This is the hotel where I stayed. On the way to the hotel, I am struck by the size difference in cars. Most cars are 1/2 the size of cars in the United States. In the room, I am struck by the small size. It is small, but I am small and it meets my needs. The bed is nearer the floor than beds in my own country. The toilet paper is about 1/2 the width of toilet paper in this country, I would assume to discourage waste. The hardest thing to adapt to in the room is the bathtub as it sits at a higher level than the floor. I slip twice prior to the event, but I am able to catch myself rather than fall; however, following PBP I take a good tumble and am thankful I do not reinjure my back after landing on my tail bone. It makes me think of when I fractured my spine and missed a couple of months of holding my daughter, yet how lucky I was that it didn't cause me to have lasting pain. Initially they told me I would be on medication for my back the rest of my life, but I told them no and was lucky enough to have my body heal and not be in constant pain. I miss my pillow and determine that next time I will pack less, yet I will include my pillow. Why does the world like such fat, fat pillows? In this aspect, France appears to be like the United Stated. The motel does not have soft drink machines or candy/snack dispensers. There is a bar by the check in desk, and you can get alcohol and soft drinks there. On the far side of the hotel (I didn't get a picture), there are oodles of outside cafes and a mall with Carefour, the French version of Walmart. There is a man made pond by the tables and it looks quite romantic. I later get some white wine from Carefour and it tastes like ambrosia. It also calms my nerves.
When I arrived, everyone was putting together their bikes other than the few whose bicycles were lost during transit. Mine does not appear to have been opened, and I am thankful. One woman on the bus over was on the verge of tears as her bicycle had not appeared, and my heart goes out to her as I think I would be crying. Such a long journey. I open my case and David jumps right in putting it together. I later learn that Steve Rice asked him to do this. I don't argue as I worry about being able to do it right, but I watch closely so that I can pack it again correctly.
I was frightened on the trip over, but due to wearing my geeky red shirt with "American Team" on it, hooked up with Alex from Lexington and was able to follow his lead. I don't know why I am such a baby about new experiences. I wonder if it is this hard for everyone and why I am so insecure. I know I am not particularly intelligent, but I also know that I am not completely an idiot. The ear planes I bought do keep my ears from causing me such intense pain as I have experienced in the past on longer flights.