In just about ten hours, Rick, Allison, Christine and I will board Air France flight 337 with nonstop service from Boston to Paris. Ooo-la-la!!!
Planning this trip has been so much fun and I am so excited to be finally heading to the City of Lights, Love, Art, Culinary Excellence, History, where we will arrive at about 6:30 am Saturday morning.
We have had an excellent experience with the booking agency for the apartment we have rented on 3 Rue Des Renaudes. Fortunately, the apartment will be available for us as soon as we arrive and there will be no delay in taking possession. Here's a link to pictures of our home away from home for the next nine nights:
We must have lucked out, though. We are paying much less than the current advertised price for this 1800 sq ft flat (much bigger than our lake house). And I must compliment the rental agency Lodjee and our agent who handled our transaction - everything has been very smooth. If this place is as nice as it looks, we are going to be very comfortable. How lucky that I booked a place with a modern "lift" and a backup elevator should the main lift malfunction. With Allison's broken knee requiring a wheelchair and crutches, we might have had a big problem in the original hotel we had booked, which would have required us to go up a flight of stairs.
We don't have too many things pre-planned for this trip. Everything I have learned suggests that a loose schedule is the best way to approach a trip to Paris. There are a few things, though, where a commitment was necessary:
On Sunday at 11 a.m., we are being met by Christophe from Paris Greeters, who will lead us on a three hour tour. We don't know exactly what he has planned for us (part of the fun, really) but I indicated our interest in fashion, food, history and architecture. By the way, this is a free service run by volunteers. They suggest a donation to their organization, easy enough!
On Monday at 1 p.m. we will have a swanky lunch at Le Jules Verne, on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. After enjoying our meal, we will take the elevator to the top of the Tower and enjoy the fabulous view. We might have a little hitch with Allison being on crutches and/or in a wheelchair. We'll have to see how that goes - she read something on the ET website about handicap accessibility, and we might need to be her human crutches so we can get her up there.
Tuesday's plan is to take the Eurostar from Paris to London for the day. We all agreed that we wanted to do this, even though it's sort of crazy. It's a 2 hour 16 minute trip and our train leaves at 7:43 a.m. and requires us to be there 30 minutes early for passport control. We gain an hour of time heading west so we'll be able to take advantage of the extra time to enjoy a little of London's flavor.
That's it for pre-planned fun. We were waiting for the weather report before deciding on bike tours, Segway tours, and a cruise on the Seine. With the fantastic weather being predicted, I suspect we'll do the boat cruise on Saturday evening. It will be a nice way to see the lights, get oriented, and enjoy a bit of the romance of the city. We are within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe so that will be one of the first things we do, maybe Saturday afternoon when we recover from the plane ride. We will visit Le Louvre and Tuileries Gardens, Versailles, Les Invalides, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, and Musee D'Orsay. And we plan to eat crepes from the crepe stands, sample macarons, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the local boulangeries, sample local cheeses and drink a lot of wine!
So it's time to hit the shower, pack up the toiletries, drugs and electronics, and make sure everything is ready to go.
Paris waits for us!!!