Friday, 8 June 2007

Halftime

Well, the first half of our holiday is over - we left Centerparcs today and have checked into a hotel in Rennes for the evening.

Tomorrow we head further westward into Brittany for a week. Since I wrote Tuesday, things have pretty much gone as planned. Tuesday we packed Alice off to Kids Club and Jacqueline and I ended up having a lovely, relaxing drink in the golf clubhouse at Centerparcs.

Wednesday was busy, as expected. We caught the train into Paris Montparnasse, on a beautiful sunny day, and the first thing we did was to ascend La Tour Montparnasse. If ever you want a good view of Paris, and can't decide between La Tour Eiffel and La Tour Montparnasse, my advice is to take the latter, just from the hassle-free viewpoint. We were at the top of the tower in two minutes, rather than the hour of queuing to go up Eiffel. And the views were just as wonderful...

We dropped Jacqueline off at les grands magasins, then Alice and I headed off (on foot) past the Louvre (the pyramid was not quite the Egyptian monolith she was expecting, but a 10-minute pause by the fountains cooled us off a little), across the Pont des Arts (my favourite Paris bridge). Then along La Rive gauche, to our destination - the bateau mouche at Notre Dame. In fairness, this was probably an anti-climax, it was far too hot to sit in a greenhouse, even if it was travelling along the river.

The trip climaxed when a woman was taken ill at a quai by the grand palais, the police arrived in spectacular fashion in their motor-dinghy, and fifteen minutes later we still hadn't budged an inch. So, Alice and I decided to "abandon ship" at this point, instead opting for an altogether more underground journey across to rendezvous with Jacqueline at the Opera.

Surprisingly, she had only two smallish bags, but had discovered, on the ground floor of Lafayette Maison, a wonderful Italian ice cream stand. An amaretto and lemon cornet later...

Back to Montparnasse, and the good old SNCF decided to remind me what I was missing, our scheduled 65-minute journey instead taking 95 minutes, arriving back into Verneuil at around 9:20pm. Still, we forgive such tardiness because we're on holiday...

Thursday, again, a quiet morning. Alice wandered off to play in the playground, then headed back at lunchtime so we could go to the pool together. The outdoor pool was open for the first time since the Friday night when we arrived (technical problem), and we made the most of it. This year, the slides which once held fear are now something to be enjoyed as much as possible. The afternoon, we visited Evreux, which was quite charming. Again, we were unable to resist visiting Decathlon, where I ended up having a long chat with a guy (in French!) about a bike I liked the look of. Jacqueline sought out some new walking shoes (she'd been tempted in Dreux but there was insufficient time on that occasion). Plus, I picked up a really lightweight rain jacket. So, how to buy a bike from a French shop and get it back to England.....

This morning, time for one last trip to the dome before heading westward. The only thing to note is that Alice has been a complete bastard all day, annoying both myself and Jacqueline along the way. I was livid when she told a barefaced lie to Jacqueline, telling her that I had called her a particularly horrible name. I guess it just goes further to show where her limits are. Even now, Jacqueline and I are trying to chill in the hotel bedroom, and she is being deliberately disruptive because she is bored. She needs to understand that it is our holiday too. I'm really fed up with this. With Jacqueline along everything is so relaxing, add Alice and everything becomes stressful. I think next year we will investigate leaving her at grandma's. Still, out into Rennes in a little while for a spot of supper, hopefully we can salvage something of the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment