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Trip Report Paris, London, 49ers and Fodors GTG

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I am two trip reports behind so I'll try to catch up here. (Have to write another one about Yosemite over Christmas)

This trip revolved around the 49er/Jaguar game at Wembley Stadium. I fit in three days in Paris, then took the Eurostar back to London for the game/, a Fodors GTG and shopping/theatre

Oct 22/23 SMF > LHR, Eurostar to Paris, late night Vedette du Pont Neuf

I flew SMF/DFW/LHR. The AA flight to DFW was TOTALLY full and they were begging for volunteers. Made the 1:25 connection at DFW with time to spare and the BA flight was barely 1/3 full. I haven't been on such an empty plane in years. I was in coach but had window/middle/aisle all to myself(!) Heaven. After take off many passengers moved to other seats so everyone had tons of space. Interestingly - one very large man stuck in the middle of the center section never moved a muscle on the entire flight. The guy in front of him reclined all the way back and this poor man was squished . . . but he stayed planted there all the way to LHR.

Normally I'd fly directly on to Paris from LHR but earlier in the Fall I learned an old friend in London was moving back to the States that week. If we planned carefully there would be time to meet for lunch and then I'd take the Eurostar to Paris.

So that's what we did. I cleared immigration really quickly, re-filled my Oyster and was on the tube less than 40 minutes after docking at the gate - traveling carry on only speeded thing up. Meat Gwen at Searcy's upstairs at St Pancras and had a nice visit catching up on 5 years of news.

My Eurostar seat faced backwards and only had a partial window - but didn't matter to me one whit since I was zonked out cold before we were in the Kent countryside.

Arrived at Gare du Nord a little after 6PM and I decide to take a cab instead of hassling on the metro. There was quite a queue for taxis but it moved pretty fast. Now . . . I am totally used to crazy cab rides/drivers. Heck, I used to race sports cars so wild rides don't phase me. Well -- THIS cab ride sure did. Mr Toad's Wild Ride at DL doesn't hold a candle - a crazy man w/ a death wish :) But he got me there in one piece.

I stayed at the Hotel Paris Rivoli on the Rue de Rivoli in the Marais - got a very good rate on hotels.com. The room was small-ish but larger than many Paris hotel rooms and was more than adequate. Large bathroom with a deep tub/shower over. The staff was very friendly and helpful and spoke great English.

After checking in and freshening up I went out about 7:30 for a long/head clearing/jet lag defeating walk. Just wandered and got totally turned around but scoped out all sorts of interesting shops I'd try to visit another day. Eventually made it to the Hotel DeVille and across the river. It was such a nice night - decided to catch a Vedette river cruise. Walking back around 10:30 - I still hadn't had dinner and was getting just a tad loopy so stopped at a nearby sidewalk creperie . . . so my fist gourmet meal in Paris was a chicken/tomato/onion crepe and a split of white wine courtesy of BA, sitting on my bed.

Next Oct 24. Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Orangerie, shopping

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