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Trip Report Spring Time in Paris (3/22/12 - 3/30/12)

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Back about 2.5 weeks from our most recent trip to France so I thought I would put some memories on paper (or the internet).

First a little background information:

Travelers: Myself (4th time), wife (5th time), 7 year-old daughter (3rd time), MIL (3rd time) and 16 year old niece (1st time). After her first trip in 2008, our daughter has developed a love for all things Paris...her room is decorated in a Paris theme, her last birthday party was Paris themed (complete with a caricature artist) and she is even taking French classes every Saturday at the local branch of the Alliance Francaise.

We flew round trip from Orlando - Paris departing on 3/22/2012. Outbound flight was a non-stop (direct flight) on Air France.

Airport Transportation: As always, reservation made throught Shuttle Inter.

Lodging: Vacation in Paris #225 - http://www.vacationinparis.com/apts/id_225.htm

Day One (or night one): We were lucky enough to book tickets (at least one way) on the Air France non-stop flight from Orlando to Paris before they suspend service in September. These days I hate having to change planes, so this was a great option.

No issues at airport or during boarding, although flight was a little cramped. It was a late departing flight (9:55pm) so they weren't supposed to serve a full dinner (we ate before) but they did serve a full dinner before dimming the lights.

Can I just say that this was the hottest international flight I have ever been on!! Normally I'm a little cold, so I wear a long sleave shirt, but for whatever reason, this plane did not have any personal air blowers and they kept it warm. So warm that I couldn't get any sleep, couldn't even use my neck pillow, because it made my neck sweat. Oh well, at least we're going to Paris.

Other than the heat, the flight was uneventful and we landed a couple of minutes early in Paris. Went through immigration, picked up our bags, breezed through customs and then found our driver from Shuttle Inter standing nearby with my name on a board.

No searching for ATM's in the airport for us...I always like to have some Euro's in my pocket when I land, so I always get about 100 euros benfre departing the USA. Being a tourist destination, there are plenty of exchange places around Orlando, but I use the exchange counter at the Florida Mall. Quick, friendly and a minimal charge but to me it's worth it to have some cash on hand when I land.

The van ride into the city was relatively quick (about 50 minutes, in total) and soon enough we were standing in front of these big castle-like doors that lead to the apartment.

This is our 3rd time using Vacation In Paris for our rental and we've never had an issue any time. It's certainly nice arriving with keys in hand and not having to wait for someone to meet you.

The apartment is on a little side street (Rue Princesse) between Rue du Four and Eglise St. Sulpice. Upon arriving we noticed how quiet it waas, but also noted that there were a number of bars located on the street.

After entering the big wooden doors, we were quite surprised, because there was an corridor that vaguely resembled a dungeon. We found the stairs and made our way up the 1.5 flights of steps to the apartment.

The apartment was just as advertised. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a fold out couch (although my niece always just slept on the couch without opening the bed). The master bedroom and bath were a nice size, but the other bedroom/bath were a little small, yet still quite manageable. There is a 42" tv mounted to the wall and free calls back to the USA as well as free WIFI. After getting to mobile devices set up on the WIFI network, it was time to get out and get some sun.

My daughter loves the Jardin du Luxembourg (especially the playground) so we head over there as it is a short walk from the apartment. She swears that she must show her cousin her favorite park equipment in the whole world, The Flying Fox. My daughter could literally spend hours just riding this (she did for 2 hours on our last day) contraption. For anyone who has been to the park/playground, they will know the Flying Fox as the ride with the track above it where the kids ride around the track on a rubber disc suspended below the track, We have never seen such a playground ride in the USA, but my daughter loves this ride.

While she and her cousin play, myself, my wife and MIL sit on some chairs and sook up some sun. After a little bit, I walked over the a boulangerie on Rue Vavin, grabbed some baguettes and then headed back to the park. After about 90 minutes in the park, it was time to head back towards the apartment, get something for dinner and then get to bed fairly early (no naps for us).

I beleive we stopped at the Monoprix on Rue de Rennes, got some dinner and then headed back to the apartment. After eating and showers, everyone was in bed by about 7:45pm. My MIL said that she had a hard time sleeping due to the bar noise below, but I did not hear anything after taking 2 Tylenol PM's.

All in all, a great first day in the city of lights...more to come soon. I'll try to condense a little in future installments and try not to be so wordy.

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