Planes, Trains & --- Civil Unrest

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
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Trip End Sep 20, 2012


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, September 16, 2012

We were dropped off at Dulles by Patrick and Megan to begin our trip to Paris.  We got through security in about 45 mins, and the flight left on time.  Pretty uneventful flight, not a child in sight, though!  We arrived in Brussels ahead of schedule at about 7am.  Our train to Paris was not scheduled until 9:45, so we had a lot of time to kill!  5 minutes before departure we were informed that the train was not going to Paris that day!  They had canceled the train, so we scrambled to the office and was told to take a train to the main terminal in Brussels, and to catch a train to Paris from there.  We did just that, and rushed0 around to make the connecting train, which was running late.  We could not make that train because a African lady had jammed herself in the door of the train, screaming that she was being crushed!  Her husband is screaming, I guess that is what it was, it was all in French!   The conductors get the door open, he continues to scream at the conductors and security, all the while they close the doors and don't let us on!  So we take the next train, and arrive in Paris around noon. 

After subway ride two stops, we walk 10 minutes to our hotel in Latin Quarter.  Our first luck of the long day, they let us check in at 1:30!  Our hotel, The Residence Henri IV, is a small hotel of under 20 rooms.  We are on the top floor, the 6th, and we have two balconies overlooking a little park and the Sorbonne University!  Geraniums on the balconies with a small table and chairs to enjoy the scenery.  The room is full of period antiques, french paintings, and fabric wallpaper!  It really is cozy and beautiful! (Good job Maryellen and TripAdvisor!). 

We unpack and walk down to the river and Notre Dame.  Its Sunday and there are wine, cheese, bakery items and snacks being sold by the river.  Bob buys a bottle of french wine (8 euros!) and I buy a still warm apple tart, which we share by the river.  We walk around, take some photos, and get our bearings.  While walking around, we run into a Middle East protest!  We skirt the crowd, but rubberkneck.  Hard to appreciate their rants on the bullhorn when you cannot understand French!  We then stop for a cappuccino.  Bob checks his phone to see if he has any texts, and the waiter tells him to not leave the phone on the table.  I had read that, too, on TripAdvisor.  Three minutes later, a woman is chasing a group of kids, as one stole her iPhone off her table at a neighboring cafe!  With that, we head back to the hotel.

Not sure if its because its Sunday, but the area around Notre Dame was crazy crowded!  Bob really enjoyed the scene by the Seine with all the vendors selling their food.  And they all drank in public and walked with the open wine bottles and glasses!  Open containers ruled!

Tomorrow - We have our Flat Tire Bike Tour of Paris!  Should be fun.  Weather is warm, sunny and around 75! 
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Comments

Maureen on

I tried to post a comment, let me try again. Everything looks great, the weather, the hotel room, the balcony! Wish we were with you! Tell us where you eat. Did you climb the Notre Dame tower?

Shannon on

Looks like you are having fun! I got Dad's text but did not want to respond when I got off work because I was afraid it may wake you up!
I bought a new pair of orange cords with my discount. Holla! Have fun tomorrow!

Paul Ryan on

Glad to hear about the bike tour. Working out and breaking a sweat is of the uttermost importance for your daily lives. I hope others learn from your example. Vacation is not an excuse to skip your fat burning cardio racing workouts, just like Congress isn't for me.

Patti Walsh on

Sounds awesome Maryellen. The room looks great and boy, does that make such a difference when you have a great room. How is the FOOD??? Your patriots and redskins both lost this weekend - yikes!!! Keep us posted!!!

Dad and Mom on

Artists sell their work all over Paris especially along th Seine and Notre Dame.
So exciting the first day I would come home.

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