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Trip Report Snakes on a Plane? Our Thanksgiving in Paris!

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Were there snakes on the plane? There must have been because we were a little snake bitten on this year’s trip to Paris!

Our flight over started off rough, as for some reason Air France always seems to have a chaotic boarding process.

As we were boarding our plane, my husband was told (in the jet way, along with the woman in front of him that his bag would not fit. Now, I had the same bag (exactly) and I was not stopped. The woman in front of us was really arguing and Chaz was just trying to figure out why he was stopped. ( I looked up the Air France requirements on their web site before travelling.) Additionally, I travel for work every week and fly on 777s several times a year. My bag always fits. Unfortunately, this guy was not going to give up and my husband is not one to really push the system. I'm the pushy one!

I was especially irritated that there were many people blowing past us with larger bags than he had. I actually tripped on one guy’s bag that is significantly larger than either of our bags (my bag comes up to the top of my hip and this one was up to the middle of my stomach). So, no real consistency in enforcing the “size” policy. I also think that trying to pick out bags in the jet way is a bad way of doing things. Never mind that I do have a fair amount of status on Delta (Sky Alliance partners with Air France) and would like better treatment than we got. I also noted that the guy said something (as an explanation) that since we both had a carry on we would take up all the bin space and that we shouldn’t get all of it). That’s not really how it works.

So, anyway….he surrendered the bag reluctantly and watched him tag the actual bag, got our receipt and felt that impending sense of doom….bet the bag doesn’t make it (Ssssssssss). To add insult to injury, there was tons of bin space on the plane and we watched a guy shove 4 bags into a bin in front of us. Not a great start. Also, since when do you show your boarding pass and passport at the top of the jet way and again at the door of the plane? OK, enough…the plane was nice and the flight went pretty fast. Oops, one more complaint. I would say that I was a bit grossed out by the plastic bin they served the bread from during dinner service. They just let people reach in and grab their bread (no tongs, or serving pieces). Gross.

Alright, we landed and got through passport control, head to the luggage carousel, wait and wait….sssssssss....and you know it…Chaz’ bag is not there. I hate wasting vacation time!! So, off to the AF luggage office and they have no record of our bag. Not even in the system. Terrific! He explains that the guy tagged it but clearly didn’t actually enter the bar code….he doesn’t even seem surprised when we mention that it seems this was done intentionally. In fact, he agreed that is probably what happened. OK, so fast forward and he spoke with Paris Perfect about delivering the bag, if/when they find it and so we left the CDG a little bummed and with an hour wasted. Chaz had no change of clothes…and all of his really nice clothes are in that bag! We just get a cab, instead of the train, and off we go….are there more snake bites ahead??

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” Charles Dudley Warner

Now the trip report really starts…..

Joan met us at the PP office and gave us a little tour around the 7th (we haven’t stayed in the 7th before), a stop for a café crème on rue Cler, which was quiet because it was a Monday. There was a beautiful cheese shop off rue Cler on Grenelle (I think) that I could smell all the cheese from while on the street…door closed! That may be heaven on earth. Then off to lunch at Les Cocottes. (Incidentally, for those of you who have not met Joan, she just may be the nicest and most energetic woman on the planet and the Paris chamber of commerce should probably hire her).

Things are looking up….Joan and I had Duck confit with these potatoes (a little like hash browns but richer and soooo good). Chaz had the special, pig’s feet stuffed potatoes. They were delicious! We had them select a glass of wine for us and they were both outstanding. We had a great time and loved the food and the service was lovely.

Off to the apartment for orientation at the Kir. Great location a block of the Champs de Mars. So much in the neighborhood and it is certainly more residential than where we have stayed previously. The 42 bus stop is right around the corner, Pont de L ‘Alma metro stop is a few block the other way.

The apartment (previously referred to another report as the “smartpartment”), is nice. It is small but we expected that and were not disappointed. It has everything one or two people need and was bigger than our hotel room last year. Unpacked and headed off to the ET and the Champs de Mars. We have never spent any time at the ET, so we enjoyed walking around the park. We are not really interested in going up to the top. The lines were not bad but we just wanted to stroll around. The weather was really nice, not cold at all.

So lots of photos and then over to the Trocadero (and more photos). We were happy to see that there were still leaves on a lot of the trees, so we got a little Fall color. We walked along the Seine for a little bit and then stopped at Les Champs de Mars cafe for a drink before heading back to the Kir for a little rest. Oh, and to call to check on the bag. I decide to see if we can get a little extra help through the Delta medallion line. Not so much. The automated system that we all love does not recognize the claim number at all. When I finally get a live person on the phone, she was helpful but they still didn’t have a record of the bag and I was told she would send a message to the AF area at Hartsfield to look for it. This is where we started to name the trip report “Naked in Paris”; it does not look good. (Sssssssssssss)

I would like to add that Chaz, as always, was a good sport about all this. Yes, he was upset, but mostly because we did what we were supposed to do and ended up in this situation. Also, he had several items in the suitcase that he really loves and looks forward to getting a chance to wear them. He works with athletes in performance development and so wears sweats to work every day. He really enjoys getting the chance to wear nicer clothes! Will he have any clothes to wear? Will we have to spend our time buying him new stuff? Not what we had in mind for shopping in Paris.

A bit later, we stopped for a drink at Café Constant. That turned in to dinner which consisted of pumpkin soup with truffle and chestnuts, beef and carrot stew (Chaz) and grilled prawns with a Thai rice (me). OMG was that rice the most flavorful thing!! It was all very good and we had to have profiteroles for dessert. They are a favorite of Chaz! We chatted a bit with an American couple from Dallas who were seated next to us and had a very enjoyable evening at Café Constant.

So, back to the Kir to rest up for the next day! The plan, Sainte Chapelle first thing and then on to Saint Denis…dare we hope the bag gets there?

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