The wrapped in blue milk chocolate by Ivoria was the first French chocolate taste test by the Giants. They were not impressed with comparisons to Hershey’s like “this isn’t even as good as Hershey’s” or “I like Hershey’s better.” European chocolate is supposed to be a class of it’s own not near to the experience of American chocolate.
Giants rating of Bio Ivoria chocolate:
11:00pm at night in Paris at the Hertz counter that is scheduled to close at 11:30pm and nobody is there. This after a day of a delayed ferry, race car taxi, and a run that allowed a glimpse of a departing train – well worth the read by clicking here.
After a 40 minute unproductive phone call with Hertz (talking to 4 different team members through escalated transfers), and a 30 minute taxi ride to the hotel the Father of Giants realized that the reservation with Enterprise at Versailles for the next morning never was cancelled. What a miracle since all 6 passenger vehicles were triple the booked price and none with automatic (driving stick isn’t normal for the Giants and a refresher course with 6 lane roundabouts isn’t advisable). Morning traffic is Paris is being navigated by a professional while this post is completed.
Oh there is more. Last night when the Giants left the train station for a taxi there was a line of 100 people queued for taxis – Paris is busy and with a train strike things are worse than normal during this high season. The facilitator at the taxi line enquired how many we were and put us right into the first taxi – to do so he took a lady out of it, she was already boarding!
Please read slowly to allow the suspense to build properly:
•ferry from Dover to Calais is scheduled to depart
•set sail and numerous crew members say the voyage is 1.5 hours – meaning the boat should arrive at 6:36pm in Calais
•crew also said leaving the boat takes 15 minutes including the bus to the terminal
•Google says the taxi ride to the train station is 20-22 minutes
•looks like the Giants could get to the station by 7:11pm – 11 minutes late
•boat docks – 6 minutes before the crew estimates
•fastest taxi ever after it took 15 minutes getting off of the boat and taking the required bus ride to the ferry terminal
•the driver acted very nervous for the Giants, biting his nails and visibly sweating – he had a football (soccer ball) logged between the dash and the windshield, but could not take any energy to discuss what clearly he loves
•the race track efforts were interrupted by a police van that looked like it would pull over the Taxi and Giants to ruin the trips chances at success
•after the police exited the highway the race commenced again before the last two miles were considerably slowed by a semi truck
•ran in and watched train leave the station – like a movie where the man runs to the station to find he is a moment late to catch his love before she leaves the country
•the Giants hoped to turn around to see that the sought after solution would actually be standing behind them
•the very helpful and friendly staff and a new taxi driver were there – not as dramatic as a movie, still a solution for the desired ends
•tickets exchanged free of charge even though they clearly state they are not exchangeable or eligible for a refund
•new train booked, kind of, for Lille Flandres train 9:37pm to Paris-Nord arriving at 11:02pm
•more like a permission slip pinned to our shirts from our moms saying we are again allowed to go out for recess with the other kids at school
•car rental closes at 11:30pm so a 11:02pm arrival to the station in Paris will be a blessing
•started a negotiated taxi ride to Lille Flandres station that is supposed to get us there by 8:54pm
•cool setup on the taxi to have seats facing each other
•traffic delays as this is authored – wish the Giants luck!
–updated at 9:37pm Giants made the train and only had to fend off one passenger from the seats claimed – passage was approved with no assigned seats so it was catch as catch can — he graciously allowed a Giant to sit in his seat and found another for himself
— updated at 10:00pm at the only stop fended off a persistent man who would have broken up the gang
— updated at 10:27pm world will never know if the permission slip to ride was valid since the ticket checker walked by the Giants twice and never asked to see tickets from the group
— updated at 11:30pm Rental car closed 1/2 hour early – Click here to read about Hertz stranding Giants.
— updated at 12:30am Oh there is more! Last night when the Giants left the train station for a taxi there was a line of 100 people queued for taxis – Paris is busy and with a train strike things are worse than normal during this high season. The facilitator at the taxi line enquired how many we were and put us right into the first taxi – to do so he took a lady out of it, she was already boarding!
Ever hear of dynamic currency conversion?
500 Euros and you think, “How much is that in US dollars? Quick math to calculate this isn’t easy for everyone. So foreign merchants will often offer to perform a dynamic currency conversion, even calling it DCC. This service immediately converts the foreign amount to dollars, giving you a better idea of how much you’re about to spend. Sounds great, right? There’s a catch. Merchants aren’t offering this out of kindness—they charge a significant fee for DCC, as much as 7% of the purchase price.
We knew there was a reason this is offered, not until researching did we know the high price of convenient conversion.
The Goodman Giants will visit France this summer as part of EPIC Camp Goodman! If you are looking for some distinct insight from a real family about travel then please check back and see how we blog about activities, chocolate, friendliness to tourists, transportation, food, and the quality of the water.
One never hears a genuine complement of how someone is as “Friendly as a Frenchman.” The French are known for love, not friendliness – how does that work? (family friendly comments below please) The Giants may soon see…and hopefully the popularity of this blog does not impact negatively the Friendliness to Tourists experiences.