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Trip Report Paris November 2017

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This trip was in the books for several months. I kept thinking...Is this really happening? I'm going to Paris alone for 7 night's! I had this dread feeling something was going to happen and I was going to have to cancel. After all there was no way I would be getting my airfare back, so in my mind I was going not matter what.

The day I was leaving I ended making several stops before making it to DTW. I stopped and got the usual gift for the flight crew. Spinach pies, Meat pies and Baklava. Tried to get the protective screen on my phone replaced since it look liked a spider web gone bad. That wasn't happening. They didn't have the right size. My DH took me out for a late lunch on the other side of town. Nothing like a great Matzo Ball Soup and Cornbeef sandwich to send you on your way. Good food and excellent service. I can only pray I have the same on the plane.

I arrived at DTW 3 1/2 hours early. I checked my 2 bags outside with the Lady at Delta who I have seen for years. My DH asked her " how long you been working here" and she said 24 years! She is the nicest lady and is a welcome face when you pull up to the curb. I don't see her so much lately cause I'm usually on an early flight going to Mexico or where ever. She was impressed I was going to Paris all alone. I was actually pretty impressed myself at that point. Nervous, but totally out of my mind excited.

I breezed right through security and headed to the Delta Lounge to hang out for a while. Man, the place was a zoo. Crammed with people and unruly children. I'm used to being there really early, like when they open early, so I wasn't prepared for this picture. Popcorn smashed all over the floor, and the Delta lounge staff busting butt to get the place cleaned up. But, I was impressed at how well of a job they were doing.

I was really bummed, as I am a total creature of habit, and "my spot where I sit was taken" how dare they. So I found a little corner to set up shop for a few hours. Of course I was full from lunch and wasn't hungry, but I still managed to walk over to the food area and check it out. No Thank You. Nothing whatsoever looked appealing and the fact that I was a little taken back at how people were acting (like they hadn't eat for days) and just being slobs. Once again, the poor staff in the lounge.

I brought my big Starbucks cup to fill with the mint/cucumber water they have. I love that stuff. And drank about 5 coffee's. That was good enough for me. Of course I have to have every newspaper they offer because I love to read. And then this handsome tall fellow fell on me. Yep, dreams come true. He said hello when he sat next to me and I'm a total snob traveling. I don't want to talk to anyone other then staff and children. Sue me! But hey, I couldn't help but look up and say hi back. He took off and then he came back with a small plate of food and tripped over his carry on and unto my lap. The horror on his face was priceless! He was scrambling to get back on his feet. Of course I was not offended in anyway, I'm no Grace Kelly myself. But, I did feel his pain later that next morning...

Finally, I got my lazy self up and headed to my gate, Thank God it wasn't in the back 40 acres. When I arrived at the gate it was jammed. I thought "Oh lord, let this go smooth" and it did. But as I was sitting there I kept checking the price of the seat I bought in Business class. At the point of an hour to boarding it was up to 12,500.00, nope, I'm not kidding! Unreal, There were 2 seats left in business class. But by the time I boarded those seats were sold/upgrade out.

I was in seat 5 J and it was awesome. After dropping my carry on I went into the galley to hand off the treats for the flight crew that I had been carrying around for 5 hours at this point. Of course they were very appreciative and I was happy to give them those fantastic smelling spinach pies. I thought I should have grabbed on before I handed them off. But I can have those anytime.

I really was impressed with Delta One business class. Really nice little cubby area. Full recline seat and all the shabang! The TV set was huge. I never used it. Well, I did check to see where the plane was at the moment here and there, but otherwise, I just ate, read and get this! A first ever...I slept 5 hours. I have never slept that long on a plane ride. This was my 5 trip to Europe and I never slept more that a couple of hours. Worth every penny!

And here's the thing...I had been mentally beating myself up over spending this huge amount on a plane ticket. I thought...Is this worth it? Will I be sorry that I spent that hard earned money on what could possibly be a huge letdown and no comfort. Well, I was 1/2 right.

The flight to Paris was outstanding! Best flight over the Ocean EVER! I was greeted with a glass of bubbly (I really don't drink, but I was going full force on this trip) and sat down to a great area at 5 J. The flight attendant that took care of me most of the trip was a very sweet French Man who I would have loved to have hung out with. Moments after I was settled in I was asked what I wanted to eat? I went with the Sweet and Smoky Breast of Chicken. I was also served Butternut Squash soup, Caesar salad and oh the best starter. I have to find the recipe for this...Butternut squash, Date and Meyer lemon compote. It was served with whipped ricotta cheese and hazel nut pan forte. I could have licked the plate. Of course I got the cheese platter and it was pretty good too. They passed the snack tray around several times through the flight and water.

After I ate, I was exhausted. I had been up 16 hours at this point, and I was ready to nap. I took my fluffy cover and pillow by Westin, leaned my seat to flat and was gone...

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    I was shocked when I woke up 5 hours later! I never sleep 5 hours straight at home. I'm up several times to pee! If your an older lady like me, you'll understand. I was worried about where the restroom was according to my seat. I wanted to make sure I was close by. I knew I was going to be drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

    Before I fell asleep I changed into my PJ's and used the socks that came in the Tumi package. I didn't use anything else out of the Tumi because I wanted to give it to my Granddaughter. She loves that kind of stuff. But it had all the usual stuff...Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and etc..It was a hard gray case. I also tried to take off what little make up I did apply at home. I didn't want to scare anyone with the mascara running down looking like Alice Cooper. The restroom on the plane had some face wash and napkins, I broke down and used some of it. I'm a freak about germs now. How I made it this far in life before I became a freak is beyond me. My saying used to be "everything I've had in my mouth, nothing can hurt me" but I'm so not like that now.

    I was really dying for a cup of coffee. And I know I ain't getting that on any plane, not matter what class you in. But I was desperate at this point and would have drank anything that smelled like coffee. The flight attendant's started serving the "Almost There" meal. It consisted of Scrambled eggs, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and chicken apple sausage. I have to say..Gross. And don't even get me going on the croissant. The French would die of embarrassment. It was microwaved beyond belief. But I was assured in my head I would be getting the best croissants and breads ever within a matter of hours. I didn't really eat anything but a little fruit. We were within 45 minutes of landing. I had to get in that 4X4 bathroom on the plane and change. That was not so easy. But I did manage it and apply some makeup. As I was trying to put on mascara I kept thinking of what one of my old customer's at the restaurant used to tell me...
    Make up is the paint to make you what you ain't...

    Finally, we landed. Not real smooth, but hey safe. It felt like the plane was driving to Paris it took so long to get to the Siberian gate.

    I'm not sure if I just mentally forgot this part because of what happened when I got through customs/security, but I was don't remember now if we got on a bus and then went to the terminal. But I don't think so. I know I was so excited when I got to customs when a Lady who worked there said "Delta Priority this way" and I got into a line with 4 people. I could have done some breakdancing at that point. I was really excited to get my new passport stamped with Paris on it. My old passport will be jealous...
    As you leave customs there is a board to let you know where your luggage will be. It took me a few seconds to find where I should be going. Aha! Number 1-2. As I turned to walk away my heel caught the carpet and I fell like a rock. Totally unexpected. I fell so hard I was stunned. Of course the American's just stepped over me and the French People were trying to pick me up off the floor. They were speaking French but I said in English I was ok, Thank You. After all 5 11 of me got off the floor, people were handing me my passport, purse, carryon, glasses and pride. I had skinned my knee, my elbow, tore my tights and ended up with a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my leg later that night. But.. So What, I'm in Paris....

    My Hotel stay included a ride from the Airport. Thank God cause I had no idea what to do next. I had my brain jarred and it took me a few moment to get my you know what together. As I stood at the luggage belt looking for my own a French Lady came over and asked me if I was ok in perfect English. I told her yes, and Merci like 10 times, she told who I believe was her son to grab my luggage off the belt. I had gotten a cart and he loaded it up. As soon as I got through the crowd (That was crazy train) I seen my name and driver. David, gheez, are all these French Men going to be so good looking? I told him I'm Theresa and he grabbed my cart and whisked me out into the lot to a Mercedes Van which was spotless and off we go....

    David said traffic was really bad today and it will likely take us 1 1/2 hours to get to the hotel. At that point I was licking my wounds and it was not big deal. After about an 1/2 hour he said it would be less time as traffic seemed to clear up. Then we talked about their new president and ours. Funny that conversation would come up a lot through out my vacation...

    Seeing the city of Paris as we drove in was..Well, I can't describe it. My heart was pounding, I was so excited and I just couldn't take it all in fast enough. Before I knew it we were driving down the street to the hotel. I knew it well. I had Googled Earth in that area so many times I knew it by heart...

    Doorman came right over and welcomed me to Hotel Aubusson. And I said "I'm happy to finally be here". At this point it was about 10:30 a.m. (don't hold me to that) The lobby is stunning. Pictures on the internet do not do it justice. I was welcome once again by the front desk. I was informed my room was being prepared and would I like to have breakfast? I said no, but I'd love to go on the Patio and have a good cup of coffee. And that started the first of many outstanding cappuccino's I would have there. I was escorted to the patio, sat down and then I proceeded to smoke a cigar. I'm really here! God is good, all the time.

    That first cappuccino was so good and hot. I was in heaven. It was only about 25 minutes when I was informed my room was ready. Dang, how cool is that. I got on one of those cute little elevators and taken to the 3rd floor. Room 301. Right next to the elevator. Just for a second I was concerned maybe I would be hearing that elevator all the time. Nope! Not nary one time (If I can quote my Auntie) I was not ready for the room I was assigned. It was AWESOME! It had to window/balconies, a queen bed, desk, 2 side bed tables, a huge closet with lots of hangers, another closet with shelves, safe, extra pillows, blankets, huge bathroom all marble, robes, slippers and Hermes products. The room smelled wonderful and the décor was well....Beautiful. The colors were bright and cheerful and I fell in love with it.

    The room included breakfast, smartphone (BRILLIANT) transfer from airport, tickets for a river cruise, St. Chapelle admission, Louvre tickets and d'Orsay tickets. And so much more through out the stay at the hotel. It truly was the best birthday of my life.

    I knew once I got my luggage delivered to the room I was going to change and head right to a café around the corner for lunch. Th temp was 48 degree's and the sun was starting to come out. Heaven...

    Oh the falsehoods you read on the internet about what you should and shouldn't wear in Paris. Throw that list right out the door. I debated about wearing Jeans on this trip. Being on my own I wanted to dress up a little more. That was out the window right away. I think I dressed up twice. I wore jeans most days and black gaucho's. I brought 3 pairs of boots (I wore them all) lots of nice hoodie jackets (glad I did) 2 dressed, lots of tights, many long sleeved shirts and plenty of underwear....I was good for the whole trip. I thought if I need anything I'll just buy it. But once there I knew I wasn't buying any clothes. Let's just say...Sticker Shock!

    Anyways, I got my luggage delivered in my room within minutes, changed into jeans, long sleeved sweater a pair of boots a heavier coat and walked right out that front door and around the corner to L Atlas restaurant. I spent a lot of time there. I loved it.

    It was the perfect café for me. Near by, great food and service. I could sit there for hours and people watch. And I did.

    My first meal was Foie Gras, Salad with green beans and lots of bread and a coke. It was so good and what a surreal scene it was.

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    bvlenci; The flight crew seem to appreciate a good trya of Baclava.

    So I'm trying not to get jet lag and out of sorts. I call home and talk with my family. I get to face time the triplet's and all they want to see is the Eiffel Tower. I have to explain "Mamaw is no where near it right now". They are obsessed with a cartoon that is based in Paris. Cat Noir and Lady Bug. And they think I can find them there. Gheez, how to explain that one..

    I'm really fighting sleep at this time. My DH tells me if your tired go to sleep. I want to but I don't want to miss out my first evening in Paris. I take his advise and by 6:30 p.m. I am out like a light. I wake up one to use the bathroom. I do keep the one balcony window open for fresh air and I don't even hear the street noise I'm so crashed out.

    Friday Morn..

    I wake up at 6 am on the dot. I am dying for some water and coffee. There is a nespresso machine in the room and it makes great coffee, however, I trust the cow and not the chemist and won't use the milk in little plastic cups. I hop in the shower throw on some pants and sweater and get to the breakfast room at 7 a.m. Oh, as walk into the breakfast area and smell coffee to I feel as I died and went to heaven. I am greeted by two very nice gentlemen who offer me coffee. I love you Man is all I'm thinking at this point. He whips me up one of the best cappuccino just like yesterday and I grab a newspaper and start my daily routine for 7 days straight.

    I look over all the food items. I am so impressed. There isn't a ton of food but it is beautiful and fresh. Croissants, 4 kinds of bread, cheese, butter (salt and sweet, your choice) salami, ham, lox, cearl, yogurt (the good one's in the little bottles) a machine to make soft boiled eggs and fresh juices and so much more. I didn't want to make a pig of myself, but I did. I tried just about everything. Not huge portions, but a taste. It was super quiet in the room. I finally got some company after about an hour as more hotel guest's arrived to eat. They were a mix of all nationalities. And I loved hearing the hushed tones of people talking.

    Tipping 101 in my book. Being in the restaurant business I tip. I tipped the people who serve me. I left a tip every morning at breakfast. I'm sure it was appreciated. And they deserve it.

    I had plans to go serve lunch to the homeless at the American Church in Paris. The meal starts at noon. So after I eat breakfast I change into street clothes and head out to walk towards the church. I figure I can do a little sightseeing on the way. I walk along the Seine and it's beautiful out. It's going to be in the 50's and I'm thrilled to pieces about that. It takes me almost an hour to reach the church. I can't find how to get in the church. All the doors are locked. There are some men working on the stone in the vestibule and they send me around the corner to a door that's locked. I do see some people working in a small office and knock on the window, they tell me in French something and I'm just at a loss. I spot a woman walking out of the church door then and run over and catch the door to go in. It leads me into a reception area where the two people I just tapped on the window are. I explain I'm here to help serve food. They inform that's at the American Cathedral today. Great! I got my apron with me and I'm ready to work.

    The young man at the desk tells me if I would like to come back at 6 p.m. I can help Julianne go shopping and make food to pass out to the homeless. Ok, I can do that. And off I head back to the hotel. But not before using the restroom there.

    The walk back was glorious! And I happen to look up and see the Eiffel Tower again. All the boats cruising the Seine. Many tourists out and about. The little green stalls along the river were coming to life. On my way to the church no one was hustling out of the stalls, now they were in full swing. I crossed over one bridge and walked along the river to the next bridge and crisscrossed. Took a lot of pic's.

    I am really starving at this point. I run into the hotel, use the bathroom and clean up some and grab my smart phone. Man, that thing really comes in handy and I used it a lot.
    I could go anywhere to eat, but L'Atlas has lots of things on the menu I wanted to try. So I walked over and was greeted by the waiter from the day before like I was an old friend.

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    Yes, the airplane crew allow you to bring food to them.

    I sat around the restaurant for a few hours. I ended up having a delicious Nicoise salad with fresh tuna. Yum and of course lots of bread. I sat behind the seafood tower/oyster master's. They were putting together some very impressive platters. If only I could have eaten one myself. But I have to say some of the seafood they were putting on the platters are just no up my alley.

    By this time I was ready for a nap. And that's exactly what I did. I wasn't sure what was in store for me later at the church so I thought I better rest up.

    I was dragging [email protected]@ when I did finally get up. I changed into some jeans and a T shirt and headed out to the American Church. My God Paris is beautiful at night. Totally forgot how stunning the sights are. As I walked I could see the blue light streaming in the sky from the Eiffel Tower. Like a beacon. When I go there I was buzzed right in this time. And met Juliann. She was just a little sweet lady. Much younger than me. We grabbed a grocery cart and some bags and headed a few blocks behind the church to a store. We had to buy enough supplies to make 59 bags of food to hand out to the homeless the next day. The budget was 100 euro. And I was pleased to say we got a ton of stuff.

    We got back to the church and proceeded to make the bags of food. We just talked and talked. That took a couple of hours. By the time we were finished it was close to 10 p.m. I was thinking what to do at this point. Well, why not walk over to the tower and see what was happening. Well, I'll tell you the place was jammed and I wasn't getting anywhere near the tower as most of it was fenced off and I just didn't feel like fighting the crowd. So I just took the long way home using my very smart phone maps.

    When I got back to the hotel I sat on the patio and had a pot of tea, smoked a cigar and did some journaling. By the time I hit the pillow it was midnight. I kept thinking what time it was at home and kept trying to keep that out of my head. Sweet dreams in Paris.

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    TDudette; I brought my hood cigars. Black and Mild.

    gomiki; My Dad's name was Tanoose. That's Thomas in Lebanese.

    Kerouac; I love your posting's. And yes, I can do what I want with my money. I tip most people in the service industry. It's my way of saying "good job" and I appreciate you.

    Finally home from my DD house. Sick Triplet's suck! I have been there for 6 days, sleeping with kids get's you no good sleep.

    Saturday Morn. up at the crack of the sound of a garbage truck. I have to start closing that balcony door, but I don't want to miss that Paris air.

    Breakfast was amazing. I love the fact I walk in and coffee is sent on it's way to the table. Took my sweet time this morning. The breakfast room is quiet, but the Jazz is coming over the speakers and I love it.

    I have no plans today but just walk around. I shower and get dressed and wear my "Grandma's Army boots" ask my dad would call them. I'm going for a 8 hour day of walking and I get close to the hour's I planned. I walked all through the 6th and tried to see most of the churches I could find. I didn't go inside, cause I hate waiting in line. I know, what a bum.

    The sun is shining all morning but suddenly clouds start making their way into the beautiful sky. Dang! Why? I'm miles from my hotel and though I have a umbrella with me it's useless. The rain is coming down hard and sheering. I am forced to find shelter. I walk into some no name place like a drowned rat. I stand at the counter and order a Cafe' Crème and get a somewhat dirty look. No one looks my way or speaks to me. Which is fine, but I need the bathroom like nobody's business. I ask where the bathroom is, it's downstairs and it looks scarier than the mean streets of Detroit. I'm glad I brought TP cause all it was...Is a hole in the ground with a bulb light to see my way. I have to admit the coffee was so good I got another, no dirty look this time as the dude at the counter I think was taking pity of the snot nosed American. Stood there and soaked in all the glory of the locals. I have to google earth this location as I'd love to wander back in there again. The coffee's were 3.50 Euro. It's a bargain!

    I'm wet and tore up from the floor up. So I get lucky and there is a cab available and I hop in it and off to the hotel. It's raining hard again at this point. Thank God I wasn't walking at this point. I strip down, hang up my pants in the tub, but not before taking a hot shower. I am hungry and I can eat anything I want. But as a creature of habit I ended up going to L'Atlas again to see my old friends...

    The restaurant is hopping. I could see as I make way up the street it's jammed pack. There is a bango band playing across the street and the people everywhere. So exciting. The streets are wet, but hey it ain't raining. The gentleman that I think is the manager see's me approaching and waves me over to the last little table under the heating lamps. I thing to myself BINGO!

    I only hear French language. I'm listening really hard to hear some other kind of language. But nope, just French. That makes me happy as this seems to be a local hang out on Saturday night. I order my Coke with lime (I get lemon)and I just sit there for a while taking it all in and smoking my hood cigar. I think everyone is smoking outside. If you don't like it you better sit inside.

    I tell the waiter..I would like Chicken, mashed potatoes and salad. He ask's me "chicken with bone" and I say yes. And I get the most wonderful meal ever. My own little pot of mashed potatoes from heaven, perfect salad and chicken smothered in gravy. I'm so happy. I can't believe I sat there till almost midnight.

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    Funny, I did notice the restaurant didn't have a huge turn over. Many people sat there for hours. Eating and drinking. They Oyster guy's were kicking out plates upon plates of seafood. Just lovely. Once again, I wish I liked some of it.

    I stayed up way too late. I have a breakfast date with a friend. He was our tour guide 4 times when I was in Europe with high school kids. We hit if off at hello and I got to know him very well and we have stayed in touch since. So I was really excited to meet him and his Husband on their side of town.

    The last time I looked at the clock it was 2:45 am. 8:45 pm at home. I have to stop thinking that way. But, I can't help myself.

    Dragging [email protected]@ is an understatement. I drag myself out of bed at 7 am. I take a long hot shower which helps. Do the full make up and dress up. I go downstairs grab a coffee, sit out on the patio and journal for a while. Then head inside to eat. I'm not that hungry, but I need to eat something to hold me over till 10 am. I just have some salami, bread (of course) soft boiled egg and juice. The breakfast room is busier and I hear English/American voices over the sounds of Jazz.

    I talk to the front desk and have them call the restaurant I'm meeting my friend at to make sure they accept American Express, and they do. I have them call me a cab to head over to the 12th. I ask them to exchange some Dollars and the lady at the desk said I'd get a better rate up the street. I really don't care about that. I'm all about easy on this trip.

    I hop into a cab and off I go to Le Square Trousseau. It' about 15 minutes by cab. I am thrilled to death when I'm dropped off and there is a playground across the street filled with children. I stand there for a while and take my customary photo of children so I can post it with the usual "even the children speak French". I sit down outside, order a coffee and I'm even more happy to see parents eating at the restaurant and their kids are playing across the street. Ever so often a kid would run over and talk to their parents and head back over to the playground. It really made me miss my grandbabies when a little boy walks over in front of me and says "Bon Jour Madame" oh man I was over the moon at that point. I just wanted to kiss him. Nothing sweeter could have possibly happen at this point.

    My friend is late, so I think he's late. He's actually inside the restaurant and I'm outside. I walked into the dining room to use the bathroom and BAM, there he is.

    We do the 3 kisses and I meet his Husband, who is just as handsome as he is. Finally I get to see them.

    We sit around for an hour talking. Well, I'm talking, He's translating to this Husband as he can't understand some of the content of my conversion. We have a joyous time doing this.

    We order lunch. I have Shrimp Riostto, they order Veal with mushrooms (it's the season and all dishes are recommended with them" his Husband has Beef Tarte with frites. They are drinking beer and I'm drinking coke with lime (lemon) 3 hours blew by. We had a great time. I didn't want to hold them hostage all day so we made plans to meet up on Wednesday. BTW, they were fascinated by the smart phone the hotel provides. They went through it to see what was downloaded and said that was awesome. I think so too. I was sad to leave the playground area too.

    My friend got me into a cab and off to the hotel to change out of the dress clothes. Ain't no way I was wearing a dress all day. It was 6 euro cheaper to take the cab back to the hotel as it was to get there.

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    The hotel was having a turn over in guests. As the cab pulled up it was the busiest I've seen it yet. I was happy to see the place hopping.

    I got to my room and a beautiful fruit platter with a sweet note was waiting for me. The sun was out, the balcony door's wide open and I was thrilled to be in Paris alone.

    I changed and headed out this time to the right. I walked over the bridge and kept walking till I was tired. I sat down at a café and drank coffee and tried to read the French newspaper. That was a hoot. I had a great conversation with the waiter. Of course Trump was the subject I was always asked about. I'm not a fan.

    I started getting hungry, So I headed back into the 6 th and went to a restaurant next to the hotel down a side street. When I arrived I was too early for dinner. I thought it was much later as it was dark. It was only 6 pm. The staff were very nice and asked me to come back at 7. So I went to the hotel and rested for a minute.

    Chef Fernard is on rue Christine which runs along the side of the hotel. I wanted to try some French dishes I had been waiting to eat. I walked in at 7 sharp. It seems as though the American's are sat up front and the French in the back. I wanted to sit in the back, that was no problem.

    I ended up ordering..
    French Onion Soup
    Snails
    Beef Bourguignon
    Side of Mashed Potatoes
    Coke with lime (lemon)

    Service was very good. The 3 person staff out front were really nice. We had lots of little conversations through out the 2 hour meal.

    French Onion. Totally a let down. Very week in flavor. The only good thing was the bread with cheese made a heart. So I took a picture and sent it to my oldest grandbaby Alyce (she's 11 now)

    Snails. Very good and really hot. I sooped up all the juice with the bread. The bread wasn't so great.

    Beef Bourguignon was hot all hell. And it was good. The waiter dished it out on the plate and it smelled amazing. I of course put mashed right along side of it. I couldn't eat it all.

    I would go back again. But I wouldn't order a coke. I got one wine glass with 2 ice cubes and lime(lemon) and it was 7 Euro's. I ain't cheap, but that my friends was a total rip off.

    I was full, tired and happy. I feel asleep when my head hit the pillow. Mmmm, I did thing when I feel asleep, what's Paris like on Monday's?

    Dang! I woke up at 2 am. Wide awake. I made myself some tea and went down to the patio. Low and behold there were people there smoking and drinking. So I just grabbed a seat, checked my email and had a hood cigar. But 3 am I was ready to go back to bed. And I did.

    I got up at 6 am, dressed and walked along the river. So quiet. Not like here in Detroit. 6 am and people are out and about. I only saw a few people walking their dogs.

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    I’m really enjoying your report. You did your birthday up in great style!

    I always enjoy my first few nights in Europe taking advantage of the time change to stay up and enjoy the nightlife, and try not to plan any early mornings the first couple of days. That’s my natural rhythm, so I don’t fight it. But by the end of the trip I no longer feel like staying out so late.

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    Walked 2 miles and felt great. No sun today. Just gray and cloudy. But hey, I'm in Paris. Got back to the hotel went straight to have breakfast. I felt like the time was running out for me. I had to take in and eat as much good bread and pastries as possible. I won't be getting this back home.

    I ate a huge breakfast and decided to use one of my many perks from the hotel, take a river cruise. I dressed warn and wore a jacket with a hood cause it looked like rain. Checked with the desk about the times and walked up the street as it was on the Du Pont-Neuf.

    I was the first one in line. That's a first! When I walked up and handed the lady in the booth my ticket she asked me in French something and I guess I stood there with my mouth open and she took pity and said "English". Yes..

    Slow but sure some people started to show up and so did the droplets of rain. I didn't care I was riding on top no matter what. We had a very young guide who spoke excellent English and did the tour in French/English. Though it did start to rain a little harder she stayed right up front on top and continued. She and I were the only one's left sitting up there.

    That tour was an hour long. It was perfect. Towards the end it stopped raining and the sun was trying to make a guest appearance. Lady luck was on my side. It was nice all day after that.

    After changing into jeans and a dry hoodie I headed across the street to a toy store I just couldn't catch open. Everyday I would pass by and look in the window like a child. So many cool and unique toys, etc. The Gentleman working there was super nice. I had told him I was looking for finger puppets and he led me to the back where it was a total jackpot. Handmade puppets, some knitted ones and an array of costumes for kids. I couldn't decide as they were all well made and so darn cute. I ended up getting the triplets some. 2 Soldiers (like knights in shining armor) and got my littlest triplet (Erika) Little red riding hood complete set of knitted puppets. I got the oldest Granddaughter Alyce a puzzle of the Eiffel Tower. It was 150 pieces and the size of a post card. She loves puzzles and I thought that would be a challenge for her. The man asked if he should gift wrap it but I wasn't taking a chance of Customs tearing it up. I had that experience not to long ago on my way to Mexico and I was suddenly having acid flash backs. And don't you know the wrapping paper was adorable. I could have bought so much more, but Christmas is coming and I swear to God those kids have EVERYTHING! But it was fun to look around. I highly recommend it.

    Amuzilo
    Jouets Au Coeur De Paris
    rue Dauphine
    6th

    I took my goodies back to the hotel and walked to The Church of Mary near the Bon Marche. Though my map said it wasn't far it felt like it. So much construction going on in Paris. Trying to stay on the maps route can get tricky because some crossing are shifted and if your like me looking at everything and window licking your way there it's easy to miss a turn or two. Thank God I'm not a clothes horse anymore, My DH would be broke. The clothes and boots I was eyeing were not budget friendly in anyway. And I love the fact most shops have the price right below the outfit. That just shows me to stay away.

    The church is down a street and not like most churches where you can see them as you walk up. The entry was down a little side door and boom. There is Mary and St. Vincent de Paul in your face. The church is not large but beautiful. There were every walk of life in there on their knee's and praying the rosary. It was a mecca for Mary and people watchers alike. People dressed in furs to the homeless, this place had it all. I stayed for an hour or so. I stopped by the gift shop but didn't buy anything. It was full of postcards, rosaries, and medals.

    I walked back to the hotel taking my time. I stopped at a little café for a pick me up. I sat outside for quite a while until a lady came out and asked me if I'd been helped, when I said no she rolled her eyes and went back inside. Now mind you when I first sat down there was a waiter outside smoking and talking on his cellphone. So after the lady and I had that exchange here comes that waiter and he says "what do you want" first ill words I've heard the whole trip. I just wanted a espresso please. He went back in 10 minutes later he slams my coffee down and walks away. OK!

    I sit there drink the coffee and let the sun blind me. I take in all the French of it all. I go inside to pay as I had a funny feeling this guy wasn't coming to check on me. The doorway is jammed with men and dogs. I pay the lady who I had talked to earlier and left without tipping. That was a first.

    Now I'm ready for some of that Chicken Frissee I had a few nights earlier. I wanted to go to my stand by restaurant and eat and sit all night. And that's exactly what I did. I did change into dress clothes before I went. I spoke to the doorman at the hotel and told I was heading up the street to eat and he said that was one of his hangout's.

    The Manager was out in front and seen me coming. He welcomed me like an old friend and I was happy to get treated that way. I can only pray I make my customers feel so welcomed. I wasn't in the mood for Coke tonight. I just went with water and when the waiter brought the water, he brought lemon.

    I told the waiter after about an 1/2 hour I was ready to have exactly what I had the other night...The Chicken. It wasn't too long and he set all that beautiful food before my face and I was so happy. I ate everything. Truly, it was so good I still think of it. I had 2 espresso's and a salted Caramel Éclair for dessert. All I can say is "holy mother of Mary I'm gonna bust"..

    I was so ready for bed at this point. I rolled myself back to the hotel and was sleeping by 10.

    Woke up on and off through out the night thinking, OK Theresa you have 2 days left, you better pack in some miles. I had some things I wanted to do, but nothing dire. Finally made myself get up cause I couldn't sleep any longer. I headed down for breakfast. How could I possibly be hungry after that dinner is beyond me. But I ate like a champ. I mean I didn't eat a lot, just a little of everything. And they had these cute little, big on flavor Macaroons. Oh, they were awesome. I knew I had to go to Pierre Herme for some today, as I read everywhere on the internet they had the best. And I was doing the best on this trip.

    After getting geared up for the day as it looked like rain I had a big purse on me today with water, umbrella and clean dry socks just incase. And off I headed to Pierre Herme. I had to stand in line for these suckers. And the shop in the 6 th is so small. Rue Bonapate was the one I went to and that whole street was jammed. The sun was out and people were everywhere. Finally it was my turn. I knew I would only get one small box, I didn't want to take any home or let them sit around the hotel room. I got 7. And everyone of them were AWESOME! I ate them within the day. I know, I know, what a pig. Yep!

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    I forgot to include the funniest part of dinner with my friends. As we were finishing up our brunch a young man came over that worked at the restaurant and said he didn't mean to interrupt but he heard my accent (that's a laugh) and wanted to know where I was from. When I said Detroit in the house he said Jersey in the house. He said my voice was music/home to his ears. I can say 57 years on this earth no one has ever said such a thing to me...I told him he had balls to be moving to Paris, doing busser stuff and going to school there. I was thoroughly impressed. Of course I had to get up and give him a Momma hug. I told him keep your head up and don't let anything stop you.

    Also another great thing that happened to me was...I went into a local grocery store on rue Bonaparte. You had to take the escalator down to the food section. After walking around for a while I started back to the escalator back up to ground level when a very very old lady asked me in French could I help her up the escalator? Of course, but what really pissed me off is...As I approached her I could see she was asking other people who just totally blew her off. Once I figured out the situation I wanted to find those people and give them a Detroit beat down.

    So she took my arm and on the count of 3 in French (hey I can do that) we stepped unto the escalator. I held 2 bags and she had the old lady 4 wheel cart thing going on. Once we reached the top she thanked me over and over. I got someone to help me translate as I wanted to walk her home. But she had taken the bus. So I walked her to the bus stop and waited till the bus came. I helped her up the stairs and off she went. I was kicking myself later thinking I should have gotten her a cab home. That is one of the top 5 things to happen in Paris for me.

    Nikki; I think there is a hidden vibe with restaurant people. I never told anyone what I did for a living. So I feel like I was being treated special as I do the same for people for over 30 years now.

    Now I head to the mecca of food that I have been dying to visit...Bon Marche food hall. I walk over there and proceed to spend 3 hours there...

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    This is such a fun read and what a great birthday treat! I've been to Paris on my own numerous times and it's the best feeling to know you can do exactly what you want when you want. Absolute heaven. Nothing better than that IMHO. Waiting for more. :)

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    Bon Marche Bon Marche where have you been all my life? This place is truly the mecca of food! And other things of course.

    When I walked in I was searched. Eh, no big deal. Well, my purse and bag was...

    I didn't know where to start. Grabbed a cart and went down every single aisle. True that!

    I was thoroughly impressed by this shack, it had everything. And I bough a bunch of stuff for a little picnic I was going to have at Norte Dame Wednesday night for the big light show. I found these awesome gift boxes shaped like the Eiffel Tower for my grandchildren. I bought an Bon Marche apron which is really nice and well made. Hand cream that I love, it smell like grapefruit, olives, bread, sweets, salami, salad and was able to get some plastic ware at the bakery. It was madness in the bakery as it was lunch time and the locals were there buying lunch and bread. My God, the products were fantastic.

    The meat and seafood counters were stocked piled. If I lived in Paris I'd be shopping there every week. My friend in Paris said "it's for rich people" and I believe him, but I seen some regular ole Joe's shopping there too. And not a word of English was heard when I was there. Except me. Asking questions. And the bathroom was gorgeous! Huge and clean. A great place to sit down and take a rest in the parlor. And I did. I couldn't believe I was there for 3 hours. Time flies when your looking at really enjoying yourself.

    I haul my stuff back to the hotel. I was so tempted to take a cab, by the hotel wasn't that far and traffic was horrific by this time. The streets were jammed with people and cars. And it seems like it was taking forever to walk back with my heavy bags. Finally home sweet home.

    After resting and changing I wanted to walk over the bridge and find some random place for dinner. The construction on the walk was crazy. I had to walk in the street a lot as I went along. That my friend is dangerous. But I took the chance.

    I have to say not one moment did I feel unsafe in Paris. But then again I'm from Detroit and I will fight you. No joke. And I always have the mind set "[email protected] please, I'm from Detroit/Excuse the Detroit in me. And security around the city blew my mind. Soldiers with automatic weapons are everywhere. Especially around the main tourist sights. And at Notre Dame it was like half the Armed forces were there. And those men are not bad on the eyes. I told my husband if I wasn't still so in love with him after 38 years I'd likely have slept with a whole lot of French men. ;) I observed a lot of handsome men in Paris. I mean some down right fine men.

    Anyways, I found a big restaurant called Café Ricard. I could smell some good stuff being served when I walk past the first time so I decided to go back. I was seated outside under a heat lamp. I was cold at this point and ordered tea. I ended up having Beef Rump, Mashed potatoes and salad. It was way way too much food, but so good. The waiter asked if I was interested in dessert. Yes, I thought, I better cause once again, I'm not eating like this again very soon. I had the house made Crème Brulee and it was outstanding. But it got me thinking of a series I watched on the internet.

    France has a health inspection team/Quality team that goes around France to inspect restaurants. And it was very interesting. Especially this one man that actually rummages through the garbage at night when the restaurant is closed to see if they are actually making the foods they have listed on the menu. For instance...He looks in the trash for boxed food being served as house made. One place he found boxed Crème Brulee, boxed Chicken Gravy and etc. Then the next day he'll go to the restaurant sit down to eat and quiz the waiter about some of the house made food at which the manager comes over and say's all our food's are made in house. Then he order's the dishes, films while he eats it and then confronts the restaurant with the trash he had gotten the night before last. Brilliant! I wish I could think of the series name, but if you google it on You Tube you can watch it. It may gross you out, I'll warn you now.

    I make my way back to the hotel, start doing the packing of shame. You know that sad walk around the hotel room getting stuff ready to go back home. I don't stay up too late as I'm meeting my friend tomorrow to go shopping at one of the oldest markets in Paris. So I have to be up and out the door early.

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    gomiki; The triplets are much better. Thank God. No one, and I mean no one can understand what life is like with triplets unless they live it. All 3 are in school and they are constantly getting sick and of course this Mamaw usually ends up with whatever they have. Thanks for your kind words..

    Up at 4 am and out the door to walk the streets of Paris. I have to get that film of everything in my head to have dreams of it before I go to bed or when I'm jonesing for Paris again.

    It is quiet and I only see a few people out and about. I get the chance of peaking into a bakery while this old man is making bread. I stand there forever watching him. He is a machine. He has a system everyone in Paris should be proud of.

    I get back to the hotel at 6 ish and head up to my room and shower. The bathroom at the hotel is all marble and it's beautiful. I stand under the rain shower. Thought the hotel is old school, the bathroom is not. Huge round shower head with great hot/pressure water. I throw on jeans, a nice hoodie and my grandma's army boots and head to breakfast. I eat like all my favorites and have 3 coffee's. So happy to see the smiling faces of the breakfast crew. I will miss them.

    I get the front desk to call me a cab and I head over to the restaurant that I went to on Sunday to meet my friend.

    He's right on time and we walk over to a huge indoor/outside market. It is stunning and they are selling everything under the sun. He does his daily shopping while there. Oh I forgot, we stood in line to get the best croissant in Paris. The place is called Ble Sucre. OMG, it was the best croissant I have ever had. And it's huge. He and I walk along eating our croissants and talking. I love the fact that he is basically giving me a tour. We go into the building that is from the 1700's that is being refirb. They are keeping all the original wood. We go into a meat market so he can get duck livers for dinner. That's not up my alley but he tells me all about the way he will fix them for dinner. We walk around a flea market and all the food stands. He points out all the history of most of the buildings. We then go into a local coffee shop and sit for an hour drinking coffee and talking about life. Best day!

    He walks me through the 12 th and we end up saying good bye at the Bastille area. I'm sad to leave his side. I make the decision to walk back to the hotel. What a fool. It took me forever to make my way back. I got to my hotel to use the bathroom and when I walk out of the hotel I go left into the 6th. It's busy and bustling with people and I find a place to sit and just hang out and people watch. It's a beautiful day and the sun is shining and it's still early enough to do more walking. Tonight I have a date with the grand Dame of them all Norte Dame.

    I end up sitting in the lobby of the hotel for a while. They have a huge fireplace and it's roaring. I do some journaling and end up kicking some old lady off the house computer so I can print my boarding pass. She sat there for close to an hour using the computer and her laptop at the same time. Gheez, give some one a break already.

    I print my boarding pass and run it up to my room. Grab my picnic stuff and head to the lobby to speak with the most wonderful/beautiful Concierge Coralie. She has helped me from the moment I made the reservation at the hotel 8 months ago. She truly is a huge asset to the hotel and if your ever think of staying there I will give your her email address.

    I tell her I'm heading to Norte Dame for the big light show. She says "you must have a ticket" and I tell her I've had it for weeks now. I got it online while searching things to do in Paris for November. She say's it's the hottest ticket in town and several guests have asked for them and she can't even get them on the black market. Whoa! I offer her my ticket as I don't really have to go. But she refuses. I told her I would think you could see it from the street, but I'm wrong about that when I get and see the set up.

    I tell Coralie that I need a cab in the morning for the airport. She then does the sweetest thing. She says the hotel would like to provide me with a cab on the hotel. Once again, Whoa! She says if I would accept! Of course I would accept. That is way beyond kind. This night is turning out awesome...

    I walk over to the bridge and down the river towards Notre Dame and the area is just packed with people and handsome soldiers carrying huge guns. I fight my way in like a true Parisian and get to the head of the line. I have my ticket on my phone and they scan it and then search my bags. I get a great seat along the flower beds right up front. I lay my blanket down (Thanks Delta) and lay out all my goodies. Oh, I forgot. Right across the street from my hotel is a food shop that sells all in house made foods, sandwiches, pasta salads and desserts. I read about it on TA and people said the lady was rude and mean. Nope, she was nice, her shop was spotless and it's a 2 person operation. She basically doesn't want you to touch the food. She or her helper will service you whatever you point too. They both speak English. I got some pasta salad and a lemon tart there earlier.

    I really enjoy my one and only picnic in Paris....Everything was delish.

    The grounds around the church are set up with Red Cross displays about the war. I'm understanding WWII is what most of it was about. They had huge screens set up that was broadcasting nature and wild life. I wish my French was better as I couldn't understand any of it. But I get it here and there.

    My space that I had was getting smaller and smaller by the moment. I swear they had 1000 people in the courtyard of the church. Just totally jammed. Then all the lights go out and info about the beginning of life is being broadcast over the speakers in French and the light show begins. My God, this is one of the most beautiful shows I've ever seen in my life. I can't even describe it I'm too illiterate. The light show plays all over the church. It even makes all the little statues dance, don't ask me how, I can't explain. The show is about 1/2 hour long. Then the doors of the church open and smoke is billowing out of the doors and they invite everyone to come inside. I hop up and try to fight my way in, but I get so squished and I start freaking out a little and rush my way through people to get out of the line/crazy train.

    I end up not going into the church. I make my way back to the spot I entered and them here they come out of the area I was sitting in and all the other people. Those flower boxes in front of the church. RATS! Yes RATS! Huge rats start coming out of the bushes. Security people run over and kick dirt/pebbles off the ground at them and they would run back into the bushes but as soon as the people would walk away they come right back out. Crazy, No these were not little mice. Huge Rats. I was shocked. I kept thinking OMG, I was just sitting there...I believe they were coming out to eat whatever was left on the ground. As there was a lot of trash left behind. Shame on people. I got some good pic's of those fat little suckers.

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    Just chanced upon your report and am really enjoying it. You have a wonderful way of telling a story, or recounting an event :) Nice work.

    By coincidence, I was in Paris a month before you with a tiny group of first-timers for 9 days (I've been several times since childhood, and have studied there as well so it wasn't new for me). And an even greater coincidence: our primary hotel was literally a hop, skip and a jump away from yours, on the same street. We sauntered past your hotel a few times when walking in that direction (otherwise we mainly routed towards St. Germain and St. Michel), and once even stepped in for a look see and were graciously welcomed.

    That whole area of the 6th is lovely and very convenient, and I know first hand of several of the places, shops, and of course the toy shop, that you visited. We had late night coffees and drinks a few times at l'Atlas (as well as at Café de Paris and Maison Sauvage next door but one, that restaurant on the corner with everything green including the artificial vines and leaves climbing up the walls outside). And we also admired the seafood counter at l'Atlas, but preferred that teenie tiny Oyster bar on rue Dauphine, with the red and white champagne bucket in the window for dinner one night.
    We also took some late night/early morning walks (I'm a runner so I enjoyed pre dawn runs) - there's so much going on at all hours around there.

    Looking forward to reading of your last few hours there.

    Merci d'avoir partagé ce bon rapport de vos aventures.

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    Mathieu; It sounds like you all had a fabulous time! And I love the 6th. A lot of people on here really bash it. But, I must say, I don't think I'd stay anywhere else. And I'm still dreaming of my beautiful hotel. I am totally scheming and plotting how to go back next year same time. Delta won't show dates available in November of 2018. But you better believe, I'm looking. I just booked a trip to my Home Sweet Home Cancun for May, that outta hold me over from hound dogging over Paris. Mmm, Paris Syndrome, I'm believing it. Oh, and that little Oyster bar on rue Dauphine was in my target, but I never made it. That place is tiny and so adorable. Next time. And that cluster of restaurants in that area of L'Atlas look great. I wanted to try the one directly across the street but I felt like I would be cheating on my new friends at L'Atlas. It was funny to see the staff from both restaurants meet in the middle of the street just to BS or have a smoke.

    Finally home from my DD house. Whoa, that household is a crazy hot mess. But in a good way. Christmas is killing me and we ain't even nearing the finish line. Baby Jesus help me.

    I have forgotten so much stuff to put in this TR. I wish I was a little more organized, but so much going on.

    To prepare myself for Paris alone I did watch YouTube. And my God, they got every angle covered. Some of them really got on my nerves and I felt was a total waste of time. And some just down right Ugly American's. But other's were chuck full of info. Especially eating wise.

    If I could recommend one series of videos it would be [email protected] that's Delicious! I watched just about every video those crazy dudes put together however...Warning Warning Will Robinson if your are offended by horrible/bad language and pot smoking stay away. But otherwise the series in Paris was AMAZING and had my taste buds drooling. Action (one of the main dude's)is a chef and he put's his money where his mouth is. And they don't have a budget (Dirty Dogs) and the food they eat will blow your mind.

    I did search solo in Paris and so much info was really was helpful. But hey, how much can you do?

    Anyways...

    After the little rat circus I tried to leave the same way I came in. No way was that happening. As I approached a lady told me in French I had to go back towards the church. Ok, no problem. But it was a huge problem for some guy who blew a nut and was screaming at the lady. What he was saying I'm not sure, but they went back and forth for a minute and he just basically pushed past her and the crowd waiting for the next show to all our disbelief. I one the other hand did what I was told and was directed around the church way out of the way of where I wanted to go. But that was ok as I walked past a police station, 2 police cars pulled up with people that had handcuffs on. One was a beautiful young lady who I felt extremely bad for. Don't ask me why. It could be because she looked devastated. I wasn't just standing there staring as the police stopped me to bring her out of the car into the station. I prayed for her and the other 2 guys who rolled in right after her.

    I had to talk almost a mile to get back to the hotel as they had all the streets around Norte Dame rerouted. It made for some crazy driving action by those trying to get around that area. Finally I got back to my beautiful rue Dauphine and it's own little madness.

    I dropped off all my picnic stuff and got a cab to L'Souffle. The drive was very interesting. The driver asked where I was from and proceeded to talk automobiles stuff to me, Like I knew something being from Detroit. He told me all about how he was getting a new taxi license upgrade. So better vehicle and more money. He also said L'Souffle was an excellent restaurant.

    I had made a reservation via FB and got a reply within 5 minutes and I'm glad I had a reservation. Though when I walked in there were only a few other tables within 1/2 an hour it was packed and people being turned away.

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    The welcome I received was warm and kind. I was shown to a table in the front of the house. I had a funny feeling the American's up front, French in the back. Yep! It was confirmed later in the evening.

    I threw all caution to the wind and had a Spritz that was on special. No offense to them but I did not like it. I'm just not a drinker and it was way to strong for me.

    I started out with bread, butter and a perfect salad. In fact I had to small loaves of bread and the dread of tomorrow was on my mind. I ended up ordering a Souffle with chicken and mushrooms. When the Souffle arrived it was a work of at art and love. Truly perfection. My waiter poked a hole in the middle and spooned all that love in the middle. It was hot and delicious. I could only eat 1/2 as I was saving myself for a dessert that turned out to be the best dessert I have ever had in my whole life. Caramel Souffle. When it arrived it was like the Sear's tower. How that do that is magic. It smelled amazing. I ate the whole thing along with a coffee. If I wasn't so full I would have ordered another. If I wasn't leaving so early in the morning I would have came back for lunch. Now I just dream of that bad boy.

    I didn't stick around too long. I wanted my waiter to turn that table over. I asked them to call me a cab, but I was informed there was a cab stand right up the street. So off into the Paris night I go..

    The neighborhood is really nice surrounding the restaurant. I intend to check it out further in the future. I highly recommend L'Souffle. Service and food was outstanding. I can't remember what the cost was, but it wasn't super crazy high. As I rounded the corner, boom there was the line of taxi's. Off to the hotel.

    When I enter the lobby there is a Jazz trio going at it. The lobby area and lounge is jammed pack. And not just with tourist's. I head to my room take off my coat and grab my cigar's and head to the patio, which is busy as well. I have one more coffee as I sit and ponder what a perfect birthday/vacation this has been. Fall and all..

    I decided to stay up just a little bit later. I move the lounge chair in my room up to the balcony window and just watch the night set in and all the people walking around. I'm trying to make that mental note that will stay with me forever. I actually wake up in the chair 2 hour's later. Cold and a neck cramp.

    6 am up and out to walk for a minute. All my stuff is packed, I have my outfit ready and I just want to get that last little bit of Paris in. I get back to the hotel about an hour later and go straight to the breakfast room. I am greeted with a coffee and smiles from everyone. I tell the one man that's been a doll to me today's my last day. He knows.

    I really do make a pig of myself. I eat as much as I can handle without pulling a Karen Carpenter. I pack a small roll and 2 macaroons. I head back up to the room, take a shower and get dressed. I go back downstairs and sit in the patio with one last coffee and write Thank You cards to the staff. Then it's that time. I have someone come to the room and grab my "one ton hoe luggage" and go to check out.
    My compted cab is there and off I go. Just like that.

    This cab driver is nothing like the guy who picked me up when I arrived. He was hauling [email protected]@ all the way to the airport. It was raining and dark. How proper is that? Just about how I felt. We were at the airport within 45 minutes. He pulled up to the terminal/Air France. He got me a cart, loaded my luggage on and I shook his hand and off he went.

    The airport is madness. Truly a hot mess. Air France basically makes you do everything yourself. Print your baggage tags, put your luggage on the belt and so on. And it's been a long time since an airport employee pulled me to the side and asked 20 questions.

    Did I pack my own bags?
    Did someone ask me to carry something for them?
    How long was I in Paris?
    What hotel did I stay at?
    Was I carrying any liquids?
    Where was home?
    Is it a non stop flight?

    And a few more I can't remember. Finally I was out of the check in area and now to hall K and the Air France Lounge. But not before Security which was a zoo.

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    Security had 2 booths open. Are you kidding me. The line is starting to snake around and it's taken forever to get the customs booth to stamp passports and then to the x ray line. I finally get through the stamping part and into the line to get my carry on x ray. I have to take off my shoes SOB I was not thinking about that. Then I get pulled to the side to have my purse and carry on swabbed. That takes forever as someone else has to come over and watch the procedure. Finally!

    I start to walk to the Air France Lounge. I get directed to the First Class Lounge. Of course I'm not allowed access to that one. I'm directed across the way. I walk into that lounge it's madness. I'm not even joking. The problem seems to be people wanting access were not allowed due to their tickets. A nice young man comes over and helps me through all of it and I'm in. And what a huge mistake. The lounge is totally crazy. Dirty tables everywhere. Not a decent place to sit down. I walk around and finally find a table. I go over to see what looks good. Nothing. I mean nothing. Plenty of hot dishes are empty and not being replenished. I end up grabbing a few waters, some chips and cookies and leave. As I'm walking out the same young man stops me and says "is everything ok Madame" I just say yes, I'm running out of time. I leave and head over to a Sushi place that has the running belt with food. Nothing looks good. Dang. Then I head over to the Caviar bar as that's totally up my alley. It's the first place that has my beloved Pepsi. That seals the deal. Though there were only a few people at the counter, by the time I left it was jammed. I wanted the to Russia with love platter. But they didn't have the crepe's so I end up getting it with bilini's(?) and that was a total let down. The Caviar was mushy and the eggs both whites and yolk were in little tins that tasted fake and horrible. What a waste of money. Shame on me.

    Now I head towards my gate. I call my DH to let him know a little up date. He tells me my plane is delayed. WTF! Are you kidding me and sure as [email protected] I walk up to the gate and it say's 45 minute delay. SOB, I'm sweating like a whore going to confession, I'm really hangry yes, hangry at this point and totally zapped of energy. However, there is some kind of naturally food restaurant right next to the gate where I can see the boarding sign. I grab a salad and cold rice dish and sit down and eat. Ok, I'm gonna live through this.

    Air France has 17 employee's at the counter area. I count em. And now the delay is into the 1 hour and 45 minute mark. The flight crew is standing there too. And I see my Mr. 20 questions there asking other passenger's the same questions. There are several people in wheel chairs and most need interpreter's. And most for Arabic. The lady behind me in the priority line makes an off hand comment. I want to turn around and say "Hey, were headed to Detroit, The biggest Arab community outside the Middle East" but I didn't. But had she said something nasty, I would of. I'm an Arab myself.

    Now were at the 2 hour mark and they start taking people down to board the plane. I can't see the plane and there is a reason. We have to take a bus across the tarmac to get there and people are [email protected] up a storm. Once I get on the bus I grab a seat. Now, if an old lady or something along that line got on, I'd give up my seat. They pack the bus like sardines. Finally were off on a 3 hour tour to the plane. When we finally get there we have to go up some stair to a hallway to board the plane. Thank God I see my seat.

    I'm in 5 F. And I have aisle access. The crew seem really happy and start to get everyone settled and they are hauling [email protected]@ to get everyone on the plane so we can make up some time in the air. A lady sit's next to me and takes off her shoes and socks and starts getting all white trash comfortable. What do I mean you maybe thinking? She starts rubbing her feet, sticking her finger's between her toes and just grossed me out. I don't even want to think what else she'll be doing on the plane ride home. She starts pounding drinks and I'm happy thinking she'll just pass out. Nope..No such luck.

    Then it starts. This big dude in the same aisle on my left start raising his voice to the flight attendant about how late the plane is and blah blah blah. He in turn sends over the purser(?) who is so patient and kind. The purser is trying to explain the flight was late from South America and needed to be refueled and so on. This guy ain't havin' it. He goes on and on. I just want to scream STFU! Were all in the situation, just drink your cocktail and shut up. I kid you not, the purser was there for at least 15 minutes listening to this guy repeat the same thing over and over. Boy, I'm really missing Delta at this point.

    Thank God, all the light's go dim and we take off. At this point I wish I was a drinker cause I would have done a couple of shots of something. Service begins and It's all pretty decent but Delta was so much better. I get the Lamb, it's not bad at all. But the cheese plate made me want to hurl. Something on there stunk so bad it was killing me to the point of asking the attendant to take it away. I had already been smelling puke for a while. I thought OMG, did someone throw up on this seat? But you know what it was? It was nicotine gum that had been chewed and put back in the package that was never cleaned up from the previous flight. It was in the arm rest storage area. I finally found it after sniffing like a dog to pinpoint where the smell was coming from. My God, how do people chew that [email protected]!

    And thank the Lord...The lady next to me was playing Candy Crush for 8 hour's straight. I take that back. She did try to sleep and I was somewhat [email protected]@ed she had her face right towards me when she did. Oh man. Really. But Candy Crush level 10,000 was calling her name, cause she shot back up after a few minutes and started her marathon.

    The flight was OK. And it did go by pretty fast. I was up walking the aisles so much. I was drinking water like a camel. I had the chance to talk to the crew who were super nice. I also told the purser he was a Saint the way he handled that Douche Apocalypse! It took him a minute to understand what I was saying, and then be broke a gut laughing. And I meant it. If that guy pulled that crap on me at my restaurant I would have threw him out.

    I wish I could remember what they served before landing because I do remember it was good.But, for the love of God if I ever get a good cup of coffee on a plane I'd have a heart attack. Because I was dying for a good cup of coffee. I was so desperate I drank tea. And I only drink tea when I'm sick. Or that time I gave up coffee for lent (now that's a story).

    I swear we floated in the air above DTW for an hour.

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    I am a bit saddened by the writing style and choice of vocabulary for the last part of this report. We all have our ugly American (or whatever nationality) moments on certain trips, but there is no reason to spew venom over everybody involved (except the purser) just because things did not go according to plan.

    I am a bit surprised by your extreme desire for more and more food at the airport after having a big breakfast. ("I really do make a pig of myself. I eat as much as I can handle without pulling a Karen Carpenter.") And still you want food in the Air France lounge, food at the caviar bar, food at the salad place, and then you still scarf down the meal on the plane. Oh well, it was your trip to experience the way you wanted to.

    I hope you have a good experience in Paris on your next trip, even though I wish you would change a few things.

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    Thanks for the cigar info. It’s true about being able to sit forever in Paris restos (in Italy also). The hotel provided a phone? Fabulous perk. What was the name of the hotel, please? Thanks for the YouTube link also.

    (Gomiki, I had forgotten about Uncle Tanoose on Danny Thomas. Thanks for the nice fun memory. )

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    TDudette..Yes the hotel provides a phone. It was awesome to have.

    Hotel D Aubusson
    33 rue Dauphine
    6th

    I highly recommend it. I am already booking for next year. Keeping my fingers crossed I can swing it.

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    I think it was a lovely gesture but I'm having a hard time imagining a flight crew eating food brought by a passenger. It seems really risky. What if the passenger decided to drug the crew or ... It just seems to me that it would be completely against the rules.

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