I also have yet to see the grave of Dom Pérignon, despite having been scheduled to do so.
The four-day-weekend that marked the end of last week seemed like it was going to start things off in a promising manner; we’d have a day of rest before our weekend excursion, and we’d be able to avoid the last-minute laundromat-related issue that was the cause of the very close call we had with the departure of our train to Bruxelles (though we did learn that asking the taxi driver to hit it does, in fact, result in him hitting it; I’ve never been so comfortable with handing a taxi driver a 20€ note for a sub-10€ ride). Indeed, we left the apartment punctually, arrived at Gare de l’Est at a reasonable time, and enjoyed the whopping 45-minute TGV ride to Reims (I wish the Thalys trains had the bells and whistles of the newer TGVs; I do enjoy knowing that the train did indeed sustain 300-plus kph, even though it was only a 45 minute run) despite the slightly weird old woman sitting across from us (we were stuck at one of the tables) snorking and snarfing and generally unpleasantly consuming her sandwich wrap.
Arriving early (from the perspective of the hotel), we wandered to the town’s only standing Roman ruin, the Porte de Mars. The aparthotel (the Purrito’s stated goal was to make the travel and the hotel cheap, since we know ourselves well enough that we were anticipating spending a decent sum of money on wine) was even magnanimous enough to let us check in 40 minutes before their official check-in time. A visit to the Cathedrale, the Palais du Tau, and Sushi Shop later, and we headed to bed, with visions of a Hunter-S.-Thompson-but-with-champagne-style-Saturday dancing in our heads…
…I awoke on Saturday morning with the unfortunately-familiar pain in my temple, coupled with nausea. Given my good fortune over the last few months (I’ve only had three or four migraines since arriving a year ago, a rather unprecedented and welcome reduction), I hoped that it was simply a low-sugar headache; downing the sugar packets next to the coffee-maker, I thought I might be well enough to go. I mucked about on my Surface while the Purrito slept, and was planning on keeping my mouth shut until we opened the blinds and the light poured in.
I very nearly vomited.
A bit of hand-wringing later, it was decided that I’d toss back some Treximet while the Purrito forged ahead; the tasting was with a small group, so there would be other people present. Moreover, it made little sense to ruin the trip for both of us when there was no reason that the Purrito couldn’t go and enjoy herself.
The Purrito thus went to the wineries, while I went back to bed; I would wake up a few hours later, better, if somewhat woozy, and proceed to wander around the city on my own. I wound up in an almost-entertainingly-ghetto part of the city (for which I have no pictures as it struck me as wise to put my camera away), went to a museum that was free if ultimately disappointing, got rained on, sat (in the rain) in front of the cathedral trying to find the nearest Starbucks as I’d seen ads throughout the city, gave up as I realized that the nearest one was actually some 150km away, in Disneyland Paris, and finally, bought a sandwich from a Monoprix whereien the cashier incredulously asked if I lived in Reims (it was apparently entertaining that I forgot the French word for napkin, which she was attempting to offer me) and then giggled when I responded that no, I live in Paris.
At least the train ride back was short.