On Wednesday, October 10, the Almonds, Moores, and Paces flew to Paris for a full four days of sightseeing. It was a fun trip and for most of the participants their first view of the city of lights.
- Day 1 - we bought Metro tickets and wander up to the Eiffel Tower and had our first sidewalk cafe lunch near the tower as we dealt with jet lag. That evening we travelled to the Ecole Militaire area to enjoy a very small restaurant, P'Tit Troquet. It lived up to its name, the little cafe, as it could seat only twenty people. But it was most enjoyable as everything ordered was prepared from scratch.
- Day 2 - David and Darrah left early to catch a train to Normandy to tour the D-Day beaches and American cemetery, all of which they thoroughly enjoyed. The ladies and Ralph took a walking tour of La Marais (the marsh) section of the city to view the old homes and buildings used by the nobility. Pam, our guide, provided a detailed background to the history of the area. Following the walk, we stopped for lunch and then went to Musee de l'Orangerie to see Monet's huge oils of water lilies. The guys returned on an earlier train from Normandy so we went to an Italian restaurant then took a tour of Paris by night (the illumination tour) that was great. This was followed by a trip to the Moulin Rouge. After standing in line for an hour, we finally were seated, amongst the mob of other tourists, for a very long show. Got back to the hotel after 2 am.
- Day 3 - This was the day we saw virtually everything in Paris. We had arranged a private tour called the Best of Paris with Sophie, a sophisticated and charming young lady. Our itinerary included Notre Dame, the Lourve (with Sophie's fantastic narratives), lunch on a lovely restaurant boat as we plied the Seine, followed by a tour of everything imaginable in Paris from the Champs Elysee to the Place de la Concorde. Of course, the Eiffel Tower seemed to be everywhere we went. The evening concluded with a dinner at La Tour d'Argent.
- Day 4 - At Darrah's urgings, we set out on our own walking tour of the Ile St. Louis to discover an ice cream source that was famous. We had a pleasant walk throughout the area, enjoyed the ice cream (although we still think Ben and Jerry's is the top), and returned to the hotel to be picked up by Marie for a private tour of Versailles. Versailles was a magnificent experience with its beautifully manicured landscapes and majestic chateau. We enjoyed our "last supper" at Altitude 95 in the Eiffel Tower (photo above).
All in all, it was a great trip. Even the flights were tolerable. Some of the photographic highlights of the long weekend in Paris are available by clicking here.