For starters, here’s some background information:
Travelers: Myself, my wife, my 4 year-old daughter and my mother-in-law.
Flights: Flew round trip from Orlando to Paris on Northwest with stops in Detroit coming and going. Flight between Detroit and Paris was operated by Air France under a code share agreement. Tickets for me, my wife and my child were approximately $564 per ticket (all taxes and fees included). These tickets were purchased in February 2008 from the website Lessno.com.
Accommodations: Rented apartment # 189 from VacationInParis.com. This was a 2 bedroom apartment in the 7th arr. (address is 53 Avenue de la Bourdonnais). This was a great location, about a 2 minute walk from the base of the Eiffel Tower. Neighborhood was great and there were many places close by for food. Apartment was very nice and suited our needs wonderfully. I would definitely recommend VacationInParis.
Now for the actual report:
Day 1: It’s Thanksgiving morning and I’m exhausted because I did not sleep well the previous night (pre-trip anxiety). Taxi was supposed to come and pick us up at 10:30am. Everyone starts to get up and get going so I go out to get donuts and coffee. I return and we eat, but just as we are finishing, my daughter tells us that her finger hurts. This is the same finger she accidently bit 2 weeks ago while she was away with Grandma. We look at it now and the tip of her finger appears green (not a good sign as it did not look like this the day before). It’s about 8:00am and my wife and I are feeling some anxiety about her traveling like this. I turn on the computer and start looking up phone numbers for Urgent Care centers and Pediatric after-hours clinics but none are open as it’s Thanksgiving Day. At about 8:30am, we decide to take her to the nearest Emergency Room. We get there and it does not seem too crowded but there are a 2 people in front of us. After reaching the desk, I explain my story and they try to rush us through as we have a flight to catch. Finally get out of the hospital at about 9:30am and have to go get antibiotics (she had an infection deep in her finger). I get home about 10:00am, still needing to shower, dress and do some last minute packing. While we were out I had called the taxi company twice (once to change the pick-up time to 11:00am and a second time to confirm the change). I figured I had plenty of time to get everything done except the taxi guy showed up at 10:28am as I was still getting dressed. After some rushing around, we are out the door and headed for the airport. The airport was not too crowded today and by 11:45am we were sitting at the gate for our 1:24pm flight to Detroit. Both flights were uneventful. We had a 2:45 layover in Detroit before our 6:50pm flight to Paris. My daughter even managed to sleep a little bit on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Arrival in Paris
Our flight landed on time (about 8:25am) but we parked remotely and had to walk outside to a bus for a ride to the terminal. Went through immigration without issues but a little disappointed as they did not stamp my daughters passport. All bags arrived without issue and we breezed through customs. We had made a reservation with Shuttle-Inter (thanks Gracejoan3) over the internet and their representative was waiting outside with our name on a board (normally my wife and I would have ridden the train into town but we were a little leery about doing this with our bags and our 4 year-old). Soon enough, our bags were loaded into the mini-van and we were headed into Paris (cost of the trip for the 4 of us was 65 Euros). The driver dropped us off at the apartment at about 10:10am and we were headed into the building when we ran into the cleaning person. Seems that the persons who rented the apartment before us were still in the apartment because they overslept (checkout time was supposed to be 9:30am). We had brought our bags up and listened to excuses from the other family before heading out (the cleaning person told us we could return at about 1:00pm). Dog tired we headed out and walked to The Ecole Militaire metro station to buy out tickets for the week. We then headed back up the street, stopped at a patisserie and picked up 4 croissants and a baguette before heading over to the Champs de Mars Park to sit for a little while. By now my wife was getting antsy (about 11:45am) so we decided to walk down Rue Saint Dominique where we stopped into a Starbuck’s. We left there at about 12:40 and headed back to the apartment which was thankfully cleaned and unoccupied. My wife took a quick shower while I played with the TV (guy thing) and we left at about 2:15pm to walk to the metro station as we had reservations for the 3:00pm fashion show at Galeries Lafayette. My daughter had wanted to see the show (wife and I had seen it on a previous trip) but about halfway through she fell asleep. Show ended at about 3:30pm and we walked across the street to Lafayette Gourmet to purchase some food for a dinner in the apartment. I purchased the most divine sandwich, a baguette filled with foie gras. After this it was back to the metro for the ride home. Got home, everyone ate and we are all in bed by 6:30pm….
More to come but I have to do some work now.
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For starters, here’s some background information: