We arrived with the maximum number of bags each at the maximum weight of 23 kilos. I sent one suitcase home with my mother but purchased lots of school clothes amongst all the other souvenirs we now had to get home. Added to that we were trying to get a few (well maybe more than a few) bottles of wine home and now that you can't carry liquids on board, they must go in the checked baggage. I am sure you can get the drift of where this word problem is headed. If you arrive with 9 bags, send 1 home but buy a ton of stuff - how do you get it all back?
We decided to leave a bunch of things that no longer fit or served a purpose or was really that important. Things that didn't make the cut included 1 glass pie plate, 1 glass loaf pan, 2 five lb weights, a boules set, scrapbooking supplies, books we finished reading, my 501 French Verbs book (which I am pissed I have to leave) a few clothes, and a set of sheets.
Still we were stuck with not enough room for everything and we are leaving tomorrow.
Solution: send SPY down to those cheapie suitcase stores by Chatelet in the 1st to buy the largest bag she can find for as little money as possible.
Problem: She's got to be fast because we are to be meeting SJ's officemates for a goodbye champagne toast in 2 hours.
So I am released from the house with my sprinting shoes on. Run to Parc Monceau and hop on line 2 to Etoile where I change to line 1. Ride to Pont Neuf and zip up the escalator. Now if I remember correctly there is an Etam that seemed to have a good sale on of cute clothes and bags which I haven't been able to get into because I always have the kids with me. However, I am alone now....
He will never know if I just zip in there really fast right?
So at 10 am just as I arrive, Etam opens their doors and I do a mega fast shopping sprint which results in 1 handbag, 2 shirts and a really cute scarf.
Etam bag in hand, I then sprint down a few blocks to the cheapy bag store and purchase a huge but cheap suitcase. Toss the Etam bag in the suitcase and dash back to the metro. I look at my watch and it is now 11:15 and I still have to get home for us to get to SJ's office by Noon. I guess my shopping excursion at Etam was not as mega-fast as I thought. But I think I am okay. I call SJ and fudge things a bit and say that I am about to board line 1 back home but am actually still a few blocks from the metro. A little white lie never hurt anyone and he'd never know. So as I am dashing back to Pont Neuf I decided to take a sidestreet cut-through to save some time when I spot a store called Darty. I chuckle to myself at who would name a store Darty and what could they possibly sell. As I am flying by the windows I look in and see that Darty looks surprisingly like a Best Buy. And as I am thinking that it looks like a Best Buy I realize that at home Best Buy stores sell iTunes gift cards. Remember my little unresolved quest a few weeks ago for that French iTunes card?
My head is now spinning. I don't have time. I don't have time. I found myself saying as I turned around and walked or rather ran into the Darty store.
Luckily I catch a cute guy's eye as I dash into the store and I say "Bonjour Monsieur, vendez vous des cartes cadeaux pour iTunes?" Instead of a blank stare, I got a smile and a "oui, madame jusque la" and he points me in the right direction. I head to the desk and ask a lovely woman for the iTunes card and she asks which amount did I want to buy. In my head right now I am thinking OMG after all this time, at the very last minute, I am finding someone who will sell me this damn thing!!! I explain to her that I had been searching all over Paris for the iTunes card and no one suggested I go to a Darty store. I then explained why I was buying it and I got a french nod of well done, skirting the system!
So, now really behind in time I dart off to the metro and luckily I am blessed with trains arriving just as I walk onto the platform. I get home in 15 minutes just as SJ is hopping in the shower. He looks at me and the suitcase (which is hiding the Etam bag) and I say that I was late because I found a store that sold me an iTunes card!!! He smiled and said "good for you!" and closed the bathroom door. I then quickly removed the Etam bag, tookout all the contents and quickly packed my covert purchase so he'd never know! Before he got out of the shower, all evidence of my Etam diversion was erased including the shopping bag.
We were half an hour late to the office but after a glass of Veuve Cliquot and some munchies nothing mattered.
PS: When we got home, I changed into my sexy SPY trench coat and logged into my computer as Angelique Belgique. Quiet as a church mouse I head over to my iTunes account and enter the code on the iTunes card I bought this morning. Then, in a miracle of all miracles, I bought the music we heard on the 14th of July at the Eiffel Tower concert.
UPDATE: Back in the U.S. when I loggin to the Angelique user on my computer the iTunes account is still linked to iTunes.fr. SCORE!!