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The Lazy Woman's Paris/Rome Trip Report: Best of...

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May 8th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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The Lazy Woman's Paris/Rome Trip Report: Best of...

I started to type a trip report of our recent journey to Paris and Rome, but it was so boring, even I couldn't stand to read it. So, instead, I will offer my Best of Paris and Rome Highlights Trip Report instead.

Hope you enjoy it.

Who: Me (42, mom of two kids, who stayed home with their dad and grandfather) and my mom (63, who wanted to use her frequent flier miles but could not convince my dad to fly that far to use them -- lucky break for me, no?)

When: Paris, April 22-29; Rome, April 29-May 5; Paris again, May 5-6.

Best cure for hacking, coughing guy who sits directly behind you on nine-hour flight from Miami to Paris: Zinc tablets and secret voodoo doll made from dinner roll and plastic fork. It worked, he stopped coughing after three or four hours.

Best way to get free sightseeing van tour of Paris upon arrival: Be the last drop-off in your shuttle group.

Best way to spend 20 minutes getting in to your apartment: Unlock and relock any of the three separate locks on your door multiple times, because it takes you that long to realize that when you thought you were unlocking all three locks, you were alternating locking locks 1 and 3, while unlocking lock 2. To add more fun, have neighbor's dog bark at you through the door the entire time.

Best way to forget every syllable of basic traveler's French that you studied for months prior to trip: Stop to look at a restaurant menu, and have a waitress say, "Bonjour." Stare at waitress with mouth hanging open, and then run away like a scared little bunny, all the while worrying that you'll never be able to communicate with anyone for the entire length of your trip.

Best way to check email: Find the nice people at the Haagen Das on Rue Buci, who speak English after I use hand signals to indicate I want to check email and not eat ice cream. (Ask for the American-style keyboard upstairs if you don't want to type all words using the letter A like this: Todqy wqs wonderful in Pqris.)

Best way to amaze yourself at the sight of the Eiffel Tower: Take the Metro to Trocadero, push the mini Eiffel Tower model vendors out of the way, and walk around the corner of the building. Wow! What a view.

Best way not to get shot by machine-gun toting military guys at the Eiffel Tower: Take a photo of them from the back, not the front.

Best meal to eat every single day, especially if you think you might not ever get to Paris again: Croque monsieur and Kronenburg beer.

Best place to watch teenagers take photos of themselves for their My Space profiles (which reminds you of your own teenager at home): Pont des Arts Bridge on Friday night.

Best place to accidentally not turn your flash off right before taking an extreme close-up of world famous painting: Two feet from Van Gogh's self portrait.

Best place to slap forehead and await scolding from museum guard: See above.

...to be continued...



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May 8th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Fabulous!
 
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May 8th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Best way to finally get frustrated and leave cafe in the 4th: Wait outside for 20 minutes for waiter while being completely ignored. Then have waiter insist that you move to table inside empty restaurant. Move inside to new table and be ignored by same waiter for 20 more minutes. Then get up and leave.

Best way to be completely unsure why some things are called art: Check out strange cardboard-looking "sculptures" named things like "Man and Guitar" at Picasso museum.

Best place for quick nap: Bench in the back of the room at the audio-visual display in Picasso museum.

Best name for fast food restaurant ever: Flunch.

Best thing about CDG -- Paul bakery just steps from your gate.

Best Italian word in the entire Italian language: Prego.

Best word for "You're welcome.": See above.

Best word for "Can I help you?": See above.

Best word for "Go ahead and sit here.": See above.

Best word for "What do you want?": See above.

Best new favorite cocktail: Campari and soda, with orange slice.

Best new favorite cocktail snack: Bowl of free peanuts served with Campari and soda.

Best way to run a bakery, especially if it's called Forno in Campo dei Fiori: Have three separate entrances to three separate rooms, and just open whichever one you want, whenever you want.

Best way to be amazed that three people in a small Roman street can sound like 500 people at a party: Try to go to sleep around 11 pm, without earplugs.

Best dessert (besides nocciolata flavored gelato): Amaretto cookies.

Best way to not get a perfect photo of the Pope after his Sunday morning greeting in St. Peter's: Be three people back from the baricade in front of which he drives in the Popemobile, aim your camera for the perfect shot, but most importantly, make sure the guy in front of you waves at the exact moment the Pope drives by so that all you get in your photo is a closeup of his entire forearm. Bonus points if you get a later shot of the Pope's back, now 500 yards down the road from you.

...to be continued...
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May 8th, 2008, 02:33 PM
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=D>

Love it!
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May 8th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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Please continue..... I love your opening para as I've contemplated writing a report when we get home but I do worry that I will be boring?? Your idea is very clever, hope you had a great trip. Cathie
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May 8th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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More, more
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May 8th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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"Best place to accidentally not turn your flash off right before taking an extreme close-up of world famous painting: Two feet from Van Gogh's self portrait".

Best way for tourists to ensure future generations never get to see that self portrait.
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May 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Ah shelly, I love your "Lazy Woman's" report! After you finish your fun and wonderful report maybe I will steal your idea and add a couple of comments of my own, lol.

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May 8th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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This is a great read with my afternoon coffee -- thanks!
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May 8th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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LOLZ, love it!
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May 8th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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This is too funny!! and oh so true.
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May 8th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Best non boring trip report...see above
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May 8th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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This is so great. I'm recovering from minor surgery, stuck in bed, bored, found this. OH PLEASE continue. This is the highlight of my day....
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May 8th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Very well done!
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May 8th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Best way to feel invisible: Stand directly in front of Alitalia check-in kiosk and study the sign that says in Italian either "Check in with bags" or "Check in without bags," and don't blink an eye when woman walks directly in front of you and uses machine.

Best place to spend the equivalent of $18.48 for two cappuccinos: Right down the street from the Vatican.

Best place to finally figure out how to master the "squat toilet," only to discover afterwards that there actually was a toilet seat, only the last person left it up: A pizza restaurant off a side street by Piazza Navona.

Best emergency toilet access (Paris and Rome): McDonalds.

Best place to walk up 284 steps to find out that I could have taken a lift instead: The Arc de Triomphe.

Best place for my mom to want to smack me upside the head for making her climb 284 steps: See above.

...to be continued...

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May 8th, 2008, 08:47 PM
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Bravo! You've given me the best laugh of the day! More please.
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May 8th, 2008, 11:51 PM
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shelly- thanks so much for the laughs! Most entertaining! I'm having deja vu.. I am 51 and took my 30-yr-old daughter with me to Paris and Italy last October. We had some similar lessons learned! hahahaha

More!

ps to "ChicagoDallasGirl".. I am a Chicago native living in Dallas area. Keep your eye on Lounge board- hopefully a Dallas GTG soon!
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May 9th, 2008, 01:30 AM
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Hilaaaarious, bring it on!
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May 9th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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Best place to wonder if you can break your neck falling off 8-foot high ladder: From the loft bed in your Paris studio apartment.

Best place to wonder if that fondue dinner caused you to gain enough weight to cause loft bed to fall from support, crushing your mother in the process, who is sleeping on click-clack bed directly underneath you: See above.

Best way to avoid guy who works in pizza cafe directly across from your Paris apartment, who hangs around outside your door and insists every time you enter or exit your building that you MUST come eat pizza, and then, to the horror of your mother, smacks your butt for going two days without eating pizza in his restaurant: By dodging from doorway to doorway, in the manner of Inspector Clouseau.

Best street performer in Piazza Navona: "Windy Guy," who stays frozen in place and looks like he is walking down a windy street, and makes tons of money for doing nothing more than wiggling his eyebrows at anyone who spots him a euro.

Best mime in Campo dei Fiori: "Sullen Guy," who does some sort of yoga and plays new age music, and makes hardly any money because he just seems to irritated to be there in the first place.

Best way to pat yourself on the back for showing up at the Louvre when there is not one single person standing in line to buy tickets: Go on Thursday at 5 pm, all the while thinking it is Wednesday, the day the Louvre stays open late, until at 5:30 when they announce they are closing in 30 minutes, which makes you realize that you left Florida on Tuesday and arrived in Paris on Wednesday, and that now it was actually Thursday, and that you had really screwed that one up.

Best way to see the Mona Lisa, Winger Victory, Diana the Huntress, and Venus de Milo in 15 minutes: RUN!

Best thing to hear your Vatican Museum tour guide say in your headphones when you can't even see her, and your group of 20 is dispersed throughout 10,000 people in three different rooms: "Mama mia! Where are all my peoples?"

Best way to learn lesson No. 1 of Paris city living, which is don't stand too close to the edge of the sidewalk: Get muddy water splashed all over your jeans while you are perusing a map of the 7th, because you can see the Eiffel Tower, but you can't figure out how to get there from here.
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May 9th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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This is fabulous! Thanks!
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