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Happy New Year 2010

Last night we celebrated the arrival of the new year at the very center of the huge crowds in Paris at Champs Elysee.  Andrew was surprised at the number of people, but I knew there would be literally millions hanging out there.  The metro was so packed, as were the stations, that we knew we could not reach the Eiffel Tower to watch the "light spectacular" that would be showing only this one time, despite the fact that we started for it 1.5 hours before midnight.  Still, the party atmosphere at Champs Elysee and the Arc d' Triomphe, though scary from the crowd mentality, was fun and exciting.

At midnight, individuals shot off the fireworks they had brought with them.  The police were out in large numbers for crowd control, but they did nothing for little infractions like illegal fireworks.  I am glad they were not needed to stop any rioting (at least not while we were there).

Shortly after midnight, we headed for the metro to get back to the apartment, thinking we would miss some of the exiting crowd.  Wrong.  We could not even get into the metro station, there were so many people pushing back and forth.  It was scary.  Instead, we headed to the far side of the Arc to a different metro station.  Once there, to avoid more crowds, we decided to take the fast train RER A to the far side of Paris and then use the metros to return to the apartment.  That plan would have worked very nicely, too, except that the first metro of two we would need to get back to the apartment broke down at the third station.

Andrew is very good at finding routes for us.  He did so quickly, and we caught a different metro line and had to change two extra times.  Altogether, it took us two hours to get from Champs Elysee to the metro station, ride the train to the far side of Paris and them metro back to the apartment.

Today we head to Normandy and the small town of Rouen.  We both are glad that we didn't try to plan even one more day here in Paris.  We saw everything we wanted to see, and yesterday, our last day, we even had extra time to see a couple of things that weren't on our list, as well as take a bit of a nap at the apartment.

Andrew says he has decided that Paris and even Guadalajara are cities that are too big for him.  He now prefers a city that is between half a million and one million people.  He says such a sized city has everything one needs, and it is still small enough to be able to get around.

Even before we started our vacation, we have been considering moving the RV when we return from Europe to a different place.  We aren't sure yet where we'll go.  If we are within commuting distance, Andrew would still like to drive to GDL one or two days a week to teach private clients and maybe one or two classes at the school, as well as to attend church.  We both very much like our church and the people there.

Well, back to packing and cleaning the apartment.  I think I previously mentioned that our CS Host here let us stay our last night here in his apartment, even though he left yesterday afternoon for a weekend trip.


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