Thursday, January 28, 2016

F is for France

The title of this post will make more sense once I get around to writing the "New Year's Resolutions" post that's been running through my mind all month. However, we were too busy getting ready for our grand adventure to spend much time writing goals for 2016. Isn't it great there's still so much of the year left?

Many, many years ago Wayne visited Machu Picchu in the middle of a two-week business trip and thought it was so amazing that he promised to take me to visit it one day. He fulfilled that promise and we had a fantastic trip. (It was before the days of blogging, so unfortunately you'll have to wait a while for any details on that trip.)
Looking down on Machu Picchu - 2003
One day he came home from another two-week business trip, this time in Europe, where he spent a Saturday at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and said that was just as spectacular as Machu Picchu and promised me a trip there someday as well. When Brad announced that he was spending this school year in France teaching at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, we decided that "someday" needed to be this year, so we could combine a visit to the Louvre with a visit to our cute granddaughters (and their parents). While it might have been a bit more pleasant (weather-wise) going in April, it was most practical to go in January, so we did. And we had a marvelous time.

Part of the fun of a big vacation is the planning. Over the past several months we've checked out lots of Paris travel guides from the library and surfed dozens of "things to do in Paris" websites. There's no dearth of information on the subject!
After getting our plane tickets, the next big decision was where to stay. Trying to balance amenities, cost and location isn't easy, but we were quite satisfied with our final choice - the Hotel Plaza Opera, in the 9th Arrondissement. The room was tiny, but we expected that, and it was just part of the charm of a vacation in Paris.
We knew going in there would be a private bath (no shower curtain, but we managed), an elevator (tiny but working), and no a/c (not needed in the winter), but we were surprised to have a tiny balcony from which we could even see the Eiffel Tower.





It was the perfect home base for our exploration of this intriguing city and its sights, sounds, smells, and tastes.

Now that the promised trip to Paris is a memory, the next promise on the horizon is a trip to New York City. Feel free to share your best hints and tips for making that vacation fun and memorable!

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