Sunday, August 7, 2011

31. Journey Home

We had our last day in Dinan, then found we were actually ready to be HOME in Jupiter. So, Saturday we had a last breakfast croissant from our favorite boulangerie, and made one last walk through the beautiful streets of the old town of Dinan. 

On the way out, we passed our favorite bucherie, where we’ve had so much fun visiting with the owner (the buchier), and Lynn has had so many great conversations in French. Well, we were so surprised and touched: he waved us to stay, stopped his work behind the counter, came outside the store and had a goodbye conversation, ending with a goodbye handshake for me, and goodbye kisses (the French bise on each cheek!) for Lynn. What a joy; this guy has to deal with thousands of tourists every summer. To think we all made a connection during our month together is just wonderful!

The bus ride from Dinan to Rennes was uneventful…except for Lynn almost getting re-injured ON OUR LAST DAY IN FRANCE, while she tried to help a feeble older lady from our bus…luckily, Lynn’s stumble wasn’t serious, so no lasting effects. Whew…you know what they say about most accidents and injuries happening on the last part of a trip, huh? 
We staked out a good waiting spot at the Rennes Gare, til our TGV train was scheduled to leave for Paris three hours later. Ate a snack, watched people, and Lynn scoped out every possible route to the train gate. This was important, ‘cause this time we were travelling with all our luggage, including the bicycle case. We had to figure which way to go with the least heavy lifting up and down long stairways! While checking out the routes on the escalator an old guy with a bike (who turned out to be drunk) started falling back down the escalator and she almost got knocked down again!!The TGV arrived on time as always, and we got on to our assigned seats in good shape, just in time for the train to depart on time. Super high-speed ride through the French countryside. Gotta love the French train system! 

We made it to Paris on the TGV, got off at the Montparnasse station, and were immediately struck by the BUSTLE and CROWDS of being back in huge, busy Paris. What a difference from our explorations all over Brittany during the past month. Lynn was able to navigate us to the bus to Charles DeGaulle Airport in Roissy, using her French skills with a local lady who was so gracious to personally direct us. So another bus ride, this time right through the middle of Paris, which was beautiful. 

Once at Charles DeGaulle, we had to change to yet another bus, “The Black Bus” which would take us to our hotel in Roissy. Man, THIS BUS was almost impossible to find in the huge airport complex, despite Lynn’s advance research and planning. We were assisted by a wonderfully helpful airport guy, after some other direction-givers put us on the wrong trail. Finally, we were in the right place, the “Black Bus” arrived, we lugged our stuff on board, and off we went to the Marriott. 

What’s to say about a Marriott? This was similar to every other one you ever saw. We tried to find a local spot in Roissy to eat supper, but after walking all over the little town learned the three restaurants we found had all gone out of business! Soooo, supper at Marriott, then sleep, then Marriott breakfast, then back on the Black  Bus to the airport, then switch to ANOTHER bus to get to our particular air terminal…Whew!

Check-in at American Airlines was the biggest surprise (for me) of the trip home. Our check-in clerk saw on my passport that I was born in Kentucky, so started talking to us, and revealed he was a bluegrass music fan…who also plays Scruggs-style 5-string banjo, listens to all the early guys like Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers! It was amazing; who knew anyone in Paris loved bluegrass, or played it!  We exchanged email addresses, and he even gave us special passes for VIP treatment at the Security checkpoint at our gate. Cool! First time we’ve ever been escorted through security by an airline hostess. 

Flight home was 8 hours of sitting in an airplane – GREAT to get out once we made it to Miami. We landed in a huge thunderstorm, so they wouldn’t unload the luggage til the lightening stopped…one + hour wait… and the storm continued. We decided to skip the Tri-Rail train ride home. After clearing customs we rented a car, drove ourselves home  (passing 5 wrecks along I-95 due to the heavy rain. Lot of folks seemed to skid into the wall today), and now we’re back to being just us again.

Lynn’s dogs missed her terribly, so lots of petting and licks, and we’re catching up on the month’s mail and news. Thanks for reading all this stuff. It’s been a fantastic trip!

PIC captions: Lynn with bags leaving our apartment in Dinan.
       John waiting for bus at Place Duclos, Dinan, with baggage.
       Bus ride through busy bustling Paris.       
         Lynn's boys, Newman and Simon,  waiting for her return.

CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure


  1. Quel beau voyage en Bretagne! Merci pour votre blog que j' ai découvert grâce à Paulita ! Philippe ( from Lyon-France )

    1. Merci, Philippe! We are in Paris, flying home tomorrow from our most recent trip. I hope to return again and again.

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