Her majesty and I just got back from our holiday trip to Europe. We hit London, then spent Christmas in Paris for 3 days, and then returned to London again for 3 days. If you had tried to comment on my blog between the 21st and the 29th, I apologize; I turned commenting off to prevent a blogspamming mess, they now work again.
We left our laptops at home, and while I had my phone, I only used it for pictures & videos. It’s 3G, but I never got around to changing my plan with Cingular. So, if you tried to contact me between the 21st and the 29th via phone, text, or email, my apologies; I’m going through everything now.
Let me first say that I heard from 4 people that the French were rude, especially if you didn’t speak French very well. This is absolutely untrue, and I’m starting to wonder where in the heck this attitude I heard from 4 disparate people came from. Everyone in a variety of places, both tourist locales and non, were extremely polite, calm, and benevolent. We really enjoyed Paris, and I definitely plan on returning again. There is so much to see, the food is usually good (except foie gras; my God, most disgusting stuff on earth), and I really liked the locals.
I was uber stressed about going to France because my French isn’t very good. I wanted to give a really good impression that I was giving an effort. I usually just let her majesty do the talking. While more people spoke English towards the Louvre and other tourists spots, like everywhere I’ve been, I hate the tourist areas. Eiffel Tower? Pretty! Surrounding environs? Bleh … I liked “real” France better. I really hate the cold, but while in France, it suddenly didn’t matter… well, as long as you were moving. If you’ve never gone to Paris, I highly suggest you go, it’s great!
BTW, the Eurostar puts the USA’s Amtrak to shame. After making 2 trips on it from London to Paris, and Paris to London, it’s blatantly obvious that America’s railroad industry rested on it’s laurels. Furthermore, I thought Atlanta’s MARTA, basically our “London Underground” was pretty bad since I had Boston & the DC Metro to compare to. After riding London’s and Paris’, I gotta say, MARTA is a joke in comparison.
My first night in London, her majesty and I managed to meet Peter and his rather large entourage up for a beer at some pub (er, cocktail lounge) called the Lab; it was his birthday. Tink showed up, too; it was really cool to finally meet him. Didn’t get to meet Richard; mofo was playing for the other team in the states, hehe!
Anyway, my last 2 months have been pretty slack, which actually has been pretty good. 2006 was frikin’ stressful to the max; I got seriously burnt out this year so feel a lot better now and recharged for 2007.