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Kathie and Cheryl's Ten Days in Paris in May

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May 23rd, 2014, 07:59 PM
  #21
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Glad to have you along, satiric.

Day 8 It wasn’t raining when we left our hotel, so we decided to go to Notre Dame. We were not interested in climbing the tower, but Cheryl wanted exterior photos and we wanted to see the interior.

We spent the morning in and around Notre Dame, and walked in the garden behind the church. We walked over the bridge to Ile Ste Louis, and wandered there for a while. Then we walked to the Marais, to a creperie, Café Breizh, where we had crepes and cider for lunch. The crepes are buckwheat and are excellent. We very much enjoyed our lunch at this place. Total bill for our two main course crepes and a shared dessert crepe and some excellent cider was US$63.

Fearing we might get art-withdrawal as it had been several days since we had been in an art museum, we headed off to the Centre Pompidou. There was an Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit there that we both wanted to see. It turned out that our museum pass would get us into the Pompidou, but the exhibit cost about US$35 for the two of us. The Henri Cartier- Bresson show was really excellent. It covered his entire career, and gave us both a new perspective on his work. We spent well over an hour in the exhibit, then went upstairs to see some of the permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.
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May 23rd, 2014, 08:14 PM
  #22
 
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Kathie, really enjoying your TR of Paris, the fav city of many. Sorry it rained for so much of your visit, but it didn't seem to interfere with your enjoyment.

We remember your help when we were planning our trip to SEA, especially Bali.
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May 23rd, 2014, 08:14 PM
  #23
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Oops - my auto-correct changed your name even after I un-corrected it. So sorry, satoric.
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May 23rd, 2014, 08:17 PM
  #24
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Glad to have you along as well, tomarkot. As Seattle-ites, we have to be willing to do things in the rain or we won't do anything at all for 10 months of the year. In terms of the weather, Paris felt just like home!

Day 9. Our first sunny day in Paris! We started by going to Pere LaChaise cemetery. We planned on an hour or so there, but spent the whole morning strolling the pathways and looking at tombs. I suppose we could have spent all day there, but we had a reservation at L’Assiette. This turned out to be our best meal in Paris. The food was absolutely exquisite. It was a well-paced 2+hour lunch. The price for this? US 157. Worth every centime.

We bought batobus tickets. Since a two day pass is just two Euros more than a one-day pass, we opted for the two days. On this day, we just cruised up and down the Seine, enjoying the views, Cheryl taking photos.
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May 23rd, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Day 10 Another sunny day! We started the morning with a stroll through Le Jardin de Luxembourg. We spent quite a while enjoying the garden, then strolled though the Latin Quarter. We had lunch at Bastide Odean, which has a great deal on a prix fix at just under 20 E. At that price, we opted for a better than usual wine – we were pleased at the variety of wines they had on offer by the glass or carafe. The food was quite good, but it would have taken something spectacular to wow us after yesterday’s lunch.

We walked to the batobus stop and used the batobus to get to Les Jardin des Plantes. After wandering the gardens, we got back on the batobus and “home” to our hotel.

Day 11: Our last day I Paris. Another beautiful, sunny day. We packed up and had the hotel hold our luggage. We loved the Marais, and felt we hadn’t had enough time to just wander there, so we went back and wandered. We opted to have lunch again at Café Breizh.

Originally, our flight out of CDG was very early on Sunday morning, so we opted to reserve a room at the Marriott at CDG. Of course, by the time the actual trip rolled around, our flights had been changed many times and our flight out was now at a reasonable hour on Sunday. The Marriott at CDG was a disappointment. When we reserved they had an executive floor and an Executive Lounge, but no longer. The hotel was a non-descript airport hotel. We opted to take a hotel car out to the Marriott CDG, for 60 E, about 5 E more than our taxi from the airport to the Marriott Champs Elysees.
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May 23rd, 2014, 09:10 PM
  #26
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I will finish up with some thoughts about our trip tomorrow. Also, Cheryl's photos should be up tomorrow.
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May 23rd, 2014, 09:44 PM
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Great report .... I'm bookmarking for my next trip to Paris. My thought is that a rainy day in Paris is still better than a sunny day at home.
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May 24th, 2014, 02:34 AM
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I always love a trip report about Paris. I also love the chocolate and champagne combo. You can never have enough champagne in my estimation. Next visit you should stay in the Marais, we have always stayed either in the 4th, 3rd and last visit the 11th on the border with the 4th. Café Constant is our favorite place for lunch, so glad to see you mentioned it. Looking forward to the rest of the report and the photos.
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May 24th, 2014, 03:48 AM
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Enjoying your report. We too enjoyed the Van Gogh exhibit immensely. Unlike you we didn't buy a pass and waited for entry aboout 45 min in the rain. In retrospect that was 45 min my feet could have used to tour more of the musee! The fifth floor, devoted to impressionists is amazing.

It's still raining Kathie. We walked to jardin Luxembourg yesterday with our books and found two reclining chairs. We barely got settled when the sky opened. And today it is cold, windy and grey.

Thanks for your resto picks. I'd forgotten where to go for buckwheat crepes. And any of the Constant places are on our list
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May 24th, 2014, 09:02 AM
  #30
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MarySteveChicago, we saw in the weather report that it was supposed to start raining again - sorry the weather report was right. I hope you will get some sunshine before you have to leave Paris.

Departing Paris: We had a wonderful time in Paris. I’m glad we had 10 days in the city to explore. Certainly, we never got bored. Next trip, we will plan the time to have a day trip or two or spend some time in another part of France.

In our research, we found the Fodors Paris guide to be excellent. We got many excellent restaurant recommendations from the book, and the map that comes in the book was the most useful map we found anywhere.

The various mapping programs we used were different from each other. Oddly, it turned out that Google maps was most helpful because it often gave details about which Metro exit to use. On the other hand, the estimated times to places was skewed by the idea that it only takes one minute to change trains in a metro station.

La Fourchette, a restaurant booking site was very useful. They offer some “deals,” usually a discount off the a la cart menu as long as both people order a plat and one other course. Some of these are good deals, for some the requirements for the discount didn’t fit with our tastes. Nonetheless, it was an easy way to make reservations. We only had to ask our concierge to make reservations for us twice.

T-Mobile free all you can use data plan was great. Someone here had reported that while the data plan was free, it was very slow. We did not have that experience. The data speed was just fine.

We wanted to look at neighborhoods to see where we might want to rent an apartment for our next trip. The two areas we liked most of what we saw were the Marais, and the Latin Quarter around Le Jardin de Luxembourg.

I’m glad to answer any questions people might have.
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May 24th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Enjoyed traveling to Paris, my favorite city, with you. Too bad about so much rain, but as others have said, it's still Psris. Great report!
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May 24th, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the report. Yes, the Marais is a great place to stay. Unfortunately, the cheap hotel I used to use, steps from a metro stop, has been renovated and is now too expensive...
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May 24th, 2014, 10:51 AM
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I'm a bit disappointed Kathie. The history of great cities like Paris is in their origins, and the people.

Must see places to appreciate all this are...

- The Paris Sewers. On the Left Bank by Pont d'Alma. Absolutely fascinating. You've heard of the 'sac de poubelle', well Monsieur Poubelle devised it all. Without him and his ingenious ideas there might not be the Paris as we know it.

- The Catacombs. Again on the Left Bank. Slightly haunting, but all pat of the making of modern day Paris.

- Pere Lechaise Cemetery. The final resting place for many famous and not so famous folk, who all fell in love with Paris
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May 24th, 2014, 10:55 AM
  #34
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I was quite sure you would not like my trip, LL, but it was MY trip, not yours.

Did you miss the fact that we spent half a day in Pere LaChaise cemetery?
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May 24th, 2014, 10:56 AM
  #35
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Photos should be up on our website later today - I'll let you know when you can view them.
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May 24th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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Kathie, we also opted to stay at the Marriott by the airport. It is nothing special... ah, well, at least we were close to the airport for our early flight home.

I assumed (incorrectly) that we would be shuttled to the airport in the morning. Instead, we were shuttled to a train station, where we caught the train to the airport. Not difficult at all, but a bit awkward with our luggage in tow. M had done quite a lot of shopping in Paris, and I had picked up a number of things for friends in Thailand. We each had a large checked suitcase plus 2nd souvenir bag, plus carry on bags!

Had forgotten about the Van Gogh exhibit... yes, it was most enjoyable! If you ever get to Amsterdam, you must see the collection there. The Potato Eaters is my favorite!
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May 24th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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I didn't say that I didn't like your trip report Kathie.
As part of it was in the rain, seeing how the Paris Sewers work hand-in-hand with the River Seine, and keeping the balance of water between the Left Bank and Right Bank just right is fascinating.
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May 24th, 2014, 11:23 AM
  #38
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Carol - they shuttled you to the train station??? How odd. They did shuttle us to the airport. There were so many people at that time, they had to bring in extra vans, and they did.

I have been to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, though not since the refurbishment of the museum. Cheryl has not been to Amsterdam, so it is high on our list of next places to of in Europe.

I regret to say that brought no purchases home from Paris. We were both saying we should have brought home a couple bottles of wine or a box of Pierre Marcolini chocolates at the very least.
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May 24th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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Everyone's trip is different. I have zero (actually negative) interest in seeing sewers, and have already seen enough bones to last the rest of my life.

Now if we're going to talk history in terms of museums, Paris has plenty of those, and Kathie and Cheryl saw some of the best (but still have more than enough for the enext trip).
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May 24th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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M has two young daughters so she was buying clothes, books, toys, you name it. Plus SHOES. She hopes to buy lots of Italian shoes when we go to Italy in August! M is a shopper!

I found myself not needing to shop in Paris, although as you mentioned, wine would have been a great choice! When we walked along the Seine, I kept seeing things that I knew would be appreciated by friends back at home and also in Bangkok! Not much of anything for me, other than my usual souvenir, a nice coffee mug to add to my collection on my kitchen wall.
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