Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Paris 2010-End

29 Octobre (Vendredi) - We were already late when we left the apartment, so when we saw that the bus wasn't going to arrive for another half hour, we grabbed a taxi. On our way to Avenue de l'Opéra and rue du 4 Septembre, we of course, passed one of my favorite "sculptures".  Although all of them have the correct time at least twice a day, none had the correct time as we passed.

Because we had taken a taxi, we were more than half an hour early for our meeting with FWAB (Frog With A Blog) in front of the BNP on the corner. We wandered about until the appointed time, noting there were at least three BNP buildings in the same area.

FWAB was on his lunch break.  He took us to a great restaurant, Le Zinc d'Honoré, on the Place du Marché Saint-Honoré.  I wasn't planning to eat anything, but then the waiter mentioned cassoulet and, well....  We had a very nice lunch and a very nice chat, and then FWAB had to get back to work.  We wandered around the area a while longer.  All around the square containing this huge building, that I think is full of artist's ateliers, are a bazillian restaurants and a few clothing stores. 

We walked over to Avenue de l'Opéra and caught the 68 Bus to rue du Bac, passing these interesting sites; a beautiful fountain near Place Collette, l'Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the section of the Louvre through which traffic flows (and where Robb got lost the other day), la Seine et Pont Royal and the representation of the City of Paris.  We walked down to rue de Grenelle to the Musée Maillol, where we saw Trésor des Médicis.  It was a great exhibit, but rather crowded.

Checking out the area after the show, we came across this fountain, this antique store and a boulangerie.  Then we walked over to Boulevard Raspail and caught the 83 Bus to Place d'Italie and Italie2..  It's a good thing Robb bought a large suitcase, because the two bulky sweaters he bought at Jules will take up a lot of space.

Dinner at Pizza Trionfo.  We had the lasagna bolognaise.  I couldn't eat all of mine and, again brought it home.

30 Octobre (Samedi) - Oh, I forgot.  Thursday, when we were changing trains at the Concorde station, we came across a group of buskers that I've seen on many videos, but had never had the pleasure to see and hear in person.  Of course, I had to make a short video.

We thought today we would pop over to the 13é and visit Aimee at her tea house, L'Oisive Thé.  We rode the very crowded Ligne 6 to Place d'Italie, walked down rue de Bobillot to rue de la Butte aux Cailles.  As has been our luck the last couple of times we tried, Aimee was not in today.  Since we were there anyway, we had a pot of Thé Vert Amande (Almond flavored green tea).  It was excellent.

After our nice, warming tea, we caught the 57 Bus, past Gare de Lyon, to Nation where we got the Ligne 6 métro back home.  I shot another picture of l'Arc de Triomphe, but this time with the lighted Tour Eiffel in the background.

Robb wanted to eat at Chez Gabrielle, but she flat-out lied to us and said she was full.  So we ate again at Pizza Trionfo, which was fine with me because I really like the place, the owner and the food.

31 Octobre (Dimanche) - It most definitely does not seem like we've been in Europe for three months already.  Not only that, but tonight they're turning the clocks back an hour.

It's about 13h30 and I've packed everything that can be packed.  Surprisingly, I got it all in the one suitcase.  I'm not sure how I did that.  Of course, picking it up now will be the problem.

Jean-Michel called and arranged to meet around 17h00 to give back our deposit check and reimburse us for the money we spent to have the washer fixed.

We had our last Parisian dinner at the Hippopotamus.  You smirk, but it was quite good.  Since they will be turning back the clocks tonight, we ate earlier than usual.  Also, because we have to be up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport around 08h00.

1 Novembre (Lundi) - Up at 07h00.  Jean-Michel had arranged for a taxi to pick us up at 08h00 and whisk us off to Aeroport Charles de Gaulle.  I was bringing down the last of the bags when he arrived.  Because Monday was a holiday celebrated by the French (Toussaint), traffic was extremely light and we made excellent time.

We were flying American Airlines and it was the very last check-in counter in the airport.  But we had no trouble and were directed to the self-serve machines for online ticket buyers.

When we arrived in Dallas, ten hours plus later, it was all I could do to get off the plane.  Luckily for me, one of the airport security people noticed the trouble I was having and arranged for a wheelchair.  One of the problems with landing in Dallas-Fort Worth is that you have to do the whole customs thing.  Meaning, you have to check in with passport control, pick-up your bags and go through customs.  Because I was in a wheelchair, I was treated as special, and I have to say I really enjoyed it.  We just whizzed through the whole process in a few minutes and were on our way to the boarding gate.  Of course, the plane wouldn't leave for another four and a half hours.

With about forty-five minutes to go until they started boarding, Robb ran off to the men's room.  He'd only been gone a couple minutes, when I overheard one of the staff tell someone that the gate had been changed from A35 to A21.  No announcement was made.  If I hadn't overheard their conversation, I would not have known.  I went over to the men's room to alert Robb.  As I was about to go in, I overheard a 'guy' with a wheelchair ask another staff member if he would like a ride.  I said, "I would certainly like that."  I told 'him' of my problem and 'he' offered to take me in the chair.  However, when we got to gate A21, we were told it was now gate C43.  That meant we had to take the Rail Link (an elevated tram) to Terminal C.  We barely made it in time.  Just before we left, I discovered that the 'guy', whose name I thought was Bill, was actually a woman named Marilyn.

I thought the flight to Fort Lauderdale would never end.  My legs were cramping up like crazy and I was in a middle seat.  Robb and I were in different rows on different sides of the plane.  Once off the plane, my legs were fine.  Again, a staff member saw the trouble I was having and called for a wheelchair.  I coudln't believe that all the stewardesses actually stood with us until the guy (really this time) with the chair showed up.  A few minutes later, we were in a taxi on the way home.

You can see all the Paris pictures here: Paris 2010 

À la prochaine, mes amis.


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I cannot believe that you are home -- you guys left at least a year ago! Sounds like a fabulous adventure and I am envious that you had 3 MONTHS!! to travel. Le sigh....

Welcome home

Megan said...

Frog With a Blog- that's a great name.
Next time you come, you'll have to come down to Provence!
Glad you got home okay, all in all, and rest up.