I arrived at the Stansted airport around 11PM on Wednesday, and by 11:30, I once again had my backpack in my possession and was through customs. I had been planning on taking a night bus back to Balham so I could spend the night sleeping without the company of several hundred other people. My dad said that he didn’t want me to travel around London by night, and said that he would pay for me to stay at a hotel for the night. I decided that this was silly because I wanted to get back to Balham as quickly as possible so that I could see my dad, who I had not seen in nine months. So, instead, I slept at the airport, and caught an early bus back into the city so that I could then travel on the Underground, as early as I possibly could. I got back to Balham around 9AM, and got to see my dad!!!!! It was wonderful. We didn’t do a huge amount, but spent the day catching up, catching up on washing, and just hanging out in general. I took it upon myself to introduce him to the comedic magic of Michael McIntyre, who he enjoyed very much. That night we all went out to Pizza Express for a nice dinner.
Friday was another lazy day, and we spent our time packing for the month we were about to spend in France. We watched Michael McIntyre’s second comedy DVD, and enjoyed a night in with the Balham Millers.
On Saturday, my dad and I finished our packing, and headed off to Kings Cross St. Pancras station so that we could get the Eurostar to Paris!! Security was disorganized and it took a while to get through, but once that had passed, we got some sandwiches and before long, were seated on the Eurostar, heading for the Gare du Nord, in Paris!
The ride was smooth, and the train traveled so rapidly!! It was quite incredible because when the train went under the channel, you wouldn’t suspect that that was the case if you weren’t thinking about it. Once we had arrived, we walked to our hotel and checked in, and then it was nap time for a while. After nap time, we headed back to the Gare du Nord so that we knew where we needed to go in the morning in order to pick up our rental car. After surveying the rental company’s location, we wandered around for a while, and stopped to get dinner at a restaurant. I had ‘Moules frites,’ mussels with fries, accompanied by a Stella; it was delicious. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and watched some French television before calling it a night, as we had a long day of driving ahead of us.
On Sunday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and headed to Europcar to pick up our rental. Within half an hour, we were off on our way to the Dordogne, where we would be spending the next ten days. The Dordogne is one of my dad’s favorite places in all of France, and he was very excited to share it with me as I had never been before! So, off we went!!
From left to right: My uncle Robert, my dad, my cousin Jamie, my cousin Hattie, my aunt Fran, and me!