The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero.
We are safely in Paris
. The flight over was uneventful, Mom and I both watched Little Miss Sunshine, and I think we both actually got naps on the plane. We had great views of New York City and Cape Cod on the way over, plus our flight got into Paris an hour early, just over 6 hours in the air. There seems to be a reason we got pushed here so fast in the plane. I don’t know if its on the news in the US but Europe has been hit by a huge wind storm, 80 mile an hour gusts from the UK to Germany. It was so windy when we landed that we were not allowed to get off the plane. After an hour on the runway at Charles de Gaulle, they finally were able to pull up the staircase for us to disembark.
We got on the bus and took the long ride to the terminal, No problems at the airport and our van was waiting for us after baggage claim.
The drive into the city was nice, Mom got her first view of the Eiffel Tower. We are staying at a Holiday Inn at the Place de Republique, which is a nice part of town. It is unseasonably warm, it is actually warmer in Paris now than it was in Rome when I was there this past summer. Of course there is a wonderful bakery next to our hotel, so we got some croque monsieur and cokes to snack on. Once we ate, I took a quick nap, and then we headed to Montmartre. Unfortunately, the funicular is closed so we opted to go the Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower instead. It is pretty exposed there, so we felt the full brunt of the wind there, but had an amazing view of the tower.
We headed back to the hotel, with a quick pit stop at McDonald’s and then it was off to bed. I could tell that mom was a bit overwhelmed and very tired, so we were back to the hotel by 8pm and I think I was asleep by 9:30. According to mom, I snored, so I was very tired – I actually think I woke myself up snoring at one point. There was a car honking outside the window, which woke me up, but it was already 9am, so it was time to get up.
While Mom showered, I went to the bakery and got croissants and café au lait, which was fantastic. Then it was my turn to clean up and then we were off. Our first stop was the Pompidou Center, we got there 5 minutes before it opened, perfect timing, but once again a slight snag – only the special exhibits were open, the same exhibit I had seen during the summer.
We saw a Picasso, Warhol, Matisse, Kandinsky, and a special exhibit devoted to TinTin– so still not a bad day at a museum. In Mom’s own words, “she’s not much into art,” but she was a trooper. It was about noon, when we left so we ate lunch next to the great fountain at a café. We had salads with different hams and a fried egg. It was here that I learned that mom does not like prosciutto. After lunch, we walked across the river to the Flower Market and then to Notre Dame. Mom liked the gargoyles and the windows, and was much happier than at the museum. We then walked to St Sulpice (the home of the Rose Line from the DaVinci Code). On the way we stopped at Shakespeare and Company and walked through the St Germain district, where we got to stop into Muji (one of my favorite stores in the world.
After St. Sulpice, it was back to the hotel and then back to the bakery for pastries and coffee. French macaroons, Opera cake, and a chocolate raspberry mousse – it was a perfect dinner. I think we are in for the night. For tomorrow, I think we are going to try for the Flea Market and maybe a cruise on the Seine. I can’t tell if mom is enjoying it or not. She is doing well, though. She is not a fast walker, and everyone who knows me, knows that I am, so I am working on slowing down, this is her trip, so I am keeping her on task, but am going at a much slower pace than I am used to.