Paris,  Travel,  Uncategorized

Paris Day 1 – Je suis arrivee!

A midnight sunrise over Scotland

It is my goal to post a daily entry to the blog while on vacation.  This is really to serve two purposes:  to keep family and friends updated on my travels and also to help jog my memory for vivid details after I return home (I have great hopes of writing a photo/journal book of this momentous trip) .

To help me achieve this goal I have created a vacation post template.  The first paragraph(s) has been written prior to the trip (and thus will be in a different font color), and per the suggestion of Dave Fox in his travel journal book, Globejotting, I quickly detail what I had planned to do that day.  Each night I hope to update that post with what actually transpired.

Since my goal is to document this trip in words as well as in pictures, I have set a daily goal of 500 photographs.  Even as I type this that sounds insurmountable, but if I truly want to capture the essence of everyday life in Paris, then I need to S-L-O-W down and I think setting such a goal will force me to do just that.  I will only post one or two pictures to the blog, but I do plan to give a daily photo count in the hopes of keeping me accountable.

Another daily activity that I hope to maintain is to write reviews for Trip Advisor.  I used this sight extensively in preparing for this trip and found others’ reviews and suggestions to be immensely helpful.  I would like to repay the favor and write some reviews of my own.  If you have not used this site before, I strongly suggest you take a look around and develop your own account.  It is fabulous!

My first cafe creme of the trip!  It was
the perfect drink for the 55 degree temps

My goal today is to navigate Charles de Gaulle airport and make my way thtrough the apartment unscathed.  After that, I want to try to stay awake until 6:00PM Paris time so that my internal clock will quickly adjust to the seven hour time change.  I am quite excited to finally meet Isabelle in person (she has been such a fantastic correspondent via email) and to see “my” apartment.  The only other expectation that I have for today is to visit the local grocer (the one made famous in the movie, Amelie) and obtain necessities for the apartment, like toilet paper and coffee.  I have intentionally not made plans for today to allow myself to take it easy and recover from jet lag.

And this was my view while sipping
my cafe.  Breathtaking!

Well, I made it!  And all that worry was for nothing.  The flight was 30 minutes early – there were no lines at customs – my luggage was one of the first off the plane – the taxi was immediately available – there was no traffic on the highway – and I actually made it to the apartment by 9:30 AM Paris time.  The old tenants had not yet left – but they allowed me to drop off my suitcase and I went sight seeing for about two hours while I waited for the place to be cleaned.

Fortunately I had packed my Knopf map book and my memory served me well.  I actually stopped and had a cafe creme at a cafe all by myself — and I walked around exploring the winding, twisting streets.  I must tell you that everything – and I mean everything – is hilly in these parts and my legs are already tired.  BUT…I managed to find Place due Tertre – Sacre Coeur – the Moulin de la Galette (and I may even splurge and have dinner there some night) – and the metro station.  I took about 175 pictures today – which is a lot for me.

I did manage to visit the grocer – as well as the boulangerie – and purchased some essential supplies as well as a light dinner of bread and cheese.  Isabelle is simply delightful. She stayed about thirty minutes to answer any questions that I night have and ensure that the internet access was operating; and she even offered to call me a taxi  for my return trip to the airport in two weeks.  The apartment is very centrally located and spotlessly clean.  While it is  rather small by American standards, it is perfect for a couple and therefore suffiicient for me.  I feel quite safe in this neighborhood.  All in all – c’est magnifique!

It is now 7:15PM Paris, which is just after noon in Kansas.  I am exhausted and plan to go to bed soon so that I am ready for my photography tour bright and early tomorrow morning.

So far – the trip has exceeded my expectations.  It is glorious!

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