It was an old fashioned hotel. Similar to the sort I enjoyed in the 1970's. Only this one was en suite and cost about ten times more! It boasted a 5th floor walk up hotel room the size of a janitor's closet and was staffed with a rather suspicious desk clerk. When Randy went down for breakfast, the desk clerk ran across the street so he could stare into the breakfast room. He thought he was going to foil our plot to pay for one breakfast and pinch enough food to get the second one free. Randy stared back, waving to him with a delicious French baquette in his hand.
Our stay was uneventful until check-out time. "Madame, may I have the key?" I told him it was in the room and we left for the Gare de Lyon train station. Halfway up the block we heard him calling us. "Madame the key, it is NOT in the room." Catastrophe had struck. An exhaustive search ensued, but no key was found.
This picture is supposed to look like a vortex in an old movie when things get out of control. "Madame, you must pay 150 Euros to replace the key." I wasn't about to pay that much and said so, ending with "Call the cops if you have to but I'm not paying!"
We left for the train station, checking our back for gendarmes. Half-way to Vichy I reached into my jeans pocket and was stunned to find the hotel key there.
After a contrite call to Hotel Mistral, we consoled ourselves with cookies.
We won't be returning to Hotel Mistral! Au revoir!
Written by guest blogger Randy Ashton.
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