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My Great Paris Trip!

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Sep 26th, 2012, 03:33 PM
  #1
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My Great Paris Trip!

Hi - I have been reading this forum for over a year and asked a few questions. The information here was invaluable in planning my trip so I wanted to thank you all and tell you a bit about my recent trip. Warning - this will not be NEARLY so interesting as zatrams999's recent report or some others I have read!!

Flight – Used Delta FF miles to get a business class ticket on Air France from IAD CDG on the 380 airbus. It was a great flight with good food, drinks, service etc. I had an interesting seatmate so we were talking, eating and drinking for awhile and then it was too late to take anything for sleep so didn’t really get any rest. The immigration line was very long and by the time I got my luggage it was too late to go to the arrivals lounge for a shower before meeting my 2 friends. I hauled my very heavy luggage (packed too many clothes!) to catch the train to Terminal One to meet my travel companions and shuttle. I bought the museum passes and metro passes at the Tourist Information desk there and then waited for the arrivals. The driver from Shuttle Inter showed up and finally my friends came thru the door and we were off to our apartment. I had set up a global plan with Verizon but had no service so the driver offered his phone and I called the apartment greeter.

Apartment – We stayed at 1 Rue Regis which we rented through Paris Deluxe Rentals. It has two bedrooms - one of which has a full bath ensuite and the other bedroom has a shower room with sink and mirror adjacent and a WC with sink and mirror across the hall. That worked well for the 2 of us who shared that bedroom because we each had a mirror and sink for the primping each morning! The apartment looked as advertised on the website and it was very comfortable for our stay. There was free wifi and phone calling to the US so I got Verizon to activate my global plan and we all called husbands/ loved ones. We had prompt and efficient dealings with the company before the trip and during. Our greeter was very nice and patiently explained everything about the apartment and neighborhood. She went to get us more soap and brought back some warm croissants – yummy! We had an issue with the washer and our greeter came over the next morning and got it fixed. I think we used the wrong cycle but thankfully we didn’t break it!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Museums we saw: Musee D’Orsay, Louvre, L’Orangerie, Cluny, Rodin, and Marmottan. We enjoyed them all and were very glad we had the museum pass!

We took a guided Louvre tour with Paris Muse and our guide (Rachel) was great – very informative, knowledgeable and patient. After our tour of the Treasures of the Louvre, we took a break and had lunch at the Carousel de Louvre food court (Mediterranean was quite tasty) and then we went back and saw Napoleon’s apartments (Fabulous) and the Dutch and French paintings.

Things we did: On our first full day, we went to the Raspail Sunday market, walked over to Luxembourg Gardens, walked to St Sulplice and went inside. Later in the evening we walked up to the Tour Montparnasse before dusk and saw the sunset and the twinkling Eiffel Tower! I got some great shots with my iPhone and they looked beautiful after I edited them with the Camera + app I installed.

On our longest day, we visited Arc de Triomphe and then walked down the Ave des Champs-Elysees through the Tuilleries Gardens to the Louvre, then had lunch at a café (mediocre food). After lunch, we walked along the Seine and went over to Ile de Cite and Ile de St Louis. We visited Notre Dame but did not climb the stairs. We shopped at Diwali and bought some lovely scarves, music boxes for my grandchildren at a cute souvenir store. Thanks for the tip about those! We had tickets for the Four Seasons Concert at Sainte Chapelle and that was outstanding. It was a wonderful treat to sit in the chapel and view the gorgeous stained glass windows with the sunset streaming through and hear the strains of Vivaldi. We walked over 8 miles that day!!

Another day, after a museum, we took a Seine river cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf and walked around the Pont Neuf and Pont de Arts areas.

One afternoon, we went to the Trocadero area and walked through the gardens and fountains over to Champs de Mars. Had a very good lunch that day at Le Wilson restaurant (fixed Prixe formula with steak for main course) Very tasty!

On Friday, we went to the Opera Garnier and it was truly magnificent – we did the self-guided tour and spent about 45 minutes there. After that we went to Galleries Lafayette and shopped a little, ate in cafeteria and then went to the free fashion show. It was great fun to see all the models and stylish outfits which of course I could never wear! It was a fun day. It was raining that afternoon (the only time it did during our stay) so the metro was VERY crowded – I think we all received full body massages! We were very vigilant about our money and purses, phones, so nothing was taken but that day I was a little concerned. I can see how easy it would be for a pick pocket in that situation.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Food: We ate breakfasts in our apt with yogurts, fruit and pastries, bread from Le Grand Epicerie (Wonderful store close to apt) and the bakeries in our neighborhood. Loved the chocolate macarons from a neighborhood pastry shop!! We mostly ate late lunches at sidewalk cafes on the go and the ones we liked best were Le Wilson in Trocadero, Mucha Café near D’Orsay, and La Rotonde de la Muette near the Marmottan (great beef bourgonion!) We had dinner in our apartment a couple of nights with pates, cheese, dolmathes, bread, and fruit. The best dinners we had out were at Lancetta (Italian)on Rue du Cherchi Midi and Brasserie Lutecia at the Hotel Lutecia.

Departures: One of the group left on Sat and Shuttle Inter picked her up on time at 5:30 am. My other friend and I left Monday and again Shuttle Inter was there promptly at 6 am. I know some people have had problems but for our trip, they were there for us. Got to airport plenty early and shopped around the duty free stores (didn’t buy anything except macarons from Larudee). They were still delicious when I got home MANY hours later! I think they are better at the end of the day when the filling has gotten gooey; it was usually too cold and hard in the mornings. Flight back was on AF on a 767 and was also excellent. The flight attendants were super nice!

Overall impressions: It was my first trip to Paris and we tried to do a lot of sightseeing but also spent some time at the cafes having meals or drinks. Really enjoyed the sightseeing, museums, gardens and shopping! I know we missed Montmartre and Sacred Heart and some other sites but just ran out of time.

Most everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. I knew the greetings, please and thank you and do you speak English and most did. My friend was a French major in college (won’t risk the friendship by saying how long ago that was!) so her French was a little rusty but it came back to her quickly and she conversed in French or translated on occasion and did a great job!

We rode the buses a couple of times but mostly did the metro and I felt very safe most of the time. We walked over 50 miles during our 8 full days there and I wore my comfortable Merrell shoes the whole time. My feet starting feeling cold and numb towards the end but no blisters. Maybe I tied the laces too tightly and cut off the circulation or wore the skin off my feet! I had been walking a lot before the trip but not 6 miles a day! The metro stairs got to my knees a little (live in a one story house) as I was not used to that much stair climbing. Need to use the stairmaster at the gym and do the quad machine!

We did not see the gold ring or other scams but we saw a few petition girls who we ignored. Once on our last day, my friend and I stopped to look at the street signs to get our bearings and a Romani family with 4 or 5 kids started coming towards us. I said NO and we took off before they surrounded us and backed us against the wall.

Sorry this was so long and again, thanks to everyone on this forum!

Happy Travels!
Sara
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Sep 26th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Glad you had a good time!

No worries that you missed some sites....have been to Paris 4 times and there is still so much I haven't gotten to yet. I am super jealous of the concert at Ste Chapelle. I really do want to do that sometime! and I haven't made it to Marmottan!

I love the Grand Epicerie at Le Bon Marche! I just like to gawk at all the great, gorgeous food.

We always light a candle for a friend at St Sulpice and we usually stay in that area. I love it.

We just got back from Rome but I am always missing Paris!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Enjoyed reading your report, & don't worry, it's not too long. We were in Paris this past summer for the first time, & absolutely love it. We saw & did most of the things that you did. We bought the 4-day Paris Museum Pass, which was well worth it. We only saw Arc de Triomphe from a distance, never made it up close. Where was your apartment located?
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Sep 26th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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The apartment was located in the 6th near Rue de Cherchi Midi. You can see it here
http://en.mappy.com/map#d=1,+Rue+R%C...France,+France

Here is the apartment website
http://www.parisdeluxerentals.com/re...saint-germain/

It is a quiet safe neighborhood but there are restuarants, bakeries etc nearby as well as the bus stops and Metro stations.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Wonderful report! Thanks. Makes me smile to see someone else enjoying a city we have enjoyed so many times.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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As some of the many Fodorites who count Paris as one of their favorite cities, we really enjoyed your report. We agree with Denisea that after having visited Paris a number of times, there is still so much to look forward to for a return visit. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Nice report--and thank you especially for the apartment info. Very helpful for those of us who, sooner or later, always return to Paris. I hope you join the club.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Saving to read and enjoy later!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 10:18 PM
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Thanks very much for sharing your travel info. Just starting to plan our trip for next year - our first time to Paris & London, so we're researching & making notes. Sounds like you had a fabulous time!
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Sep 27th, 2012, 04:01 AM
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Very fine report. I like the way you organized it, by topic as well as by time. It made it very easy to learn from it, and your enthusiasm was infectious.

You are also a pretty energetic grandmother! I am envious. If only our children hadn't waited so long . . . .
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Sep 27th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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Thank you for your report, I really enjoyed it.

We are going to Scotland and England next year, and it is killing me to know that we will be so close and not have enough time to pop over to Paris.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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Very nice report, Sara. It brought me sweet memory about my favorite city in Europe. You can visit it over and over and always will find something new to see or to do.

Thanks again for detailed info.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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Wow a really nice read! We have just returned from Paris as well - our first time but surely not the last! We had the chance to visit most attractions that you are talking about but we missed St Chapelle and Opera Garnier... next time!
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Oct 14th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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You'll just have to come back to see all of the things you missed.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Sara - a great report. i enjoyed reading it very much.

and you saved some things to do next time - good planning.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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I believe you just joined the---"I can never get enough of Paris"---club! It sounds like you really got around but also left some things to do on your next trips.

Now you'll be able to help others when they have questions about Paris. If I do say so myself, we are an interesting group.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for all the kind comments. Don't know when or if I will get back to Paris though
My husband doesn't want to go and we have other trips planned or in our minds. Next one is to Hawaii in spring for our anniversary and we want to go to South America sometime as well. I would like to go to Ireland too!
So many places........
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Oct 14th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Sara - really enjoyed your trip report. I guess it's time to start planning the next trip - you made me nostalgic!
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