We would have liked to stay longer, but we had a long road ahead of us. On the way back to the car we saw an interesting sign on a shop that read, "Head Shop - Official Gang Wear."
We continued on to Ramstein air base to fuel up and grab a bite to eat.
From there it was a long stretch of driving. Once it got dark there was not much to look at. The countryside was dark and empty until we reached Reims. One thing there was a lot of were tolls. It cost a total of 23,80 euro to get to Paris.
On the way I needed to stop at a rest stop. This rest stop had the weirdest facilities I'd ever seen. There's nothing but a stall with a hole in the ground and a place to put your feet (at least I think that's what it was for). The stall was clean, but it was very open. It was weird because there wasn't anything to hold on to and I didn't know if you're supposed to stand or squat or what. Also there didn't seem to be any way to flush or rinse in case you missed the relatively small hole. I didn't like it at all. If anyone knows what the deal with those things is, please let me know!
Once we got to Paris there was a ton of traffic. We had a bit of a time finding the hotel, and then finding a place to park. We managed to do both, then got checked in.
We stayed at the Hotel France Eiffel. You could actually see a bit of the Eiffel Tower from the hotel. The hotel is located on a side street and is rather small, feeling almost more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel. Our room was small, but clean. Yes, there's a bidet in the bathroom! Unfortunately our bed was made up of two singles pushed together, not exactly comfortable.
There was a parking garage with spaces for hotel guests (at additional cost, of course). The garage was underground and could only be accessed with a remote control given at the hotel desk. That garage looked like somewhere a horror movie would be filmed. It was dark and dingy and just had that kind of a vibe. We made sure everything in the car was secure, locked it up, and got the hell out of there.
The clerk in the lobby spoke English and was friendly. For this trip we used the Rick Steves Paris guidebook. In it he suggests saying, "Bonjour" or "Bonsoir" when entering a room and "Au revoir" when leaving. This seemed to work pretty well for us throughout the trip. Most places we went had English speaking staff. My rusty and limited high school French did help a little with understanding signs and menus, though. I have to say that throughout our trip, even though most of the people we interacted with spoke English to one extent or another, they were more than happy to let us try some French. I had no idea how much German I knew until I tried to speak French. Every time I opened my mouth to speak a foreign language, German wanted to come out!
The night was young, so we decided to go out and do something. The Eiffel Tower was nearby and still open, so off we went.