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24 August: Monday

Paris, France: La Quinta, California: Just a normal day. Finally! Exercise. A swim. Calling the bank due to another fraudulent charge on our credit card. We try to put as much as possible on the card, especially when we earn double/triple points/miles for everyday purchases (groceries!). It all adds up to two flights to France. Every year, we seem to get compromised. Another new credit card, with new numbers will be delivered in a few days. So annoying. Why don't these crooks use their amazing super powers for good, instead of evil? Has this happened to you? Who ends up paying for this? Please comment below.

There was a brief moment this evening when we thought there was a slight possibility of rain. Living in Portland all those years, we know rain. We know thunderheads. We know moisture. Not here. The clouds reach the top of the mountains to the west and are usually completely dried-up by the desert heat before reaching the Coachella Valley. Today, the clouds made it all the way to La Quinta. I think I heard a little bit of thunder... then... poof. GONE.

We would have landed in Paris this afternoon, around 2p. No baggage claim. We both would have carry-on luggage only, and I would be traveling with clothing for six days, and a dress for dinner each evening. Not a different dress for each evening, but the same dress every evening. For 40 nights. No one will know/notice, (even on a cruise ship, trust me). Probably My Driver would not notice. Different scarf; different necklace = new outfit. I am not only the RV Goddess, I am also the Queen of Packing Light. 40 days in a carry-on? Pack for 5-6 days. Easy! 

We would have taken a taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the Esprit Saint Germain hotel except they sent us email a few months ago stating we were no longer welcome, for our three-night reservation. We haven't stayed on the Left Bank since Lisa was in high school, so thought this would be a good time to explore the area around the Luxembourg Garden - while also giving Dave a great place to jog in the morning - with the real purpose of having a few days to adjust to the time-change, before heading-out on our European vacation. We are old.

We probably would have a nap, before walking across the Seine to see the damage from the Notre Dame fire, then maybe stop to the bar at the Hotel Regina (near the Louvre) for a cocktail. The staff in the English Bar (in their slim Dior suits) get so excited when an American someone comes in and asks for a gin martini SHAKEN! They find the sterling shaker, have so much fun, and put on such a show, it's like they should pay you for the experience. Mais non.

We would refuse the over-splendid silver three-tiered tower of snacks, cheeses, nuts, and tidbits the gentlemen working at the English Bar bring to accompany our cocktails, though they are on-the-house, or we could never eat dinner.

Instead, in La Quinta, we had French (actually from France) brie, baguette slices, French (actually from Coachella) radishes and hazelnuts for our appetizer. Served on Limoges (actually from France) porcelain plates. Close enough. This is a pretend vacation.

After our drink, we would walk back across the river, probably on the Pont du Carrousel, and find a quaint little cafe along the way for steak frites, before trudging back to our hotel to our bed. Exhausted, but happy.

The plate would most-likely look exactly like the above photo, that I prepared tonight in my home kitchen (so y'all can do this as well). One little filet mignon (cut in half the wrong way - sorry, but the steak was over 3-inches tall), frites, a lettuce garnish, and a bit of green beans. Bearnaise sauce on the steak. (I bought the Bearnaise in a jar, already made. I needed two tablespoons, and am just too lazy to make that. It was a fancy jar of Bearnaise, made in France. Forgive.)

It wasn't a REAL day in Paris, of course, but it was as close as one can get during a COVID pretend vacay.

BACK IN THE REAL WORLD: Kitchen knobs and shelves above my desk are supposed to be installed tomorrow morning, plus vertical dividers in the cabinet above the double ovens. Then, I can officially be "moved-in" to my kitchen.

Until my next update, I remain, your jet-lagged correspondent.

6 thoughts

  1. Yes, we have endured the same rituals when it comes to compromised credit cards. Our credit union is always at the ready and has us up and running with a new card within 24 hours. it has happened several times, but the credit union – or we – catch it early so there have never been significant charges. The most recent amounted to three charges, each less than $5 at some laundromat or dry cleaners. Of course I am sure they were hoping those charges would go unnoticed before they moved in for the big spending.

  2. Our credit cards (both my husband’s and mine) have been hacked regularly since we began traveling 8 months out of the year. It’s extremely frustrating but the cc company always sends a new one and always removes the charges. The last one was for $9000 charged all around the Dallas Ft. Worth area! Since then we receive a text message anytime our card is used for a purchase over $20 or if we weren’t present when it was used (as in an on-line purchase). Finger’s crossed!

  3. Our biggest CC fraud was a super expensive laptop sent to the card holders address by mistake. We sent it back and got a new credit card!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful first day in Paris. We are in the process of finally planning some time away from work and the desert heat, going up to Olympic NP and Lassen Volcanic NP in our truck camper.

    Thank you for all of your posts recently, I’ve really been enjoying the conversation. I found your blog a few years ago when looking for RV recipes. Now, several have become “family favorites” and have made their way into my regular rotation.

  5. We remember staying in the Hotel Regina in Paris.
    Loved the caged in elevator and the tv programs in French which disappointed our sons!
    This was so long ago that we had to pay francs for our stay and all the sightseeing tours they arranged. Fortunately our kids had some money 💰 to help us pay the bill!

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