A week ago, I came back from a week long trip with my girlfriend to France. Specifically Paris, Toulouse, and Gaillac. We were there for one of her friends from high school's wedding down in Gaillac, and it was a very enlightening experience. The only time I've been outside of the United States was when I went to Toronto for the last RvB: TO, let alone a country where I barely understood anyone.
It was fun, frustrating, beautiful, tiring, full of bread, and lots of coffee espressos.
There was one story though that transpired that I'd love to share here.
For the wedding, it was in a freaking castle. The castle was purchased by a family that retrofitted it into a hotel/wedding venue. The itinerary went from the ceremony starting at 3:30pm till the dancing and partying ending at 5:00am...yes. AM. It was to wed a Bulgarian woman (my girlfriend's friend) and a French man. Many different cultures were present, French folk, Bulgarians, Norwegians, Canadians, Americans, some Swedes...there was a lot of translation going on.
Anywho, we were staying in an Airbnb roughly 10 minutes away from the castle. It was an Airbnb that was attached to the owner's home. We (Three French friends, Rachel, and I) had stopped by, changed into our wedding attire, and locked the place up and took off for the party.
We ate, we drank, we danced, we drank again, all the way up until 3:30am when we decided to leave. We said our goodbyes, and headed back to the Airbnb.
We get to the Airbnb, it's raining and roughly 40° F outside, and are ready for bed because we have a 8:30am train ride back to Toulouse in roughly four hours in order to make another train back to Paris. The key won't unlock the sliding glass door. It was jammed somehow after we had locked it up prior to leaving for the wedding. We tried everything. Calling the tenant, knocking on his door, waking up his dogs that were outside in the process so they are barking like mad at 3:50am, and hocking the horn even to try and wake the tenant up because we needed to get in.
After a half hour of trying to get the door open, we decided to head back to the castle to see if there were any other rooms available. We get there around 4:15am, and the party is still going. Music blaring, drinking, all the works. The bride and groom are there to greet us and tell us they found a room for us to crash in. We walk through the dance floor and are presented with a giant room with 10 single beds, clearly meant for drunk people to crash in after a party. The loud music goes till 5:00am on the dot, and trying to sleep to some of the songs was definitely a trek. Rachel on the other hand has a freaking off switch and was out almost instantly...
We wake up at 7:00am because Rachel's phone alarm was the only one to survive the night. We get up, shake the two hours of sleep off, and proceed to leave. Well...we tried to leave because the castle WAS LOCKED AND WE COULDN'T LEAVE. The fire codes were definitely violated here, and we decided to start looking around for an exit somewhere in the castle. We looked high and low, literally...I went to the third floor to just see if there was a chance at a door to leave. We ended up finding a door in the kitchen area that wiggled a little bit. Given that we still needed to go to the Airbnb and get our luggage and get to the train station and all that.
So I decided to kick the door open. We needed out, so...yeah. The door did close on our way out and when we tried to open it back up, it wouldn't open so all in all, I don't feel bad for them locking us in.
We got to the Airbnb where the tenant told us that we apparently broke the door locking it the previous day. He gave us half of the money that it cost us to rent out the night in cash and said that we'd have to take it up with Airbnb for the rest. We got to our train, and made the connecting train to Paris.
So yeah. I highly recommend France as a great trip to take. Just not the whole breaking out of a castle.