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Trip Report Celebrating in Paris & Barcelona

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Any excuse for a trip to Europe! This time it was my 60th and our 40th. We chose two of our favorite cities, Paris and Barcelona. If we had been celebrating on our actually dates it would have been a summer trip but I couldn't bring myself to pay the airfare, so November it was. I found a good fare on Aer Lingus ($642) BOS to CDG and BCN to BOS. At that point I figured we would book a cheap flight between cities. I had many months to figure that one out.

So now my planning began in earnest. I love the planning! I get to relish and savor the idea of a trip for many months before it actually happens. The hunt for the apartment came first. We were only spending 4 nights in each city. I can't easily get long periods of time off from work so short trips work best for us. In terms of other trips we have taken, this would be the longest. I browsed the internet for apartments and eventually ended up choosing one that was recommended by DebitNM. Here is a link to the Paris apartment. http://www.vrbo.com/371220 The pictures looked good and the reviews were good. The response from the owner was quick and the transaction would be easy using Paypal. So we booked it for 4 nights. We really enjoyed our stay. The location was perfect for a quick stay, right behind the Pompidou on rue Quincampoix. The owner was personable and easy to deal with. The apartment itself, while small and compact, was very comfortable and had english tv channels and free phone calls to the US, and wireless internet. This was especially important to us as we were there during the US elections and wanted to stay in touch with results and speak with family. We voted before we left. Everywhere we went in France, if people found we were from the US they wanted to know about the election and who we were supporting.

When we arrived at the apartment Sylvain, the owner, was cleaning the apartment. We left our bags and he took us on a "tour" of the area, although he realized that we were already very familiar with this section of Paris and was happy to get back to his job of getting the apartment ready. We walked a few blocks north to a vietnamese pho place that we had walked by on other trips, but never went into. The name is Song Heng at 3 rue Volta in the 3rd. It is a tiny storefront type of place. There is always a line out front. They only serve 2 dishes, pho and bun. You go in and they seat you where ever a seat opens up so you are squeezed in next to strangers who mostly seemed to be intent on what they were eating and not on conversing which was exactly what we wanted. It was an experience, the food was ok, not sure if I'd go back, probably would seek out another vietnamese place as there are lots in Paris. However, it was within easy walking distance from the apartment and very near to the Monoprix at Temple, our next stop.

We picked up apartment essentials; water, coffee, cheese, snacks, wine, etc. at the monoprix at Temple. While probably not the highest quality of food and beverage, it's fine with us. We headed back to the apartment and were able to "check in" at this point. So, here we were in Paris, rainy skies and all, which is pretty much the norm for the times of the year that we go. We absolutely don't care; we're in Paris after all!

I'll continue more later for those interested in reading.

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