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The Lazy Woman's Paris/Rome Trip Report: Best of...

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I started to type a trip report of our recent journey to Paris and Rome, but it was so boring, even I couldn't stand to read it. So, instead, I will offer my Best of Paris and Rome Highlights Trip Report instead.

Hope you enjoy it. :)

Who: Me (42, mom of two kids, who stayed home with their dad and grandfather) and my mom (63, who wanted to use her frequent flier miles but could not convince my dad to fly that far to use them -- lucky break for me, no?)

When: Paris, April 22-29; Rome, April 29-May 5; Paris again, May 5-6.

Best cure for hacking, coughing guy who sits directly behind you on nine-hour flight from Miami to Paris: Zinc tablets and secret voodoo doll made from dinner roll and plastic fork. It worked, he stopped coughing after three or four hours.

Best way to get free sightseeing van tour of Paris upon arrival: Be the last drop-off in your shuttle group.

Best way to spend 20 minutes getting in to your apartment: Unlock and relock any of the three separate locks on your door multiple times, because it takes you that long to realize that when you thought you were unlocking all three locks, you were alternating locking locks 1 and 3, while unlocking lock 2. To add more fun, have neighbor's dog bark at you through the door the entire time.

Best way to forget every syllable of basic traveler's French that you studied for months prior to trip: Stop to look at a restaurant menu, and have a waitress say, "Bonjour." Stare at waitress with mouth hanging open, and then run away like a scared little bunny, all the while worrying that you'll never be able to communicate with anyone for the entire length of your trip.

Best way to check email: Find the nice people at the Haagen Das on Rue Buci, who speak English after I use hand signals to indicate I want to check email and not eat ice cream. (Ask for the American-style keyboard upstairs if you don't want to type all words using the letter A like this: Todqy wqs wonderful in Pqris.)

Best way to amaze yourself at the sight of the Eiffel Tower: Take the Metro to Trocadero, push the mini Eiffel Tower model vendors out of the way, and walk around the corner of the building. Wow! What a view.

Best way not to get shot by machine-gun toting military guys at the Eiffel Tower: Take a photo of them from the back, not the front.

Best meal to eat every single day, especially if you think you might not ever get to Paris again: Croque monsieur and Kronenburg beer.

Best place to watch teenagers take photos of themselves for their My Space profiles (which reminds you of your own teenager at home): Pont des Arts Bridge on Friday night.

Best place to accidentally not turn your flash off right before taking an extreme close-up of world famous painting: Two feet from Van Gogh's self portrait.

Best place to slap forehead and await scolding from museum guard: See above.

...to be continued...

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