My flight landed at approximately 7:00 a.m. After going through customs, I had to make my way into a waiting area just before exiting the airport. There were rows of people standing in front of me as I walked along the exit path. Some people were holding signs inscribed with the names of people they were there to pick up. I knew Andy wouldn't be holding a sign; I think we decided against it, so I didn't pay much attention to them.
Andy approached me as I reached the end of the line.
I hugged him and told him I was glad to finally see him. I couldn't say "meet" because I felt as though I already met him. Then I asked him if he was nervous. He squished his nose and said "a little".
As for me, this guy standing in front of me was a complete stranger. The thing about meeting someone on line is that no matter how well you know each other from writing and talking on the phone, once you are in each other's presence, you take several steps back. Our souls had to find each other again. I knew I had to reacquaint myself to him and I knew it would take some time before I recognized the guy with whom I had grown so infatuated over the computer.
Together, we found his car and headed to Dover to catch the ferry to France. Before getting there, we stopped for a coffee and croissant in a little coffee shop. In hindsight, I think that Andy needed to reassure himself before proceding. I suspect his friends probably advised him to do make an assessment before we moved forward.
He was very nervous. I took a picture of him at this shop and the expression on his face, his smile, was forced. It was the only time during our entire trip that I saw this expression. He relaxed soon enough.
We agreed that we would split the expenses, so I started to log everything. The starting mileage on Andy's car was 149,100. It was 50 degrees outside.
One of the first things that I discovered about Andy's car was that the window on my side would not roll down. He had broken the handle the day before and didn't have time to fix it. No big deal.
We had several hours of driving time ahead of us and we decided to take the most scenic route to our first destination: Mont St. Michel.
In France, unlike America, one can drive 90 mph. I was sort of ok with this but the scary part was the fact that once we came into France, we had to change the side of the road we drove on. Since I wasn't driving that shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong. When Andy had to pass a vehicle, he would have to scoot my side of the car out a little to see if he could pass thus putting us (me first) in the path of possible oncoming traffic. That combined with the fast speed was pretty unnerving.
We crossed the bridge of Le Havre. We drove through the sweetest harbor towns: Deauville and Trouville.
And finally at 9:00 p.m. we arrived to Mont St. Michel. It was so beautiful all alone in the distance lit up in soft peach lights.
There are many things about this place that make it famous but my focus was on seeing the tide come in. I had been here before and missed the tides. We agreed to stay two nights here in order to catch the tides.
We dropped our bags and found a local restaurant. After we ate, we went back to the hotel, showered and crashed.
We actually had a bungalow here and thankfully, separate beds. We were on a really tight budget so we agreed that when necessary we would have to share a bed.