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Hot Flashes and Cold Rain in Paris: Is it too late for a September trip report?

Hot Flashes and Cold Rain in Paris: Is it too late for a September trip report?

Old Jan 8th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Love Love Love your Trip Report Travel Slut!!
Old Jan 8th, 2008, 06:43 PM
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jess - I love your report! I'll be reading every word I assure you. Although I too have a sense of dread.

I leave in 18 days for a trip with a friend who's never been to Europe. I love traveling with my husband and especially with my husband and kids. We're staying in an apartment in the 3rd... so I have a few nagging worries.

But your report is LOL funny at times. Walking in circles around Notre Dame uncertain what to do when suddenly and blessedly alone is totally something I'd do!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 07:11 PM
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I too am a fan of your refreshingly insightful and honest account of your trip with an inexperienced traveler.

Please continue writing!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 07:20 PM
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You mustn't even think of stopping before you tell us how it all turned out. All that foreshadowing can't go unresolved.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Cool report! Can't wait to
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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I too am enjoying your trip report. Please do continue.

I also had to laugh at "travel slut" as I have long called my husband a tennis slut, saying as you did that he will play any time, any where, with anyone. I have my own parallel as a golf slut!

You've kept me up too late, but this was too fun to read to stop.
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Hi Jess - love reading about your trip. I also laughed at the term "travel slut". I think I used to fall into that category also. I try to believe that I've learned my lesson but I still get tempted. Your report is bringing back some memories for me!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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HI Jess,
I too am enjoying your writing style, very funny!
I understand your feelings. I spend so much time planning and waiting, that I have been the one to get sick on vacation or pull something, or something happens to me. I don't know why. My DH always gets excited once we are there and then he tries to change some of my plans to fit his plans I am not fond of changing the PLANS. Of course I have learned over the years to allow for some change. It makes life easier.
The one trip we did not plan was the Big Island in Hawaii. We wound up on the Big Island with plans changed due to flooding in Oahu and Kauai. I knew nothing about the island and we winged it! It turned out to be easier to make snap decisions and change our plans!
Keep writing!
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 11:34 PM
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Hi Jess, really enjoying your report. I too was in France alone in September and felt very similar to yourself. I couldn't work it out, all this planning, money and expectation and it just wouldn't really happen for me. However, in hindsight I had a really great trip and remember all the good bits and have managed to forget the lonely, rudderless feeling that I had. I hope you feel the same way now some months later.

Please continue, Schnauzer
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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I appreciate that it takes more stamina to write a report like this then to read it (reading it has been effortless!). Hope you stick with it (think of it as good travel therapy!) crossing fingers for the next installment...
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Please don't stop .......... we're all so hanging in there with you! I'm sure we could all write parts of your report ourselves, having had one or more of your experiences -- good and bad. Think of it as good therapy and keep writing! We're all hanging on to every word.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Wednesday, dawned clear and sunny. We were off to Montmartre to enjoy the view while the sun was shining! We figured out how to get there by bus despite minor difficulty transferring one to another – we got off and had to walk a block or two to the second bus and managed to walk the wrong way at first. After getting off the second bus near Pigalle, we walked uphill, and stopped an outdoor café near the Bateau Lavoir where S had a salad and we both had coffee. My appetite still wasn’t up to snuff, so I spent time admiring the view and taking photos.

We strolled the streets and the Place du Tertre. We saw “artists” everywhere on the street, stopping people to offer quick portraits or silhouettes cut from paper. S and I decided to run the gauntlet with a “business-like” and purposeful air, avoiding all eye contact and appearing to have an urgent destination on our minds. We were pleased that it worked and we were not approached once!

My appetite perked up enough to have a gelato. Mmmmmmmmmm. I love gelato.

We took the Petit Train de Montmartre – and felt slightly ridiculous riding on this little toy-like train but enjoyed a quick view around the area. (We just wished the driver would stop ringing that bell and calling attention to us!) We got stuck in traffic for a while at the base of the funicular and watched the bracelet scam guys. They seem to focus on couples, stopping and within seconds convincing each male victim to hold a piece of string and then they began doing whatever it is they do to extract exorbitant payment for their bracelets. It was interesting to watch them in action, and I just wanted to yell to people, “Keep walking! Don’t stop for them!” They certainly weren’t aggressive, and didn’t pursue people who ignored them.

We eventually took the funicular back down from Montmartre despite S’s hesitance. (She couldn’t look down while we were moving for fear of vertigo.) I bought a scarf in a shop nearby and immediately wore it to warm up – the sun was disappearing, a cold wind started blowing, and it was beginning to sprinkle.

We warmed up by sitting in an Italian restaurant for pizza and a glass of wine, then walked back toward bus/metro and headed for 6th and Rodin museum. It got colder and rainier; crap weather.

I love the Rodin museum – and I loved the handy plastic bags available on entry into which one puts the dripping umbrellas. We rented audio guides and strolled across the squeaky floors, exchanging middle-aged glances of pretend disapproval for a few slightly rowdy adolescents. The rain let up long enough for us to walk in the garden for a few minutes. We wondered what it’s like to be a small child growing up in Paris and perhaps run around in this garden on a summer day.

We decided to spend the evening at the Louvre, so we took the metro to the underground stop and stayed out of the rain. We shopped a bit and each bought a couple of scarves. (I’m telling you – all I bought was textiles and food on this trip.) To gather our strength for our mini Louvre-athon, we stopped in the museum café for hot chocolate and coffee. Then we slit up for an hour or so – I always go straight to the French sculpture in the courtyards. S was more impressed with the Louvre than she had anticipated – and was impressed with the buildings themselves even more than with the art.

We made it back to the apartment by 9:00 or so. S had tired, sore feet. We both wished the heat would turn on so we could really warm up. We nibbled on pate/cheese/etc. I drank wine, S didn’t. I wondered if she thinks I drink too much...

Overall, a busy and productive day, more typical of my usual vacation style, though with less walking. The weather wasn't very conducive to being outdoors much, and poor S's feet just never felt right!
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Jess, I'm loving your report! Please continue through the end -- I'm sure there are plenty of us who are waiting anxiously for each installment!
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I'm glad I have a travel partner who enjoys wine and a good cocktail as much as I do.

If you can't indulge in wine in Paris, then where can you? But then I'm one who wouldn't care what my travel partner thought about my drinking habits.

Sore feet are the pits. When I think about how much pain I endured when I was younger and much more of a fashion victim, yikes. My younger self would be horrified at my choice of footwear now (middle-aged sensible even though I'm still holding on to "young-ish"), but pain free is the way to go.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Great trip report! I went solo on my first trip to Paris in September and experienced the same off-kilter feeling. It took me a couple of days to adjust to Paris, then I enjoyed myself thoroughly for several days, then the last couple of days I felt almost desperate to get home. Now I can't wait to leave home and get back to Paris!
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Thank you for continuing on with your trip report.

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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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I absolutely LOVE your report and keep it coming! The majority of my trips are solo (hubby hates to travel), and while there are times I do miss having someone to share an experience with, I also love the freedom of just doing what I want without checking with someone first. You mention being ill, I remember a time I took the train from London and had been developing a bad cold---But I WAS NOW IN PARIS and didn't want to waste my one day. So I found a drug store on the left bank and 'pantomined' my illness along with my limited french. The shop owner went in back and came out with 2 white tablets that she handed to me. I opened my mouth to put them in and she looked shocked and motioned NO NO! She then got a cup of water and dropped the AlkaSeltzer like tablets in. I felt better within minutes. I would love to know what they were (I've tried US Alkaseltzer since and it doesn't have the same effect).
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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I'm loving your report - please continue! Your writing style is funny and interesting.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Enjoying your report. Please find time to finish. Also hope you can post a link to your photos.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Jess, loving your report - it feels so honest to read one that's not all sunshine and rainbows! I love seeing new places when I travel, but can definitely identify with that feeling of homesickness. Please keep it coming!
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