Note from 30-42 Avenue de Paris in Vincennes/Jet Lag

IMG_0005So it’s 3 AM in Vincennes. I am quietly reading “Paris Paris, Journey Into The City of Light” on my Kindle, being careful not to wake Hugh. He is sleeping so peacefully. Right in a good part, Kindle shuts down. There is no warning. Just “Kindle Is Shutting Down,” blip, black screen, nothing. I am wide awake in the dark-Kindle is back lighted so I had no room lighting on. I find the switch by the bed. No luck. It switches but no light comes on. I ease out of the Murphy bed. Across the room only 6 steps away is my iPad plugged into my new Western European adaptor. I left it charging because it is downloading a must see movie, “The Sessions,” at glacial pace over the free Hotel Wi Fi. In three more days I should be able to watch it. By the light of the screen I figure out that I don’t have the Kindle App on the iPad. Will downloading that also take 3 days? I remember that my iPhone is siting on the desk  3 steps from the kitchen counter. It is also plugged into a Western European adaptor. Feeling my way in the dark I find the chain for the desk lamp. This won’t shed much light. Hugh won’t be disturbed. The iPhone has email that I know how to use. I have learned to reconnect to the free hotel Wi Fi only because repeating  the process 15 or so times has burned it into my memory. One step back to the bed. I read 9 emails from friends. I laugh only to myself while tapping out witty responses. Hugh does not wake up. There is no more I can figure out how to do with the iPhone. It does not have the Kindle App either. I must find the cord for the Kindle.

IMG_0004Hugh wakes up as I am rummaging through cupboards. He joins the search. 20 minutes of suitcase scrounging, opening the mini safe, unzipping bathroom cosmetic cases, feeling floors under the bed, moving carefully piled clothes. He finds the Fannie pack. It contains a black cord. That must be it! He keeps searching in case there is another better looking cord. He is now fully awake and enjoying the process. There isn’t another better cord. We plug in the Kindle. We decide to risk interruption of the epic movie download to use the iPad to write notes in Evernote. We should take a photo! How does that work? Now we are hungry. We had gone out to eat our first meal, and though we visited the Monoprix afterwards we didn’t buy, only looked and gasped at the prices of the food. We are laughing because we have figured out that French people are thin because they cannot afford to eat. We remember that there is chocolate in the hotel welcome box. We are saved! But will this Evernote entry auto save??????


  1. When we travel is the USA we always keep tabs on where an Apple store is because they have FAST and FREE internet access, (Starbucks also, but generally at a lesser degree of speed than Apple stores). We do downloads at the Apple stores on all our Apple products as well as our PC products. Sometime, like in a mall, we don’t even have to go into the store to get a good signal. Maybe in Europe it may also be the case. Many of those ‘free’ Internet services in hotels and such monitor how much downloading one does and when they feel you have done whatever amount is ‘too much’ they cut you off or otherwise throttle your access back, (like in ‘now you movie will take a month to download’).

    • Thanks so much for the tip, Wally! We will probably be spending much time at the Apple Store at the Louvre (30 minutes by Metro) or there is a rumor that the police stations have great wifi access . If we can find the police station it might be more fun than the Apple Store. No Starbucks around Vincennes either. Next job for Hugh is to change this font! I hate it- too hard to read. Hope you and Wendy are having a great time.

  2. Ahhh Paris, I see nothing much has changed since 1973! The visuals are great a sitcom in the making…
    We used to say that the reason French women where thin was they lived on good black coffee, ciggeretes, and the occasional piece of chocolate..but it is Paris worth every thing that it throws your way.. Lead on Mc Duff…

  3. Cliff Despeaux says:

    What a pleasant surprise!
    Great to here from you guy’s so soon. The adventure begins, the telling will continue, the memories always there. Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming.

    Email for Jim and Arlene:

    • Will do , Cliff. Happy Super Bowl Sunday! We will be able to see the game from our Hotel room, if we can stay up that late-9 hours ahead of you! Hello to all the party folks gathered at Donna’s today. We miss you all.

  4. Wow! You guys actually did it!! I am so impressed. My favorite city, next to Poulsbo. Hint… download the free app “Free Wifi”. It provides a good mapquest-type and directions, even in Europe, and the free sites are generally coffee shops, etc. We ended our last trip in Paris, last October. Rainy but still a fantastic place.

    • So good to hear from you Roald and Linda. Thanks for the tip re the app. It is being downloaded (might have it by tomorrow!) as I type. We watched the Super Bowl till 5 AM so are moving slowly this AM!

  5. Sheri Johnson says:

    Aaah, there is nothing like a good hardback/paperback book! Don’t have to worry about that shutting down. 🙂

  6. Richard B. White says:

    Oh Brenda . . . . . U R A BABY, BABY, BABY!!!

  7. Rob Gelder and Bryan Johnson says:

    Ah. It’s always fun to figure out the technical issues, especially in jet lag mode. We miss you already. Wishing you both all the best. Perhaps we will see you in our travels.

  8. Rick Anderson says:


  9. Classic. I know exactly what you are talking about. Weefee (WiFi) does not seem to be top priority for Paris.

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