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Paris and Bordeaux Trip Report February, 2006

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Mar 10th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Paris and Bordeaux Trip Report February, 2006

I neglected to prepare and post a report on my November, 2005 trip to Paris with my daughter. She's 17 and it was her first trip to my favorite european city...but we did mostly touristy stuff. This report might be a little more interesting as my traveling companion (TC) and i ventured out of our comfort zone and did things a little different this time around. It was to be our third trip to Paris together in as many years and, oh boy were we excited...until

Sunday, February 19, 2006

We live in northwest Arkansas, and until that particular weekend had completely missed winter. Ha! Ice storm cometh. We arrived at our airport several hours earlier than we should have, and our flight to Dallas was postponed several times. We whiled away the hours drinking beer in the bar. Received word that we would indeed be able to make it to Dallas, but had already missed our plane to Paris. American Airlines personnel suggested we go home and try again the next day. No way...by glory, we were more than a wee bit inebriated, packed, and prepared for our trip. Going home was out of the question! By then we'd opened the bottle of wine earmarked for our Parisian apartment hostess and were guzzling it furiously. American Airlines told us that we might have to spend the night in Dallas...swell...we just wanted out of Arkansas, even if it was in the wrong direction! We hopped off the plane in Dallas and approached the first American desk. Hmmmm...no more flights that night to Paris, but there was a flight leaving in 15 minutes to London...did we want on it? Heck yeah! At least we would be hopping over the pond. We drank some more (shocker...you'll find we do a lot of drinking) and watched some lame movies and slept a little. Arrived in London's Gatwick airport sometime the next morning...it's a bit of a blur.

Monday, February 20, 2006

American Airlines turned us over to British Airways and said they would be delighted to arrange a flight to Paris. But there was one catch...one of our four suitcases did not make it on the plane and was still being held in Dallas. Great! We watched the carousel with great anticipation to see which bag was missing. Mine, of course. The suitcase with my medicine, toiletries and clean underwear. We made arrangements for the suitcase to be flown from Dallas to Bordeaux where we would pick it up Tuesday afternoon. We hopped on a bus from Gatwick to Heathrow (hungover and very weary, mind you). Flight from Heathrow to CDG was uneventful...and there was no drinking. Took taxi from CDG to our apartment and home base for the next week. Please take note of this apartment...it exceeded all of our expectations, and was an incredible bargain at 600 Euro for seven nights.

http://www.beau-paris.com/_apt/bassano/en_index.htm

Three blocks from George V metro, this was a wonderful location. I highly recommend this apartment to anyone who's looking...and i will definitely rent it again and again! TC and i unpacked (well, he did....i didn't have much to unpack with the missing bag and all) and went to dinner at a restaurant down the street which was recommended by our landlady. Comptoir d'Arc at 73 Avenue Marceau. This is a non-touristy type of restaurant. We had mojitos, a nice bottle of Bordeaux and something yummy for dinner. I vaguely remember some fried goat cheese, a steak, and teriaki chicken. TC always orders crème brulee...i don't remember dessert so much. We were exhausted. And i had no clean underwear. We'd stopped at a little corner market for juice and some cream. Hot bath and much needed sleep followed to prepare for the next day's adventure.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

TC had purchased TGV tickets from Paris to Bordeaux online. We woke up early and enjoyed coffee in our apartment, then metroed (is that a verb?) from George V to Gare Montparnasse in plenty of time to make our morning train. The first class TGV train car was very nice. We had seats by the window, facing each other with a small table in between us. We settled in for a nice three hour journey to Bordeaux. (TC owns a restaurant, so we were fortunate enough to have liquor distributor contacts make arrangements for some private chateaux tours in the region.) A group of nice looking men boarded our train and were making themselves comfortable for the journey. One of them was sporting a Dallas baseball cap. I made eye contact, smiled and asked if they were in fact from Dallas. He laughed and said, no...Toronto. We chatted a bit back and forth and he told TC and me that he was traveling all over Europe making an independent film for Rail Europe about train travel. He asked what we were doing on a train, and we told him that we were international foot models on vacation. We thought he was telling a tall tale. We were definitely telling a tall tale! He asked if we would be kind enough to allow them to interview and film us. We said sure, as long as no photos were taken of our feet because that would be a violation of our contracts. We didn't realize or believe that he was indeed NOT a dirty liar until official looking releases were presented, and giant cameras and sound equipment was brought out of the next rail car. Boy, were we in a world of trouble. We confessed our sin and proceeded to have the most delightful journey. We were interviewed, filmed, photographed the entire trip. We were even paid...how funny is that! When the train arrived in Bordeaux, the guys got out and set up the cameras for our exiting...blowing kisses and all. We now do not have to pretend to be international foot models...we are indeed international documentary film stars! And i made sure to get photographic evidence...because, naturally, our families thought we'd made the whole adventure up! (I promise i will never lie again about my profession.)

Picked up very nice (Citroen) rental car...again, TC arranged for this online. Checked the map and began the driving portion of our trip from Bordeaux proper to Cantenac...home of our first look at wine at Chateau Prieure Lichine

http://www.wine-journal.com/plichine.html#

We had a lovely, long tour of the grounds and winery. And did a little tasting. Hauled booty back to the Bordeaux airport to retrieve my lost luggage (ah....clean things!), then made our way over to Pauillac to find a place to stay for the night. We lucked upon this charming hotel and settled in.

http://www.cybevasion.com/hotels/fra...lac_13785.html

We were advised to make reservations for dinner in the hotel's restaurant and do it fast because nothing in town was open, and their restaurant was filling up fast for the evening meal. We wandered around the harbor area, stopping at a shop for early evening snack supplies of wine, bread, and some stinky cheese. TC also took a nap before dinner...the first of many, many long naps for him on this trip. ( I'm seriously considering calling him NB (nap boy) instead of TC from now on!)

The hotel restaurant was lovely and rather large. Chock full of tables occupied by only one diner each. Very strange...this must be a place for business travelers. There was not a sound in the dining room except for the occasional scrape of a knife on a plate...no music...not a peep. I kept glancing around for EF Hutton. We'd had some (ha!) wine and were very giggly. Just the idea of being in a completely silent restaurant was so bizarre to us. The menu was full of lots of words we didn't understand (or maybe it was the combination of afternoon wine and the fact that we'd left our reading glasses in the room). We asked our very nervous and harried young waiter if he could help us with the menu. He shrugged and ran off. We managed to order dinner by pointing and grunting. The wine list, however, we understood! Dinner was unremarkable...i had some gristly flank steak, and TC ended up with a salad covered in fried chicken (we think) livers. I'm sure there was crème brulee and something chocolate for dessert...who knows. Back to the room for Olympic highlights, more wine, and sleep.

(I'll continue this report over the weekend...the days to come include another chateaux, a trip to St. Denis d'Anjou where TC lived for a while in the 80's, and finally....PARIS!)
missdaisy is offline  
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Mar 10th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Now this is what I call a great trip report - looking forward to more
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Mar 10th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Awesome report, can't wait for more!
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Mar 10th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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ira
 
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Looking forward to more, M.

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Mar 10th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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here are a few photos of the first few days of our trip

http://www.snapfish.com/thumbnailsha...69/t_=46721869
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Mar 10th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Funny stuff missdaisy! Looking forward to more (I would put a smilie face here but I don't know how you people do that).

Cheers!
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Mar 10th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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Topping until I have time to read this!
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