Bienvenue a Paris !!
After 2 years of planning, postponing and rescheduling, we are finally here! We are in Paris! The land of love, and loving it we are!
Wait….. Let’s back up a bit though…. We had originally planned a trip to spend our first three days in Paris, then we would board a river cruise ship in Luxembourg and we would do a 7 night cruise with AMA Waterways from Luxembourg through Germany, more of France and then end our cruise in Switzerland. We would then fly to Dublin, Ireland to spend another week driving through the middle section of Ireland, up the coast and then back over to Dublin. We had reserved a unique and different bed and breakfast to stay in each night of our trip in Ireland, reserving one night to stay in a castle. Once we completed that journey, we would fly out of Dublin to London, England and spend 5 more days there. My husband and I were both raised in a military family and lived all over the country and he has fond memories of his time spent in England as a child, so he wanted to go back to where he had lived.
Well…. Then covid ravaged the world and all of our plans were cancelled. Like many others, we cancelled our plans and rescheduled everything to the next year. As you might imagine, it took quite some time to contact all of the airlines, rental car agencies, hotels and bed and breakfasts to reschedule everything. Much to our dismay, when it was again time for our trip, covid had other ideas. It just didn’t quit and we were back to having to cancel and reschedule yet again. Third time’s a charm right? Well, we didn’t want to take too many chances this time around so we decided to continue on with rescheduling our Paris and cruise portion of the trip, but we cancelled and did not reschedule the Ireland and England portion. We would need to save that trip for another time… another year.
We learned a lot of lessons on what to do and what not to do when it comes to cancelling and or rescheduling with airlines, hotels, B&B’s, and the list goes on. But, that my friends is for another full blog. The amount of work and stress it created was just so much, that I can’t even go there on this one.
Airport Transfers… I’ve said it once, but it bears repeating… schedule your airport transfer ahead of time, especially if you are travelling to or from a foreign country. Just sayin… Our ride from Paris De Gaulle Airport to our hotel in the Trocadero area of Paris was a short 30 minutes. We stayed at a Hilton brand hotel centrally located in the beautiful Trocadero area. It had an absolutely breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower from the upper level lounge of our hotel. We were literally able to walk to so many beautiful places!! And the weather was absolutely perfect!
Dining in Paris … Several things we learned. One was to ask the locals which places they would suggest you dine. If they ask you to mention them or their hotel when you make your reservations, ask someone else as that may mean they are receiving a kick back from the particular restaurants they recommend. Another way to determine where you want to eat is to do like we did which is to just walk around and look for where all of the people are eating. That’s usually a good sign. Try to stay away from the restaurants located really close to the museums, points of interest, etc., as they tend to be overpriced and undervalue and they are mainly there for the tourists. We like to find the little mom and pop places where the locals dine. One good way to find those is by researching online. I am the research queen, so we are usually pretty lucky when it comes to where we dine and visit when we travel.
As we venture out by foot on our first day in Paris, we find a quaint little French café that appears to be popular with the locals. We get a table outside, order our lunch and it’s fantastic. We share a plate of fish and chips with a side salad and it is just the perfect amount.
We start to walk toward the Eiffel Tower, but there appears to be a lot of people walking around it with signs and megaphones. We then remember being told that there are demonstrators there every weekend to protest against the governmental mandates regarding taking precautions to help ease the spread of the virus. They evidently feel it is impinging on their free rights. We decide it would be best to wait to visit the touristy spots tomorrow when we have our tour with Cedric’s Paris. We then meet our friends at the AMA Waterways welcome reception at the Renaissance Hotel (a very beautiful hotel by the way.) We meet several others who will be cruising with us in a few days, stay and have dinner at their hotel and call it a night. Our hotel is a short three block walk back and as we are nearing our hotel entrance we see the absolutely incredible lights twinkling all around the Eiffel Tower and it is just magical! I can honestly tell you that this was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. We make it an early night and I fall asleep with such a thankful heart that I am there.
Tomorrow …. Our first actual full day in Paris will be with Chris. He and his brother own a touring company that is all done via their charming original French Citron cars and they are a blast!! Our driver Chris owns a 1977 lime green Citron and it is one of the oldest of the vehicles. But… you’ll have to read my next blog to hear all about our incredible day with Chris of Cedric’s Paris !!
Au revior ! Until Next Time!