Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PARIS IN A NUTSHELL..........

Back in September we made the decision
to spend the holidays in Paris with the
girls.....
Here is my brief summary of why Hawaii should
have been discussed before buying tickets on
Air France....
 The Boss considers me to be a complainer and he's
probably right....more of a whiner I suppose but certainly
simple things who would make the average person smile with joy
can make me act like an ass.....

I don't mean not to be appreciative of all
the Boss does for me...
Here is how the trip went....
my version....
My first bit of advise I can give is....if you pay
a lot of money for trip insurance and someone in your
"group" is sick....for Pete's sake use the insurance....
Poor Miss "B" had the flu for a week before we left...
Two visits to the doctors....no medication given...just
"it should run it's course by Wednesday"
Guess what....it got worse not better....
when traveling to Europe fly on an American carrier...
Booked on Delta....we flew on Air France....
it seems Air France does not have the same policies
as Delta.....something they failed to tell us....
but that's a whole other story....
my advise...
stay clear of Air France....
We tried to leave on an earlier flight the day we were
flying home...just by about 2 hours.....
and Air France wanted an additional $20,000.00
for our four seats....yup....you  read that right....
$5,000.00 per person...on top of the $2700.00 "per" ticket
we had already paid....
luckily our apartment rental people
were kind enough to extend our check out time...

next bit of advise.....travel to Paris in Spring or Fall
only idiots go in the dead of winter or during a
holiday to which all Europeans and Asians decide
that Paris is the place to spend the New Year...
there were more people there then Times Square on
New Years Eve....
I have no recollection of seeing any museums....their
wonderful department stores....their fabulous bakeries...
I saw the subways and the sidewalks....
I swear all I did for a week was walk and go up and
down subway steps....
I felt like I was making an exercise video for
Seniors....
here's a great piece of advise....
on our last day we wised up and the Boss hired us a car
to take us around to all the shops we wanted to visit...
A company called Victor's Taxi is Heaven in a
Mercedes.....at 45 Euros an hour we hired
Victor for a three hour period....
A lovely Asian man who spoke French and English
He would pull up to a shop we would go in and shop
he waited outside double parked and then took us to
our next stop....
one problem.....
Don't take along a 5 year old who gets car sick....
Poor B did well for the first hour and a half and then
when the Boss asked the driver
"so, do you happen to know where the Ferrari store is"
she turned to me....green in the face and said...
"Grandma I want to go home I don't feel so good"...
also added to the mix was the fact that two fabulous
cooking shops I had been dying to go to were closed when
we pulled up...
make sure your shops of choice are open for business...
but treat yourself for a few hours of this wonderful way
to get around this big city.....

I did get excited when I read Ina Garten's Blog and her
and Jeffery were in town the same time and they
also rented a driver for the day to see the sights
on New Years Eve....
How cool would that have been if we ran into
Ina.....
okay......another great idea for visiting Paris....
Don't stay at a hotel...rent yourself an apartment...
We used a company called
"Paris Perfect"....
and the apartment was stunning....a three BR
two bath.....with a full kitchen...two living rooms...
and two dining areas....a wrap around terrace up on the
8th floor....it was certainly "Perfect"...
they rent studios up to three bedrooms....
about the cost of a first class hotel but so much
better then being cooped up in a single room...
Eating out in Paris is extremely expensive so by
having an apartment you can at least have your breakfast
or a late night meal and not break the bank...
This is the second time we have rented an apartment in Paris
and there is no way I would ever stay at a hotel...
Prices vary upon the time of year.....
Well worth whatever the cost....
let's talk food.....I am not a food snob by any means....
give me a good hot dog with kraut or good BBQ and
I'm in Heaven....but when in Paris....
Daughter had made reservations at the Jules Verne
restaurant half way up the Eiffel Tower at the encouragement
of the Boss...as he put it....this was a trip of a lifetime...
Not having to wait in a long line we were taken up in a
special elevator to the second level....
the views were magnificent......
This is where myself acting like an ass comes into play....
I am frugal where food is concerned......maybe because

I cook so much and I actually know what goes into a
good meal....

I also appreciate the finer things but I'm not afraid to
say when something isn't really worth the hype....
I had the above scallops (three of them)...in some sort
of green sauce....and those brown things were shaved truffles...
the Boss had some sort of beef...
daughter had the salmon and for Miss B they
offered her chicken fricassee which turned out to be
chicken sausage....

portion sizes could fit in a thimble...
of course that is why us Americans are the size we are!!
I do have to say the desserts were decadent...
Fabulous was the only way to describe them...
But......I sat the entire time looking like I was waiting to
 have a "root canal".....
this is daughter's salmon.....
a once in a lifetime meal....in the most  beautiful
place in the world.....not worth almost $600.00
but a big thank you to the Boss for treating his girls
like celebrities...
I have said my apologizes to all involved for
not fully enjoying this terrific experience...
a view from the tower....looking towards the Trocadero....
gift shop!!
make sure the building your staying in has an
elevator....this one did....but it only fit one person
at a time and was a bit creepy...
the boss did climb down these stairs many times during the
week....he was not a fan of the elevator...
I should have taken my apartment pictures the day we arrived
because within minutes we made our selves at home
and all the beautiful rooms had our crap everywhere...
t.v. room.....the apartment was decorated
very french....checks all over...and great throw pillows...
chandeliers in every room....
okay...did anyone see the episode of
The Real Housewives of New York when the
Countess hits on the guy who looks like Johnny Depp
in the pirate movies....
well....somewhere in France they are cloning these guys..
this was our waiter at the cafe at the Louvre.....
view from our wrap around terrace....
the Eiffel Tower was only 2 blocks away....
the camera lens makes it look farther...
weather was fair.....a bit cold but not awful.....
Paris is gorgeous....but I have to say go in the Spring or Fall
it is not as pretty in the winter....
we did have one day of sunshine so me and the Boss
took to the streets....Daughter and B were off to see
Disneyland Paris for the day...
this is one of the bridges in the city....
Stunning......that's all you can say about it...
more bridge ornamental statues......
I've come home with post traumatic stress syndrome
from all the subway steps....my house has 18 steps up to the
bedroom....for the past three days whenever I go to climb up them or down all I see in front of me is the inside of the Paris subways...
I'm waiting for the Boss to start playing the
accordion and holding an empty coffee cup for
donations....

Street performers....this guy was half a mime....
sometimes he spoke other times he didn't....
but he drew a crowd....
if I have to say one fun thing during this whole trip it would be...
near Notre Damn there was a man sitting at a make shift
old wooden piano....
He was playing the theme to the movie
"The Third Man"
with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles....
the entire movie score was played on a zither.....
this man's piano had the same sound....
I could have stood there all day listening to him play...
The boss was not as impressed and whisked me away after
a few minutes.....
I promised Sophie a ride with grandma on this Ferris wheel
the two of us are not afraid of heights....
But we never made it back to go on....
everywhere in the city there were lines a mile long....
This is not the case during other times of the year...
Daughter spotted this sign stuck to a lamp post and
quickly it became....
"B was here".....

my Macaron Fix....
the apartment chandeliers....
every room had one!!
padlocks on the fence at the
Pont de L'Archeveche'
considered Love Locks...there seems to be millions of them
a tradition that Paris doesn't approve of...
it's against the law to put one on but as you can see
it doesn't stop people from leaving their mark on
Paris...

hiding under a hat at the cafe in the Louvre..... 
Time to leave.....
The best part of the trip was hearing this 5 year old
with her new found language use it all over the city...
Sophie has the ability to speak French with a better
pronunciation then some of her words in English...
She knew what to say and when.....
she charmed the people of Paris....
and "corrected" her Grandpa when he left a store or a
restaurant and said "Bon Jour"....
she thanked everyone with a "Merci"
and last but not least....
Sophie was meant to wear a Beret.......

Thanks to the Boss....the daughter and the "B"
for putting up with a grandma who's not
the best travel companion.....


23 comments:

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I about fell over when you said $600 for that meal. Your grand-daughter is very cute in her beret.
I am envious of your trip but I agree that Spring would be a better time.
Paris sounds extremely expensive!
Cindy

Cass @ That Old House said...


We'd all like pictures of The Boss playing accordian and panhandling - encourage that, ok?

It is exceedingly aggravating to pour that much money into a trip, and be disappointed. It would not have occurred to me that Paris would be packed at Christmas time.

Hope you got a cute beret, at least? And that cute waiter? There's a factory just outside the city limits that churns them out, one right after the other.

$600 for dinner for 4? Haven't seen those types of prices here since the whizbang days of the Clinton administration.

I hope that included the tip!

BON JOUR!
Hahahahahahahaha.
Cass

Salmagundi said...

I've been waiting and waiting for this post. Glad you are home safe! Did you eat one of those macarons for me? - I know they aren't cheap either. I'll visit with you later and you can fill me in on further details!!! Sally

Sue said...

Cindy....all I thought about was how many Chick-Fil_A sandwiches I could have bought for that one meal...Sally....I ate a whole box of Macarons all by myself.....and Cass....come on the Boss is an Italian from Jersey he really does know how to play the accordian....

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Sue I can't wait to hear more about the trip. I am so glad I'm planning a Fall trip to Paris, but how not to fly Air France??? Most of the Delta flights are Air France. Yikes! I'm going to find an apt for sure. Miss B is adorable in that beret! Hugs, Linda

Marigene said...

I can't even imagine a $600 meal...was that USD or Euros, never mind, it is still expensive!
Your cute granddaughter looks adorable in a beret.
Your photographs are great...thanks for sharing.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Miss B! She is meant to be in Paris. So adorable.

It sounds like on balance you had a good time?? (I love Paris and my last trip there was just meh. So I appreciate what you're saying.)

Shelia said...

Hi Sue! Oh, you did have a trip, didn't you? Poor little Miss B getting so sick an she is just darling! Sorry for some of your bad adventures. I've been to Paris a few times and like you, I don't care for much of the food. I could live on the desserts though.
Thanks so much for popping in to see me and no, my little grand daughter lives in New York and I live in Texas. Tooooooo far.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sara said...

The little one looks tres parisienne! My french is probably all wrong and she could correct me.

Sorry it wasn't all good and lovely; maybe next time. But I enjoyed all your photos nonetheless.

Chatty Crone said...

I just want you to know I wrote down all the key points.

I am also ROTFLOL! You are so funny.

I have been to Paris twice. At the restaurant - at the Eiffel Tower - when I was 15 - I ordered a hamburger and I think it was lamb meat and it had a sunny side egg on top! I lost weight. (Back then).

And I hope Sofie feels better.

Stay warm.

See you Monday.

Hugs. sandie

Peg said...

Oh Sue, what a wonderful trip in spite of all the problems. Sophie won't remember all the bad things, just the fun she had with her grandparents in Paris. Pa will be proud that the Boss chose to eat BEEF and he will say his meal was probably worth every penny... or euro.

I will have exciting news for you soon. Someone is currently in labor in NYC! And I'm sitting here 1000+ miles away with a cold!

Clipped Wings said...

WOW! That's all I can say. What a wonderful experience.

Curtains in My Tree said...


How wonderful A trip to Paris

BUt OMG that $600 meal I would have been washing dishes to pay for it

I always heard Paris is very expensive and so I always wondered why do ourantique dealer and shop owners go over there to buy little bits of vintage lace and a Paris post card to sell?
I don't know how they can afford to travel over to buy items, Oh well

You described your trip very good , I felt like I was there(dreaming)

Did you buy yourself anything big to bring home?

Jojo said...

You crack me up! Love the reality check points throughout the tour. The price tag on the dinner...really? Crazy!

Sue said...

Love that pic of Miss B in front of the Eiffel Tower. She is a natural sporting that beret! And crack me up with the comment about the boss with a tin cup for "tips!" :-)

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Oh Sue... I so enjoyed hearing the story of your trip and seeing the pix of your little beauties... It looks fabulous... I probably will never make it, so it was fun to be able to see what I'm missing. :-) I think some of these pix just might make it into the 2014 Calendar.

Huggies!
S

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I have never been to Paris but I imagine places in it to be as expensive as Manhattan. It certainly looks beautiful and I'm sure you all enjoyed the visit despite the crowds --the apartment looked divine--what a view!
Miss B looked very happy in the photos! I'm so I'm glad she recovered from the flu so that she could enjoy the trip. She does look adorable in a beret!

I guess everyone who is shocked at the $600 price tag for dinner has not eaten at the French Laundry in Napa Valley or some exclusive Manhattan restaurants...lol It truly has to be a "once in a lifetime" or a "money is no object" experience to dine at places like these.

Donna said...

Wow, what an adventure! Your granddaughter looks adorable in a beret:) Ok, now I know not to visit Paris at the holidays. I would love to rent an apartment there, yours sounds amazing! We always stay at the same little hotel near Notre Dame, but it would be such a treat to be able to cook some of our own meals. Love the Pont Alexandre III bridge. But I hate the locks on the fence on that other bridge!!

Babs said...

What a trip! You could write a travel book on what NOT to do. Loved the photos, and the thought of The Boss playing the accordion..He and my husband will have to get together and have a duet. LOL

Glass Doors said...

Amazing adventure. I feel as if I haven been transported there just by looking at these adventurous Parisian tour.

santamaker said...

Great post, Sue!! So envious, even though it was at "the worst time of the yeart to go to Paris"...haha...if you are lucky enough to go to Paris....you are lucky enough !!! (Saw that sign at the beach this summer..just substitute beach for Paris.. Let's do lunch, girlfriend and I'll be sure to pay you a compliment, so you don't have to go all over town, trying to ellicit one...ha ha,love that post too!!!

santamaker said...

Great post, Sue!! So envious, even though it was at "the worst time of the yeart to go to Paris"...haha...if you are lucky enough to go to Paris....you are lucky enough !!! (Saw that sign at the beach this summer..just substitute beach for Paris.. Let's do lunch, girlfriend and I'll be sure to pay you a compliment, so you don't have to go all over town, trying to ellicit one...ha ha,love that post too!!!

Fairfield House said...

Sue -
I will take your advice and not do Paris in the winter (especially during the holidays!) Your photos are beautiful. I hope Miss B felt better for the flight home. I agree with you regarding hype around restaurants. $600? Tell the Boss if the economy keeps heading in the same direction $600 won't cover lunch. :/
Your Friend,
Deborah