Wednesday, July 29, 2015


photo from internet

Thank you Linda Kay for having the WIT AND WISDOM meme so we can express our creative writing urges once a week. I love reading everyone's stories that are inspired by a photograph. 

So here's mine!!


The ride from the airport was over. We were finally at our destination. The French cabby opened up the trunk of his cab and dumped our luggage out onto the sidewalk and drove off. As a gentle rain began to fall we stood staring at the entryway of a little hotel that we had chosen from a travel book. Hey, the book said the staff spoke English!! That was enough for us. 

After checking in we climbed a very narrow iron staircase to the second floor. As we entered our room we just looked at each other in disbelief. It looked like camp quarters, three single beds lined up against one wall, the beds draped with stiff line-dried cotton blankets. A large wardrobe sat against another wall, a phone hung from it's position near the door. A stack of hard raggedy towels sat on a shelf. After the all night flight from New York we were too tired to protest. We slipped into our nightclothes and crawled between the scratchy blankets. 
my daughter in our awful hotel room. 

It was January, a strange time for visiting Paris, but my daughter had come over to work as a model. I would stay one week and then leave her in this place. Right now, all we needed was sleep. Sometime during the night I awoke, an urge for the bathroom, and discovered that we were freezing cold. I piled our heavy winter coats over the blankets then I edged out the door. The 'community' bathroom was down the hall. 

The room was very dark. I found the switch and turned the knob. Light, glorious light!! I walked over and sat down, intent on the business at hand. I had this sudden fear. Suppose someone else had a midnight bathroom call. Did I bolt the door? I don't think I did. Why was it so cold in here?  I glanced up to see a window near the ceiling. It was open! Suddenly I am plunged back into scary darkness. The knob on the light switch evidently was a timer. The French don't want you wasting electricity! 

So, now it's pitch black and my fingers are numb from the cold. I search for my paraphernalia that was around my feet. I stumble across the room, find the door knob and rush out into the dimly lit hallway. Well, I never had that happen to me before!! Darkness, single sheet hard slick brown toliet paper stacked in a corner, cold air blowing down my bare b.... (you can put in back or butt here according to your own thought). 

I crawl back into bed, snuggling deeper underneath that awful, insufficient blanket, my coat warming my feet and legs and fall into a deep sleep. 

It's ten o'clock when we awake. Our bodies are so screwed up from jet lag. We do know that we are starving but we have no sense of time. We need a shower. Oh, that was an experience in itself. Another large, community shower room, strange looking faucets protruding out of the wall while you stood on a bare floor with no barriers to protect your privacy, a bar of weird, strong smelling soap in a tiny dish. We'd brought with us the provided towels that I would have discarded long ago if they were mine. We quickly wet and soaped down, rinsed off and ran out of there. Who might wander in? Was the water timed like the lights were? We had no idea. Dressed, we head downstairs for those yummy French pastries they said would be available. What!! We slept through breakfast. Oh dear. Things are not working out as we had planned.

my obvious glee when we decide to move out of this weird hotel. Travel book in hand!!

To make a long story short... After breakfast in a cute little cafe, we set out in search of a more 'Americanized' hotel, a room with it's own bathroom and fluffy towels and sweet smelling soap. We found one on Rue de Seine and moved right in. We had left behind the little French hotel from hell. Lesson learned, never chose a hotel in a foreign country from a travel book. It was scary!!


  1. Delightful post, Mom! You had me laughing at the end. Loved it!

  2. I know know exactly what your experience was like Latane - I arrived at several similar 'hotels/B&B's from hell over the years! Americans who are first time visitors to Europe, (and especially back in the day when we traveled without the aid of the Internet, photos, and reviews from others), are often shocked at how tiny and bare bones the facilities can be.
    Loved your pix and the story - but now want to hear more about your daughter the model!

    Hope you're chill in' out in Virginia! Hotter than you know what down here.
    Mary -

  3. So which daughter was the model? Your tale brought back memories of a hotel I experienced in Dillingham, Alaska. Bathroom down the hall and my needing to go in the middle of the night. Luckily there were two because the first one I entered had someone sleeping in the tub! Freaked me out. Fortunately I had to spend only the one night there and was back in Anchorage for the rest of my business trip.

  4. Oh goodness. I hope your next hotel was better. We stayed in an old hotel in San Antonio that was supposed to be 4 stars.
    There was a shoe under the edge of the bed! Wow I better we could all some funny hotel stories. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. I'm visiting from Wit and Wisdom thanks for sharing. I am following you now. I linked a little short post.

  5. I need a nice hotel room to come home to at the end of my day. A vacation is so special, I would rather be home than be uncomfortable in the hotel I'm staying in!

  6. Latane, what a great adventure! One never knows what is around the corner when you travel. We had a similar experience in Russia on a trip there. The rooms were very sparse. Thanks for joining in!


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