After a flurry of emails with the property owner of the apartment being rented for the month, she was amazed I would stay alone. The apartment has room for six people.
I explained that I was only one, but the price of her lodgings was so reasonable, that I did not mind a big empty place.
Before I reserved though, she did ask if I would mind if others joined me if the occasion arose. As long as the “others” were not a fraternity, or something equally as obnoxious, I did not mind.
About 3 weeks before I left, she let me know that for 4 days (25th – 29th) a family from France would be lodging, parents and three children.
Great. While not quite as bad as a fraternity, it was sure to be close. I figured I would survive 4 days though.
Except, the family visiting turned out to be wonderful! Pierre and Florence were on vacation with their three ADULT children. They ranged in age from 18ish to 24ish. I had been expecting three CHILDREN!
Fortunately, they all spoke English. The father worked in the banking industry, the mother part time in the town council of their district in Paris. The oldest daughter was already out of school and working in a consulting firm. The middle daughter was in her last semester of college, and the youngest son was in his first year of college. I do not know how the parents came to know English, but the children all learned it in school. They also had learned German!
Each day we would meet in the morning, talk of our plans for the day, and then head off in separate directions. At night, we would meet again after dinner for tea and to discuss the sites we had seen. We also discussed the difference between American and French money, business, schools, credit cards and a smattering of other topics.
We also talked of their visits to the United States. When they said it was hard to understand the English spoken by those in Boston and New York, I told them not to worry, most times even Americans cannot understand each other!
On their last night here, I put together a slide show of the photos taken so far on my journey and shared the views over tea. (Boy, what a geek I am!) I regret that I did not ask for their email address. It would have been fun to keep in touch with them.
Today, the property owner has informed me to expect the arrival of more guests. Two Italian couples will be staying here from Jan 1st until the third or fourth.
I wonder what tales their visit will bring.