France Day 1

June 18. Our flight to London was uneventful. We arrived 30 min early, breezed through customs and security, and find ourselves in terminal 5 with 3+ hours to wait for our flight to Paris. I’d been advised on a travel message board that we would never make such a “short” connection, and had urged my in-laws to only take a carry-on sized suitcase so we wouldn’t have to pick up our bags at baggage claim after our flight. They look a bit bewildered at our long layover time and I don’t blame them! I wish I’d been able to take a bigger suitcase too. But better safe than sorry though!

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At the airport

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The 2nd flight ends up being delayed ½ hour. We eat at “Pret a Manger,” I have a roasted pepper and falafel wrap and a hummus salad later. We arrive in Paris at 11:00 pm. We are renting an apartment and I’m supposed to call the owner when we arrive, but the pay phone won’t take our credit cards. Luckily a women at the info desk lets us use her land line. We call Bertrand, the owner of the apt, and are on our way.

Our cab driver has to navigate a narrow street to bring us to the door of our apartment. There are a couple of homeless people sleeping in the street, and I’m terrified of what Lisa must be thinking. We use the code to get in the door and Bertrand meets us in the lobby. The apt is lovely, as nice as it looked online. He goes over the wi-fi and the washing machine with us. I am very happy with the apt, it had been difficult to find an affordable 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. We fall asleep, exhausted. I wake up once at 4:00 am and then fall back asleep and wake up again at 9:30.

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Double sinks. Impressive!
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The view from our bedroom is of the Centre Pompidou Library!!
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“Relaxing” living room

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June 19

Lisa and I head out to find some petit dejeuner. We find a small supermarket down the street and buy eggs, juice, soy milk, cereal, tea and jam. We also go to a patisserie and buy fresh croissants at 0.80 euro each. . It’s 11:00 when we get back so we eat croissants only and head out to the Pont Neuf to go on a Seine cruise. The weather is overcast with occasional sunbreaks.

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Seine river cruise

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Earl and Lisa on the Seine river cruise

After the cruise we find a place for lunch. We head up La Rue Dauphine and find a placed called Cafe Dauphine. I have quiche aux oignons and a small salad which are very good. Despite taking airborne the day before, I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and bum some aspirin off Lisa.

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Earl’s weird salad of duck parts

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After lunch we walk to Notre Dame and go in the church. Major restoration is going on on the outside doors. I feel lousy and my head throbs. After Notre Dame we head to the Arc de Tiomphe and it begins to pour down rain. We decide to head back to the apt, feeling tired and jet-lagged. Marc and I pick up a mini berry tart and a gateau fraise and have it with camomile tea at the apt. Then we nap until 8:00.

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For dinner we go to a restaurant close to the apt that we saw earlier with a 3-course prix fixe menu for 17 euros. I order the warm goat cheese salad, chicken in mushroom sauce and chocolate mousee for dessert. The chicken is bland and under-seasoned. I suggest we only go to restaurants recommended in the guidebook from now on. Back at the apt we watch the news on the BBC and go to bed late at midnight.

Go on the next part of the journey!

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