*Today I am linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop by answering the prompt: Share a memorable road trip story.
In honor of several friends traveling in London this summer this is a repost of my family’s mishaps and shenanigans traveling from London to Paris.
Goodbye London? Not So Fast.
Wow we had fun in London! Although it was time to leave we had a few hours before our Eurostar train left London for Paris, so we went to Covent Gardens to an area called Seven Dials, seven streets of boutiques and fantastic vintage stores. I love vintage stores! Unfortunately we only had a short time to explore before we had to get back to the hotel, collect our luggage and make our 3pm train to Paris. “We have time,” my husband said, and encouraged my son to try on and buy a sweater. By the time we paid for the sweater and got lost finding the tube station we were pushing our time. We had no margin. I believe in margin. I live by margin in my everyday life, preferring to be early rather than late. Margin is crucial while traveling in a foreign country. My husband does not live with margin, he pushes the limits of time. He is always flying out the door, trying to make a flight that leaves in 15 minutes, a whirlwind of forgotten laptop plugs in his wake. Can you guess what happened?
The projected 30 minute tube ride to the train station turned into a 60 minute traffic-clogged taxi ride. When the taxi pulled up to the train station we jumped out, ran/pulled our luggage through the train station and cleared security and customs within 5 minutes. We had a chance to make the train leaving in 3 minutes! The attendant called up to the train to tell them that we were coming; we still had a chance! Except….the elevator was already full with a woman and her luggage…..and it was the last elevator the train conductor allowed up to the platform before pulling out the station.
Yup, we missed our train to Paris.
The ticket agent tried very hard to find seats on the next few trains, but there were no seats available for a family of four. Rather than wait several hours (or maybe even the next day?) for an available train, my husband bit the bullet and bought upgraded tickets for the next train, leaving in only 30 minutes. The First Class car was practically empty (except for one other family with, unfortunately, unruly toddlers and disinterested parents–Bebe’s Kids). Our ticket price also included a delicious snack with red wine for the adults and hot chocolate for the kids. It was a lovely way travel; we were in Paris in just 2.5 hours and only 30 minutes behind schedule. However, it was an expensive reminder to always leave room for margin! It was an adventure and will be a funny story to tell of our vacation…..some day.
Our snack on the Eurostar train, traveling between London and Paris.
Girly reading on the Eurostar train.
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