Well here I am, 3 days late on the first blog post, but I had some serious technology issues the last few days. Let’s just say that I should have probably brought my MacBook with me. Oh well, hindsight and all that.
So here’s how I had originally done the first day’s videoblog – 10 things about traveling to Paris. It was a good 5 minutes… But now you get words… And if you’re lucky, pictures.
So without further due, in chronological order…
1: Things you think will take tons of time don’t always work out that way
Well our flight from Toronto to Charlotte, where we would connect to a flight to Paris, left Pearson at 11:55. They warned us to be there 3-4 hours before hand because the long lines for US Customs This meant we were traveling from our apartment to Pearson during rush hour, so we padded out ride a bit by leaving home at 7. By 7:50, we were sitting at our gate. Yup, things went by so quick it was kinda ridiculous.
The flight to Charlotte was also pretty quick, at least to me, since I slept through most of it.ninthink from my perspective, it was like 15 minutes long.
2: Toddlers + Transatlantic flights = Suckage
So, yes we know we’re adopting, so take off those judging pants and hear me out.
We had two toddlers within a 10 foot radius from us on the flight from Charlotte to Paris. Both had 2 meltdowns during the 7 hours flight. Sadly the worse one was around 3 in the morning, where the poor child just went ballistic for half an hour. No one got angry or said anything disparaging, we just all patiently waited for the kids battery to run out. But needless to say, sleep didn’t come easily.
Lesson learned, toddlers aren’t especially big on sitting still, seatbelted to a seat for seven and half hours. But when you think about it, should anyone, really?
3: Charles de Gaule Airport was designed by some Sci-Fi artist in the 50′s or 60′s
My words here cannot do this place justice, but I’ll try. The airport is laid out like a UFO mothership terminal surrounded by mini UFO satellite terminals. Once you “de-plane” you’re lead to this floor-scalator that brings you into a jellybeanish shaped cave bellow the tarmac. It goes down about 25 feet and then straightens for a good 500 feet and then backup into the mothership.
Once in this great big doughnut of a ship you’re moved around floor by floor in the habitrail tubing that runs in all directions inside the open air centre. Then poof! Out the door where you wait for transportation away from the airport. It was all very surreal and felt like Syd Meade had a part in it somehow.
4: Paris looks like every other city in the world… Until you get off the highway
Yeah, I was a little disappointed on our shuttle into the city. The cityscape that was growing around us was generic at best. I saw a Toys R Us and an IKEA… The only thing that made it slightly different was the little cars.
That lasted until we got off the highway, and BLAM! We were thrown into what I had always imagined Paris to look like… Wonderfully ornate, closely packed and zinc roofs. Our first view was La Gare de Lyon… Wow!
It was like a wonderful present wrapped in the most boring wrapping paper ever.
5: Our Hotel
There’s noting bad to say about this little hotel. It’s boutiquey. It’s cute. And it’s in a great neighborhood. Our room was expectedly small, with a queen size bed and a foot and a half fringe of space on its three sides. We have our own bathroom, which I’m told is something to be quite pleased about. The best part is the window opens up onto another street (not the best part) and right bellow our window is a bakery. Smells are stupid good.
However all the electrical outlets in the room didn’t work, so we were moved out on Sunday to a new room.
6: Parisians known their food
On our arrival day we had 3 meals (we arrived at 7am right) all of which were really good. Our breakfast consisted of a ham and cheese croissant from the bakery bellow… We didn’t know it had ham and cheese and hollandaise sauce! it was delicious. But thank god we walked a lot. ’cause eating a cheese covered butter pastry with ham and butter sauce isn’t light on the calorie side. We also had some delicious salads and cheese for lunch and some great brasserie food for dinner. All of which was NOMS.
The coffee… Stupid good. And I’m happy to report we had our first one in a streetside café. Cheesy, yes. Did I care? Hell no.
7: the Paris Pass… It rocks
We aren’t getting paid by them… So this isn’t an ad… But if you come to Paris, get a Paris Pass… You won’t regret it.
This thing rocks, it’s like an all access Paris pass for however many days you chose.
We have a 6 day one… Here are the highlights:
unlimited Metro (subway) travel
hop on hop of access for 2 days on those red double decker tour busses they have everywhere
access to all the sights including Notre Dame, Versailles and Le Louvre
unlimited boat tours down the Seine
Aid probably more stuff… But I haven’t figured it all out yet.
8: My head blowed up with amazement about 60 times… Brains everywhere, it was gross
Soooooo… Paris right, I’ve been reading about it, and seeing pictures and seeing it in Movies for most of my life… None of those mediums even come close to doing Paris any justice at all. Kinda like describing sex as a physical activity – its true, but kinda misses the point.
I can wax poetic for about 30,000 words on the amazing ness I saw on this first day… And we really didn’t see that much… But let me just pick one thing.
After our café, we walked a couple of block to the Louvre. Again, I’m up on the Louvre, I know more than the average person about it. You know how like it’s the biggest art museum… In the world. These words mean nothing until you’re there. The Louvre, and keep in mind, we were only outside, is huuuuuuuuuuuge. Just gigantic… And it’s beautiful. All of Paris is like this. It doesn’t disappoint.
9: being coherent after all this
So by the time we hit the pillow on Saturday night around 9:30, I had slept about 6 hours since Thursday and Claire-Lise had squeezed about 12 hours.
We were moving and barely communicating shells of our former selves. Which bring us to…
Best sleep ever. Slept until 8am… Solid, didn’t move.