Other Bits and Pieces about the Trip

1) I did a stupid with my cell phone pretty quickly into the trip. The third day I was there, I turned off my cell phone because it was freezing up, and I couldn’t remember the new code Free had given me to get back into my SIM card. Result: I tried three different logical things, and none of them being right, my French SIM card was locked for the duration of my stay. The code I needed to unlock it was on our coffee table in, umm, Poitiers, and my boyfriend was in the south of France.

I almost started crying and then sucked it up. Fortunately Laurel had the bright and entirely logical idea that I should get an American SIM card and just do pay as you go, which ended up working very well. I had hesitated about doing this from the get-go, but figured that it would cost more than any fees I racked up in just sending texts from my French phone. AT&T has a minimum of $25 on a new pay as you go SIM card, but at least I was free to call as much as I wanted (at 10c a minute), and Ju could call me for free because Free now allows you to call US phones free of charge from your cell.

I ended the trip with about $12.50 left on the card.

2) I’m one of those dorks who regularly uses Foursquare. I use it in France primarily for fun but also to keep track of where I’ve spent my money, especially the little expenses (coffee, parking garages) that are typically cash.

But I get a kick out of checking into brand new places when I travel. Unfortunately, I can only do this when the place has free wifi. Booooo. More and more places do, allowing me to check in at such cool places as Golden Gate Park, the CA Academy of Sciences, Ritual Coffee Roasters in the Mission, and the SF and Newark airports. When we were in Texas in February, I managed to check in at Amy’s Ice Cream, the Pearl Market, and the Hueco Rock Ranch. But I would have liked to get to check in at the Ferry Building, at Alcatraz and at Muir Woods. Maybe someday…

3) The train station at CDG seems to have upped its game a bit. My memories of this station are cold, seatless, with terrible coffee and just sort of palatable sandwiches. It seemed to me Tuesday morning that they had at least doubled the number of seats in the outer area, as well as added some long tables for eating. The bathrooms were also, get this, free! With a little sign explaining that they had taken “our” feedback into account. They were still grimy, but I had brushed my teeth in the baggage claim bathroom before leaving the terminal. Also, the Class Croute at the station has actually tasty salads and desserts, although they’re still expensive. And there is now fifteen minutes of free wifi. Things seem to be looking up. I hope the trend continues and the hours I spend half awake in this place will become more and more pleasant and less and less like spending time in a holding area.

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4 thoughts on “Other Bits and Pieces about the Trip

  1. You found free Wifi at Newark??? Every one we tried required you to pay. And we had over 5 hours to kill. It was long and boring, and we watched like the same 3 stories on CNN over and over again. The other airports (Cleveland and Washington Dulles) had free wifi but Newark appears to be behind the times…

    • It only worked briefly on the iPhone, and never on the iPad, so it’s possible it was just a glitch. I was supposed to have three and a half hours there but my first flight was almost two hours late so that took care of that. I just had the time to wander around and long for an airport spa treatment that I couldn’t really afford!

  2. Co says:

    hardly ANY airports have free WiFi. San Antonio does! in our travels we have been lucky to find that more and more hotels are offering free WiFi, instead of charging $10 a day or worse, $10 a half hour.
    But then, the more people using the free WiFi the slower it is and more useless it is.

    • Dallas does now as well. That’s what initially made me think it was getting more widespread. But I guess you guys probably don’t through Dallas much anymore.

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