gagging. We took off and the smell had seemed to go away for good, but we all know, as one door closes, another door opens. Well, out with the smell and in with the seat-kicking, loudly-gibbering Swedish kids seated only one row behind us.
Our second flight went much smoother than the first for seating arrangements. We were once again kept entertained by the individual tv monitors at each seat for the 8-hour flight from Madrid to Boston.
Customs went surprisingly smooth, except for this picture Barbs took, (every one else in the family smiled coyly or did not smile at all.) She was so surprised by the fact that the camera machine adjusted its height to meet her height without any human assistance that this gem was captured. The agents did not even check our luggage for the items we bought abroad which was a giant weight off our shoulders.
We dined this evening at a Bostonian seafood favorite. Cedar dined on scallops, Barbs and Hannah had lobster rolls, and Chuck enjoyed an entire Sea Bream fish. It was delicious. After dinner we went straight back to the hotel for bed (7:00 PM)
1. Chuck looks great in a beret.
2. Barbs and Chuck do NOT like to eat more than 1.5 meals a day, and that doesn’t go over well with Hannah and Cedar.
3. Just because there is a patisserie on every corner does NOT mean you have to stop and ogle the macaroons, and then buy a couple every single time. (But it sure does make the whole experience more enjoyable if you do).
4. The only way to do Versailles is to be NUMBER ONE. (Like us).
5. Only rent apartments with AC, and only visit museums with AC. Marble pillars to the face will NOT keep you cool enough as you pass from room to room.
6. Taking a selfie with something DOES make it important
7. Flat tires are no big deal, and definitely not a cause for the profanity we saw from one Barbra Gerard.
8. Unless you drive a manual car in your hometown, DO NOT rent one here. In fact. Scratch that. Never rent a car with a manual transmission.
9. Perfecting the Eiffel Tower photos takes a lot of skill, a lot of patience, and LOTS of weird looks from locals.
10. Hedges do not always appear real.
11. If you are going to the coast of France, pack a bathing suit.
12. Cheap wine makes for better wine
13. 6 espressos per morning can be considered “normal” for some people. Actually no. Just Chuck.
14. Van Gogh easels are NOT WORTH IT
15. Fresh truffles will blow your mind
16. Make sure to always read what section of the menu you are ordering from. Sometimes excitement can blur ‘dessert’ and make it look like ‘crepe’
17. Chuck hates shoe shopping. Still can’t understand that one.
18. Don’t hoard chocolate on an empty stomach.
19. If your family says they are leaving…..they mean it.
20. Rick Steves works in mysterious ways.
21. If your car tells you your trunk is open, then it is, or will be soon.
22. Coullier is GORGEOUS and an incredible place
23. Lotion is not conditioner
24. Talking in English but with the accent of the region does not make for “learning the language”, and in fact might confuse the locals
25. Barbs CAN relax if she just thinks hard enough about it
26. Cats DO exist, and they are frisky.
27. France has incredible food
28. (And even better macaroons)
29. No matter how much time we spend together, and how much grief we give each other, we still aren’t sick of each other; this foursome has the absolute BEST time together.
30. Our parents (Barbs and Chuck) are fantastic, hilarious, loving, generous and awesome people. Especially for letting us rag so much on them for the entirety of this blog.
--Hannah and Cedar