We got up early this morning and were in the lobby to pay our bill and get a taxi by 9:00. We needed to go to Orly Airport to pick up our car. I had arranged for a shuttle, but again, they were a no-show. The hotel called a taxi for us, but none came, so finally I walked a couple of blocks over to the taxi stand and brought one back. All the way there, I mentally rehearsed what I was going to say to the driver. I still had to wait about 5 minutes for a taxi -- I guess this is pretty typical of Paris in the morning as everyone seems to want to go someplace by taxi. When the taxi finally pulled up, I said, "Bonjour...I need to go to my hotel for my mother and my luggage, then go to Orly." I said it all in French & he understood me and there was no problem! Yea! When we got to Orly, I needed to call the car company to have them send a shuttle, but I couldn't find the courtesy phone and couldn't get a signal on my cellphone, so I went to the Information Desk and they called the company for me and a few minutes later we were on our way to the car place.
We got a brand new Peugot 5008 van -- only 8 km on it. It rides very nicely, but I'm still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles. Our luggage & Mom's ambulator fit in it just fine.
I missed one turn trying to get to the Autoroute, but found a gas station and filled up (the tank was empty), and found my way back in the right direction with no further problems. Once on the Autoroute, no problems. We stopped for lunch at a rest stop. It's about 182 miles from Paris to Beaune and we made pretty good time. When we got off on the Beaune exit, I did have some trouble figuring out where to put the money for the toll as there wasn't an attendant. American credit cards don't work in those machines because they have magnetic strips rather than chips. Finally, a voice came over the speaker and we figured it out. We got to the hotel with no probem, but the parking garage is really tight. I still haven't gotten a feel for how big the car is and it is bigger than the typical French vehicle, I was afraid I'd get it hung up on a wall or post. So left it sort of double-parked and went inside. The desk said they had a nice room, but there were some stairs -- I checked it out: too many stairs for Mom. They found another room, we got checked in. The toilet is in a tiny little cabinet parallel to the door, hardly any leg room. Mom says "this won't work." I go back to the desk. They have ONE more room -- "only solution" -- I check it out. The toilet is still in a tiny little cabinet, but this time it faces the door, so it will be okay -- we just won't shut the door. I think the woman was getting a little annoyed. I tried to move the car, but just couldn't get it turned around, so asked if there was someone who could help me. This garage is like a deadend and there is a post between each parking place. The hotel manager came went down with me, turned the car around like a pro, then moved his car which was in a much bigger space, so I could back into his space! What a nice guy! Tomorrow, I am going to park in an open lot down the street!
Later in the afternoon, I went out to scout around and walked down into the center of Beaune -- not too far, actually, but quite a walk for Mom. There's a really nice restaurant just down the street, but when I checked at the hotel desk, I learned they were booked solid (it's a Rick Steves' recommendation, too). I didn't want to take the car out & I knew Mom couldn't walk too far, but we found a nice place, Le Grand Bleu, and had one of the best dinners we've had on the trip. Escargo, beef steak (from one of the Charolet (sp) cattle we saw on the drive down), wine, and dessert. It was after 9:30 when we left the restaurant. We're finally getting the hang of eating dinner in France.
Well, now I'm all caught up on my postings and it's 11:30 & time to head for bed.
All for now. Take care.