Word of the Day in Paris: Vigilance

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Word of the Day in Paris: Vigilance




What a relief to have someone posted at our metro entrance on the day we needed help getting to Versailles!  She approached us and showed us what to select on the screen to get our tickets.  Kyle questioned her, saying “$72 is too much for the train to Versailles.  It’s only supposed to be $7 round trip.”  She said “Oh no!  This is the only way.”  I started to insert my card, but she said credit cards weren’t working as they were changing the system today.  I tried inserting cash and she said the machine wouldn’t accept the denominations of my bills, so she said she’d take care of it for us.  She waved her ID in front of the machine and retrieved three tickets for us.  Kyle was getting increasingly uncomfortable. She was waiting to get our money and Kyle said “no, thank you.”  THANK HEAVEN FOR KYLE!

Three minutes later police officers were handcuffing our “subway assistant” and her accomplice.  WHEW!  Bullet dodged.

Yesterday Jasmine felt a tug on her purse during rush hour on the subway.  She looked down and saw someone’s hand IN her purse groping for cash.  Luckily, there was none.  Jasmine glared and he moved away,  never meeting her gaze.  Good reminder for us to be cautious in the city!

Next subject: I have a confession to make.  Remember when I said yesterday I never tire of the visual feast?  I was wrong.  I’ve reached my limit.  Touring Versailles today was too much.  I couldn’t endure any more opulence.  At one time, there was a staff of 14,000 soldiers and servants!  Jasmine and Kyle felt the same way.  We regrouped, over lunch of course, and agreed that spending the rest of the day in the gardens sounded inviting.
The gardens are massive, but–not to worry–they have golf carts.  I tried to convince Jasmine they were for the gardeners but I was wrong.  Jasmine was delighted at the prospect of touring the extensive Versailles Gardens in a golf cart.  I have to admit it was fun.  I felt like a mother-in-law relegated to the rumble seat because I was facing backwards. It seemed to amuse passers by.

It was an idyllic way to spend the afternoon.  So many beautiful green spaces with rows and rows of not only manicured hedges, but trees manicured into cubes! There are beautiful rows of tall, stately poplars forming intersections graced with sculpted fountains.  And the Grand Canal is grand–one and a half kilometers long!

imageIt was another great day–thanks to Kyle.  It may not have been so rosy if I’d coughed up cash to the scam artist.

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France

Salon de Provence

Puycelsi, France


The Cliffs of Etretat

Mont Saint Michele

1 Comment

  • Kyle Smith

    I totally felt like a super star tour guid driving the golf cart. It was GPS tracked and either music or an explanation played depending on which part of the gardens we were in. I was too distracted pretending I was in a massive race versus all the other golf carts. Too bad peddle-to-the-meddle was a measly 15 MPH.

    October 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm