Paris Trip Report from TBelle

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Jan 30th, 2006, 03:29 PM
  #121
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Day 13 - Our Last Full Day in Paris

Now is the time for reflection in my writing, as this was the ONE day I did *not* journal on the trip. For those of you who rely on memory, my suggestion is to not do so - rather, be sure to keep some type of journal/diary/blog/whatever - as even the best of times become a blur as the days, weeks, and years wear on.

I wasn't in shape for travel on the last full day - the feet were just not going to do it for me. I also was wary of making them worse, for fear of not being able to make it through the airports.

We had a very leisurely day - went to Inno for some wine, fruit, cheese and soda (errr - that last one was for Kristen), and pretty much relaxed through the afternoon (you know the mornings were not used with Kristen... *LOL*).

Reflections on the Trip

I had received SO many tips and ideas from all the Fodorites, for which I am eternally grateful. I also studied as much as I could to be sure to make it everything it could be.

1) I really wanted to go on the day trips, but it wasn't to be. My hopes (again) were Rouen and Loire Valley - and perhaps more.

2) I really wanted to spend more time in museums - particularly, I wanted to visit more than just two, since Paris is so VERY rich with museums.

3) I wanted to go to Champs de Elysee (Coco - how did I mispell that one?) - just to say I had been there.

4) I wanted to go to the Latin Quartier - it sounded SO awesome.

5) I wanted to experience LOTS and LOTS of cuisine - I wasn't able to.

ALL THAT SAID......

1) Paris was lovely - WONDERFUL! The people are very gracious. Waiters are not rude. If men pee on the streets, I never saw or smelled it.

2) I have memories to last me a lifetime.

3) Even if I'd done everything on my agenda, it would not be enough. Paris truly is a place it would take years to explore.

4) Some Fodorites had told me I had already "overplanned" - that's true. For THIS city, I think a body should make a wish list, but then just play it by ear.

Our last evening.....

This is one story I've not mentioned, but it did put a damper on my trip. And that was the ONLY damper, believe me - even the feet didn't keep me from loving every minute of Paris!

Remember the fella in our favorite bistro who sent us a champagne and coke, and who gave Kristen the wooden shoe from Breton? Well, I found out the next night that ... errrrr... well, he wasn't there and one of the waiters brought me his telephone number.

Ooops! Ohmygosh. I was beside myself with a bit of embarassment, as I had apparently done something to make him feel I was available. Granted, I moved to the bar and chatted with him (Lord knows how, he didn't speak very much English), but I thought he was simply being polite.

I thanked the waiter and stuffed the phone number in my purse. A half-hour later, he walked in, and came to the table. He ordered me a champagne; I didn't know what do to but to offer him a seat.

Most people probably could have clearly said "I'm married" or "You have the wrong idea" - but I'm not "most people". I tried to avoid the whole thing, and eventually we parted. Now, that wasn't on the LAST night there, that was 5 days *prior* to leaving.

On our last night there, Kristen was dying to revisit our favorite place, and I was hungry, and figured since we were leaving the next morning, I could somehow make explanations. "He" wasn't there, though, and trust me, the entire staff was having trouble dealing with us. I obviously had terribly hurt his feelings, and I felt so guilty I could die. They were polite, and kind, but they DID have to mention that I had hurt him and ...

That's when I found out they all thought we were from England, not America. I apologized as best as I could, we left, and I went to the room and wept my heart out. It didn't have anything to do with feelings of romance for the fella; rather, it had to do with how I feel when I have hurt someone unintentionally.

We packed our bags, and scheduled an early wake-up call for the trip home...
TBelle is offline  
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Jan 31st, 2006, 12:31 AM
  #122
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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oh la la! you broke the heart of a french man! What were you supposed to say? "I'm going to move to France to live with you" Come on!
It is not your fault if you are so nice! He thought, seing you alone with Kristen that you were a divorced young lady.
Think he is doing that with all the nice and good looking foreign women who come to his restaurant and you'll feel better.

You could have been together for a walk along the Champs Elysées.. ;-)
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Jan 31st, 2006, 01:49 AM
  #123
 
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Don't beat yourself up over it. They thought you were English - that is sufficient explanation for them......

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Jan 31st, 2006, 07:43 AM
  #124
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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TBelle, I really hope you are going to get a second opinion. Of course I don't know what is appropriate in your case, but I can tell you what the orthopedist (who specialized in feet) prescribed for my posterior tibial tendonitis. He gave me a strap on plastic air cast, which has a balloon sort of adjustment which you pump up with air to fit tightly around your ankle. I wore this for several weeks whenever I was on my feet to immobilize the foot and take the pressure off the tendon to allow it to heal. He also referred me to a podiatrist to create orthotics for me to wear when I stopped needing the cast, as well as recommending shoes with built in arches (Birkenstocks) to be worn when I wasn't wearing the orthotics. And he prescribed an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) to be taken until the tendonitis settled down. Please ask your doctor if any or all of these steps are appropriate for you.

I sincerely hope your next travel experience is less fraught with obstacles than this one was, and it is great that you have good memories of this one.
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Jan 31st, 2006, 09:44 AM
  #125
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Coco & Patrick ~ Thankfully, I'm over it. It did really upset me at the time, tho!!!

Nikki ~ I'm still so angry I won't consider paying another $450 for another idiot doctor. I know what to do, and I will get good shoes and take ibuprofen and let them heal!

To all ~

I've posted the London Day Trip Photos now at:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slidesho...Uy=ec4pkm&Ux=0

Teri
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Jan 31st, 2006, 10:08 AM
  #126
 
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Shame on you! Now I want to go back to London! (I saw the Elephant and Castle sign where I spent more than 6 months!) bouhhhh!!!#39;(

Who said it is always raining in London!
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Jan 31st, 2006, 10:27 AM
  #127
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*grins* The most amazing thing about the weather the day (few hours) we were there - it was beautiful, as you see in the photos, but in the short amount of time (perhaps an hour?) we were in the Aquarium, the weather changed from the beautiful blue skies to a VERY cloudy gray, and then there was a 10 or so minute sprinkling of rain!

I know my day trip was way too short (cut down primarily due to walking problems), but the photos did turn out lovely, and good memories came with them!

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Jan 31st, 2006, 12:24 PM
  #128
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Final Day & Trip Back

My report is not *quite* accurate, as we had 17 total days. I omitted the first 2 (time change and travel, as well as arrival at the hotel), and I seem to have lost one along the way. *LOL*

Anyway... We received our wake-up call early on our departure day. We had scheduled the same shuttle service as used to the trip TO the hotel for return, and *just* made it down to the lobby with less than one minute to spare before our driver arrived. He loaded our suitcases, and we got into the van.

Unlike the trip from the airport TO the hotel, this time we stopped all over Paris to pick up 4 stops worth of passengers. I was actually delighted, as I got a "driving tour" on my way out. It was still dark, so Paris was all pretty in lights!

Flying...

I won't bore you with the details of the trip from Paris to Amsterdam, nor the walking difficulties there. I will, however, give you the details of the LONG flight from Amsterdam to Memphis, TN - and that will give you a better insight into Kristen's personality.

Northwest Airlines, Flight (can't remember)

We were fortunate enough to get coach tickets on the flight for a window and aisle seat, side by side, on the left of the plane. I truly didn't want the 5-across center seats like we had on the trip TO Paris.

We hadn't even taken off before Kristen jumped up and told me she'd be "right back" - she had to ask for "wings" (remember, on the flight from the USA, she was too sick to do so). She must have been gone 30 minutes. She spent the time in the cockpit entertaining the pilots, and also with a few of the flight attendants, pouring on her charm. She returned to the seat some 10 minutes before take-off, proud to show off her wings, as well as tell me all about the pilot and give me his business card. *LOL*

We took off, and about 4 minutes after the "fasten seat belt" sign went off, Kristen again jumped up and said she'd "be right back".

You really should have been there. Every now and then she came back down the aisle to tell me that she was "helping out". The long and short of it was she completely won over the hearts of all the flight attendants.

When supper was served, she was on one end of the cart, asking what drinks were desired and handing them over. When someone pressed the "call attendant" button, she showed up at their seats to help.

She was allowed to take her "breaks" from her hard work in the business class section (I understand she also waited on customers there, too, but since I was in coach, I didn't see it).

At the end of the flight, all the attendants came to her - some still while we were on the plane (seated) - some after we arrived in the states at customs - and presented her with "gifts", hugs, and thank-you's. Her treasures included a deck of cards (NWA logo), 3 flight wings, 2 "bags of goodies" handed to business-class customers, and 5 tickets worth 2,500 free miles. And that doesn't even include the goodies in food she brought back to her seat.

(And you all thought she was so MEAN!)

After we arrived home, she tried to tell people she was a flight attendant, but of course, no one believed it. I was there. I saw it. It was true. And it may have been the highlight of her vacation!!!

Until next time, my friends....

It is truly with sadness that I make this final installment of our trip, as I've enjoyed you Fodorites tremendously over the past month. I had told you in my initial post (not this post - the one I made needing info) that I had never been to Europe - that was true. We (hubby and I, NOT with daughter) did go for a week to Playa del Carmen, Mexico this past August, and also to Japan for 10 days this past November. Perhaps I should post trip reports on those trips on the non-Europe board?

Also, in 2 weeks, we will go to Nashville, TN, for 4 nights of fun country stuff - and I *promise* - I WILL get very special shoes first!!!

Thanks to you all for making my vacation even more memorable,
Teri
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Feb 1st, 2006, 01:13 PM
  #129
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Bravo! =D> what a nice ending!
So Kristen wants to be "une hôtesse de l'air"? Very impressive from a little girl like yours!

Thanks a lot for your report, I was really addicted to it!
And now it is all over! :-S

Now you'll have to come back and write the one about Japan!

Take care and see you again on fodors!
coco
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Mar 29th, 2006, 07:12 PM
  #130
 
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