Linda's trip report - Paris 4/17 - 4/25

Apr 29th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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Day 5- A day of rest ( sort of)

We really took it easy today. We slept a little later had a nice cooked breakfast and headed out to Galerie Lafayette to do a bit of shopping.
Weather was quite nice ( for a change) and we decided to go to Champs Elysees for a stroll. We considered (briefly) climbing the Arc de Tromphe. We settled for pictures on the ground. We were just too tired. After wandering around a bit, we went to Laduree for lunch. Beautiful, but hot. I don't know if they have air conditioning, but it was very stuffy upstairs. Daughter had an omelet and I had a salad. Went back to the apartment by way of Rue Grenelle where we picked up a chicken, bread, fresh green beans, fruit, some macarons and wine.

Day 6 - the museums

We made the mistake of not getting our passes until this morning. Big mistake. We waited at the Rodin for at least 30 minutes. We did not go to the Camille Claudel exhibit. The lines were long and we were enjoying the permanent collection. One observation, the gift shop is very small and poorly run. There is only one cashier and you must wait in line while people are looking through items to purchase ahead of you.
Our next stop was the Louve. Since I have been there three times, we only spent an hour there in the Denon wing looking at the Italian collection. We did not make the sprint to see Mona.
We continued to the Orangerie, but I must say it was a mistake. Although I enjoyed it very much, Renee was museumed out and was not very interested. The walk from the Louve through the Tullieries was quite enjoyable-- the tulips were in bloom and lovely with bursts of color. Three museums in one day! Over the top - again. Oh well, there is a country song popular right now 'I'll sleep when I'm dead' I just hope its not soon and I don't kill myself on this trip
Tonight we had dinner at Le Souffle in the 1er. We took the Metro to and from and felt very safe. The meal was fun. Three souffles - asparagus to start, chicken and mushroom for entree and chocolate for dessert-- predictable but delicious. €33.

Day 7 - museums continued

We walked over to Invalides and saw Napoleon's tomb. Very impressive. But, the Army museum was a complete surprise. I planned blow through it, simply because we had the passes. I was amazed at how interesting the WW I and especially WWII sections were. Looking at the war from the French perspective was somewhat unnerving. I love history and found it completely fascinating. So, our 20 minutes became about 3 hours. From here we grabbed a bite at the cafe next to the Rodin- nothing special.
Next stop was St Chappelle. I've been there, but my daughter hasn't. Please be forwarned: your museum pass means nothing here. The line for security was long. Seemed more stringent than the airlines. Once inside, the stained glass remains awesome. From here we walked over to Angelina's for l'chocolate and glace.
Our last dinner was memorable only because we ate at Cafe Le Dome looking at the twinkling Eiffel Tower.

Friday - Today we go home. So we walked to the Eiffel Tower for one last look. There were so many people, I was very grateful that neither my daughter or I had any interest in going up the tower. Just being under it left me queasy.

So, too quickly our trip has come to an end. We didn't eat at any 3 star restaurants or have any haute cuisine. We missed some must dos on our list - like the Jardin Luxumberg and that climb of the Arc. And, my feet still hurt. But it was the best of trips because I shared it with my "baby" and my memories as they say are priceless.

I hope some of this loooong report will be helpful someone planning a trip. Its been fun for me to write it all down--kind of like reliving it a bit to sustain me til the next trip.....
ladylyn915 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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Hi Linda, I enjoyed your TR and thanks for posting.

I too was surprised (pleasantly) by the Army Museum. I had the same mentality as you did when we went - thinking it was a quick walk-thru just because we had the museum pass and we were there. No... it was really well done and I was so sad we had to leave after 1 hour (we were on a tight schedule).
yk is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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Hi Linda, thanks, your report was lovely!
I´m going to Paris next May, and loved to know about the shoe shops, as I´m addicted to shoes!!
Congratulations on your daughter´s wedding, and I was very moved by this trip you two took together.
zago_krebs is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Hi Linda,
I remember a post of yours about hoping to purchase bridal lingerie for your daughter. Did you find any?
lauraallais is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 01:25 AM
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Zago - Thanks for the nice words. The trip was special. since we both love to travel, there will be more trips in the future. We have already begun to talk about Italy next year with the guys, but that's a new chapter and a different kind of trip.

lauraallais - Yes that was an interesting post- lots of spirited discussion. No, unfortunately, the Euro just pushed prices out of my reach. Galleries Lafayette did have some nightgowns and robes that were the "right" type that I was looking for, but the prices ran about €230 for the gown. I didn't even check the price for the robe. There was also a tiny lingerie store two doors down from the apartment, The prices there were way above my budget- €350 -€400 for a set would have brought the cost to around $600. I'm sure there must have been places that would have been much cheaper, but with all our running around, I did not get to look further.
I never did mention my idea about the peignoir idea to Renee. On the way home, on the plane, she said to me, "You know mom, maybe we should have looked for my peignoir set while we were here? That would have been cool. But, when you get it, make sure its short!" So, I guess that takes care of that. Victoria Secrets, here I come....
ladylyn915 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 04:07 AM
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Thanks for your report - I enjoyed reading it. I have two young boys, so I don't anticipate "wedding shoe shopping trips" in my future, so thanks for letting me take a vicarious 'chick bonding' trip with you!
Canada_V is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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Sorry for the ups and downs, no, only for the downs, but thanks for sharing. Swell report. Enjoy the wedding. That will be it's own "trip"
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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How unfortunate that the waiter ripped you off with the portable credit card reader. I read about that very scam on another thread here at Fodor's and some had wondered if it wasn't an urban legend. Obviously, it isn't.

Thanks for the report, ladylyn.
flsd is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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I have a quick post script on the gift card. This is good news! I checked the balance on the gift card today and I was reimbursed! Whether it was because of my dispute or not, Le Relais Reims credited back the full amount. I like to think it was an honost mistake-- the waiter seemed very nice ( and didn't like Hilary!-too funny)

ladylyn915 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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This tale is both appalling and delightful. You did so many things wrong -- how horrible! I would have been furious. But you also had a lot of nice surprises, so that compensates.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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kerouac -

>> appalling...?

.... I would have been furious.>>?
ladylyn915 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Ladylyn, thanks for sharing your trip report. I will be in Paris in a week and wouldlove to know if you noticed any good handbag shops along the way. Not designer or super-expensive, but more like unique, indie leather bags priced at around $100-300 USD. Any ideas where I might find these?

Also looking for inexpensive scarves as souvenir gifts -- where might I find the best selection?
traveladventurer is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Thanks so much for the wonderful, detailed account. Really makes me long for my next Paris trip. Congratulations on your daughter's impending wedding too, and best wishes to her for a lovely event and a joyous marriage!
PegS is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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I'm sorry, I'm not sure I know what an "indie" leather bag is. Do you mean like individual one of kind? I don't know a whole lot about bags. I have one coach bag (ancient) and one furla bag and the rest are Kenneth Cole Reaction or Stone Mountain variety.

That said, there were lots of little shops in the 7e that had beautiful satchel type bags ( very popular here in the northeast) in the windows, most were around €180 - €250.

The bags we saw on rue Meslay were very inexpensive €10 -€20.

The only scarves we saw were in the tacky souvenir shops-- nothing nice.
I don't know if this is of any interest, but, I stopped into the local supermarket and purchased six different kinds of french mustards. I bought three of each. The cost was €2.25 and I had six gifts for about $10.50 each. My sister, older daughters and girlfriends loved them.

Have a wonderful trip!!
ladylyn915 is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 06:42 PM
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Hello Linda:

Thank you for your lovely posts. I was walking through the neighborhood with you...we always stay in the 7th. Was the Italian place on rue de l'exposition the old Casa de Sergio? He was a Rick Steves fave for awhile, I wondered if he was still open.

We are headed back next month (is it really that soon...ah) with the kids. Can't wait.

I especially loved the comment about Cafe Bosquet. That was the first restaurant I ever ate at in Paris - five years ago. I was jet lagged, dirty after the long flight from San Francisco...and the waiter was SO rude. Happily the rest of the trip was WONDERFUL. We have stayed in that neighborhood three times since then, and I have walked by that restaurant at least 50 times, but will never go back in because of that bad first experience. Sounds like I have been right to avoid it.

Do you have any tips for the neighborhood? Where was your apartment? We are at the corner of rue de Grenelle and rue Cler next month. Can't favorite ice cream is across the street (the little stand on rue de Grenelle).

Thanks again for the memories!
dlejhunt is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 08:54 PM
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Great trip report, Linda! I think I was one of those who recommended the Muguet & Golden Air Shuttle to you, so I'm relieved you were satisfied with both. (One never really knows if things might not have gone all to hell since one's last visit.)

Finding, in a tiny little shop, the perfect pair of wedding shoes combined with that surprise discount was proof that mother-daughter magic exists! What a wonderful memory for you to smile about (between sniffles) as she walks past you down the aisle.

Thanks, too, for the detailed shoe street information. When we go there in November, my sister will no doubt need to bring a wheelbarrow with her. Or pay a taxi to trail us with the trunk open so she can just sling the shoeboxes in there frisbee-style.

I'll be the one clunking along behind her, Quasimoto in an orthopedic boot.
Croque_Madame is offline  
May 2nd, 2008, 04:12 AM
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Croque_Madame - lol! you've given me a great start to my day here in gloomy New Jersey! What a funny visual.
Perhaps, I find it so funny because on my last trip ( the only one with DH-- and he swears his last to Paris), we had to take a taxi to go to the market at de Clignancourt to buy another piece of luggage! I remember I paid about €30 and it barely made it home on the plane. Not, to mention the €50- 60 for the taxis back and forth.
I really loved the apartment--thank you! As I have said, it was not fancy, just perfect for a week pretending to be a Parisian. And, I would not ever stay anywhere else but the 7e.
I would compare Rue Domininque and the surroundings to the Greenwich Village area between 12th and W4th, Broadway to Waverly Place of NYC and in my opinion,of Blvd St Germain in the 6e compares to Fifth Avenue, between E48 and E57th. Both great, but totally different.

As for the shoes, we went for a wedding gown fitting last night and we laughed because you can't even see the shoes under the cinderella style gown. But, she and I will know how special they are.

dlejhunt - thanks for the kind words. I'm not sure if La Casa Campana is the same place. This was my first time staying in the 7e. Its on the same side of the street as L'Petit Troquet. It will be a few doors past it for you coming from rue de Grenelle. I don't think its listed in Rick Steve' 2008. BTW, many on this forum don't care for Rick Steves. Although I researched with dozens of books, his was the only one I took with me and thought it was great. Got it from the local library and returned it the day after we came back. How's that for frugal?
As I have said repeatedly in this post, I was trying to keep the costs manageable. But, my last trip, ( when I was willing to spring for taxis),we ate at Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower - superb, but pricy, Le Clos des Gourmets and La Cigale Recaimer all in this neighborhood.
The apartment was right on rue St Dominque between Avenue de la Bourdonnais and rue Augereau.

Yes, thankfully, Cafe Bosquet seemed to be the exception, but the entire experience was reminiscent of the stereotype rude frenchman which I have never encountered on my previous trips. For example, After placing my order, which we were left to wait while two other french speaking couples, who arrived after us, placed their orders, I decided I wanted frites. this is a french word, no? The waiter looked at me like I had two heads, went and got the manager/owner. But, I never did get them. Fortunately, it was an isolated event. Like you, would never return.

ladylyn915 is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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I wish I had a daughter I could take to Paris. Took my son once, long ago when he was a toddler. He made plenty of friends for us, calling lots of older gentlemen 'grandpa,' but taking a daughter would really be something special.
Thanks so much for the trip report.
cynthia_booker is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Thank you for the wonderfully detailed trip report! Did you make reservations in advance at L'Petit Troquet? We will be staying in the area, and I'm very interested in eating there. Thank you!
txgrl99 is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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Great trip report! will def check out the shoe stores, I'll be there sunday! yay
AyQuehago is offline  

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