Thursday, June 1, 2017

Train Travel

Phew . . . we made it to our hotel and after I explain our hilarious travel day you will know why this is such an accomplishment.

Wednesday was our last day in Montauban. We woke up, researched, checked out of our hotel and walked to the mall for wifi, where there was a literal place called, "L'Espace Wifi" that seemed to be meant just for us. We ran into our favorite security guard, who greeted us this time with a bisou. Then we packed up, caught the bus, then waited for our train. I wish you could see pictures of the two of us with what feels like WAY TO MUCH stuff to tote far distances every few days. Today my arms really felt it.


But anyways, we made it to Toulouse and got onto our next train, when suddenly there was an announcement. Apparently a crane had fallen onto the train tracks and our train would be delayed at least two to three hours. This sounds stressful enough, but picture hearing it in a foreign language. The stress increases I promise. We followed the passengers out of the train, with some of our luggage, to wait in the station. We bought food, and tried to chill, but I just couldn't stop feeling anxious. It was so strong. I kept telling myself things like, they told us two to three hours. Just sit tight. It will be fine. You notified the hotel that you would be checking in late. Everything will work out. Yadda yadda.

I was praying to feel calm. And distracting myself with other things, but I couldn't rest and just thought I would go check and see if the train was still there and everything was still REALLY fine. As I walked out I could see the train was still there, but the sign said that it was "Supprimer" which means cancel (I knew that word from changing my phone into French...blessings!) I hurriedly rushed over to the ticket office, but the police guard stopped me and asked me what I was doing. He agreed to let me in, but said it was about to close so he told me I better hurry. I WAS THE LAST PERSON HE LET IN THE DOOR!

I ran to grab Marie, we picked up our stuff, she ran to grab the rest of our luggage off the train and I went to try and book another train. I was so nervous. I was thinking, "here we go. We need to find a hotel on the spot and we will still have to pay for the hotel we have already booked."

The lady helping me told me to go to a mysterious door called, "Porte 20." As I wandered out, wide- eyed, I just hoped I could find this place. Then I saw a man that looked familiar, like he had been on the same train and asked him if he knew where Porte 20 was. He said he was going there too. WE FOUND THE DOOR. Thank you random man! It was totally not obvious and I am not sure I would have found it otherwise.

That was only the beginning of the blessings. The train station booked us a new ticket, AND a hotel! At no charge to us! MIRACLE! And four men walked us safely to the hotel. And guess what! It was the nicest one we had stayed in so far. It was definitely out of our price range. So much room! A robe and candy on the pillows. A cool comfy couch. A rooftop exit at the top of the hotel, to look out over the city. All I can say is, this little disaster turned out to be a blessing in disguise. YA BUDDY!



I had to have pictures of every angle. 







My face of shock and excitement!


We got to take in the town and relax like royalty out of the blue.



We hung out on the rooftop at night and then I spent the morning up there writing in my journal. It was a very cool dreamy moment for me. 



The same face of wonder and excitement! Rooftops for the win. 






Breakfast was included. Hallelujah!

Before you relax though, and get all comfortable in your seats at home, let me tell you, there is more. On the train I got two emails--one from our hotel in Marseille that said my credit card hadn't gone through correctly and they were giving me 21 hours to fix it or my reservation would be canceled. One minute later I got an email saying our hotel had been cancelled, but since my credit card information was incorrect, I wasn't charged for the cancellation.

I was a little worried, not going to lie, but I felt calm. I realized in that moment the guidance of the Spirit. Sometimes you need to feel anxious, get moving and figure out the problem. Other times the Lord allows you to feel peace that it will all work out. I was grateful to feel peace, that is for sure. We ended up finding a better hotel with a kitchen and more space and we didn't get charged a cancellation fee at our other hotel.

All I can say is the Lord is blessing our journey and helping us get where we need to go. I am exhausted after so many trains, buses, and metros. I am tired from hauling lugging, that, after I get home, I swear I'll never be able to look at again. But for now, all I can say is, "C'est la vie."

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