Shopping Tips - Always say "bonjour" when you enter a business and "merci and "au revoir" when you leave. The bonjour was sometimes hard to remember when my eyes were falling out of my head when there was food involved. Stores had a 12-15e minimum on credit cards and most did not accept American Express. I definitely recommend shopping for some food "like the Parisians" do by picking up a loaf of bread or purchasing some fruit. You don't pick the fruit out yourself but tell them what you want and when you plan to eat it. It was the best. And don't forget they start counting with the thumb, so if you want one of something, it's thumbs up.
Restaurant Tips - Where have all the rude waiters gone? We didn't meet any. Most of ours were as sweet as could be. We ordered from the fixed price menu whenever possible, which was most nights. If it wasn't for the exchange rate this would have been a bargain. Only a couple of restaurants served butter. We saw only a few salt and pepper shakers. Coffee is served after dessert. Bread is placed on the table next to your plate. The entrée is the appetizer. The waiter will not come back to ask you how your meal is. They will never offer you the check. You must ask for it. There were American tourists and French wherever we ate. Sometimes we had the best table in the front by the window and sometimes we sat in the back. I occasionally thought this might have to do with our nonsmoking table request. If we liked the service, the food and the ambiance, we liked the restaurant. We liked them all. We had reservations every night that were made weeks in advance by our apartment rental agency. I had read about all the restaurants on the internet and TA and all were recommended by our rental agency except one. They gave us tipping guidelines depending on the type of restaurant and meal if we wanted to leave a little extra. We would always tip extra but didn't really see anyone else doing so. We have been spoiled by the restaurants and will not want to eat out at home.
Money Tips - We did an exchange at our bank before leaving and brought 300e with us. About 1/4 of this was used for the driver from the airport. We charged everything possible and needed to take money out from ATMs twice. Once at a BNP Paribus bank since I had been lead to believe that we would not incur charges since we had accounts with Bank of America; once at another bank (reason to be explained later in trip report). We incurred a $5 fee for each and another nominal fee for each (amount differed according to amount withdrawn). This I did not understand.
Preventing Jet Lag - I feel that it is necessary to get at least 4 hours of sleep on the plane going over. We take medication to make sure we sleep. When we get there, we do not go to bed until the normal bedtime, no naps. Also, we never drink alcohol on the plane. So far, so good.
Transportation Tips - As everyone has said, you do a lot of walking. I am used to being on my feet for 12 hours a day but my husband's calves and knees were killing him. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in February and ended up taking a couple of Percocet which he hadn't done since about a week after the surgery. I hadn't intended to take the metro much, wanting to stroll or take the batobus and take in the views We should have bought a carnet of tickets but just kept buying individual tickets each time. We bought a 5 day pass on the batobus and only used it for I think 3 days. The first pick-up at our stop wasn't until 10:20am. It takes too long to get anywhere and unless you're going somewhere near the river, it doesn't drop you close enough. I would say once or twice on the batobus to enjoy the view would have been enough. We ended up using the metro more then anticipated but I would use it even more the next time. After my initial panic, a light came on and it was pretty easy to figure out. It's just like everybody has said; the name of the train is the last stop on it's route. I had looked up pedestrian directions to all the restaurants and these came in handy even though we ate most nights on the Ile Saint Louis. They even told you how long it would take to get there.
Taking Pictures - Make sure you hold camera straight. The Eiffel Tower looks like the leaning tower of Pisa in a lot of our pictures.