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Trip report April 15th-20th

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San Diego, CA
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Trip report April 15th-20th

We just returned from our 2nd trip to Paris last week. The first part of our vacation was spent in London and my trip report for that portion can be found in the London forum. I had been dreaming of going back to Paris since we got home from our last trip four years ago and after a few delays we finally made it back and loved it just as much as our first time. We liked our time in London but it isn't Paris. Trip report to follow in the replies...

San Diego, CA
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1. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

A little about us, we are married late twenties/early thirties from San Diego who love to travel. Some background that really effected our time in Paris was that I was lucky enough to pick up the stomach flu our last day in London and was just really happy to be able to travel to Paris on the day we were meant to.

Day one April 15th: As I said above I had the stomach flu and after a trip to the doctor the day before who was unsure if I would be able to travel we forged ahead. We didn't have much of a choice being that we had no where to stay in London, non refundable train tickets and a non refundable apartment in Paris. Our journey on the eurostar was eventful since we stopped multiple times and ended up having to change to a different train arriving two hours later than scheduled. We were meant to arrive at 14:56/2:56 and didn't get there until 5:00 just in time for rush hour : ) after getting off the train we entered gare du nord which was a circus, went to go buy a carnet at a machine which of course didn't take our American cards. After finding a window to buy from a person we headed down to the metro, keep in mind I was very woozy at this point and we were hauling all of our stuff with us through a very busy train station at 5:00 on a Monday, not fun. We had to transfer at chatlet to get to our destination louvre/palais royale. In the future I would take a cab from gare du nord, this trip was stressful to say the least.

We rented a studio apartment from Paris flat rent on rue saint honore, on their website I believe it is called the saint honore apartment. I had instructions to call as soon as we arrived at the apartment and they would be there in a few minutes to meet us and do the key hand off. Our oddesey wasn't over at this point though, we had paid 20% down ahead of time and the rest of the money was due in cash on arrival. My husband called Wells Fargo ahead of time to let them know of our trip and that we would be making a larger ATM withdrawal on this day. Well after visiting three different ATMs and walking away with only 120 euros then getting rejected for anymore money we were very concerned. Giovanni from Paris flat rent arrived within five minutes of our call and we explained the situation and he was kind enough to say he would return in the morning for the remaining balance which was a relief. We called Wells Fargo and apparently whoever we talked to before never made a note of our trip, funny that we had no issues in London only Paris? The apartment was very nice and felt large for a studio it almost could be a one bedroom, everything was as pictured. After settling in and changing we headed out.

I was not feeling up to eating so we just planned on walking and stopping in a cafe at some point so my husband could eat something. The area where we stayed was a block from the Louvre and the Tuileries which was an amazing thing to get to walk past everyday. The weather was perfect so we just walked along the river and ended up on the islands. My husband was getting hungry so we stopped in a cafe on ile st louis, I can't remember the name, he had a galette with chicken and mushrooms and some wine I just got a bottle of water and a plain crepe because I knew I needed to eat something but nothing that could upset my stomach. I had spent countless hours researching restaurants and this kind of went out the window as the week went on. After dinner we headed back out by this time there was a beautiful sunset, we walked past Norte dame which was glowing pink and then back along the river. The sunset was amazing my pictures didn't do it justice. Even though I wasn't feeling well just looking around Paris and seeing how beautiful it was made me feel better. We made it back to the Tuileries at nine just in time to watch the lights on the Eiffel Tower turn on. We sat, along with half of Paris it seemed, and watched the tower sparkle in near perfect weather for a few minutes before heading back to the apartment. Our first day wasn't perfect but we were so happy to finally be back in Paris. Day two to be continued.....Marais walk with Paris walks, Musee Carnavalet, etc.

Phoenix, AZ
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2. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

Wow what a journey! Thank you for sharing, as I am sure you are still not 100%. Looking forward to hear more :-) and I hope you'll feel better quickly !!!

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

This sounds awesome- sounds like you were there the same time as I was, just arrived 1 day later and left 1 day later. :) We were pretty spoiled with good weather, weren't we? Hope you were feeling better the rest of your trip!

melbourne
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4. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

lovely trip report, and i am looking forward to reading the rest

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

oh yay! you got through the first day - i was hoping that stomach flu wasn't going to stop you too much! glad you found things to do & you got your bank sorted - looking forward to the next instalment!

San Diego, CA
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6. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

Day two April 16th: Our plan for today was to do the Marais walk with Paris walks and then see how I was feeling afterwards to determine what to do. I woke up feeling not so great but I got up anyways I wasn't going to miss my time in Paris. Giovanni from Paris flat rent was supposed to come and pick up the money for the apartment but my husband needed to eat something before we left for the walk and since he has a horrible sense of direction I decided to leave him to wait and i would head out to get something. I saw there was a monoprix just a few blocks away so I headed there to pick up some water and it turned out they had a really good bakery section in the store so I picked up a pain au chocolate for him and I just got a small bread loaf for myself, I still didn't want to eat but knew I needed something just to keep some energy up. I guess I had never gone in a monoprix on our last trip, it's like target but way better they seem to have a little bit of everything. I went back to the apartment got my stuff together and we headed out to the metro, the tour started at the St. Paul metro station and I didnt feel up to walking all the way there yet. The tour was to start at 10:30 and unlike London walks actually started on time. Our guide was cerise, a young very smart Brit who had a background in art history. We started off on our Marais walk (circuit 1) and about 10 minutes in a group of six Americans come running up late to join the group, I'm not sure how they found us as we were several blocks from the start, but they looked like the picture of the ugly American tourist they might seem over the top on a snl skit. Embarrassing. The walk was great we walked all through the Marais saw some of the old mansions, went into the St. Gervais church and finally ended in Place de Voges. We were again the youngest people on the tour like we were on the London walks. I don't understand why younger people don't take advantage of these walks, yes I am a big history nerd but my husband who doesn't know anything about history really enjoys them and I think he gets a lot more out of our trips when we do these walks. The walks are 12 euros which for 2+ hrs of really educated commentary is a great deal, so younger people go on these walks.

After the walk the guide asked if anyone needed lunch recs in the area and she suggested a pizza place called la cerise if we wanted something different from the typical cafe. My poor husband was sandwiched out due to my sickness that's all he had been eating for a few days and I figured I could eat the crust. I had planned to hit l'as du falafel but my stomach definitely wasn't up to it so we headed to the pizza place. It actually was very good all the ingredients were Italian and very fresh. As we were eating guess who came walking in?!? The group of ugly Americans! They unfortunately recognized us from the tour and had to loudly proclaim looks like everyone listened to the tour guide, we didn't say much to them hoping they would ignore us from then on, I did not want to be associated with that bunch, the gentlemen preceded to order beers which apparently weren't large enough for their tastes and told the poor waitress that those beers were two sips and they would need a lot more than that. Again embarrassing.

After lunch we decided to head to the Musee Carnavalet, it had been on my list and it wasn't far from where we were at. The museum covers the history of Paris, it also has a lovely garden in the middle, and is free. There are a lot of period interiors which are really interesting to look at, I would love to have some of that moulding. We really enjoyed the museum and is much much less crowded than the more known museums which makes it easier to enjoy. We spent a little over two hours there and were starting to get tired so we decided to head back to the apartment for a rest. We walked back the weather was almost perfect again today and the streets were full of people out enjoying the sunshine.

Originally we had reservations that night for Josephine Chez Dumonet but I cancelled them knowing I wouldn't be able to enjoy the meal. On our last trip my husband really enjoyed le relais l'entrrcote and since it doesn't require reservations I figured we would head there for dinner. My stomach had done well with lunch so I figured I would give it a try. We walked over and got there shortly after they had opened just so we wouldn't have to wait. For those who don't know this restaurant does nothing but steak frites, your only choice is how you want it cooked and what you want to drink. You are served a salad with a mustard vinaigrette, which is really good despite how simple it is. Then they bring you a plate of sliced steak and fries with a really good sauce of unknown source it's a secret no one has cracked. I guess my brain was ahead of my stomach as I couldn't really taste anything including the sauce that tasted so good the last time. I was really happy we went as my husband really enjoyed his meal and I was happy he finally got to eat a real meal, he had been suffering from my sickness too. Since I couldn't eat much he got extra which was fine by him. After dinner we walked home through another amazing sunset and again watched the tower light up for the night. It was a really good second day and I was hopeful I would feel even better the next day. Day three to be continued...

San Diego, CA
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7. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

Ps apologizes for weird spelling and spaces. I am typing this on an iPad and it has a mind of its own : )

Illinois
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8. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

I'm enjoying this part of your trip soon. I hope you got the rest of the way better soon. It stinks to be sick when you're on vacation!

Edited: 4:28 pm, May 01, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

Loving your report....what a drag to be sick though.

Saratoga Springs, NY
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10. Re: Trip report April 15th-20th

SO sorry you've been sick, but it's a great report and thank you for sharing!

Good to hear that you enjoyed the walk so much :-)