Thursday, February 2, 2012

Viva la Village Parisien!

Twenty-odd years ago I was taken by an incredibly generous family (the parents of my then-fiance) to France. It was an awesome trip, and I had a wonderful time. Those people were so sweet to me. It was the furthest from home I'd ever been, my first time out of the country (I'd never even been to Tijuana), my first time on a plane!

Our trip started with a stay at Eurodisney. This might seem strange, but it wasn't: it made perfect sense... to them, and since they were paying for everything, I assumed they knew what they were doing. They'd been there and done all this before. We stayed one night at Village Parisien in a cabin.

I remember very little about this part of the trip. The cabin was pretty small. We were in the woods, sort of. I may have had some jet lag going on. I remember checking in with the Eurodisney people and being totally charmed by their French accents. Some of the people we met at Eurodisney were not French but the ones who were alleviated that old "French people are rude" rumor I'd heard, right off the bat. Yeah, I know: working for Disney, there must be some high standards, but it was a nice introduction to the people.

I remember being excited, and anxious. It was weird being in another country. I was kind of young, kind of naive. That night even though I think we were all not very sleepy (and it didn't get dark until about 10:30 pm, which was also... strange), we did everything at the "correct" time. I slept badly.

I had a bad dream. I remember the dream quite clearly:

I was in a fancy hotel, the likes of which we did not stay on that trip. My fiance and I went on lots of road trips but we almost always, with one exception, stayed in cheap-ass hotels. The weekend of the Northridge Earthquake, we had splurged on a room at the Westin St. Francis, where I had my first (and last) martini, but I can't remember if the trip to France was before or after the trip to San Francisco. We were probably a little scruffy for the St. Francis. Anyway, my dream:

I was in a fancy hotel. I got a call to come to the front desk, that there was a message or a telephone call for me. The front desk had lots of gold and red velvet and dark wood. That's how I knew it was "fancy," I guess. I picked up a phone on the desk. The person on the line was my brother, Andy. He was calling to tell me that my mom had passed away.

At that time in real life, my mom was perfectly healthy. There was no cancer, no nothing. I've had dreams about family members dying before, and they always freak me out; this one did, too, of course, but it was the first time I'd had it away from home.

I woke up all freaked out, and woke up my fiance. I might have been crying. It was scary - and he was nice about it. He took me somewhere to call my family, where I found out that of course my mother was fine, everyone was fine, and then we returned to the cabin, where his mom was making us breakfast.

Seriously: these were nice, decent people. I'm sure the dream was triggered by my anxiety about being somewhere new, on a big trip with important people in my life. Afterwards, I tried to forget about it and have a good time, and oh, DID WE. They took us to Normandy, where we stayed in a gite (a private home that we rented) in the countryside. It was beautiful. We drove around France in a rented car - I think it was an Audi. Then we went to Paris, where we stayed in another home, but this one was smaller, and in the suburbs. The food we ate! The things we saw! It was a grand trip.

Last night I had the same sort of dream, but this time, instead of being in a fancy hotel where I got the bad news, I was at that Eurodisney campground. I haven't thought about that place in years.

1 comment:

  1. I just remembered. The rental car? It was a black Peugot.