Our last day in Paris with Dad and Lea was upon us and with it finally came the rain. They say that summer truly starts in Seattle on July 5th, but it seems that they didn't get the memo in Paris. What happened to my glorious sunshine?
The weather did limit us somewhat on our options as using the "Day 2" of our "hop on, hop off" bus didn't sound like a lot of fun in the rain. Us girls in the group decided that a quick trip to Galeries Lafayette was just what the doctor ordered and to make things easy on all of us, we decided to splurge on a taxi from the apartment to avoid the dampness and long walk/stairs of the Metro.
I found a nifty little "app" for my iPhone for G7 taxi service and using the app only, I ordered a taxi large enough to accommodate us 5 adults. At promptly the designated pick-up time, it arrived downstairs. Voila! Now how easy was that? I was happy that I did not have to provide address information in my poor French, so it was a win-win for everyone.
Dad wasn't too excited about the prospect of shopping, but we promised he would enjoy the food halls, the beautiful stained glass dome and perhaps even appreciate the view of the city from the observation deck. I think he actually took in the "view" from the stairwell. What's that saying, "you can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make them drink?" Well, we tried.
As you would expect on an inclement weather day in Paris, Galeries Lafayette was jam-packed full of us tourists perusing all the delicious things in the food halls. Although I tried to tempt Dad with this and that, he mostly just looked bored and ready to flee. But we pressed on, despite his lack of enthusiasm, managing to fill a bag with some assorted goodies. I'm pretty sure we set some Guinness Book of World Records with our speedy turn through that store. It's practically unheard of that three grown women could get in and out of Galeries Lafayette in under an hour and spend less than 35 Euros.
With our mission accomplished (we promised not to dawdle), we hailed a cab outside the store and set off in the Paris traffic towards the apartment. We were about a mile away from the apartment when I remember hearing a loud, screeching noise and realizing that I was being flung across the middle of the van towards April and Sean who were seated facing me. It took me a minute to realize that we had just been in a car accident!
Sean and April were facing towards the rear and smartly were belted into their seats; Dad, Lea and I were not so smart. All I can say is that it's a good thing that this was a fairly "minor" accident. I am just so thankful that Sean and April were there in front of us to catch our fall and I'm pretty sure that Lea got pretty intimate with April's lady parts, but hey, thank goodness for those cushions!
Our cab driver was the innocent party in this collision. He was driving along as he should be in his own lane and some idiot decided it was a good idea to cut in front of this much larger vehicle (a Mercedes SUV), apparently not correctly calculating how little time he had in which to make such a move; the odd thing is that we were not in an intersection, so I have no idea why the idiot driver thought it a great idea to basically cross over into our lane of traffic.
We were all a little shook up over the whole thing and then we kind of got mad as we were all standing on the sidewalk (thankfully the rain had stopped) and just stood there while the two drivers almost got into a fist fight while yelling at each other over who was at fault. Not once did our cab driver ask any of us if we were OK. Stupidly, I paid the cab driver some money and we just started walking. I guess I was kind of feeling bad for the guy and didn't want to stiff him his money.
So off we went. Luckily, we sort of knew where we were, so it wasn't long before we started to recognize the outskirts of our neighborhood. We all decided that we had earned some adult beverages, so we found a nice bistro and sat for awhile and just let the tension of the afternoon fade away.
We spent the rest of the evening just puttering around the apartment and getting our stuff organized for our departure in the morning to Normandy.