Kimberley & Dan's Paris trip report

May 14th, 2002, 05:05 AM
  #1  
Kimberley
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Kimberley & Dan's Paris trip report

Just got back from Paris on Sunday night – several people have requested a trip report so…here it is!
Friday, May 3rd: Left Miami for CDG on Air France. There was nothing impressive about their service at all, but it wasn’t torture either. I’d fly them again if only because they are pretty inexpensive, but they’re really nothing to rave about in the least.

Saturday, May 4th: Arrived in Paris to cold, cloudy weather. Caught the Air France bus from the airport to Montparnasse, where we bought weekend metro passes (the weekly pass runs from Monday to Sunday, so we had to wait until Monday to get those) and took the metro to Hotel Left Bank. The location of the hotel was excellent – a few steps from St Germain and Odeon metro. The room was very pretty and the staff extremely helpful, but we wondered if some of the slightly cheaper hotels we’d considered might have been just as nice. We paid 206 Euros for a room with a double bed, including breakfast. I’d definitely stay there again, but I’d also consider my other options first. After checking in, we walked up to the Seine and over to Notre Dame, and after exploring the church we continued along the river. At this point the cold was becoming uncomfortable so we escaped into Samaritaine for a little shopping before getting changed for dinner. Wandered around the Latin Quarter before deciding on a cute little fondue place (delicious) with the friendliest waiter in Paris! Finally a visit to the Eiffel Tower at night before turning in for the night (made it until midnight our first night!).

Sunday, May 5th: Allowed ourselves to sleep in before our 12:15 lunch reservation at the Jules Verne (on the second level of the Eiffel Tower). Reservations at the Jules Verne are hard to get – we booked 4 weeks ahead, and dinner was already booked solid for every night of our stay. Although, on the plus side, we were glad to go for lunch so we could appreciate the view by daylight and because men do not require jackets for lunch (we still dressed nicely, but it was convenient to not need a dress jacket). An added perk of eating at the Jules Verne is that they have a private elevator, so you get to go up in the tower without dealing with that horrible line! Not that they needed any added perks, because the experience was phenomenal! The restaurant is practically all windows with a very sleek, contemporary décor. Service is absolutely impeccable and the food was incredible: I had stuffed salmon with risotto and Dan got beef with vegetables, followed by passion fruit soufflé. Lunch came to about $120 – but I’m sure it could have easily been much more if we’d had appetizers and alcohol (it was only noon!!). After our incredible lunch (which took a couple of hours), we continued up to the 3rd level of the Tower before descending and walking across to the Chaillot Palace. It was chilly but not quite as cold as the day before, so we took a long walk up the river from the tower all the way into the Marais (so pretty), exploring Rue des Rosiers and Place des Vosges before winding up at Jo Goldenberg’s for dinner. Upon returning to Odeon, we went to one of the theaters to see “Sam Je Suis Sam” (I Am Sam) – if any of you remember my Madrid trip report from last summer, you know that I love going to movies in Europe. If I had only a couple of nights in a city, I wouldn’t spend one at a movie,…but as I stay in each city at least a week, I really love to do it. It’s so much more “polite” over there…
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:06 AM
  #2  
Kimberley
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Monday, May 6th: Slightly warmer, but still definitely chilly (sweater and jacket weather – with gloves). Spent the morning at the Louvre. We are both art lovers and realize that we could easily spend a few weeks just exploring the Louvre. Barring that, the strategy we chose was to identify our top priority highlights, and then find them while enjoying whatever we might pass on the way. Because Dan had never been to the Louvre before, we had to include the big guns (Monna, Venus, Nike), and we also wanted to see the code of law, the medieval exhibit, and a few other personal favorites. The approach worked well for us, although we could definitely see ourselves returning to the Louvre several more times. Upon leaving the museum, we passed through Place de la Concorde and through the Tuileries. The weather was having a warmish, sunny mood and we had a nice enjoyable stroll through the park, including lunch at an outdoor café in the gardens. The afternoon was reserved for walking from there to the Arc de Triomphe (in theory, this could be done in probably 20 minutes, but not when you’re leaving no store unturned). We also wandered off the Champs Elysees to a few destination stores (Chanel, Fendi, Cartier). Arrived at the Arc about 7:00pm, and climbed to the top (to look back down on the Champs we had just conquered!). Back on land, we walked for a while until happening upon a restaurant for dinner (some random French place – quite forgettable).

Tuesday, May 7th: OK, so we live in Florida…about 4 hours from Disney World. But, in reality, the origin of this whole trip was Dan’s indulgence of my long-time dream of going to Disneyland Paris. I can’t explain it…I’ve just always wanted to go. So we went. The train ride from Paris to Marne la Valee takes almost an hour, letting you off right at the entrance gates. I won’t spend too much time on Disneyland because I know most of you aren’t into it…suffice to say we had a great day and it was all that I’d hoped. And the weather totally cooperated giving us a whole day of warm sunshine!!
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:07 AM
  #3  
Kimberley
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Wednesday, May 8th: Morning at Sainte-Chapelle and the conciergerie. Sainte Chapelle is an incredible sight, definitely worth a visit. The conciergerie, while interesting because it is where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned, does not need to be a priority in Paris. But it is right next to Ste Chapelle, so it’s not a big deal to stop in if you’re interested. The afternoon was allocated for Galeries Lafeyette, but we opted to walk there to see what we might see on the way. Stopped in at a little Italian café on the seine for a quick lunch (very basic pasta) and then continued on to shopping. We stayed at Lafeyette until closing (7pm) and then went back to the fondue place from Saturday (it was just as good as we’d remembered, and the waiter was still friendly!). Got back to the hotel about 10:00pm, just before Armageddon (aka food poisoning). There’s currently another post about food poisoning, where people are suggesting that it’s possibly due to all the heavy sauces, or that people are throwing the term around to describe food they don’t like. Maybe so, but in my case…this was the real thing. And, believe it or not, it seems to have come from that “basic pasta” with tomato sauce from lunch. I’ll spare you the details, but it was one of the worst nights of my life. Luckily Dan is a doctor (and more importantly, a total sweetie) so I was well taken care of (and force-fed fluids).

Thursday, May 9th: Completely lost this day, as I couldn’t move from bed. Dan ventured out twice briefly for supplies (and to get himself some food), but otherwise chose to stay put with me. What a terrible day. In case anyone else has this horrible fate, I’ll share Dan’s recovery rules: most importantly re-hydrate (at least 2 cups of water for every “incident”), and eat nothing but bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast for at least 24 hours. Reintroduce protein only after you feel 100%.
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:07 AM
  #4  
Kimberley
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Friday, May 10th: Still feeling weak and without appetite, but able to venture out and do something. Extensive walking was out and frequent rests were in, but otherwise we proceeded as normal. Started out at the Rodin museum, which we loved. Very small and intimate with beautiful gardens. Next on to the Dome church (where Napoleon’s tomb is found). A cool church – worth a short visit. Next, caught the metro to the D’Orsay. I definitely lacked energy for a full exploration, so we took it slow and focused on the top floor (French painters) and enjoyed it very much. It is, and always has been, my favorite museum. After lunch at Les Deux Musees (just toast for me) we went for a leisurely stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens, which was a very romantic spot. By then I needed a nap before our Moulin Rouge reservation. We had originally reserved for dinner and show, but phoned that morning to change it to show only. Of course it is a bit tacky and over-the-top, but it is totally spectacular and we loved it. Were definitely glad we did it. Although it is in a seedy neighborhood, so definitely go all the way to the metro right in front, rather than attempting to walk part of the way.

Saturday, May 11th: Versailles. Took the train from Paris. It was the worst weather so far – cold and rainy. Definitely not a good day for Versailles, but it was our last day. Versailles is stunning in its size and beauty, but the crowds are truly prohibitive. And it seems that you’re constantly waiting in line for each individual segment (the state apartments, the king’s quarters, the garden, the bathroom…). Between the weather and the crowds, I’d have to say my net experience was kind of negative. But it was a great learning experience and really beautiful. After the day in Versailles, we had time for on more movie (the Majestic) before packing up and getting to bed (up at 6am for our flight back home…).

And that’s it! If you haven’t seen our pictures yet, you can check them out at:
http://www.kdkdesign.com/paris/paris.html
Kimberley
 
May 14th, 2002, 05:25 AM
  #5  
Kimberley
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Friday, May 10th: Still feeling weak and without appetite, but able to venture out and do something. Extensive walking was out and frequent rests were in, but otherwise we proceeded as normal. Started out at the Rodin museum, which we loved. Very small and intimate with beautiful gardens. Next on to the Dome church (where Napoleon’s tomb is found). A cool church – worth a short visit. Next, caught the metro to the D’Orsay. I definitely lacked energy for a full exploration, so we took it slow and focused on the top floor (French painters) and enjoyed it very much. It is, and always has been, my favorite museum. After lunch at Les Deux Musees (just toast for me) we went for a leisurely stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens, which was a very romantic spot. By then I needed a nap before our Moulin Rouge reservation. We had originally reserved for dinner and show, but phoned that morning to change it to show only. Of course it is a bit tacky and over-the-top, but it is totally spectacular and we loved it. Were definitely glad we did it. Although it is in a seedy neighborhood, so definitely go all the way to the metro right in front, rather than attempting to walk part of the way.

Saturday, May 11th: Versailles. Took the train from Paris. It was the worst weather so far – cold and rainy. Definitely not a good day for Versailles, but it was our last day. Versailles is stunning in its size and beauty, but the crowds are truly prohibitive. And it seems that you’re constantly waiting in line for each individual segment (the state apartments, the king’s quarters, the garden, the bathroom…). Between the weather and the crowds, I’d have to say my net experience was kind of negative. But it was a great learning experience and really beautiful. After the day in Versailles, we had time for on more movie (the Majestic) before packing up and getting to bed (up at 6am for our flight back home…).

And that’s it! If you haven’t seen our pictures yet, you can check them out at:
http://www.kdkdesign.com/paris/paris.html
Kimberley
 
May 14th, 2002, 06:19 AM
  #6  
Barb
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Kim--Sorry to hear about your food poisoning, but you seemed to have made the best of it, so thanks for the positive outlook. I really enjoyed your report; I leave for Paris in less than a month.
 
May 14th, 2002, 06:58 AM
  #7  
Tracey
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Great pictures! makes me want to go back again. Sorry to hear about the food poisoning. I got that myself on my honeymoon, so I know how bad it can make you feel, especially so far from home!
 
May 14th, 2002, 07:40 AM
  #8  
c
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Sorry to hear about the food poisoning - I have a similar memory from a trip to Boston. Great trip report and thanks for sharing the photos!
 
May 14th, 2002, 08:00 AM
  #9  
Travis
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Kimberley,

Great report, my girlfriend(Brenda) and I, who live in Tampa, are leaving in a few days, and are super excited!! You two sound pretty much like us, to the tee! Sad to say, that we are going to Disneyland Paris as well, and being from Orlando, and now only living 45 mins away in Tampa, but it's Disney, so Brenda has convinced me. Did you use a museum pass? We are planning on hitting as many as possible, and are thinking of getting one to skip on lines. I sent my girlfriend your link and she is now freaking out because you are wearing gloves in many pictures, and since you guys are use to the HOT weather like us, she thinks we need to pack turtle necks, too funny! We too have decided to go strictly digital for the first time, so wish us luck on our pictures turning out as good as yours, I'll have to send them your way!
 
May 14th, 2002, 08:08 AM
  #10  
Travis
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ps....sorry to hear about you getting sick....that stinks!
 
May 14th, 2002, 08:11 AM
  #11  
Kimberley
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Travis-
I'm glad to hear there are others like me (or at least one other - your girlfriend). If Brenda is really anything like me, she will love Disneyland. And Dan says he had the best day just feeding off my excitement! As for the weather...listen to Brenda and pack warm! This time of year is actually very unpredictable and it could be much, much warmer in a few days (and as you can see in the Disney pics, it was very warm that day). But most of our days were COLD - in those eiffel tower pics where I have the white turtleneck sweater, I actually have a second turtleneck on underneath. I did use my gloves a lot and (although I kept pulling it off for the pictures) Dan needed a wool hat to cover his bald head (the one I have on in the Luxembourg Gardens)!!! I'd love to hear about your trip and see your pics. You and/or Brenda can feel free to e-mail me directly. Have a great trip!
Kimberley
 
May 14th, 2002, 09:15 AM
  #12  
Travis
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Kimberley - Great, thanks, we will email if we have questions before we leave! I left my email too, just incase? I think Brenda is a lot like you, because she didn't even know there was a Disney in Paris, and when I told her, she got too excited and said that it is a must! I am glad to hear you liked the Rodin a lot, because we haven't made it to that one yet, and it is on our list to make this time, we always spend to much time in museums! I will send you some pics when we get back, hopefully ours have more sun and less gloves, but I am thinking it probably still won't be that warm, especially compared to the heat wave we're having in Florida. Do you remember the name of the fondue restaurant? Seems like you both liked it very well. Thanks!!
 
May 14th, 2002, 06:45 PM
  #13  
David
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Enjoyed your report and pics. My "condolences" on meeting Armageddon....
I'm a little afraid to ask, since your tsuris (I think you'll get it) started soon after, but do you recall the name/address of the fondue restaruant you went to twice as our hotel is in the 5th? We will be there next week and it sounds like a good place to try (I think;-)
 
May 15th, 2002, 05:15 AM
  #14  
Kimberley
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I couldn't even THINK about that fondue place for a few days, but I can remember it with fondness by now! It was called "Le Menhir" and it was at 19 Rue Saint-Severin (1 or 2 blocks east of St. Michel). Cheese fondue ("savoyarde") followed by chocolate fondue for 2 came to 41 euros. BTW, David, did you just figure that "tsuris" is commonly known or do we "look" like we'd know it?
Kimberley
 
May 15th, 2002, 05:51 PM
  #15  
David
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Kimberly:
Thanks for the name and address. I hope you didn't take my comment the wrong way; No, I don't think tsuris is commonly understood. I suppose it was just a wild guess on my part. We all play that game at times!
 
May 15th, 2002, 07:04 PM
  #16  
jill
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Kimberley,
A question about your pictures - from what location is pictures #11 and #12 taken? It looks like you're on a rooftop of some building with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Thanks for your help.
 
May 15th, 2002, 07:16 PM
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Barbara
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Question about Jules Verne. Are you saying it took a couple of hours for lunch, even though you didn't have any wine or other alcohol and no appetizers -- two hours just for two courses? I'm not in a hurry, but where was the time spent? One hour before ordering, then a half hour between each of the courses? Or order right away and wait an hour for each course?
 
May 16th, 2002, 04:51 AM
  #18  
Kimberley
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Hi-
Jill: those pictures were taken from the Chaillot Palace, which is right across the seine from the Eiffel Tower (across Pont d'Iena). It takes about 2 minutes to walk from the Eiffel Tower and is a great spot to photograph the tower. And although it looks like we're on a rooftop, we're not - you just need to go up the front steps to get to where we were.
Barbara - ummm, good question. I'm not sure. Our reservation was for 12:15 and it was after 2:00 when we left. Well, we were about 15 minutes late to start with and we definitely took our time over the menus. I don't remember waiting a ridiculous amount of time for the food to come out - certainly no longer than any restaurant where the food is made to order. I guess we just took our time and savored the experience. I'm sure you could be in and an out a lot quicker if you chose to be. But I sure wouldn't choose to be - it was such an incredible 2 hours!!
Kimberley
 
May 16th, 2002, 05:22 AM
  #19  
KatWoman
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Thank you for the wonderful report. We leave for Paris in 17 days! Sorry to hear you got ill. Glad you had Dan to take care of you! Now I'm off to look at your pictures. Take care.
 
May 16th, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #20  
KatWoman
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Great pictures Kimberley. Thank you for sharing them. Cannot wait to have my own! : )
 

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