A Travellerspoint blog

Taking Care of Business

rain 75 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

Our 2nd day in Paris was mostly devoted to taking care of business. First on the agenda a 10:00 am appointment at the vet for Shai. She was less than thrilled about getting back in her bag after the previous long travel day but she relented and we set off to the vet. I was able to find a veterinarian that spoke English which really made the visit easy - a cursory exam, a few questions, a scan of her chip, and a look through her papers (finally someone wanted to see those papers we drove to Austin for) - voila Shai now has a European Pet Passport!

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On to the next matter - a European Sim for the phone. We found an Orange store nearby and 15 minutes later cheap data! I am such an internet junkie having mobile data is pretty necessary as well as convenient. Google maps alone is priceless for finding your way! The new rule here for no roaming throughout Europe is really fantastic - it just makes sense to have a local phone when traveling here.

Lastly a stop at the grocery store for cat litter, water, and of course wine! With all of our purchases in hand we returned to the hotel - Shai was very glad to be out of the bag! We stored our purchases then headed next door for lunch.

It had been raining on & off since we arrived with beautiful temps in the high 60's low 70's - not a 90 nor 100 in sight! Hot, cheesy, delicious French Onion Soup was the perfect lunch for this rainy day. Brasserie Le Bourbon is right around the corner from our hotel and their French Onion Soup is as good as it gets!

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After lunch - nap time.

Well rested we headed out again - this time to a laundromat - we found one in the heart of the St-Germain-des-Pres area. It just happened to be across the street from Bar du Marche - a little place that has been there since 1922. It was a very very lively place and although we we were too late for the full dinner menu we managed to fill up on a delicious Croque-Monsieur sandwich - again the cheese, and washed down with yet another lovely French wine.

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Thus we ended another perfect and productive day in beautiful Paris!

Posted by ChristisDream 00:18 Archived in France Comments (2)

Finally the Day has Arrived!!!

What a way to travel!

rain 68 °F
View Trip of a Lifetime! on ChristisDream's travel map.

We pulled out and were headed to San Antonio by 8:30 am - not that I was excited or anything!

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We got the bus & car stored and headed to the Marriott on the Riverwalk. We had a lovely evening, great steak dinner, and turned in early as our flight was very early in the morning.

The travel part could not have been smoother - not a single line anywhere - along with flying first class we had the random TSA precheck! Score - nothing to pull out at security - except the cat! She is pretty well used to the airport routine and does it like a pro. We arrived in Chicago and then had NINE hours to wait for our flight to Paris.

United Airlines had in the last year launched their new "Polaris" first class. Oh man - if you have to spend 9 hours in an airport this is the way to do it! We checked there and were directed to the cafe area for a delicious breakfast and one of the best bloody mary's I have ever had - all included. They also had rooms with beds so I settled Ray & Shai in, it was nice as she could get out of her bag for a while in there, and I headed out for a mani/pedi.

The wonderful people in the Polaris lounge could not do enough for you, feed you enough, nor ply you with enough alcohol. So after a long but comfortable wait we headed to our gate and plane. I am spoiled now to fly anything else!

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Well of course Shai was a huge hit with the flight crew - what ever shes needs just ask. She had no problem using her litter box at 35000 feet in the plane's bathroom! That once shy kitty has definitely come into her own.

The man sitting across the aisle from Ray introduced himself and his girlfriend Kate. We spent a large part of the flight chatting with them - very nice people. Upon arrival in in Paris we shared a cab to our hotel which was great as they were so helpful with the extra bag. They would only be in Paris for one night - they were here to surprise meet Kate's son who was returning from Greece and had to change planes in Paris so their plan was to meet him & his friend at the gate for their flight back to Chicago or possibly surprise them on the plane!

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We were early for our room to ready but when I mentioned the cat had been in bag for hours the wonderful people at our hotel moved our room to the top of the list. So the 4 of us found a cafe around the corner and sat & chatted over cafe au lait ( or whiskey) and waited for the room to be ready. Our hotel was gracious enough to store Mike & Kate's bag as they did not have a hotel and weren't quite sure what they would do about that. So we were able to check in and Mike & Kate left to wander the city - we planned to meet later in the evening for dinner.

So I nested & Ray napped and we set out for a walk about. After a while we texted with Kate and all decided to meet up near Notre Dame. Mike wanted somewhere with a view of Notre Dame - I think my pick was OK:

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We had a fantastic evening - the conversation was non-stop for about 4 hours - the cheese was wonderful, the wine devine, and the eventual omelet delicious! You never know what lies ahead when you are open to what or who the universe places in your path.

Posted by ChristisDream 22:31 Archived in France Comments (1)

A Long Time Coming

A horrible thing happened on our way to Europe...

Some of you know this trip was originally slated for 2015 until cancer reared it's ugly head. Instead 2015 became the year from hell for us both as Ray had many complications from his cancer and related surgeries. At one point his team of physicians (more than 12 at one point) wanted to transfer him to a long term care facility - several were thinking he'd never leave there. Well - over my dead body that would happen! His first few months required round the clock nursing, he did not eat anything for over 6 months instead taking all of his nutrition via IV along with many blood transfusions, iron infusions and various courses of IV drugs. I earned my nursing degree at the school of hard knocks and earned the respect of all of the Dr.'s & nurses we dealt with on his many hospital stays. He doesn't remember large parts of that year - probably for the best! But like a trooper he fought his way back to health and is now as good as new!

On to better days! The original idea was for a two month trip but I saw a trans-atlantic cruise that ticked several of my bucket list boxes - sail in or out of New York Harbor, Bermuda, & sail from England - plus it is 15 nights long! Cruising is absolutely the best way to get to or from Europe! So the cruise added 15 days on to the end of the vacation. So April of 2016 we were committed to this trip when I booked the cruise - 484 long days before this trip starts! Next it was time to book flights - I had amassed a large amount of points and would use those for the flight over. Well beggars can't be choosers - the available first class saver point flights were 15 days earlier than my original start date - so here we are at a 90 day long vacation!

Here is the map showing our route:

Posted by ChristisDream 22:17 Comments (4)

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