We made it back to Lille! It's been way too long since our last visit. I brought two of my sons here in October 2018. Five years later, I'm finally back.
First I'll start with the flight.
I bought my tickets months ago (I think March) and ended up getting the American Airline flight that has a layover in Dallas. It was about half of what Delta was offering at the time. I now know, just wait and cheaper flights will appear, even nonstop ones. The beautiful part about staying in Lille, is it's an hour from London, Brussels and Paris. So we've got options. In fact a month ago, Delta ran a flash sale of a nonstop from SLC to London for $200 with 40K miles. That would have been amazing if we could have snagged that one. But we had a great layover in Dallas at the Capital One Flagship Lounge where we were spoiled. Additionally the flight to Paris was so empty that Bradford an I each got our own row and were able to lay down across all three seats and sleep (well, try to anyway).
We arrived in Terminal 2A which is totally under construction. So we had to be bussed to customs. Fortunately, they've updated how they process you. It's way more automated and the line goes really fast.
If we hadn't stopped to use the restroom and had I had bought my train tickets while on the plane, we could have taken the 10:04 train to Lille and met our landlord by 11:15 a.m. But we ended up taking the 11:25 train and getting to Lille Flandres by 12:21. It was a super fast and super cheap train ride. This is the first time I've seen Ouigo trains stop on Lille Flandres. I'm all for it!
We decided to go head and take the metro to the apartment since we knew exactly where to go. We got in line to buy our 7-day metro card. We bought it no problem once we discovered they didn't accept AmEx. I looked at the metro ticket office and noticed there was no line. I was shocked, it is always really busy. So I asked Bradford if he wanted to see if you could buy our month-long pass for November. He agreed.
So bracing myself, I walked into the office. I was greeted by a nice man who wanted to know what I wanted. I told him I only speak a little French and that I wanted a pass for November. He got me a number and I was almost immediately called to a booth. In my broken French, I explained what I wanted. She asked for our passports and scanned them. Lo and behold! We were already in the system and up popped a picture from 2014! She retook our pictures and gave us new passes that can be recharged until 2033, that's 10 years! Sweet!
We got on the metro and headed to a metro stop I know so well, Bois Blanc. We walked right up to the apartment and was greeted by the same landlord I've used for the last 9 years, but this time I finally got to meet him in person. Between his bad English and my bad French, we had a great conversation and reminisced about the time that we worked together over email and Google translate to fix the water heater, LOL!
It's now about 2:30 and the question is do we take a quick nap or do we unpack? We chose to unpack and were done in an hour. Naptime. I know the rule is to stay awake if you can, but I've learned that I lose a day of productivity if I try to stay awake. I'm just useless.
I woke up at 4:45 pm and Bradford woke up at 6:15 pm. We then left to go to our favorite Carrefour. It's in a mall in Lomme, the town next to Lille. We bought all of our favorites and the things that we've missed. We got home at 8:30 pm. and had dinner. Oh man, it was all so good!
After dinner, I cleaned the kitchen and Bradford got right to work. I had some more tech to set up and then was able to write this blog post. My goal is to do my blog writing at night since it doesn't take a lot of brain power and it's fine if I make mistakes since no one reads these. It's more for just my personal journal and to help me remember what to do for next time.
My goal is to try to get to bed a decent hour even though it's still afternoon in Utah. I want to be productive in the mornings and have the energy to exercise and go on walks. I'm not sure when Bradford will call it a day. This really will be a grand experiment.