Paris France, Friday, 8 May 2009
I have arrived in Paris! It’s a gloomy morning, but I already knew it would be an overcast day. Checking the weather report before I left, I saw cloudy and rainy days for Paris. Today is also a holiday – VE Day. My friend Louisa and her daughter Elizabeth will join me in a few hours. They booked the 10pm flight so they wouldn’t have to miss a day of work. I was glad to have the day off, as it took me a while to pack.
I flew on Air France from Dulles International, which left an hour late, due to air traffic, yet we still arrived on time. The flight was smooth all the way to Paris (on a Boeing 700-200) and the flight was full. After dinner, a couple drinks, and a movie, I tried to sleep. As always, I can never sleep sitting up. The two men next to me talked the whole night too!
I booked my shuttle service to Paris with www.airport-connection, which I booked online two days ago. Two years ago, I took the Air France bus to Gare de Lyon and then a taxi ride. I decided this time to have door-to-door service, which was a treat. Round trip price was 50.40 euros paid by credit card, so I just had to tip the driver. After landing at 6:10am, 20 minutes getting through passport control, and getting my checked bag, I called the toll free number to let the company know I was ready for pickup. I only had to wait outside for 5-8 minutes. We were on the road by 7:20am and I was at my apartment 25-minutes later. There was only couple in the van with me. There was no traffic at all due to the holiday.
Louisa booked our 2-bedroom apartment via www.vacationinparis.com. The apartment is on the 2nd floor up two narrow staircases. Carrying my two heavy bags was not fun. I had told Louisa that the next time we travel together and get an apartment, it WILL be in a building with an elevator! The building is quite secured with a keypad outside and an interior door, which a key is used to get in. The apartment is quite charming in a Parisian way: Two small bedrooms one with a large bed and the other tightly fit with two twin beds. The entire apartment is only 43 square meters. There’s a small bathroom with the toilet in a separate room, a tiny kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, stove, and washer/dryer. The living room is a combo living-dining room with a couch, two chairs, a table with 4 chairs. It’s perfect for three people, but not more.
There is free wifi – Louisa checked with the rental agency, who told her we needed took up to a lan line, so I brought a cable. The problem with the setup is that the hookup is next to the tv, so I had to move the t.v stand close to the dining table so I could use the netbook on the table. However, although a small problem, it’s really nice to have access to the internet and emails.
There is a bookcase of travel books and novels. So, if anyone wants to rent this place, you really don’t need to bring a Paris guidebook. The one main window faces the interior of the building, so it’s nice and quiet.
I tried to nap a couple hours but couldn’t. I walked around the area for about an hour and went back to the apartment to wait for Louisa and Elizabeth. They arrived about 12:30pm and after freshening up, we headed to L’as du Falafel where we sat and enjoyed the falafel special (7 euros each). They were just as delicious as the last time (May 2007). The street was crowded with a long line of people waiting for a table or to order their lunch at the take-out window. Busy, busy, busy! Great place, so don’t miss it for a delicious, inexpensive lunch.
After lunch, we wandered around the area and headed to the left bank. We visited Notre Dame (packed!!), the flower market and walked along rue de Rivoli. After stopping at Franprix for breakfast items (juice, fruit, yogurt) and some wine, cheese, and crackers for our pre-dinner happy hour, we relaxed in our apartment.
It’s just before dinnertime. We made reservations at Bistro d’Oulette (38, rue des Tournelles, Tel: 01 42 71 43 33. http://www.l-oulette.com/baracane.php firstname.lastname@example.org) where we dined two years ago. We hope it’s just as good as it was back in 2007.
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Bonjour from Paris! (Monica, Louisa, and Elizabeth)
Paris France, Friday, 8 May 2009