Paris is probably my favorite city. There is just something about this city that has delighted me since I first visited with my grandmother to celebrate my 19th birthday. I was fortunate enough to also celebrate my 30th birthday here. In fact, that may have been the start of my writing about travel as we wrote daily updates to family and close friends about our adventures.
We arrived this morning to this city. We were fortunate enough to be bumped up on the first leg of our journey to CDG and learned invaluable lessons about opportunities for upgrades on the international legs of flights. Although we experienced a few weather related delays due to thunderstorms in the Detroit area, we arrived at a very reasonable 8:30am.
When we visited last time, we took the RER to the Metro to get into the city to our hotel, so we thought we would do the same this time. The machines for the RER were out of service at CDG, so they directed us to get off at the Gare du Nord. We met a lovely mother and two daughters from Vancouver. The mother was from Turkey, so she gave us some great tips for Istanbul. Her younger daughter was celebrating her birthday and we had fun comparing the countries where we had celebrated birthdays.
After waiting an exceedingly long time in line to buy a ticket at the Gare du Nord, my credit card would not work in the machine and I did not yet have any Euro coins (note to self: coins are just as important as bills).
A kind agent directed me to the ticket window upstairs as the downstairs windows were indisponible. At the ticket window it occurred to me that a taxi would be a good idea as we walked maybe a bit too much last time. I made my way back to D, who was patiently waiting with our luggage. We headed to the RER D on an escalator (thankfully! after hauling our not small suitcases up regular stairs on the RER B). After a few moments of trying to figured out which train to take, D said, “how about a taxi?” Aha! Great idea. We headed upstairs and hopped into a taxi to our hotel, the Renaissance Vendome. (stay booked on Marriott points natch!). The taxi even had a completely glass roof for great city vistas! Plus we drove straight thru a car show that my father-in-law would have loved.
Although our room was not ready when we arrived, they offered us free cappuccinos and coffee plus a shower in their spa with Bulgari toiletries. While we both could have easily enjoyed a nap, the coffee and freshening up were delightful. While we waited for our room to be ready, we headed out for an early lunch. Thankfully there was a lovely cafe around the corner where we enjoyed a warm goat cheese salad and a cheese sandwich. We also learned that the smart chip on my card is not working, which is why I probably encountered problems at the Gare du Nord. Thankfully D’s card is working, so I guess that means he does all the spending this trip, right?
We stopped and got some money before continuing past the musique where many people were sitting enjoying music while eating lunch. We stopped at the Place du Madelaine before heading to the Hotel George V via taxi merci, where we had enjoyed a most indulgent cocktail during our last visit. Our cocktails “Good Night and Good Luck” and “Flash” were just as good as last time.
Then we headed back to our hotel for a rest our lovely courtyard view room before meeting our friends.
Two years ago, we were lucky enough to meet a mother and her son from Holland on a cruise in Florida. We have kept in touch and they offered to meet us in Paris. We connected this evening for a lovely French bistro meal followed by delicious ice cream at Maison Berthillon. Meandering Paris with them was definitely a highlight of the day.
Tomorrow new adventures in Paris.