Thought I should fill you in a little about my holiday escapades. We went to a few different places in France, staying in three different accommodations. they were very different and I just have to share with you the contrast that we experienced.
We got to Paris and arrived at our hotel to be told that our room had been upgraded…. to a lower floor funnily enough. It was lovely though as it had its own little courtyard. The room was great and had air con, which was very welcome in the 30 odd degree heat!! I’m not sure which my boyfriend was more excited by – the mini bar or the fact that we had twin beds!! No, it wasn’t that he couldn’t bear to share a bed with me any longer he just decided that this was the perfect way to sleep. Two single beds pushed together. I tend to hog space you see and he loved the fact that he had his own bed but was still next to me! It also had the perfect line down the middle so I couldn’t easily claim i was on ‘my side’ when I wasn’t!!
As for the mini bar, you would think we normally lived in squalor! I reminded him that it would be very expensive… but we later discovered that in Paris, the prices all around in bars and restaurants were ‘mini bar’ prices! So we enjoyed a wine and beer as we got ready, freshly chilled. And I took advantage of the Toblerone when we came back to the hotel after a day of sightseeing!
So yes, we had luxury. Lovely, white fluffy towels (why they always so amazing in hotels??), a bath (we don’t have one at home so even in the heat, I insisted on having one – wine by my side too!), the tempting mini-bar and lovely, separate beds all to be enjoyed with the wonderful invention of air con!
2 nights later and we left for Evian where we to spend 4 nights. The accommodation there was the reason we planned the whole trip. My boyfriend’s workmate was loaning us a flat there to say thanks for some work my bloke had done for him. It belongs to his mother-in-law and we were allowed it for free! Great! Free yes but oh it came at a price. We came crashing down to humble, domestic, unclean reality. I just want to say first that I am truly grateful that we had the flat and we wouldn’t have been able to have afforded the rest of the trip of we hadn’t had it for free. But i just have to tell you how yuk it was. It is the lady’s main home and there was clutter everywhere. Honestly, the toilet room was surrounded by a big green tub, which I can only assume was weed killer. The bathroom had a big, fold-up washing line in the bath! The barbecue stood proudly by the sink in the bathroom also. There was two fold-up beds proppned up against the double bed in the bedroom, along with sun loungers – so we had to shimmy to get into bed. The wardrobe was crammed full of her clothes and a standing rail in the living room was also (but I managed to hang up some of mine on that too.)
The kitchen had every gadget and utensil you could imagine with some grime added in for good measure. It had a portable, two hob cooker that had a note saying ‘Do not use the cooker until the water has heated up or the electricity will trip.’ Weird. There was also a fold-up garden table and more sun loungers and plastic chairs all propped up in the kitchen. No where to move. We had to move all this stuff mentioned outside onto the balcony and in the garden to make room for ourselves, let alone out stuff.
I hated to think it, as I said I am grateful that we didn’t have to pay (I would have been pretty p*ssed off if we had to pay to be fair!), but I would have been ashamed for anyone to see that I lived like that, let alone loan it out to extended friends and family! I also felt angry at her. Totally unreasonable… but I thought ‘God, you are so lucky to be able to afford a flat like this with a great view of Lake Evian and this is how you treat it!’ Makes you think some people just don’t deserve money. So riches to rags indeed. We spent the next four days out as much as possible or on the balcony! We didn’t use the cooker hob once but had a go with the barbecue – rude not to when it was standing there waiting to be used! I told my boyfriend to tell his friend the flat was ‘well equipped’ (a positive spin on cluttered) and ‘had a great view of the lake’ (rather than a horrible view inside) and had a brilliant balcony (not a horrible living space inside) – that’s how horrible properties get sold right?
For our last night we went to Reims. I was glad to leave the flat but was not pleased that all my clothes now smelled of ‘old lady’. We got to our hotel and was in luxury again – yay! Another great room. I did panick though because I opened a door and found a toilet – haha – I wondered where the shower was?! My boyfriend swiftly opened an amazing glass painted door to reveal an amazing shower room (no barbecue and washing line included!). We had a mini bar again, but didn’t indulge in the 35 euro champagne – not that into ‘riches’! The hotel had a pool… which we had to ourselves when we went for a swim that afternoon. We had gone from shimmying around a crowded flat to a big, open swimming pool to ourselves. Bliss. There was also a steam and sauna – places where we were meant to get hot, not just a flat with no air-con! It was great. Back to riches again for the end of our holiday.
Now we are back home, in our three bed semi – and I think it is somewhere in between! But we have a bigger fridge and the wine in it is free (or paid for very cheaply on the ferry ride home!)
Whether you have brilliant or rubbish accommodation, you mustn’t let it spoil your holiday because no matter what it’s like, it always gives you a story to tell 😉
See you tomorrow,