Monday, August 08, 2011

Paris 2011 - Final

4 Aout - (Jeudi) - It has been four days since I entered this tiny room (maybe 10 by 10). The only time I've been out is when I go to the lobby while the maid is doing her thing. We even take our meals in here, and though the food is a definite improvement over the hospital, it's still not bistro quality.

Jeudi (Thursday), I got brave enough to try to go downstairs because I really, really would like to eat at a regular restaurant. We took the elevator to the ground floor, but once we walked the half mile to the exit, were confronted with steps. I'm not confident I can do steps yet, so that means we're screwed.....again. Only in Paris would they build a hospital that's NOT handicapped-friendly!

5 Aout (Vendredi) - 
I went back to the hospital for what I hoped would be my last time. The portable oxygen unit did not work and I have no idea why, so we went all the way with no oxygen. I rode in a wheelchair, so it didn't require much energy. They waited until I had been off the oxygen for about an hour and took a blood sample. The test came back very positive. My blood oxygen level was well within the normal range with no oxygen. The doctors decided I could fly with no oxygen on the plane. I'm not so sure that's a good idea, but I'm not a doctor.

Since, according to the French doctors, I don't need oxygen, we are going to fly on Open Skies (it used to be named L'Avion) a business-class-only airline on Sunday, if there are seats available. We will fly to Washington and from there to Fort Lauderdale.

Good news....we are booked on OpenSkies for Dimanche (Sunday) at Midi (noon)!!!

We went out for my first meal outside in the real world in three weeks. Of course, we went to the very first place we encountered, because I was walking very slowly, it was a relatively long walk, and I didn't want to overdue it on the first attempt. Aux Tours de Notre Dame is very touristy (of course) but the food is decent and I was so glad to be in a real café again, I could not care less about the bazillion tourists. While we were eating, it started pouring. I've never seen it rain so hard in Paris. We just let it run its course, and headed back to the room when it had stopped.

Here are some more pictures: CaféViewCafeView2le Jardin de l'Hôtel Dieu (Lower Level), le Jardin de l'Hôtel Dieu (Upper Level), Place Parvis (in front of Notre Dame), and a view toward Montparnassele Jardin de Hôtel Dieu (Best View), Dieu detailDieu EntranceGregorian Chant, a corner detailHospitel sign, and Aval'Tar, who represents all who have ever been in l'Hôpital Dieu (he was a real person). If you're in Paris and you want to see the jardin de l'Hôtel Dieu, it is open to the public and free. L'Hôtel Dieu is directly in front of Notre Dame.

And a short video from Hôtel Dieu showing the Panthéon and Notre Dame.
The last of the Paris 2011 pictures: A table ready for you, fleurs (flowers) outside the gardienne's office, the only window in our tiny room at l'Hospitel and the last Paris Rouge picture.

8 Aout (Lundi) - 
We are home after an exhausting 25-hour day. We got up at 08h00 (2 AM US) on Sunday morning. The Hospitel had promised us a van but reneged while we were out to dinner. Our last dinner was again at Aux Tours de Notre Dame. While we were eating, it started to pour. We waited till it had almost stopped and left. Robb demonstrated super strength by somehow managing to get all the bags down to the main hall, where the taxi driver picked them up and carried them to the taxi. Then we were off to Orly Sud, which is a lot closer to center Paris than CDG. It turned out we had even more time than we expected because our Open Skies flight was delayed. We spent the extra time in the VIP Lounge eating a petit dejeuner. We had the last two (of four) seats on the plane. If you've flown Open Skies, you know they serve champagne. Our steward, Kevin, was very responsive when asked to pose with the bottle.  If you haven't flown on Open Skies, Robb and I recommend it. It's easily worth the extra couple of shekels.

For some stupid reason, I decided we should fly to Washington instead of New York (you do hear the buzzer going crazy, don't you?). That was one of a couple of mistakes we will never make again. The only direct flight to Fort Lauderdale was by JetBlue (the other mistake we will never make again.) at 07h30 Monday morning. We settled for a connecting flight which required us to fly to New York and then home. Everything at every airport on the east coast was being delayed because of bad weather. We weren't even sure we would make the New York connection. Luckily for us, we did, but it was much later than we had hoped and we didn't get home until around 02h00. In addition to the many delays and other setbacks, the people at JetBlue seemed to be working in a daze and really did not seem to be in control at any time. Thankfully, the flight to Fort Lauderdale was smooth and I managed to sleep most of the way.

We got to bed around 03h00 and were up by 08h30, still exhausted.

You can see ALL the Paris pictures at Paris 2011

À la prochaine, mes amis.


Virginia said...

You're the only person I know that can top my travel adventures!!! I am glad you are home safe and sound.
Take good care,

PS I love me some Open Skies as you well know! :)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I am sorry that your trip ended as it did. You have both really been through the wringer and will now need a vacation (from your vacation). I did enjoy your photos on Flikr

Best to you both--

Nadege said...

Unbelievable! What a way to end a great vacation! I thought we didn't "hear" from you because you were in Barcelona. I am so sorry it had to happened while in Paris.
Hope you will recover nicely and I am sure you are very happy to be home getting some well deserved rest.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Glad you and Rob got home okay, Bob. I'll go look at your pictures of the Hôtel Dieu and the garden now.

Megan said...

Rest up. Hope you feel better.