"The Adventures Begin"
Almost an hour later, I gently awakened my sleeping daughter as the train approached the platform. The only information I had was the hotel's name and street address. We walked several blocks, suitcases in tow, following the city map and street signs until we came to the street. We turned and continued walking. There was no hotel anywhere in sight.
I was not about to admit to my daughter I was hopelessly lost in a strange city and knowing she wanted only to crawl into bed to sleep off her jetlag, I said, reassuringly, "It's just down here." We walked a few more blocks, until I noticed a white sign with a black letter "H" in the window of what appeared to be an apartment building. We entered a small foyer, where a counter stood in front of doorway, from which a sullen young man emerged. I asked, in French, if he spoke English. He shook his head. I gave him my name and asked if he had our reservation. He walked back through the doorway and returned with a key.
He led us up three flights of rather dirty, narrow stairs. He opened a door and we followed him halfway down the hall to our room, where he used the key to open the door, standing in the hallway to permit us to wheel in our suitcases while waiting for his tip.
"We're only going to sleep here," I told my daughter, after closing the door.