Benita In Paris

Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Oh no, no elevator is a real problem. Hope all gets fixed asap.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 02:33 AM
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Hi Benita,

Glad to see that you did make it to Paris after almost missing your train in Avignon.

The Margaux is a dream apartment. I have been in it. Patios pretty much all the way around it. Lovely spot.

Bad luck for you re elevators..both regular and service. The service ones probably can't tkae the extra use when regular ones are down. Elevator people must be having a busy summer!!

Enjoy your stay....

a bientot....
Joan
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 06:49 AM
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Dear Benita,

I've been avidly following your report; we're leaving for two weeks in France on Saturday (7/6) and your posts have made me even more anxious to return. Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures with us.

As I've been reading I've been thinking that you are one of the most resilient and good-humored people that I've encountered; the fact that you are from Maine explains it. I have a good friend who is from Maine and she is like you; resilient, good-humored, and a most generous and welcoming hostess. My goal for this trip is to adopt your attitude and to fully embrace every experience, good and bad, that comes my way in France.

I, too, love the red-awning café at the École Militaire stop for people watching; I believe it is called La Terasse (my daughter always has to remind me of the name because I forget it and like you I call it the red-awning place). I'm looking forward to being there for a glass of wine this Sunday afternoon; I'll be introducing my sister-in-law and niece to Paris and what a great place to start!

Can't wait to hear more about your Paris.

Debra
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Mom's cousin, Sid, was from Maine. He said he was a "main"iac!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Monday

As usual late start. Went to Ulysses on Rue Cler for crepes. Have to make one stop there when in Paris. You know those old regulars are great. Walked to Metro to get Navigo cards for everyone. Wonderful man at Information Counter that was so helpful to us. Especially when cc worked just fine then quit. Credit cards when traveling, even though you have called to notify them, don't always work.

Took metro to Invalides and bought museum passes. When leaving the tomb asked the guard why there was a tent outside the tomb. Dior fashion show for fashion week in Paris. We walked around to the front and saw the stars going in and posing so the Papparazi could take their pictures. Lots of fun and wonderful fashion parade. The front of the tent looked like a white cement wall, about 200 feet long and 50 feet high with the word Dior in big letters on the front. Even though it looked like cement we thought it might be some kind of tight material, although it never moved. Very impressive. We saw Jennifer Lawrence and 12 was quite excited because she had seen her recently in NYC.

There were other French personalities but we did not know them. Although, I saw the Black, 6"3" tall and large man who always wears a long coat or caftan. I can't remember his name but I think he is an occasional judge on Tyra Banks next top model show.

Left there and went to Galleries Lafayette. OMG it is sales month and GL is a complete zoo. There were lines to get into Longchamps, Louis Vuitton, Channel, etc. Went downstairs to the shoes. There was every conceivable designer in the world with a section of their shoes. Sort of like Filene's basement back in the days.

Up to fifth floor to children's department. 12 and 8 spied Micky D;s, so we made a stop there for nuggets, water and fries. For some strange reason, it seemed comforting!

Anyway, it was hotter than hell, so we ate and got out of Dodge as fast as we could. They must make a fortune in selling water. Looked at clothes for the kids. 21, 26 and I sat in kids shoes and rested while 40, 12 and 8 shopped.

Took Metro back to apartment, grocery shopping and, thank heavens, elevator was working.

The elevator didn't get fixed until 4 p.m., so 70H was in prison at apartment.

Went to Cafe de Alma on Ave. Rapp for dinner. For some strange reason, we love that restaurant. Food is very good and great people watching. There are always a group of men upstairs huddled together and smoking. It makes me feel like I am in Mafia central.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:26 PM
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One time we were there, I saw an older man, sitting back, smoking a cigar while his niece waited (but this was a paid niece) I am sure. Fun to watch.

Decided to take the 10:30 p.m. Bateaux Mouches boat trip. Beautiful night, quite warm and the best bang for the buck.

Back to apartment. Elevator working. 71H up first, me with 12 next, 21 and 26 next and finally 40 and 8. 8 is terrified of getting stuck in an elevator. She is always a wreck when we are anywhere with an elevator. So, of course, when 40 and 8 came up, the elevator got stuck between floors. 8 panicked but 40 tried to keep her calm, which was not easy. When 40 tried to open door she was almost to 4th floor and could have squeezed thru the opening if someone had been there to pull them both out. Finally, she keep pushing buttons and elevator went to fourth floor, they got out and walked up to seventh. 8 was crying when she got into the apartment. Elevator working fine this morning, but 8 won't go in elevator without 40 with her.

When we got home around midnight, I wanted to take a shower. We have not had any hot water at all except a short window in the morning. Someone came today, said circuit breakers were shut off, but kids took a cool shower Tuesday night.

Tuesday

No warm water for showers. I had made an appointment to get my hair cut and colored on Rue Dominique this morning. 40 went with me and she got her cut too. Great salon and what fun to get hair done in Paris. Paris Perfect recommends this salon. I have had it done there before and was extremely satisfied and this time was no different.

Back to apartment to pick everyone up. Museum Orsay. Very hot and muggy. Kids had picture taken outside of museum with guy in all gold standing on pedestal.

Took Rickshaws to Laudree for lunch. Rickshaws were lots of fun. Close to cars coming and going in all directions. Not very good at Laudree (except for Macarons) Service poor and very slow. Asked for water we never received. Sat inside in front by the street windows. Again, hotter than double hell. We definitely needed water. Windows were not open and I used a map to fan myself whole time. 12 loves the macarons there, so thought she might enjoy lunch. But, the people watching is beyond belief. Saw a short, stout older man who was dressed as a Michael Jackson wanna be.

Walked to Louis Vuitton. Again, major damage. Had to wait in line to get in. 12 got her first LV bag. Small and something she can use for years. We may be going back for something for 40 and 26.

Found a cab that was a van so could take six. Off to Printemps because 26 wanted to show us a coat she found and wanted opinions.

Cab ride insane- do not know how they drive even for one day here. Just as many motorcycles and bicycles as there are cars. We were traveling along and there was a huge crash into the. The driver jumped out, a biycle hit us but I guess everything was ok since we continued on.

Looked at jacket for 26 and then tried to get a cab back to 7th. No luck. Walked to Opera and took Metro back to apartment, 40 cooked dinner at home. Everyone absolutely pitted out and exhausted.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 11:36 PM
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12 and 8 wanted me to tell you about something they saw yesterday. While trying to hail down a taxi in front of GL. they saw a little boy peeing right beside them. 8 came running over to me and said, "Grandma, he just pulled it out and started peeing right next to me". Here we are in one of the greatest cities in the world and I suppose that is what she will remember most!

Shoes

I always read so many posts about what to wear for shoes in Paris. I have on the lookout for what people are wearing on their feet this trip. And the operative word is Everything conceivable. Flats, high heels, super duper high heels, sneakers, sandals, (plain and with lots of bling), matching shoes with outfits, shoes that I would only wear to an opera (but here for casual lunch), you get the idea. I was panic stricken to bring just the right shoes because my feet hurt quite alot. I purchased before coming here Naot (quite comfortable) but have not worn them much. I am wearing a pair of Skeechers Go Walk. Sort of bubbles on the bottom. Sadly to say they look like bedroom slippers. I have worn them as slippers, pool shoes and everywhere but the fanciest of dinners. They have been so comfortable, my feet have never been happier. Ugly, you bet.

The very sad part is that 40 is making me throw them out when we get home. She said I am not allowed to wear them around Falmouth, Maine!

So, wear whatever you want. Trust me, you will so busy dodging people, traffic and bicycles that what's on your feet will be the least of your worries.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 01:17 AM
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Hi Benita,

You should use the buses, they can be so much better than the metro, and are all right nearby for you to use..

a bientot,

Joan
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 02:51 AM
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Just caught up with your last four days of adventures! Love your observations/people-watching.

Doubt I'll be staying in a PP apartment but would like the name of the hairdresser, please, on rue Dominique.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:34 AM
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Still following Benita. Hope you now have hot water and your elevator troubles are over.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 04:46 AM
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I only wish to add, I understand and deeply share your love for Paris.Hope you have a great stay.
Regarding shoes I always have noticed in the past that Frenchwomen always seemed to wear half a size
Larger shoes than needed, has this changed as well as those other wise glorious tomato salads?
Also I agree with gracejoan use the buses, ......
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 04:55 AM
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Really enjoying your report! I sure sympathize with you about the feet. I've reached the stage where I don't care what they look like as long as they are comfortable!

I remember seeing a kid peeing into the street my first trip to Paris and being a bit shocked even though I was 21 and not 8! Now it just seems like a practical solution to a universal problem.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 05:38 AM
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I've been reading and enjoying your interesting, funny report.
Like you, we love France and try to travel there each year. Your stories are hilarious and your outlook commendable. I have to agree that this would make a good film on how to handle travel snags with grace.

MDH read a book called "Aging Well" and in it a man was quoting his wife's idea of aging well by saying----"A year shall not pass without going to Paris." Excellent way to approach life, don't you think?

Love your take on shoes. Comfort is the way to go!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 07:55 AM
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I have no idea what all this stuff is that is written above. Please take note Fodor's and please delete. Thank you.

Went to Louvre today. I thought GL was awful. This place was unbelievable. Took the kids to the top three must sees and also cupid. You know all those tourists that take every conceivable picture that might be possible? Well, the place was full of those picture takers, running this way and that, bumping into people, taking pictures of each other in poses to match the statues - kids were overwhelmed.

We got out of Dodge as fast as we could.

Stopped at some cafe near by. Don't know name but very good. Tomato and mozzarella salad. Fresh and delicious.

Walked past Concergie. I had never been in. Very interesting. St. Chappelle closed for another half hour. Line at Notre Dame was insane. Walked around the islands. Stopped for Berthillion ice cream. Back to apartment to have dinner (street chickens with the great potatoes) and get ready for ballet tonight at Garnier.

When coming out of cafe, saw a huge truck slam into a car door. The driver got out and looked at the car and threw his hands up in the air as if to say, I'm sorry. First one we have seen. Must happen every hour on the hour.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 11:15 AM
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I'm still enjoying your report and will be sorry when your trip is over!

There must be something in the air - a few days ago I was sitting in my car waiting for my husband when a woman pulled down her pants and peed right in front of me.

We noticed the craziness with tourist photographers snapping photos with their iphones, ipads, etc on our trip in May. It made it almost impossible to enjoy Versailles. It seems they are so busy taking pictures that they don't really look at the art. At first I waited while they posed but I finally became so frustrated that I just walked through. I was very tempted to photo bomb.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:16 PM
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Don't know how I've not seen your report until now, but I'm loving it. Thank you!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Photo bomb-never thought of that. But it certainly would have made the Louvre visit much better.

Ballet last night was La Slyphide at Garnier. Lovely. 12 and 8 now want to be dancers. We all had a wonderful evening. Except for the Metro.

70H has not been doing very well since his double fall in Provence. His short term memory has gone to hell in a handbag. By the time we got him to the Metro and everyone else we were running a little late. Two trains came by and they were absolutely packed. So 70H, 26 and I left the metro to find a cab, the rest waited for a train.

Their train was so full that 8 was crying she was so scared. She had never been packed in a train like a sardine. We found a cab and we arrived at Garnier about the same time.

We have hot water. I am a much happy camper. Cold showers don't work for me at all.
8 and 40 have to walk the stairs to the apartment because 8 freaks out in such a small elevator and is afraid it will stop working when she is in it. And we have tickets for the Eiffel Tower tomorrow. Don't know if she will make it or not.

The hairdresser is Thierry Ella, 116 rue St Dominique. He is great and if I could I would fly back every month for hair cut by him. For a color and cut (he just cuts hair) price was 81 euros. Think they charge extra for a head massage but who cares, it was heavenly.

I don't have time to respond individually to all your nice comments but just know I appreciate them all.
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 06:37 AM
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What is photo bomb?
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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Ditto irishface.

I always thought "they" should have put those famous things in one room so people could get it over with. There are so many worthwhile things in the Louvre that get shorted.

Glad the water is now hot. I'll pray to the elevator gods---poor 8!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Photo Bomb - read Vonse comment

Went to Orangerie - they were closed for the Fourth of July! We couldn't believe it. Everything else was open.

So hopped into a six passenger golf cart and drove wildly down the streets of Paris with jazz playing loudly. We all loved it. Went to Galleries Lafayette. The cart had a cover over it, so getting my large ass in was quite a feat. Had to almost crawl on my hands and knees. Would have made a great picture for someone.

Started in men's department- got to food court and stopped in spice area. Unbelievable food. Stopped for sushi and sandwiches. Finally off to men's department. 21 found some things he wanted. 40 and kids went to children's department for something for 8. Then standing in line for Longchamps and 26 was looking at shoes, again. Met everyone on 6th floor for french fries and something to drink.

Decided 26 and I would go to Marais shopping and the rest back to the apartment.

When we arrived in the Marais, got turned around and ended up in an area not too nice. Finally got going in the right direction, was getting late, 26 dragged me to lots of stores. I was starting to poop out and went and had a Pastis and waited for 26 to come and get me. Took cab to LV for gift for 21's girlfriend who has been checking on Bailey, our cock-a-poo. every day at our house.

Took cab back to apartment for pizza and 40 and gang have gone to the amusements by Rue de Rivoli.

I need a shower and bed.

The first interesting thing I saw this morning was a woman wearing the highest of heels in bright aqua; skin tight black leather leggings (and I do mean skin tight); an aqua and black multi print top that was probably supposed to cover her butt, but did not; large bright aqua purse and a long sleeved tight fitting black lace top. All I could wonder was did she look in a full length mirror before she left home.

The people watching in the Marais was wonderful. My head was moving back and forth so fast I was starting to get dizzy.
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