Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Guest Blogger - Sheryl

We arrive in Paris via the Eurostar. A very nice journey, the countryside in France is just like a storybook. I would be happy forevermore living in any one of the villages we passed. The sun is out, what could possibly go wrong?

Thankfully, we only had two really bad hours in Paris and they were our first two. We get off the train and are immediately surrounded by Gypsies trying to part the two silly American women from their money. We spend 20 minutes standing in line for a Metro ticket machine that doesn't work, then another 20 at the live person ticket booth. The lovely woman selling us tickets makes sure we get the best deal we can, but with our spotty French, it takes a while.

Then stairs, stairs, stairs! Which wouldn’t be an issue if we weren’t both lugging around about 75 pounds worth of luggage. Se la vi! Our two first words spoken often and profusely in France are “Pardon” and “Merci”

We finally manage to get on a Metro train, but we're kind of freaked out, because everything is in French and we have no idea if we're going in the right direction - so we hop off at the first stop, and Viola! We are right were we need to be.

One thing I must say about the French…they are the nicest, friendliest, most helpful people I have ever met -- with the exception of the first French woman we encounter. Now, you must first envision that everything in Europe is not super-sized, so we are on this teeny tiny escalator with all of our luggage, pretty much blocking it so no one can get by, although it's only about two feet wide. And suddenly this French woman starts loudly complaining about us because she just missed the train. Did I mention a train comes about every 3 minutes? I think that is what the French gentleman yelled back at her. He defended the silly American women and was our lovely hero.
Okay, so we manage to get on the right train, disembark, drag our unwieldy bags up stairs (maybe there was a lift???) and we are standing in the middle of a beautiful Paris intersection. We’re finally in Paris!!!!

But our journey isn’t quite over. We have no idea where we are or how to get to our hotel. Note to self, when carrying luggage, always use a taxi. Seriously, it was at least ½ mile away and the best news was that it's sunny out. Thank goodness. (Note from Deb - Sheryl was seriously freaked out by the neighborhood, but we later realized we had nothing to fear.)

We arrive at our adorable hotel, unpack and now the fun begins. We find what will become our favorite bus #31, (which we ride often to get to the closest Metro station) and head for the Arc de Triomphe which quickly becomes the first and last place we go nearly every day.

Is this place PINK enough or what? Our room was pink, pink, pink. We love it! And it looks down at a small square so we can spy on all the local people below us.

We decide to head to the Eiffel tower to see if we can find the mysterious bus #69 which Rick Steves says is the best bus ride in Paris. We find the Eiffel tower and are breathless. We are really here! However the elusive #69 is nowhere to be found. But there are lots of police, everywhere... and then two cars come speeding by, and that's it.

We think the President of France had some Christmas shopping to do.

We never find the elusive bus #69 but decide we’ve done a lot for our first ½ day and head back to the Champs Elysées.

It's dark now and the place is lit up for the season. So amazing!!! We window shop for a new Mercedes and other high end purchases. Then we see it, the mother ship…Sephora Paris! This store is so big I don’t think we make it much further then the front of the store. I get some nice red lipstain and Deb goes gaga over all the perfumes. When we finally leave, it begins to rain.

We duck into some of the little “malls” in between the big stores. It's a perfect excuse to window shop.

A woman selling the most exquisite shoes you have ever seen “allows” us to enter her shop and take one picture. (Note from Deb: These boots still make me seriously shiver. I just LOVE them. I have boot envy.)

We discover a shop with cool stuff, a funky chair and we make some new friends.

Exhausted, we finally head back to the hotel, grab a bottle of wine at a neighborhood shop and end up eating dinner in an adorable Mediterranean restaurant that has the best hummus I’ve ever tasted.

All in all an amazing first day in Paris.


Cate Masters said...

What a fun trip! Take me with you! Ha ha. Love the pink hotel. Great pics!

P.L. Parker said...

Wonderful pics. I am so envious, I would love to do more travel - but alas. . . .

Helen Hardt said...

Wonderful photos -- I love Paris!

Jackie Smith said...

What a great post! Wonderful trip!!

Anonymous said...

Paris was never high on my list of places to visit. I may have to rethink that.

Mona Risk said...

How I wish I could be with you. I love Paris and manage to go there every couple of years. I am fluent in French and promise you won't get lost with me. Make sure you visit the Musee d'Orsay and the Musee des Impressionists to see the collection of Monet. And walk in the Rue Rivoli to see the boutiques. And have a lunch of crepes at the Bute Montmartre behind the Sacre-Coeur. Have fun. Thanks for the pictures.

Deborah Schneider said...

Thanks Ladies for stopping by. It was so much fun, and I think at least once you should go it as a "girls only" trip. Leave the guys at home!

PL - for some reason last year ended up being a busy travel year. Costa Rica, NYC, Washington, Montana and Wyoming and then Europe. None of it was planned-- but I kept getting asked to go.

Pat - there is just no describing Paris. You have to go.

Mona we tried to go to the Musee d'Orsay, but the staff went on strike! Next time, and I should call you, we needed to know a bit more French.

traveler said...

I enjoyed the wonderful photos and learning about your trip. I hope to visit Paris as it has so much history and is fascinating. Thanks for this peek.

DG said...

Notre Dame is so amazing! I enjoyed looked at your Parisian photos!