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Travelers First Trip Report:: Normandy and Paris, May 4 - May 16

Travelers First Trip Report:: Normandy and Paris, May 4 - May 16

Jan 5th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,995
Enjoying your report; your enthusiasm comes across in your writing! Glad that you had such a good time.
grandmere is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243
Eiffel Tower and a Surprising Restaurant Find

Leaving the hotel we turned right and walked down ave de la Bourdonnais towards the Seine River. It was warm in the low 70’s so we turned left and walked into Champ de Mars. There before us stood the impressive Eiffel Tower. The closer we got the more massive she appeared. Sitting down on a bench we just inhaled the view and all the comings and comings around her. Then we walked all around underneath and it’s’ size became even more intimidate to me. We stood in the center and looked directly up underneath. What a marvel of man’s ingenuity.

Noticing there was no line we went for it and purchased tickets to the top. As we passed through the entrance we walked to the stairs as we wanted to make a drink reservation at Altitude 95, located on the first level. We thought this would be fun after our visit of the Eiffel Tower. The security woman denied us access to the stairs and told us to get in line for the elevator. We explained what we wanted to do but she still said no.

After we entered the elevator we were invaded by a large pushy tour group. I won’t say what nationality they were but they acted as if the Eiffel Tower would vanish upon their eyes. Cosmo and I had secured a place on the east side of the lift so we could look out over the Parc du Mars and the Ecole Militaire. In a matter of minutes we were being squished like sardines in a can. People were poking us and stepping on our feet. Out loud I cried “Ah and Oh, you’re hurting me”. The people around me backed off enough that I could put my arms back down along my sides and breathe. The lift woman finally stopped letting people on. Cosmo had to turn his face away from me as he was trying to contain his laughter at my dramatics to keep the ‘tourists’ off us. I whispered to him, “Well it worked didn’t it?” He replied, “Di, you continue to amaze me after all these years”.

I asked the lift operator to let us off at the 1st level so we could go to Altitude 95 for a drink. She said that wasn’t possible, looked up and said “to the top”. TTT, now I was thinking of you Fodorites. We assumed it was some type of security reason and let it go since we weren’t in a position to argue our case. As the elevator ascended my feet started
To tingle and as we rose higher I was overwhelmed. It took a few moments for me to relax and just look out straight at the view. In general I’m not comfortable with heights.
I’m okay on a plane and inside a tall building but don’t take me on a roller coaster or Ferris wheel. As long as I have some surroundings around me I’m okay.

Exiting was chaos and we located the stairway. The guards wouldn’t let us walk down and back up to get to the Altitude 95 Bar. We decided to just enjoy the Eiffel Tower and try later. We were allowed to walk up to the very top. For me it was more than a “Wow” moment. I couldn’t believe the panoramic view before my eyes. It was warm with a light breeze and a low haze had settled over Paris. I also couldn’t believe that I finally made it to Paris. Never give up on your dreams. With work they can become a reality.

We slowly walked around and I adjusted to being 900’ up on this structure of metal. We stopped on each side to enjoy the different views. We exchanged cameras with other couples and took photos for each other. From here we walked down to the second level and did the same thing. 500’ made quite a difference in what we saw. Our favorite views were of life on the Seine River and the golden dome of Les Invalides. The haze clouded Montmarte and the Montparnasse Tower. We could see them but not very clearly.

Down on the first level we skipped the crowded gift shop and went to the exhibits. We watched the movie on the history of the tower and the millennium fireworks on video. Cosmo took my picture under the millennium exhibit board. The gift store was less crowded and we just did a fast walk through. We totally forgot about mailing a postcard from here, maybe next time. During the movie we learned that during WWII, the lift conductor told Hitler that there was a malfunction. He did this so Hitler would have to climb all those stairs. A risky move by the conductor but he properly assumed that Hitler wouldn’t get on a malfunctioning elevator. Score one for the French Resistance.

Okay off we went to the Altitude 95. The hostess said they were completely booked. We asked about drinks and she said “No”. We could see 3 seats at the bar where you first come in. Cosmo asked if we could sit there and she said yes. The service was very poor. After being ignored for 5 minutes, we left. Security was very high. Our visit to the tower was from 430pm-630pm. It was a memorable experience that I’ll always have with me.

Admission to Eiffel Tower: 11Epp/22E 2 pp. This is not covered on the Museum Pass.

We walked along Quai Branly and then turned away from the river. I forgot to bring my list of restaurants. We began reading menus for dinner. After walking ave Bosquet and ave Rapp we hit the side streets. Here we found a small Italian restaurant, “Il Sorrentino”.

At Il Sorrentino we were the second party of the evening. It was early, around 730pm.
All tables had reserved cards on them except one. We had been seated at the second one.
It quickly filled up with locals. By 830pm the owner had to turn people away. It was very elegant with marble tiled floors, velvet covered chairs and small lighted candles on the tables. There were four outdoor tables set for two people but they weren’t used.

The menu was all in French but because it was Italian foods so we managed to stumble through it. I had the maitre d’ suggest a bottle of wine. It was a full bodied Bordeaux. The chef sent us a small complimentary plate of marinated artichokes, olives and salami. Then we were served a variety of herb crusted breads with some fine olive oil. For dinner we shared a Caesar salad that was prepared tableside and a plate of pasta with marinara sauce. I enjoyed crab asparagus raviolis served in a light red sauce with crab and shrimp. Cosmo licked his chops into an excellent veal ossobuco served with sautéed green beans.
For dessert we had exotic fruit mango sorbet with whip cream and powdered chocolate on top. I capped off my meal with sambuco and coffee. Everything was excellent all around. It was a wonderful way to end our up and down emotional day.

Leaving the restaurant we headed to the lights that were beaming brightly from the tower. The sky was clearer and on ave de la Bourdonnais we could see the stars. We crossed into the Parc du Mars to take in a full night view of the Eiffel Tower. What a grand sight.

Returning to the hotel we were warmly greeted by a male night clerk. Cosmo used this opportunity to inquire about the adaptors. The clerk said he’d round one up for him by morning and leave it at the front desk with his name on it. What a complete reversal from our earlier check in with the desk witch. Because he wasn’t the manager we didn’t say anything about her.

In our room we opened up the windows completely and pulled up the two chairs. You could see the very top of the tower and the illumination of the beam as it passed over the tree lined street below us. We left them a quarter way open to enjoy the early spring warm air. Occasionally the traffic could be noisy. I’m a light sleeper when I first hit the pillow but I had no problem falling asleep tonight. I went to sleep grateful for our health, safe travel, and beautiful weather and dreamed about the Paris I would discover tomorrow.

Dinner with tip 81.50E for 2 people.

Il Sorrentino, 20 rue de Monttessuy, 7th, Telephone 0145551250
DiG is offline  
Jan 6th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,765
DiG, still enjoying your report - glad you got back to it. You and your husband seem to be great travelers - inspite of rude desk clerks!
Sue4 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243
Thursday May 11
This morning we slept until 900am. We had croissants and coffee in a nearby café. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we walked down to the Batobus. There was very short line and we purchased the 1 day pass for 11Ep/22E 2pp.

www.batobus.com, Telephone #0825050101

We sat facing the right bank. The impressions from the boat are mesmerizing. You can see the detailed gold statues and the iron lamps of the Pont Alexandre. Then we saw the trees of the Jardin Tuileries followed by the walls of the Louvre. In between the balconies of people’s homes stood out with their fresh vegetables and flowers growing. I loved the way the trees weeped over the Seine along with the moss and vegetation growing on some of the buildings. Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite captivated us so we hopped off here.

Crossing over pont d’Arcole we stopped to watch the river traffic flow by. There was no line as we entered through the Portal of St.Anne at Notre Dame. We wanted to start a museum pass. The guard directed me back outside through the Portal of St. Mary and to the right to the tower line. Cosmo stayed behind to get the audio guides. The line for the tower was very long. There was a group of high school girls in front of me. I asked them if they’d hold my place. I followed the line and found the ticket booth. When I told the guard I wanted to just buy a pass she let me through. Then I returned to the girls to say thanks and went back to meet Cosmo.

We started by standing at the front to get the view of the center aisle. Then we began to see the light coming through the stain glass windows. From here our attention went up along the columns where the arches come together like praying hands. It was inspiring to see how Notre Dame was designed in the shape of a cross and how the altar is where the cross intersects.

From here we decided on a meeting spot and went our separate ways. I enjoyed the transepts of Thomas Aquinas and Joan of Arc. The lighting was fascinating the way it beamed unto the saints. I stopped at some of the side chapels. At St. Thomas I prayed for the ‘doubters’ in my life. At St. Michael I light a candle for our son. Then I viewed the altar and found a quiet place to sit. What a beautiful church with so much history.

When we returned the audio guides the clerk returned Cosmo back the 10 E he had paid to use them. Then she handed him back his credit card. I didn’t realize he had done this.
He said he watched and followed what other people did to get them.

Our tower climb was worth the hike up as we caught glimpses of the outside. At window 22, I saw that the mother pigeon just had babies. The view of St. Denis, the cathedral, the gargoyles up close, the Seine River and the city of Paris is your reward for climbing up the 400 steps. Each step is narrower than the one before. For us romantics, the bell tower brings alive the story of Esmeralda and the hunchback of Notre Dame.

After our tower visit we went and stood at Point Zero to view the church. Impressively portrayed on the outside panels are the Last Judgment, the 28 Kings of Judah, and the gargoyles and of course in the center is Mary in the Rose window. Then we walked around the side of the church near the river. Here if you look up, you get a good view of the gargoyles and the buttresses.

With the change from the old museum pass of 1-3-5 day options to the new pass of 2-4-6 day options we fell into the 5 days. Over our morning coffee we decided not to try to put all our sightseeing into 4 days just to save money. So we splurged deep and bought (2) 6 day passes. I know it’s a lot of money. Being our first time in Paris we wanted our time not to be restricted to cramming in sights just to check them off our list. We also thought the advantage of bypassing long lines we may encounter would be useful.

www.parismuseumpass.fr, Telephone #0144619600
[email protected], Fax#0144619669

Cost of 6 Day passes 60E, our total 120E.
4 Day pass 45E, 2 Day pass 30E.

From here we walked over to the flower market and then along the outside of the island and over to Ile St.Louis. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we spotted an outside table at “La Bra I’lle St.Louis” which we happily sunk ourselves down to sit. We ate light enjoying a good Riesling, water and goat cheese salads. Lingering over the wine we were featured to a lovely view of Ile de la Cite and the happenings on the Quai.

La Brasserie de I’lle St.Louis, 55 quai de Bourbon, Telephone#0143540259
Cost of lunch with tip for 2 people 25E.

After strolling around Ile St. Louis we enjoyed ice cream cones from Berthillons, 31 rue St.Louis-en I’lle. At pont de L‘Archeveche we watched an Asian film company do some live production. We walked along the quai and browsed the bookinsthes before heading down to the river. On the river promenade we looked through the art prints and Cosmo bought an 8”x 10” of the Eiffel Tower for 12E. Thinking the sunlight most be doing wonders on the stain glass windows I asked him if we could go to St.Chapelle but he wasn’t up to it. Back on the Batobus I suggested some rest in Jardin des Plantes when he admitted to me that he didn’t well. So we just kicked back and enjoyed the ride on the river back to our stop. Once we got to ave de la Bourdonnais the trees provided us some cool shade for our walk to the hotel.

Hoping he’d feel better, we made 900pm reservations for dinner at Le Coupe Chow. Cosmo drank a lot of water and took some Tylenol. All day we had water so we thought the sun just took its toll on him. I went out to Franprix for more water and bought some fruit from the market. Back on the Batobus I really wanted to see St. Chapelle and the gardens but I wouldn’t have felt right leaving him alone. He’s great about those times when we want to do different things but I wanted to make sure he was okay. When I came back from the errands he was asleep so I went downstairs and wrote some postcards. I found myself taking a brief nap too. Later he felt better so we got ready for dinner.

Tonight we used the bus. I was eager to try either the bus or metro and my husband didn’t want to use the metro so we rode the bus. I realize now that we could have used our Batobus passes and walked up from the river. It was a nice area around the restaurant. The neighborhood seemed much older to us than the area of our hotel. Later we learned that part of the original wall of the city of Paris was one of the walls of the restaurant. We started to think about all the history these walls could tell us.

Inside Le Coupe Chow, just walking to the table was fun as we ducked under beams and squeezed down some narrow ways and up and over entry ways. The setting was very romantic with the dimly light candles and the white tablecloths set against the old wooden architecture. Our waiter was excellent and was happy to see that I attempted to order everything in French and not use the English menu. He politely chuckled when I took my phrase book out from my purse but he didn’t interrupt me and allowed me to have my proud moment.

Cosmo had razor clams and I enjoyed one of my favorites, escargots. Then we shared the beef Bourgogne for two that was served in a old copper kettle. The meat was so tenderly delicious and it was as close to my family’s recipe that I’d ever tasted. Back at home I’m still trying to perfect this entree. We had a bottle of the house Bordeaux, a bottle of water, crème caramel for dessert followed by coffee for me.

I’ve read mixed reviews on the board but we couldn’t find anything negative about our experience. This dish was exceptional. We walked down the hill and strolled along the streets to walk off dinner. After twenty minutes we took a taxi back to the hotel.

Cost for our dinner with tip 83.10E
Le Coupe Chou, 11 rue de Lanneau, Telephone#0146336869, Reservations suggested.

Bus ride 2.20E for 2 p, Taxi ride with tip 9E.

DiG is offline  
Jan 8th, 2007, 04:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243
Friday May 12, 2006

This morning Cosmo bought raspberry turnovers from the patisseries and we had them with orange juice and fresh grapes in our room. It was 845am and we decided to visit the Louvre. Here is when I really encouraged my husband to try public transportation but he wasn’t changing his mind. He likes his freedoms and he certainly has worked hard enough to decide how he wants to use them. We walked to the taxi stand on ave de Tourville. We were blessed with sunny skies and 70’degrees temperatures. It was like the sun gods followed us from Bayeux to Paris. Our Taxi ride to the Louvre was 6E.

The Pyramide made a grand entrance into the Louvre Museum. The lines were beginning to lengthen. There is one for security, one to buy your ticket, and one to get inside. I handed my husband his pass and said “follow me.” I was glad to have read the various travel guides before our trip. After entering we took their museum map and I also had ripped out the Rick Steve’s tour from his ‘City Walks Guide’. Sitting on a bench we planned out a route we’d do together and then a place to meet after going our separate ways. I had a mini highlighter with me which helped us outline our route.

Our First Visit to the Louvre Museum
Starting on the Ground floor we went to the Denon Wing to see Michelango’s sculpture of “The Dying Slave”, took in the highlights of the Grand Gallery followed by seeing the ‘Winged Victory”. My favorites were Veronese’s “Marriage at Cana”, Gericaul’s “The Raft of the Medusa”, and Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People”.

Below the ground floor in the Sully wing we saw more medieval art and some of the Islamic Art. Then went to the Cour Carree and visited the Cour Marly. After we plopped down on a bench and watched the lighting in this area and how it changed the perceptions of the stately Marly horse sculptures. It was enjoyable to watch the students sketching and drawing. We used the elevator and made our way up to 1st floor.

On the first floor we went directly to the “Mona Lisa”. There were about 25 people in front of us. The room was getting crowded. An American male loud enough for all to hear, said in a jokingly manner, “I came 3000 miles to see this broad!” His remark broke up the room but the museum guides didn’t find any humor in his remark. From here we saw some highlights in the Italian School and some of the paintings of the French 19th C.

We found the café where we bought some water and fruit and took a break. I took this time to explain to him that all our out of pocket money was going to disappear quickly if we continued to use taxis for the rest of the trip. From the Louvre the best thing I could think of was to use the L’Open Bus to get us around the city the next couple of days. Since it was our first time here we agreed to this option. It would get us around and also serve as a mini city tour and also help us get our bearings.

Parting ways I made my way up to the 2nd floor. I walked through the 17C French room and then worked my way through the Northern Schools and the painting rooms. I couldn’t wait to see the “The Lace maker” by Jan Vermeer. I sat there awhile admiring her face and then her hands. My thoughts went back to my great grandmother and both my grandmothers. How much had their hands and hearts endured? What lessons had I learned from them? How did I see my own mother today and the influence she has in my life?

At 1130am I met Cosmo at our designated spot and we made our way outside. The lines were forever long now and the people were doing their best to find shelter from the sun by using their umbrellas. At the curbside we hopped onto an orange L’Open bus for the “Grand Paris Tour” route. In May we bought (2), 2 Day passes for 26pp, our total was 52E. Ouch! The driver gave us 2 maps and 2 audio guides. I had to remember it would be better than walking everywhere. It was nice to just be able to hop on to start our tour.
Later in spring and the summer I’d imagine these buses are fuller and you probably have to wait for seats.

*As of now the Price increases until March, 2007 are:
1 Day pass 25E, 2 Day pass 28Epp, Kids age 4-11 pass 12E good for 2 days.
http://www.open-bustour.fr, Telephone #0142665656, Fax#0142665657.

Sitting up on the open upper level we saw the highlights from the bus. It squeezed its way out through the Portal of St.Denis, took us down the right bank and onto the Ile de la Cite. We saw the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie before it stopped at Notre Dame. Then we left the island and turned and drove up the left bank. It crossed over Pont de la Concorde, through the square and then turned up onto the Champs Elysees. Using the audio guides we had listened to the guided narrative while enjoying the views. After forty-five minutes we hopped off at the second Champs Elysees stop.

At a slow pace we made our way to the Arc d’Triomphe. After walking the exterior and taking pics of the reliefs and the eternal flame we made our way to the top. Using the telescopes we were treated to views of the more modern buildings contrasted against the old. This was our best view of Montmarte and it made us want to head up there. The craziness of the 12 streets intersecting below was squeamish to watch. I guess no one stops for a fender bender in that round about. In the small gift shop I bought inexpensive photo viewers for the grandkids. My favorite relief is of the woman pointing with her arms ‘this way to liberty’. It was overwhelming to think of all the different armies that had passed under this Arc in the name of history. Here Cosmo called our son. The cell phone then went dead which was odd.

Cosmo knew exactly where I wanted us to eat, Laudurees. It was 200pm. We didn’t have to wait for an outside table as the flow of customers was a continuous turnover. I started with a chilled glass of Beaujolais from the Burgundy region and Cosmo had a club soda. We also drank glasses of chilled water. He chose the club Lauduree. The sandwich came with sliced chicken, hard boil egg, tomato, Canadian bacon, greens and mayonnaise. My choice was the salad Lauduree. It was a large plate of mesculan lettuce, cucumbers, greens, asparagus, thin artichoke slices, and baby green beans on top with fried sliced thin tomatoes around the edges of the plate. The salad had olive oil with grapefruit seeds throughout. In between I had a second glass of wine. We topped our lunch off with orange sorbets.

From the sidewalk café we made our way into the Lauduree salon. Upstairs we used the grand bathrooms. Downstairs in the patisserie I bought a box of endless macaroons and just loved my pretty little box and ribbon. We walked down the Champs-Elyees and hopped back on the bus.

Cost of lunch for 2pp 51.50E. Cost of 1 pound boxed macaroons 37.20E.
www.laduree.fr, Laduree, 75 ave des Champs-Elysées, Telephone #0140750875.

Our ride took us out to shady tree lined streets with lovely shops. Turning down the Chaillot to the Trocadero area we were treated to the grandeur of the statues and many monuments. The bus crossed over the Seine and we were treated to a completely different perspective of the Eiffel Tower than what we experienced on Wednesday.
Stopping here was hilarious. We watched people try to cross the streets without using the traffic lights. We saw people stop dead in their walking tracks, causing throngs of the moving masses to look like domino tipping tourists. Why is it that when someone needs to consult their map or adjust their belongings they do this? How come more people don’t think to step off to the side when they are walking in a crowd?

From the Eiffel Tower we were treated to a grand view of the river, the Parc du Mars with the Ecole Miitaire sitting behind it. The bus made its way up the street of our hotel and over around the Invalides. Down the east side of the Invalides we were treated across the street to a view into the Rodin Garden. Rounding its way down the Esplanades was spectacular and then it turned right to go down the quay to the Musee d’Orsay. Crossing the Seine the bus made its way through Place de la Concorde to rue Royale.

At rue Royale we hopped off to enjoy our walk up to Place de la Madeleine. While I visited the St.Madeleine church, across the street Cosmo found a shady bench to people watch from. I spent about twenty minutes enjoying this church that tells Mary Magdalene’s story and the other prominent female biblical characters. At her chapel I knelt and said a prayer for the oppressed women of the world.

Then I went and sat down in a center pew. This church had a cool yet peaceful mood. The temperature inside the church was notably cooler than average. The lighting was restricted to only three shallow domes. Looking up at the ceiling, I took in the frescoes of the Last Judgment. That was enough for a Catholic woman to know it was time to make her leave. On my way out I made my customary small donation or was it the lingering impression of the Last Judgment that made me do this? That’s how cool this church was for me. But I really fell in love with St.Madeleine’s architectural simplicity and the manner by which the woman of my faith were the focal points.

The street became busier as we approached the intersection to Galeries LaFayette Department store. I really wanted to shop to buy some souvenirs and treats for our family. But my husband is not a shopper. We poked around and the prices of the silk scarves were totally out of my price range. It was frustrating not to find any gifts.

In the epicure department we sat down at the Coffee Bar. We had worked up a thirst and
Had grand ice coffees with whip cream and shaved chocolate on top. They gave us free
Biscotti to dip our coffees with. After our energizing drinks Cosmo had a wonderful idea of buying a picnic dinner. This was fun making our way all around the epicure world. Then we bought a recommended bottle of Alsace Riesling and a good bottle opener and left the store. We spent around seventy five minutes there.

Epicure Bar 19.90 E

Picnic fixings from the various epicure delis 21.85 E.
One great bottle of wine and opener 20E.

We walked towards the Opera Garnier and hopped on the bus. The ride would be repetitive but our legs would appreciate the restful seats and our minds could relax with French music from the audio. We hopped off at ave de la Motte Picquet and walked the few blocks to our hotel.

The warm weather had its effects so we sent out our sweaters, slacks and some tops to the laundry. Cosmo charged his phone. Each of us had a nice hot soak and some rest. We left at 800pm for the Parc du Champ de Mars. It was enjoyable to have the additional daylight as it didn’t get dark until 900pm. It was alive with families, groups meeting up together on the lawns, guitar music, kids playing, clowns, and folks like us sitting down to a picnic on a bench. The mood of the crowd grew louder as the time drew closer for the tower to illuminate.

Viola! At 915pm the lights at the top twinkled and then cascaded all the way down to the bottom. She was all light up and glowing her twinkle lights all around for forty miles. Then at 930pm she began her routine of the beaming light followed by the twinkle on the hour. It was a phenomenal sight. We stayed until 1030pm. Our lovely picnic dinner by the Eiffel Tower became our favorite activity in Paris.

DiG is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243
Saturday May 13, 2006 On and Off the Bus today, and I have a Dining Question

For breakfast today we bought Pains au Chocolat, fresh oranges, and went back to our room and had them with tea. Cosmo noticed that his cell phone didn’t fully charge. He made a few calls and left it behind to recharge. We walked down ave de la Motte Picquet and at the end of this street we hopped on the Green line of L‘Open Bus route. We hopped off at the Jardin Carousel and walked around here, then over Pont Royal, and along the quai to Pont St. Michel in the 6th.

At Pont Michel we hopped onto an orange line bus for the ‘Montaparnese-St. Germain des Pres’ route. Hopping off here we had our first sugar crepes near the Pantheon. They were delicious. Around the Sorbonne I took photos of the statues. We walked down St.Michel and onto St.Germain. At Place St.Michel we saw the fountain by Davioud and the marble plaques commemorating the students who died here in 1944 fighting the Nazis.

Back on the bus, we again sat up on the open upper level. The ride gave us great views. We saw the Jardin des Plantes, the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, the Royal Palace, the lovely Observatory Fountain, and then the bus passed through Place Denfert-Rocherau and past the Cimetiere du Montparnasse.

We hopped off again and walked around outside admiring the grandeur of the modern Tour Montparnese and the neighborhood. Walking back on blvd. Montparnese we sat down at a Vietnamese restaurant that caught our eye from the bus,“Le Dragon d’Argent”. We were seated at a table inside a relaxing atrium giving us a nice view of the street life.

It was a pleasant lunch of spring rolls, salad, vegetable rice balls, chicken dumplings and sliced beef. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire region. Cosmo was back into his light coke and club soda mode. After clearing our palettes with traditional fruit bites we hopped back on the bus at the stop near the restaurant.

Lunch for the two of us, 55E.

Le Dragon d’Argent, 51 Montparnese, 6th.

We stayed on the bus to complete the tour ending at Les Invalides. I remembered afterwards that we intended to see Museum Cluny and had walked right by it earlier in the day. Instead of backtracking we decided to visit Napoleon.

We entered from ave de Tourville. The golden dome is so amazing. With your admission you get audio guides. I never truly figured out mine so I resorted to play by play by my husband. Entering the church is quite impressive. We looked up at the massive dome and then leaned over the railing to take in the view of Napoleon’s tomb below us. Then we visited the alcoves of Napoleon’s family and the many artifacts that have been preserved from the family. There was Napoleon’s stuffed horse, a collection of the family’s personal weaponry collection that had engraved inscriptions on most of the pieces, and some letters exchanged between Napoleon and Josephine.

The soldiers’ church, St. Louis, is exceptionally grand but closed to the public. You can see the inside through the iron gates before you head to the crypt. Down below we walked around the crypt. Around the base of Napoleon’s tomb are all the names of his battles. Around the crypt we marveled at the various relief panels of Napoleon at the different times in his life. It was intriguing to see how the dome directly over Napoleon’s tomb gave it a glowing halo appearance.

We strolled around the Courtyard and took in the mighty view of the cannons and exchanged courtesies with some military personnel. From here we visited the east wing that depicts the French Wars. I took photos of the horses and some of the weapons for our scrap book. Everything is so well preserved.

Back outside we relaxed in the shade of the gardens. I was surprised by the steady flow of visitors into the museum. We walked all around to the Esplanade side. Since our arrival in Paris, we had seen the Esplanade several times both during the day and the evening. Today this area was covered with people like the Parc du Champ de Mars. It was filled with picnickers, small soccer games, tourists and Parisians. The Esplanade does make the grandest approach to Les Invalides and the golden dome of the church.

Back at the hotel I was surprised when I walked into our room. There on the desk was a vase of long stem roses and a mother’s day card from my husband. My husband checked his cell phone and it was dead. He went downstairs and talked to the night manager who suggested a shop in the 13th. The problem was that when they called the shop it was closing and wouldn’t reopen until Monday morning. Cosmo made an appointment with the shop owner for Monday morning.

We went and had drinks at the local café and just enjoyed being here. At the suggestion of a couple we met at Le Coupe Chow we had made an 830pm reservation for dinner at “Leo Le Lion” in the 7th.

The restaurant was filled with locals. The Leo Le Lion is a small place, softly light with velvet booths and chairs. To our surprise the menu was only al la carte and we were very hungry. The owner-chef comes to your table and gladly so as we had no idea what we wanted to eat tonight. Still undecided we went with suggestions from a couple in their mid-twenties who are frequent patrons here.

We each started with fresh mussels. My main course was salmon with radish and onion in a cream sauce with asparagus. Cosmo had braised artichokes with lobster prawns. We complimented the meal with a bottle of Muscadet. Instead of table water my husband likes bottled water so again this was on the table. Finishing the meal he had his light coke and I had coffee to go with our lemon raspberry cakes drizzled with sauce and fresh raspberries with a topping of whip cream. My husband wanted dinner tonight to be special and it that it was.

Our dinner with tip was 105.50E.

This was the most expensive meal of our trip. Comparing it to Le Coupe Chow we’d give the food a higher mark. It compared to our meal at La Chain d’Or in Les Andelys.

On my next trip to Paris, I’d like to try other restaurants in the same price range to understand the al la carte dining experience there. Does anyone have any experiences for restaurants comparable to Leo Le Lion? What suggestions would you share with me that could serve as a guide when ordering from an al la carte menu that would keep the cost of the meal down?

Leo Le Lion, 23 rue Duvivier, Tel#0145514177

DiG is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 133
Glad you liked Leo Le Lion. It's one of our favorites. Regardless of where we stay in Paris, we always reserve one night there. We especially like one young waiter who usually starts off by asking if anyone smokes. When we say "no", he promptly removes the ash trays and announces "no souvenirs for you."
jeff49 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Yes, they have a great sense of humor. We really enjoyed our night there.

Jeff, is that the normal scale for the cost of a good al la carte dinner?

This was our first visit to Paris.
DiG is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Sunday May 14, 2006 An American Mothers Day in Paris with Rude Tourists, Catholic Guilt, Hells Angels and Lasting Impressions.

This morning Cosmo went out and came back with raspberry and apple turnovers and juice. Today I wore my skirt and he wore his blazer. We walked to the cab stand and took a taxi to Notre Dame for the1000am mass. The plaza was busy with locals and tourists. An earlier mass crowd was departing when we arrived.

Inside Notre Dame ushers were seating people. It was somewhat chaotic as it was obvious that many tourists didn’t understand that people were being seated for a mass. Someone would be seated and then moments later jump up and leave their place. My husband suggested we try for the first sections but I noticed that mass was about to begin so I chose the second row of the back section.

The procession passed just in front of us as it proceeded across the center divide of the church and then up the center aisle to the main altar. There was a full children’s choir dressed in their uniforms and another group of young girls in dresses. It was a high mass so both the mass and the program were in French. Inside the program, the Liturgy of the Word was translated into English, German, Italian and Spanish. During a high mass the celebrant uses incense to make the sign of the cross and the worshippers are blessed with holy water. The choir also did the Gregorian chants with the celebrants.

What disturbed me was the disrespect tourists had to the fact that a mass was being said. People would walk across to the center and snap pictures of the mass or look up and take a photo of the cross beams. Others would just plop down in an empty seat and take a photo and then leave. Others disrupted an entire pew to sit themselves down and then just get back up and leave after a few moments. People entered underneath the velvet roping along the side aisles. The ushers didn’t stop people as they believe the people are there for the mass. We even heard cell phones ringing.

The couple next to us while kneeling, was rudely interrupted when someone plopped down beside them and asked in English when the concert was starting. The young couple didn’t answer them. We kept our heads down and pretended not to understand them. You could say we were being rude too. But it would have been ruder for us to start a conversation with them while a couple between us was praying inside the church.

Because the intruders spoke in English and were inside a catholic church on a Sunday, I assumed they should have known better to not be disrespectful. If they wanted to know the concert schedule then they should ask the guide at the ticket booth or the many other guides inside the entrance of Notre Dame. To me this is just plain ignorant behavior.

I observed the locals and they are oblivious to these occurrences. They are accustomed to it and have learned to maintain their complete focus of their worship towards the altar. Back at home I would be doing the same thing so I readjusted my brain back onto the mass and my composure came back.

The innocent children’s voices were a joy to listen to as they sang beautifully together. Hearing the catholic mass in French was a blessing to my ears and mind. The mass is universal so you understand it no matter what language is being used to celebrate it in.

The priest who gave the homily shook the church with his voice and his mannerisms. His delivery brought me back to memories of my parochial school days and attending church in my home parish. His homily raged themes of nurturing a good conscious, a woman’s maternal role model, and being a bearer of good will to all people. The main celebrant said a special prayer in French and English for the mothers visiting today. France celebrated their mother’s day the week before. Being at Notre Dame to celebrate mass on mother’s day was a wonderful gift. I was very grateful to have had this experience today.

Leaving Notre Dame we walked over Pont d’Arcole and down the quai passing Hotel de Ville. We crossed and passed Place St.Germain and made our way to rue de Riviloi and then down to Place de la Bastille. We stood at the corner near the Bastille metro to view the Colonne de Juillet, ‘genius of liberty’. She appears invincible in her stride pose in the center of the traffic clogged square below. The traffic to me represented the people in their battles against their government, then and now.

I knew there were no physical remains left of the French Revolution. Until I actually saw the square today, it had been difficult for me to believe this fact because this historical event was the beginning of significant change for France and its people. I learned that stones from the prison were used for the Pont de la Concorde. On blvd Henri IV, there is a line of paving stones numbered 5 to 49, if I recall correctly, and these trace the former towers and fortifications of the prison.

After our historical stroll we settled for an outdoor table at ‘Bra Falstaff’. Every café was overflowing with people waiting. In regards to eating we weren’t thinking ahead on this trip. I had noted ‘Bra Bofinger’ and a few others but forgot to call ahead for reservations.

This bar is right on the square with a commanding of everything and we found it to be fun and relaxing. We enjoyed our first croques monsieur with frites, salads, coffee and tea. My coffee was actually a café au lait with whipped cream. Their venue is Alstan so we had a chilled ½ bottle of Gewürztraminer with our food. The food was good and the service was friendly and excellent. People were waiting for tables but no one ever rushed us during our entire stay in Paris. This is a courtesy factor we miss here in the America.

Inside the bar on the second floor is the washroom. I saw some bikers with their leathered local Hells Angels colors. From our business we know some Hells Angels in the states so this was cool seeing foreign bikers. When I returned to our table I told Cosmo. We both went upstairs and we had a drink with them. They were from Germany and Austria and we actually knew some of the same people. These four members come over once a year to a rally in the states. They had been to the one in Laconia, NH, where our boat is in a marina. Another sign of how small our world called earth has become.

Cost of Lunch with Tip 35E.

Bra Falstaff, 10/12 place de la Bastille, Tel # 0143431833;
42 rue de Montparnasse, Tel# 0143353829

The weather was beautiful with sunny clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70’s. There was a local flea market so we browsed and tried to shop for gifts. We were leaving Tuesday and except for some books and postcards we hadn’t found anything affordable or to our liking to bring back for others.

Leaving the flea market we walked the side streets and browsed and stopped into the many small shops in the Marais. Again we had no luck shopping. The things we preferred were too expensive or inexpensive souvenirs that could easily break.

We visited the Musee Carnavalet for an hour. I really enjoyed this museum devoted to the history of Paris. It covers the time period of the 17th century until the present day. I spent most of my time on the second floor which is devoted to the Revolution. My photo of Robespierre came out very glary. But I have seen Robespierre’s picture of ‘Robespierre’ on the forum post so I’ll happily settle for that one.

From a patisserie we bought éclairs and water and found a bench in Place des Vogues square. This is an absolutely lovely place to sit on a Sunday afternoon. The fountains were refreshing and provided a beautiful back drop for taking some good photos. It was so rewarding to just sit here and take in the square and the people and the relaxed pace of the Parisian life style. They live in style with class and appear to have the philosophy of ‘work to live’ versus ‘live to work’.

Out of the clear blue sunny skies popped a gentle rain shower. I simply took out my compact umbrella from my shoulder purse as Cosmo and I cuddled closer together and viola, we didn’t get a drop of rain on us. From Place des Vogues we walked up to the Pompidou Center. Due to the wonderful weather, we knew the Pompidou would give us an awesome view of the city. Our other high views of the city from the Eiffel Tower and Arc d’Triomphe had both been hazy. Because our morning tomorrow would be taken up with repairing the cell phone, we instead decided to go to the Musee d’Orsay now and leave our Monday afternoon open.

We hopped a taxi over to Musee d'Orsay. The lines were tremendously long and the entire plaza was packed with people and tour groups. The weather gods made the city bloom open as we wondered where in the world did all these people came from. It was Sunday and there was a temporary ‘Cezzane’exhibit which definitely had a factor in this mobbed scene.

Cosmo thought I was nuts to want to deal with the ques. He forgot we had our museum passes. I took his hand and said ‘follow me’. I weaved and worked our way through and around the crowds to the entry point. Luckily for us, when he went for our breakfast this morning, I had reread the museum’s layout in the guidebook. At the entry point, I took out our passes and we gained immediate access. My husband said I reminded him of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea.

We overheard people in line saying, “Hey, how come they get to cut the line?” It was a sunny day now in the high 70’s and those folks were sweating and clearly not happy. It was just after 3:00pm and we had been through security, museum pass line entry and a second security check point.

Our main goal was to see the impressionists so we headed upstairs first. The museum was crowded but we were able to enjoy ourselves. I like the way the museum placed the skylight within this area. You could see the light making changes on the paintings. You needed extra patience today to appreciate this museum. You had to wait for others to pass by a painting if you wanted to spend time with it. Today, I discovered Alfred Sisley and really liked his work. I knew his name but never spent time viewing his work.

From here we went to the café’s upper loft to have the water and fruit we bought from the cafeteria. There was a long line to buy your food in the cafeteria and to sit for any type of meal in the main café. In the future I’d avoid the weekends if possible.

The line for Cezanne’s exhibit was so steep that we passed on this and went to the post impressionism where we saw some of his work. Coming full circle to the escalators we peeked into the up scaled restaurant. It looked lovely and expensive. We walked along the second level enjoying the grandeur of the ballroom and the view above and below us. We truly loved the design of how they converted a train station into an art museum.

In the gift shop I bought postcards of my favorite paintings. My favorites were ‘L’Angelus’ by Millet, ‘Les Joueurs de cartes’ by Cézanne, ‘Bal du Moulin de la Galette’ by Renoir, ‘La neige a Louveciennes’ by Sisley, and ‘La rue Montorgueil, 30 juin 1878’ by Monet. There was a tea set and some water pitchers that I admired but again too expensive for this trip’s budget.

I also bought a children’s book, ‘Le Petit Train’ about the museum and a photo viewer with its highlights. I read this book to my grandchildren every time they sleep over and of course they love the photo viewer. They seem to enjoy the stories of the artists and the way the book tells a story about their painting. It’s a great way to introduce them to art and my passion of travel. Afterwards they always seem to have a question or two. They are four and ten years old. My 4 year old grandson wants to visit Egypt to see the Pyramids, ride a camel and float down the Nile River. My 10 year old granddaughter wants to float down the grand canal of Venice and discover all the nooks and crannies of what she says is the most beautiful city to her in the world.

Leaving Museum d’Orsay the lines were still very long. We heard that people were at two hours wait. It was after 500pm and many wouldn’t get inside as it was closing at 600pm. I always feel bad when I see this happen. Hopefully they’d get in tomorrow.
Our legs were tired and we took the short taxi ride back to our hotel.

Again we forgot to make a reservation and it was Sunday evening. I had my list that I made from all the great suggestions from the forum only not to use it to our advantage. Because our legs were still on the tired side we just walked over to rue Cler to check it out. Over the weekend there had been antiques fair. Now the streets were almost empty here with the lone antiques fair banner hanging over rue Cler. We sat down at an outdoor table at a small Greek café, ‘Ulyssee en Gaule’.

For dinner we both had moussaka and Greek salads with a glass of vin rouge for me and a club soda for my husband. The owner was very pleasant and friendly yet she physically appeared tired. Most likely it was from a busy weekend with the antiques fair but she didn’t show it to us in her persona. It was very pleasant. A few older women sat in their window balconies and some young couples walked down the street but outside of that it was very quiet. From her vendor we bought a sugar and a chocolate crepe to go. The food was fair and the service was good. I’d return back on a non fair weekend to give the cafe a second chance.

Cost of dinner with tip was 40E.

Ulysse en Gaule, 28 rue Cler, Tel # 0147056182

DiG is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Jun 1st, 2007, 06:34 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 243
Monday May 15 2006 "Taxis, telephones & Bra Taverns".

After our daily ritual of fresh bakery goods and juice, we took a taxi to "Easy Telecom" store in Montparnesse. The nice clerk at the hotel had called ahead to let the manager know we were coming.
Breakfast 3.00E.

Sometime late Friday our cell phone began acting up. By Saturday afternoon
we couldn't call out and our family couldn't call in. Recharging it wasn't successful.

The manager examined the phone, charged it up, and said that the charger needed to be replaced. He looked through his spare parts boxes but came up short. It would take at least 1 hour as he had to call the other store across town to bring one other and try a new one on it.

We asked him to suggest a place for coffee and we walked a couple of blocks down hill to a handsome bar. Enjoying cappucinos and chatting with the owner we learned that his place had been opened for over 25 years. The floors were marble & the walls were half mahogney with gold trim along the edging that met the painted wall.

Up above the very long bar, it seats about 20 people, was memorablia from NYC. There was everything Yankees, Prints of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and the Twin Towers. Then there was an array of 9/11 memorials and mementos. A group of rowdy 'football' players came in for their regular morning fill and we bid adieu to Nick.
Bar Bill 4.50E.

At "Easy Telecom" we paid E60/$89.12 for the new charger.

We walked further back down the hill this time and returned by taxi to the hotel. We set up the phone to recharge and headed back out.

Cost of Round Trip Taxi was 18.00E. This included excellent views of the Montparnesse area with bi-lingual speaking taxi drivers friendly enough to point out landmarks and things to us.

It was around 1100 am so we hopped Bus#87 to the St.Germain area.
Bus Cost 2.00E.

We walked all around the center and poked around in the shops. It was another beautiful sunny day and we found this area charming and intriguing.

After watching the dueling of Cafes "Le Cafe deFlore and "Les Deux Magots" where we could find no outside seats we went to Bra Lipp. Again no outdoor seating but no surprise for 100pm. Our grumbling stomachs gladly followed the polished maitre d' to a booth in the way back of the restaurant.

The room was filled with business people and another Parisian couple. Our table faced the entire room and we sat side by side at our table. The maitre d' and waiters took excellent care of us.

We had our first foie gras, salads, leg of lamb with vegetables with a 1/2 bottle of red wine. The lamb melted in our mouths. The service and food was 5*.
Cost for dinner 69.30 E.

Brasserie Lipp, 151 blvd St.Germain, Tel#0145485391.

Walking back we stopped and visited the church of St.Germain des Pres. I found this medieval Romanesque style church dark and mysterious. There were many local worshippers so we quietly took in the side chapels. The church appeared in need of urgent renovation. We gladly gave a donation and the 11thC church left a place in my heart.

On our way out, 4 work men had the bell or one of the bells, on a set of rolling pallets. The old bell had a long crack in it. They'd all stoop down and move the large bell gingerly off the back pallet and onto the front one. Then 2 men would hold the bell while the other 2 men retrieved the back pallet and placed it down again. After each successful move forward, the 4 men would sit down on the pallet, hold the bell and wipe their faces with their scarves.

At that rate we laughed between ourselves that it would take them 11 centuries to remove,repair and return the bell to it's proper place.

Poking around in more shops and stores we couldn't resist something sweet. We bought lemon and raspberry tarts with cream on top and some cookies for tomorrow along with water.

We strolled back to the lovely square beside the church and kicked back on a bench. The square filled with moms and strollers, elderly friends, travellers, all looking for a shady spot under the old trees.

We took a taxi back to the hotel where we finished packing up for tomorrow, laid out our clothes, left travel guides behind for the next traveller and throw out a bunch of unnecessary stuff.

I convinced Cosmo to walk to dinner. We wanted something light and I remembered "Tavern Henri" from my notes which were now in the rubbish. We enjoyed plates of cheeses, various breads, and cold meats.
The owner paired different wines with them for us. Most of the meats were too gritty for what we expected but the cheese and breads agreed with us alot.

Taverne Henri IV, 13 place du Pont-Neuf,
Cost for meal 24.00E.

After this we strolled around Pont Neuf taking in the beginning of the Seine's night life. Down below in Square du Vert-Galant, we saw Henri's statue and watched the Bateau boats coming and going. They were all filled to the brim with no room to spare.

Walking back up the stairs we headed over to St.Chapelle. We didn't get to visit it but took in the beautiful lighting in the early evening. The island was peaceful, serene and free of
weary tourists.

We walked the quai to Pont Della Concorde. Here we bought some ice cream and more water. We hung out with all the others who were waitig for the Eifel Tower to light up. There were mimes, jugglers, artists, pinicers, and most folks had wine bottles and glasses.

The meat from the Tavern had upset my stomach. Not that ice cream was the greatest remedy but it was in the high 70's and was so refreshing at the time.

Surpisingly, we were delighted as the crowd's enthusiasm grew for the lights, and one by one we saw the bridges along the river come to light. Then Viola!
For our last evening we took in our last impressions of the sparkle and grandeur of the Eifel Tower.
Now I truly wished I could have bid her good night with an appropriate glass of wine.

Lazily we began our walk back to the hotel and slowly gave in to hailing our last taxi ride in Paris. We had the driver go around a bit so we could see the city by night.

Back at the hotel all 3 children had left "Happy Mother's Day" messages on the cell phone. They wanted to know why they couldn't reach us for 2 days.

Looking out our window I took in one last long view of the top of the Tower.

Tuesday May 17th. "Au revoir, Paris".

With our bags packed and secured we returned to "La Terrace du 7eme". Settling in with our coffee we enjoyed the sprawling of happenings around the cafe.

People exited the Metro and headed to work, students passed with book packs on their way to school, and older locals carried their fresh bread home.

We enjoyed the moving fashion runway walk. The younger women were dressed in newly bright Spring colored tops and skirts with fitting short waisted jackets or knee length Spring coats. The older women wore softer pastel colored business suits. All the ladies had fancy new handbags, beautiful scarves tied a hundred different ways and lovely shoes.

The men wore sharp looking linen suits of navy pinstripes and brown hues with starking tailored shirts with shining cuff links and matching hankerchiefs in their breast pockets. Their shoes were polished and shiny int bright morning sun.

We had a delicious full breakfast of eggs, ham, toast, fruit and coffee.
Cost of breakfast 17.00 E.

From the cafe we walked back over to rue Cler. With the fair stalls now down we could take in the neighborhood. Ladies were shaking out their rugs, small children walked two by two dressed in their school uniforms with adult/teacher supervision. The markets and food stalls were setting up for the day.

We poked around, sniffed some cheese, watched a butcher work, contemplated buying some bottles of wine, and bought
last minute postcards of sights we saw which we didn't have a photo for it.

We made one last stop at the local franprix for fresh water and some snacks to take back home with us.

The hotel had prearranged a shuttle van for us along with four other people. We had decided to forgo public transport.
Our 2 suitcases and 2 carry on totes were loaded down with souvenoirs and a few gifts and most importantly, my tin of Lauderee cookies!

We sat in the front. The 4 people in the back of the van were very concerned that they would not make their 130pm flight. It was 1040am. He told them that if they missed their flight because of him, they'd recieve a full refund. But he said not to worry, "I'll have you there by 1130am."

The driver's name was Phillippe. He drove the van like he was in the Grand Prix. I just laughed the whole way as he weaved his way through the streets, onto and off of sidewalks, wiggled around the Arc d'Triomphe and squeashed down side streets that most likely aren't on our city maps.

The lady behind me screamed a couple of times at what were clearly too close to call misses. I think if I didn't buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride I'd have lost my breakfast. We arrived at 1125am.

Cost of van shuttle for 2pp, 36.00E.

Pleasantly, we were greeted and then directed to the proper lines and the entire departure procedure was as smooth as the ice cream I had last night.

We checked our suitcases and just had our 2 totes. Inside the terminal we took turns walking around while the other stayed with the carry on. We bumped into the couple we had met at Le Coupe Chow and chatted until they departed.

The shuttle experience and boarding went just as well. Before long we were in flight heading home. After my lunch stroll around the plane I settled in for a short nap.

My mind pleasantly drifted off to my new memories and the whispers of "We'll always have Paris".

DiG is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,210
Dig - Thanks so much for this comprehensive report. Will definitely being referring to your report in the coming year. We were supposed to go to Normandy in Apr, however, had to cancel due to a medical emergency. So we're rescheduling for Apr/08. Great job!
patandhank is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,765
Di, thanks for this final segment! After just getting back from my Normandy trip, I'm ready to do Paris. I skipped Paris on my last 4 trips to France (except for flying in and out) - but now I can't wait for "just Paris" again. And at least there I can't damage a rental car!
Sue4 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Posts: 6,104
Sue, have you done your Normandy report?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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HopingToTravel, yes, I've done the report. Just click on my name and you'll find it. I loved Normandy!
Sue4 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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bookmarking to share with husband. great information! thanks.
jabolla is offline  

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