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Paris trip report: a lovely, blissful filling in between 2 mildly stressful pieces (sort of a stress sandwich)

Paris trip report: a lovely, blissful filling in between 2 mildly stressful pieces (sort of a stress sandwich)

Apr 7th, 2008, 12:49 PM
  #1  
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Paris trip report: a lovely, blissful filling in between 2 mildly stressful pieces (sort of a stress sandwich)

Hi all,

I've recently returned (landed on Sunday, April 6) from a week in Paris. I'll post a trip report when I have my notes in front of me. Even though the weather was a bit chilly and there were moments of stress, the trip was very lovely.

TR
TravelRibbon is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Welcome home, looking forward to hearing about it.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Welcome back! I'm looking forward to reading your report.
Samsaf is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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Can't wait to read your report. I just had to cancel a trip to Paris so your week will be my vicarious thrill.
rivoli is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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Intriguing title!
Travelnut is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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TTT...I want to read more, I'm leaving next week! Curious about the weather and what you wore...
amyb is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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What a shame, you missed the snowstorm by 24 hours!
kerouac is online now  
Apr 8th, 2008, 06:29 PM
  #8  
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Hi,

Sorry for the delay! Life gets busy fast when you return from vacation.
Wow, I missed the snow? Bummer.

Pre-trip anxiety

As some of you may have read in previous posts, I was in a bit of a panic just 2 days before I left for Paris (the first side of the stress sandwich).

Background: this trip was a gift from someone I used to work with. I was under the assumption that it was going to be an all expenses paid trip (based on what I was told by the gift giver); however, as time passed, things were not shaking out to be as originally thought.

I found out on Friday morning (March 28) that my lodging was not being taken care of. As it turned out my airfare was the only thing that was paid for. Which, by all means, was great and I am very thankful for that gift; however, I was left to finding a place to stay.

I inquired at the usual places recommended by other posters and some were booked or I never heard back from them. Now, the stress was piling up. I posted an "urgent" message on the Europe board (well, at first, I posted it accidentally on the US board - apparently too stressed to realize what I was doing) and got a flurry of recommendations. Even some of those were booked, but someone suggested renting an apartment. I had thought of that in the midst of stressing out (while at work, mind you) but didn't think that I had enough time.

I used vrbo.com and found a place I liked, but it was booked. Oh no. However, the owner/manager recommended 4 other places within my budget. I chose the studio on Rue de Conde in the 6th arrondissement.

Side 1 of the stress sandwich had now become smoother and I was ready to go to Paris.

TravelRibbon is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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I left on Sunday on the 5:30 p.m. flight from Boston on Air France. There was an empty seat between the other person on my row. Yay! It wasn't a cramped trip over. The flight itself was smooth with very little turbulence - just the way I like it.

Day 1 - what?? More stress?! How did that get into my blissful filling? (trying to continue the sandwich theme)

Once the apartment had been secured, I was told by the owner/manager that someone else would be meeting me at the studio since he was out in the country. He wanted to know what time I would arrive at the studio. I was scheduled to land at 6:15 a.m. so I thought, 8:00 a.m. would be OK. That would give me enough time to go through immigration and get my bag.

Due to a strong tailwind, we arrived at CDG earlier than scheduled. Great! Well, once we landed (along with other passengers from other airlines), the passport control area was chaos! People queued in all sorts of manner and it was confusing to get into the correct line (EU passport holders only and all other passport holders). Plus, there were those that needed to make connections.

They finally managed to establish order and things went a lot smoother. The extra time was being eaten away, but I was doing OK on time.

Retrieved my bag and then went to the RER. There was a train sitting on the tracks headed in the direction of Paris. Well, a group of us got on and then we just sat there. An announcement came on and we were going to stay put a few more minutes. By this time, another train had pulled in so some of us (including myself) got on that one thinking it would leave sooner. Well, wouldn't you know that as soon as we did that, the train that we just got off made a noise and then it left! Arrrggghh. Time now was getting to be a factor.

So, we sat there for another few minutes and finally, we were off. The sky was cloudy, but it was still early. On our way into Paris, we skipped some of the normal stops. Yay!

I alighted at the Luxembourg stop. Now, let the fun begin. I had no clue where Rue de Conde was located! All I was told was that RER stop Luxembourg was the closest to the apartment. I didn't have a map on me so I did the next best thing. I started asking people if they knew where the street was - all in French, of course.

Some had no clue. I went into a Tabac and the cashier gave me a map. I found the street and proceeded to go find it - however, I headed in the WRONG direction! I didn't know that until I started asking people and they had no idea where this street was located.

And, what's more, my international cell phone (the one I thought I had charged before I left the states) only had one line left in the battery indicator! The person I was meeting had called me so I called him back. After I left a message and was waiting on a return call, my cell phone decides to die! Can this get any more stressful??? Not quite yet in full blown panic mode, but getting there. I found a map of the area and got back on the right track.

I found the street and the building, but no person was waiting for me! I was ready to scream and/or cry. Instead, I just sat on my suitcase and waited. I thought that if the person did not show up, then I would go and find a cyber cafe and email him since my mobile phone had died.

I sat there and watched a few people come and go. When, lo and behold, a guy comes up to me and I ask him if he's who I think he is. And he is! Yay! He was under the assumption that I would give him a call once I landed at CDG since he lives about 30 minutes away. I didn't know I needed to. A bit of breakdown in communication.

The guy leads me into the building and then he takes my bag up the flight of stairs. He opens the door and I get a glimpse of the studio. It looks just like the pictures on the website. It's cute, but small. Yet it's perfect for me.

The guy (yes, he does have a name, but for identity purposes, he shall be known as "the guy." He will reappear at the end of my trip report) gives me the 411 on the studio. He then shows me how to get into the building and the studio itself (I had 3 keys) and then he left.

I unpacked and then took a shower. I was feeling icky. Once that was done, I headed out.

Exploring Paris on foot (the blissful filling builds up)

The studio was near the Odeon Metro stop on Blvd. Saint Germain. I was very happy with the location of the studio. I left the studio and started to walk and re-acclimate myself with Paris. The last time I visited was in 2006. Plus, I had never stayed in this part before. I walked a lot. Passed by Notre Dame and some familiar places. I was getting hungry by this time and made my way to Laduree on Rue Royale. I had my usual Salade Concorde. It was yummy!

I stopped in Galeries Lafayette and purchased a wallet for my housemate. She had requested a specific one. One thing I noticed is that Galeries Lafayette was having some sort of sale going on. The theme was 3Js. Things were on sale - discounts up to 50% off on some items but 30% off on a majority of items. It was crazy, but I got what I needed and then got out of there. Jet lag was catching up with me.

I came back to the studio and took a nap - almost 2 hours long. Never have really done that before on my previous trips, but I guess my body needed to get rid of the stress.

I found an internet cafe near the studio and checked email. I had to let my parents know I had landed safely. I found the closest Monoprix and then went shopping. I felt so Parisian. I bought bottled water and some other food stuffs. After putting that up, I grabbed dinner - curry chicken panini. I had the panini, some chips, and some Orangina. I had a good chat with a friend in England and then went to bed.

Even though the day started out stressful, by the end, I was feeling the bliss.

More later.
TravelRibbon is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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I should point out that TravelRibbon's experiences (a) getting out of CDG and (b) miscued meeting with the person who is to let you into the flat and explain things are very common.

Allow LOTS of time to get out of the airport and into the city and EXPECT the process of accepting the apartment to be confused. If it works well, you are in bliss. If it doesn't work well, you will not panic. It is very common for owners to have an agent or friend let you in, and three way conversations are exponentially more likely to go wrong than two way conversations. It is stressful enough arriving jetlagged. It helps to be mentally prepared for things to go wrong.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Thanks Ackislander for the tips. I wish I had known that before I left. It would have made my life a little less stressful. Oh well. Lesson learned and will keep that in mind the next time I rent an apartment.

Onward with the report . . .

Day 2
One of the things I've learned from previous trips is that I don't need to wait until the last minute to purchase gifts for others. If I do that, I normally don't find anything I like and wind up settling for something less than special.

So, I started out the day with shopping in mind. Yes, the exchange rate was outrageous, but that just meant I couldn't go overboard like I have done in the past.

One of the Sabre boutiques was located close to the studio so I stopped in to update my collection. I had purchased some flatware in St. Remy a few years ago. I love the bright colors and fun patterns. Afterwards, I hopped on the metro and made my way towards the Champs Elysees. There was one place I wanted to go - the Peugeot showroom. Each year I'm in Paris, I pick up a T-shirt. Why? I'm not sure. I like the designs on the shirts and the cars they usually have in their showroom are really cool. This year was no exception.

The theme was Zen Zone. They had some really cool concept cars. Such fun. And yes, I did pick up a T-shirt. Afterwards, I made my way to the Disney Store to see if there were any new things that the US stores would not have. I didn't notice anything standing out.

They did have a very cute mobile with the usual Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, etc.)and I wanted to take a picture. I started to do so, but the security guard told me in a rather gruff voice that I should terminate my photo. Yikes. I was a bit miffed because I had just witnessed others taking photos and nothing was said to them!

Note: the weather was cool and cloudy. The sun was struggling to come out and it did at times.

I made my way to the 16th. I had never visited this area before and I liked what I saw. My goal was the Musée Marmottan Monet. I had read about it on this board from other travelers and was keen to check it out. Monet is a favorite of mine. Before leaving, I had did a bit of research to get the address, closest Metro stop, and pricing. Well, when I arrived, the price had gone up by 1 Euro! The website had not been updated yet.

The museum was not crowded so it gave me a chance to really enjoy the paintings. I was able to view works I had not previously seen. I made a list of my favorites in hopes to pick up prints in the store. I found 3 of the many I had listed. Not bad.

As I was leaving, a group of students were queued outside and I was glad to be leaving as they were about to enter. Walking back to the Metro, I saw a couple of men in trees. Too funny. They were cutting branches.

I grabbed a sandwich and ate in front of the Lancel boutique. It was the closest place that had a bench. I did pass a park but I didn't want to back track.

I made my way to Au Printemps where I found a bag on sale. Yay. They're doing construction in the store so things were a bit noisy. By this time, I was getting tired. I needed an afternoon cafe. So, I hopped on the Metro and made my way back to the 6th. I arrived at Deux Magots and proceed to enjoy the sun, a cafe au lait, and 3 boules of raspberry sorbet. Yes, it was a bit expensive, but the people watching was amazing. Almost every woman that walked by had a scarf on and there were a few men as well. It was windy. I also noticed a lot of police activity happening in this part of the 6th.

The day ended well. I didn't do anything special for dinner. In my notes, I don't even have it listed what I ate - just the price. It must have been a take away sandwich/panini. Tomorrow was my trip to Strasbourg and I needed to get up early.
TravelRibbon is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Looking forward to more details of your trip!
a_cafe_of_dreams is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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I'll try to condense my days going forward.

Day 3 - Strasbourg, France

As I prepared for this trip, I wanted to take a day trip. I did some research on the various day trips I could take. There some great recommendations on this board. I finally decided on Strasbourg. I was able to secure a PREMS fare before I left even though I had issues with the payment. It worked out in the end, though.

The train left Gare L'Est at 8:24 so I had to rise a bit earlier than norm. For some reason, I did not get a good night's sleep the previous night. It may be due to the fact that I was over jet lag and now I was getting used to the sounds and space of the studio. Also, it could be due to the fact that there was a mini marathon of Les Experts on the TV (Les Experts = CSI Miami). I arrived at Gare L'Est and boarded with ease. Since I had iDTGV tickets, my tickets were scanned in a different place on the platform.

I did sleep on the train. I arrived in Strasbourg and it was cloudy! The train station is amazing. I love the modern exterior. I secured a map and headed towards the center where the Cathedral stood. It was close to 11:00 a.m. As I made my way towards the Cathedral, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of good stores Strasbourg had on its streets. I wasn't sure what to expect. They had a big Galeries Lafayette as well.

The Cathedral was amazing. It did have some scaffolding on the exterior, but the inside was lovely. I had only 30 minutes, though, before it closed. There were a few of us that got shooed out!

Now, it was lunch time. I found a place across the river (this is where the University is located) called Weintraub Aux Trois Chevaliers. I ordered the prix fixe menu and it consisted of 3 pieces of pork (looked a lot like ham instead of pork chops),roasted potatoes, and a light cream sauce. It was really good. I added dessert and a 1€ tip so the total came to 19,50€. Not bad - the prix fixe menu included a drink, but no dessert.

Afterwards, I was fortified and started to explore. I had read in a RS book that was left in the studio that I should allot 4 hours for Strasbourg. Hmmm. Due to my train schedule, I had about about 5 hours. I made my way to the covered bridges and then to Petite France. It was very empty - there didn't seem to be a lot of tourists scampering about. However, I did see a big tour group get on a boat to take a tour down the River L'Ill.

Oh, did you know that it costs 1€ to get a map at the tourist center? I didn't. I was a bit surprised, but paid the fare. The map I had originally secured in the tourist office in the train station was of no help.

I just walked around and took a lot of pictures of the cut flowers in front of a florist store. I love flowers and with the day being gray, the bright colors cheered me up a bit. I made by way back to the Cathedral and took photos of the clock and the angel tower.

Fashion - I did notice in Strasbourg that the women and even some men had their jeans rolled up, but only once. It wasn't the double rolls that have been around for a while. Very interesting.

As my time in Strasbourg was drawing to a close, I realized that there was a lot to see in Strasbourg. I think if I had planned it a bit better, then I perhaps could have seen all this city had to offer. I will have to go back and visit.

The train ride back to Paris was more interesting than going to Strasbourg. I had a reserved seat, but when I got to my car, my seat number did not exist. I went up and down in the car to see if I could find it. No such luck. I even went to another car and found the seat number, but alas, I was shooed away - gently this time.

I wound up sitting in a seat in the space where the door is located. The train conductor came by and asked me if I needed help. I showed him my ticket. What I needed to do is find an empty seat and take it. So, I did. Interesting seat reservations.

I made it back to the studio where I crashed for the rest of the night. I don't think I even ate dinner. If I did, I did not write it down. Oh well.

Day 4 - weather wise, the sunniest day of the trip

Today I was able to sleep in a bit. I guess my anxieties about being in a new place were over. I headed out to do more shopping and just explore Paris. For some reason or another, the books I brought with me to read were not very interesting to me. Overpacked! So, I set out for the W.H. Smith bookstore in the 1st. I picked up the paperback version of the first Harry Potter book - in British English, of course. They had the latest Sophie Kinsella book out in paperback but for some reason the price of 19,80€ made me pause. The book is in hardback form here in the States.

For shopping, I had purchased the Suzy Gershman Guide to Shopping. I had used her book before and it was OK. The book I had in my hands now had been updated (the copyright date was 2007). However, I was disappointed. Some of the places I had wanted to visit based on what was in the book were no longer at the address! I did, however, stumble upon some great places that were still at their addresses that I would have never found if I had not purchased this book. So, it was a hit or miss type experience.

I purchased an eclair chocolat at Fauchon. I had read about it in another book and wanted to try it. It had golden nuts sprinkled on the top. When I say gold, they looked like small gold pieces. It was 5€ but I justified it by the fact that I don't partake in this luxury everyday and that I was on vacation and in Paris! It came in a gorgeous pink and black box.

I headed to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Before I got there, I stopped at Galeries Lafayette Maison and picked up some more Sabre flatware. This time it was on sale.

At HRC, I got the prix fixe menu. Not bad. This was the first time I had seen the prix fixe menu at HRC. They could have had it before, but I never noticed it. I had a salad - needed some greens. The bartender was cute and funny. While eating, I wrote out 4 postcards. I had found these cards at ,40€ each. The cheapest I found were in Strasbourg at ,30€ each. After lunch, went to La Poste and mailed them.

I went to Creed and found some parfum that I liked. I had read about Creed in my France magazine (they did an article on the youngest Creed - Erwin). I couldn't decide on which scent I liked the best, but wound up choosing one and the sales person gave me samples of the other 2 I liked. How nice.

On my way to the Jardin Tuileries, I saw a young man driving a Ferrari. I also saw a very nice Alfa Romeo as well. On my way to find a discount store, I walked by the American Embassy and some other French government buildings. Security guards were doing their job.

I made my way back to the studio and noticed the sun had come out. I dropped my packages,grabbed a bottle of water, and headed to the Jardin Luxembourg. I secured a chair and sat in the sun, ate my eclair chocolat (it wasn't melted but it had turned to the top so there was chocolate on the box), read the HP book, and did some people watching. It was soo nice to be outside and enjoying the sun. It seemed as if there were a lot of people in the park. There were freshly planted flowers so the landscape was very pleasing to the eye.

The sun did disappear behind the clouds and the people started to leave. I packed up and then walked around this part of the 6th. In previous trips, I had been in this area before.

Dinner was at Le Bistrot St Germain. I had stumbled upon it in my search for food. The address is 17, rue Gregoire de Tours. Since I'm not a foodie, I have to say it was my best meal by far. I chose the 17,50€ menu. There were so many choices! I started with an onion soup that was soo delicious. I don't eat onion soup in the states but wanted to try it here. My main plat was a casserole type dish - it was chunks of chicken, small whole potatoes, some vegetables, and all of this was covered/smothered in cheese. Oh my goodness was this good. I was full.

When I arrived at the Bistrot,there were only 5 of us (including myself), but they had a very charming person out front bringing people in. The place filled up rather quickly - there were Australians, French, Americans, and Italians. As I was leaving, a group of Brits joined the crowd. For dessert, I chose the chocolate mousse but it wasn't ready yet. I then chose the tarte aux pommes avec glace vanille. It was good.

I ate so much that I was stuffed. I waddled back to the studio and crashed for the evening. It was a very lovely day in Paris.



TravelRibbon is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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TR~ Loving your trip report! Thanks for posting.
suze is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the report! The desserts sound fantastic. What Creed fragrance did you buy? Where is their shop located?
rivoli is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for encouragement suze!

Day 5 - the day I get a Paris haircut

So, in my walks around Paris, I had been checking out the salon prices as I passed by. I had been thinking of getting my hair cut while I was in Paris.

I woke up with no agenda. I had finished most of my shopping for others so I felt I could relax and wander to places I had not been before versus going to the major shopping areas.

I wound up walking to the Montparnasse Tower. It wasn't that far from the studio or at least I didn't think so. I just walked. It was a great day to do so and I took advantage of it.

I had never been up the tower to check out the views of Paris so I decided, why not? I paid the fare - it was 10,00€. I have to say it was a bit of a challenge for me to find the ticket window. I chalk it up to no caffeine in my system. The ride was smooth and the views were great. I was able to take some good photos while I was up in the tower. It was cool to see all of Paris and the various attractions.

I came back down and looked around in the shops that were located in Galerie Maine Montparnasse. It was here where I decided to get my hair cut. There was a Jean Louis David salon. The price for a shampoo, cut, and blow dry was 44€. I decided to go with Jean Louis David instead of other salons because I had heard of them before and yes, they are in the States.

I went in and since my French vocab for hair cuts was pretty much nonexistent, I asked in bits of French and English if they had any openings. They did and I sat down. The guy who washed my hair spoke a teeny bit of English. He asked me what I wanted done as far as the cut - my stylist was standing nearby. I used my limited French and hand motions to describe what I wanted done. It worked.

The stylist didn't say a word at all while she cut my hair. Her own hair style was interesting - she had long hair with layers - the layered part was very defined and she had bangs as well. It looked good.

I got my hair cut at slightly above my jaw line - no bangs. It's all one length. I felt it looked good. I didn't do anything too drastic. I walked out feeling a bit more Parisian than I did when I walked in.

I did buy some a cute top and skirt (not matching) at H&M. I knew that if I didn't buy it, I would regret it. I haven't been into an H&M here in the states yet to see if they have the same top and skirt.

I grabbed a sandwich and ate it while I walked. I made it back to the studio and crashed. I took a nap and felt lots better when I awoke. I went to Pont Neuf and sat there while watching the sun set and the boats move up and down the Seine. There is a lot of traffic on this bridge!

I had wanted to eat at Henri IV - a brasserie but the stuff on the menu was pork. I wasn't too keen on eating more pork - nothing against it by any means. I did find a restaurant around the corner - Chez Danny. Nothing fancy but I had the Supreme de cabillaud aux senteurs de Provence, tagliatelles. It was a light fish with a tomato and olive sauce on top of noodles. It was good. It was a prix fixe menu but when you add on a 9,00€ dessert, the total price increases. My appetizer was chevre chaud. It was good. The 9,00€ dessert I chose was the Cafe Degustation - a petite mousse, petit cafe, et petite boule de glace. It was good so it was worth, IMO, the 9,00€. Again, justification was that I was on vacation!
This was the most expensive meal of the trip (it surpassed Laduree). I know I could have cut down on the price had I not ordered un Coca and the dessert.

By this time, night was settling in and I walked back a different way - this time over Pont St Michel. I had passed over the bridge in the daylight and now was doing so at night. I was able to take a couple of good photos of Pont Neuf and Notre Dame all lit up. I was having fun with my digital camera.

It was Friday night in Paris and there were a lot of people out and about. I love this city! I returned and settled in for the night. My last full day in Paris would arrive sooner than I wanted it to.

Day 6 - My last full day in Paris

I awoke to gray skies - it's a good thing I soaked up the sun earlier because it was no where to be found! The only thing on my agenda today was to head to the Musée de l’Orangerie. While I was getting ready for the day, it had started to rain. I headed out and just walked. I made my way to the Seine and walked along the River. It had stopped raining by now. The weather had turned chilly and I was glad I had my light down jacket.

I made to the Musée de l’Orangerie and there was already a queue! The musée opened at 12:30. I stood in line and waited along with the others. It was quite chilly indeed. The queue got longer as the opening time drew near.

If you've never visited this museum, I strongly encourage you to do so, if you like Monet's work. This place is so beautiful and airy inside. I don't know what it was like before the renovations, but I liked what I saw. The water lilies or les nymphéas were amazing. My favorite one was the Reflets verts. It had splashes of color in it that really popped the painting. The cool thing was that I was able to take pictures of them (sans flash, of course). I was happy! It was funny to see those that did not adhere to the "no flash" rule. The staff called out to them in French and English.

Downstairs, they have the Jean Walter et Paul Guillaume Collection. This housed other works such as Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, etc. It was simply amazing. The people kept coming in to the museum. I purchased a book and a print. I love this museum.

As I walked out, I noticed that the security guards only let a certain number of people go in and the rest had to stand outside in queue.

I started walking and noticed barricades up with various sponsor names. I found out later that this was for the Paris marathon that would take place on Sunday. As I walked, I found myself in the crazy Saturday crowd at Galeries Lafayette. I got out of there quickly!

I was hungry and I did the unthinkable, at least to my way of thinking, I ate at McDonald's. It was crazy crowded. Have you ever noticed that there is always a line in McDonald's - especially in international locations. The reason why I call this the unthinkable is that sadly, this was my last meal i Paris. I know, I know - how could my last meal have been at Chez MacDo's when there are tons of other places, a lot better, that I could have eaten at?? And sadly, I can offer you no legitimate reason.

After this tasty fare, I headed back to the studio. It was warm and toasty. I did buy some chocolate at Patrick Rogers - never heard of this chocolatier before, but thought I'd try it out. They had cute animals made out of chocolate - even a huge mouse.

Day 7 - saying goodbye to Paris and the 2nd end piece of the stress sandwich

I got up early to pack and leave for CDG. My flight was at 1:40 p.m. Before the guy left on my first day, he had asked when I thought I would be leaving the apartment. I told him that my flight was at 1:40 p.m. and that I would leave around 10 a.m. or so. At least that was what I thought I told him. Well, it turned out that he misunderstood me. As I sat in the apartment watching the Paris marathon the TV, I started to get nervous. The owner/manager had not shown up yet. I checked email the night before and there was not any message about confirming the time he would come by.

At 10:15 a.m., I gave the guy a call and found out about the misunderstanding. I called the owner/manager and left a message. I then hightailed it to the RER so I could get to CDG in plenty of time. Despite the stress, getting to the RER was fine and there wasn't any delay due to it being Sunday. The train wasn't crazy crowded even though we stopped at Chatelet and Gare du Nord - 2 of the biggest stops.

I checked in and made my way to the security station. I put my bags on the scanner. I went through the metal detector and the screener had his hand on my bag. He asked me if this was my bag and I said yes. He asked me if I had a knife and a fork. I said no. He then pointed to the screen and I saw what he saw.

I had forgotten to pack my Sabre fork and knife in my suitcase! I left it in my check in bag. I dug it out and gave it to him. He looked at it and ran his finger along the knife's blade. He then proceeded to present them to me and then he carried them to the box where they put all of the confiscated items in and then he dropped them in there! Before he did that, though, he said "finished" to me in English. He told some guy what the time was for this infraction.

I was shocked and very upset. I know it's all my fault because I forgot but I was still upset. Of course, me being me, I called myself stupid many times inside of my head. I can't believe I forgot them. So sad.

I had forgotten how crazy boarding is at CDG. Forget the orderly row calling - here it was: It's time to board and everyone got in some sort of line and made their way to their seats. Quite funny.

The return flight was uneventful - just a lot of children on this flight; however, no child cried the entire flight. Yay!

I landed in Boston safely and then proceeded to get picked by customs to go through an extra scan of my bags. That was fun! This was the first time in a long time since I had been randomly selected. Oh well.

Overall, the trip was very relaxing and I enjoyed being back in Paris. I do admit that I missed driving around in the country side (I did this in 2006).

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

TR
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Apr 16th, 2008, 07:03 PM
  #17  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Sorry for the typos! I tried to edit it but it wouldn't accept them when I went to preview before posting. I guess I had too much data!

TR
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Apr 16th, 2008, 08:14 PM
  #18  
 
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Loved your report, TR. I'm having fun picturing you with your new Paris haircut in your new Paris clothes.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 16th, 2008, 08:40 PM
  #19  
 
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TR,
Great post! I especially loved the Parisian haircut part. I had my hair cut in Paris 3 years ago, and I felt so Parisian too! Ever since, I've been trying to duplicate it...but no one can quite get it!
cybertraveler is offline  
Apr 17th, 2008, 01:36 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,846
A most enjoyable report TravelRibbon. I loved the detailed but chatty style.

I think the idea of a Paris haircut sounds like a good idea I might follow on my next trip. Not to mention the yummy chocolate eclair idea!!!

You sounded like you made the most of every moment, well done.

Schnauzer
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