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 Message Boards » » Paris & London - 12.25.08 thru 01.04.09 Page [1] 2, Next  
OmarBadu
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**updated 10/7/08**
bought the tickets - amsterdam got knocked off the list - i cleaned up some of the amsterdam posts

flying out the night of dec 24 (landing around noon dec 25) to Paris (CDG) - flying back from London (LHR) jan 4th

our itinerary is paris 25-30 / london 31-4

we've decided to do paris first since it doesn't all but shutdown more or less for the 25th and 26th

please throw out any suggestions for just about anything - including things to do in each of the cities - we want to hit a soccer game but from what i can tell soccer stops on dec 28th and doesn't resume until jan 10th

paris hotel: 2 star but pretty highly recommended by reviews for price and location
http://www.hotel-paris-familia.com/

london hotel: 5 star - using hotel points so all but free
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/longh-grosvenor-house-a-jw-marriott-hotel/

give or take budget for everything minus airfare and hotels is $2.5-3k

9/30/2008 9:18:27 PM

NCSUWolfy
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go ice skating on the eiffel tower

its not real ice but its only offered during a short period of time in the winter and its free with admission to the first observation deck

and go to the top of the arc de triumph. i wish i would have dragged my ass up there

from london you can do a daytrip to stonehenge easily if you're interested in seeing it

amsterdam, rent some bikes and bike the city. i wish i had done that.

9/30/2008 9:55:18 PM

kiljadn
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You could try and catch WBA getting shellacked at Stamford Bridge, or a London derby between Fulham and Tottenham on Boxing day (the 26th)

9/30/2008 10:59:13 PM

Vix
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Go to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam

And the Anne Frank House and Heineken factory

10/1/2008 12:50:04 AM

BobbyDigital
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Quote :
"from london you can do a daytrip to stonehenge easily if you're interested in seeing it"


I was really excited about stonehenge when i went to london. but it's extremely underwhelming when you get there. they have it all barricaded off and don't let people get within 20 feet of it.

If you haven't been to london before, do one of those double decker bus tours. You'll see all of the "must see" tourist stuff in a very short time so you can spend the majority of your time doing more interesting stuff.

If you like indian food, go to Brick lane, best indian restaurants in the world.

if you like to see weird shit, and are there on a sunday, go to The Church - http://www.thechurch.co.uk/

I'll post more later, the grill is fired up and ready to go.

10/1/2008 7:30:04 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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^^ I had heard they did that to Stonehenge. But honestly it was pretty underwhelming even when you could get closer to it. Hell, I thought the chalk drawings in the hill were more interesting lol.

Quote :
"Go to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam

And the Anne Frank House and Heineken factory"


Yes yes!

Also, you'll need a day to do the Lourve, at least. We did it in one day and only saw a tiny fraction.

I know a really nice B&B in Amsterdam. It's on one of the canals and easy walking distance to most thing. And give Surinamese food a try while you're in Amsterdam. It's quite good.

10/1/2008 11:10:43 PM

OmarBadu
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thanks for all of the recommendations thus far - keep them coming for places to see/go

any personal experiences for new years eve in either paris or amsterdam?

we definitely don't plan on being high the entire time in amsterdam - that's not the reason we are going there - if anything there will be some light partaking

Quote :
"if you like to see weird shit, and are there on a sunday, go to The Church - http://www.thechurch.co.uk/"


we will be in london but only for sunday morning as of now (planning on going to paris via train that day) - is it worth staying until ~4pmish to go to the church?

10/2/2008 12:50:44 PM

BobbyDigital
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it's sort of like the Jim Rose Sideshow circus crossed with a club. You buy a bag of beer, which is 3 tall boys in a plastic bag full of ice. I had a good time, but i was trashed out of my mind.

it's a lot of fun, but probably not worth changing plans for.

10/2/2008 3:15:06 PM

roberta
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i spent christmas in london in 2006 and had a great time, but it seemed like many places (mostly local restaurants and shops) were closed not only for christmas and boxing day, but for several days after -- probably just coincidence or how the days fell or something, but just keep it in mind if there's somewhere in particular you wanted to check out

as far as touristy things go, i enjoyed the tower of london and a walking tour of the old city -- agree that stonehenge was underwhelming

haven't been to paris or amsterdam, but i really enjoyed brussels if you decide to take a day trip there -- if nothing else, just indulging in the beer, frites, mussels, and chocolate is worth it

10/2/2008 3:24:48 PM

0EPII1
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London:

River cruise
London Eye
Science Museum
Natural History Museum
Victoria Albert Art Museum
Eat at Las Iguanas (http://www.iguanas.co.uk/)
Harrods (def visit the food courts for the best food in the world)

10/2/2008 8:18:35 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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Definitely go to the British Museum if you have time. It's by far the most interesting museum in London. But don't eat anywhere near it unless you want to get ripped off

10/2/2008 8:42:06 PM

ssjamind
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good suggestions so far..

- Lots of good Indian food all over London - definitely in Brick Lane (Wembley if you're vegetarian). London is full of Indians and other South Asians. plenty of good nightlife in Hanger Lane, Covent Garden, London Bridge areas. Soho is cool too - although i feel like that place is trendy and sketchy at the same time.
Also be careful about that Pounds Sterling - everything there is expensive, especially if you're American. Try to catch a Premier League match if you can.

- Paris is one big museum - don't pressure yourself to do everything. give yourself some time to just chill and take the place in - i love just kicking it neighborhood style in Montmartre & around Sacre Couer. The bars and restaurants in Montmartre remind me of the upper west side (except with hills). Latin quarter also has a lot of chill places. I would rather do that than spend time around at Champs Elysee which is just a like 5th Ave in NY or Michigan Ave in Chicago. Notre Dame, Eifel, & Louvre are quintessential. Lots of good food and wine everyehwere. I had a blast trying all the typical fare - foie gras, lots of crepes, etc.
Try to speak French - if you're making an honest effort but having trouble, the people will try their best to communicate with you. If you start off in English, they won't like it. I found the people there to be nice.

- Van Goh museum for sure (especially after visiting a coffee shop), then Rijksmuseum if you have time. My favourite thing about the city is how walkable it is -- its quite romantic actually. Excercise a tad bit more caution with regards to pickpockets in crowded public areas like Centraal Station. Most cofee shops will have uncomfortable seating on purpose - they want you to buy the shit and leave. Look for one with comfortable wooden chairs if possible - if you find one of those, don't overlook the actual coffee as it is very very delicious and is from either Indonesia or Jamaica.
If you want to try good Indonesian food, check out a place called 'Bojos' - there's two on opposite sides of town.
Some people say the Dutch aren't very nice - i don't find that to be the case. They just don't find it necessary to smile all the time - but they're very attentive to you and communicate well when you engage them. Everyone speaks English there. Always say your hellos and goodbyes upon coming into and leaving from any place.


Where you want to stay depends on your budget, but be prepared to have cramped quarters wherever you go. I either travel for work or stay with friends and family, so i don't spend a lot of time thinking about the room & board.

Have fun!

10/2/2008 8:52:37 PM

UberCool
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in london, find out when the tower bridge will open to let river traffic pass, and find a nice spot along the thames to watch. it's a pretty awesome sight.

in paris, i loved the musee d'orsay (a lot of impressionist art, and you can see most of it in a day, unlike the louvre). also, sacre coeur is really impressive, both inside and out

[Edited on October 2, 2008 at 8:58 PM. Reason : ]

10/2/2008 8:57:37 PM

wolfpackgrrr
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Another good thing to do in Paris that will save you money and can also be romantic is picnic lunches. All over the city they will have street markets where you can buy everything from fresh produce, cheeses, breads, and even rotisserie chicken. We would often hit up the market in the morning when heading out for sightseeing, throw the stuff in our bag, and find a nice park area to eat it in when we got hungry. Just make sure to memorize some basic French. I found if they see you try to use French they'll be more forgiving of your tourist status and even throw in some extra stuff sometimes Any tour book worth it's money should give you a list of where to find these markets.

And French supermarkets are amazing, especially if you like dairy. We always just ate breakfast from a supermarket because they had so many yogurts and juices to choose from. And usually nearby will be a good bakery if you want a croissant or something.

Oh! And in Paris, the coffeeshops charge by where you're sitting. So if you sit outside it will be more expensive than if you sit inside near the back. And if they put some bread on your table, it's not free! They will charge you for each one you eat. My grandfather learned this the hard way

[Edited on October 2, 2008 at 9:01 PM. Reason : row]

10/2/2008 9:01:10 PM

NCSUWolfy
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btw the train station in amsterdam only provides urinals in the mens restrooms and you have to pay to get in (which is common in europe in case you didnt know)

so dont wait to get to the train station to take a shit

10/2/2008 9:51:13 PM

0EPII1
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In London, make sure you go to Marks & Spencer Simply Food outlets. Some of the most delicious and healthiest ready to eat meals, juices, etc. Grab and go. There is a big one at Victoria train/underground station.

Also go to the London Bridge Underground Station. It is 3 (maybe 4) levels underground. Fuckin vast.

10/2/2008 10:47:14 PM

0EPII1
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Go watch the Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus in London

http://www.firetusk.com/

10/5/2008 2:24:44 AM

OmarBadu
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^ the schedule makes it appear they move around a lot - is there a schedule you read that says they going to be there when i am

10/6/2008 1:23:48 PM

OmarBadu
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updated the first post pretty heavily - keep the recommendations coming

hotel and air booked

10/7/2008 9:50:19 PM

roberta
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for new years eve in london, the fireworks off the london eye were pretty cool

10/8/2008 10:53:39 AM

zenobia0000
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If you're in Paris for New Year's eve, the metro is free. Be careful of people trying to scam you, we had a near scam experience, so watch out for that.

If you wanna be close to the Eiffel tower on new year's eve, you better get there at 9 at the latest, and it's dangerous, be on guard, it can get pretty intense. Watch out for the guards, don't piss them off. I also suggest not drinking under the Eiffel tower so you can stay vigilant, i mean it's fun and all, but when we were there people set off fireworks (the big exploding kind, not sparklers) in the middle of the crowd.

Try not to get robbed in Paris.

Def. stick the market food, paris restaurants are overrated unless they're super nice and expensive. The Latin Quarter is easy to navigate and has a lot of restaurants, but keep in mind that it is touristy.

As for London, it's great to just walk it. If you're there for more then 3 days get the unlimited Underground pass, its worth it (it also works on buses.)

I do not recommend trying to eat english food for the "experince" as we tried, it is horrible, i don't care what anyone says about it's "charecter." Indian and middle eastern food is really good in London.

Don't bother with the British museum, it's appaling, honestly it's nothing more than a monument to British colonialism, go there if you want to see that, but there is nothing british in the british museum, though the building is kind of cool.

The art musuem in trifallagar square, you should go there. (Oh, the museums in London are free, the public ones anyway.) The natural history museum is also cool. The Tate Modern is a must see, for the entertainment value alone, even if you're into modern art, it's got some crazy funny stuff.

Oh, Hyde park is really cool, even in the winter, is has an awesome eerie feel, and notting hill (where it's near) is just nice to walk around--the frienliest poeple in London. (Overall people in London are pretty friendly, certainly more so than in Paris, but don't expect all londoners to speak english, it's full of foreigners, so cute!)

I don't know how you're getting to and from each city, but if you're taking the eurostar, book your tickets from here in US, you can get much better rates, and even get a first class seat for the price of regular--totually makes a difference!

Finally, I recommend the "Let's Go" travel book series, i've used for all over europe, and they are the best for students on a budget, also I find them very accurate and helpful. Bring it along with you.

In general stay on guard and keep your eyes open, just be aware and you'll be fine, i think people get in trouble travelling when they get oblivious to their surroundings.

Good luck!

Oh yeah, dress warmly, London is seriously, seriously cold this time of year--and of course do not forget your umbrellas!

10/8/2008 10:44:41 PM

Hey_McFly
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definitely hit the Museum d'Orsay in Paris. its an art museum that is in an old train station. has some of the same artists you would see in the Louvre (not the famous pieces of course) and is much easier to navigate/see in a couple of hours.

London eye is pretty cool but sort of expensive (i want to say it was like 15 euros, or over 30 USD).

Also, i don't know if its still playing there, but the play "Wicked" is a fantastic show to see at the Apollo theatre in London

10/8/2008 11:51:57 PM

DoubleDown
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i spent new years eve in paris in 2005/2006 - was up at sacre coeur

10/9/2008 1:39:00 AM

Jenniferyan
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First - SO jealous! Your pretty wife told me about your trip yesterday!

Definitely do the London Eye, but try to do it on a pretty-ish day. Doesn't have to be sunny, but it's under-whelming if it's raining.
If you want to go into one of the palaces, Windsor Castle is better than Buckingham Palace
It's pretty touristy, but get someone to do a charcoal drawing of you guys at Sacre Coeur in Paris. Look around the square a couple times to find somebody whose style you like. It's my favorite momento from my trips.
Go see a show in London! You can get tickets in advance, but some shows have great "day of" rates too.
The British Museum is really cool - It's got the Rosetta Stone, lots of artifacts from ancient cultures.

10/9/2008 6:33:17 AM

Slave Famous
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As far as football is concerned, you're definitely going to miss out on the top leagues as christmas/new years is when they are all on hiatus. You can see a League One match in England on Saturday January 3rd. Its the third tier of football there, but its still pretty fun to watch. Southend United is the closest team to London that has a home game that day, at 3 pm...less than an hour train ride from the Liverpool Street Station.

I'd suggest seeing a rugby match instead. The highest level league is playing that weekend. The London Irish play in Reading, which is less than an hour by train or car from Central London. They have a home game that weekend at 3 o'clock.

10/9/2008 9:28:20 AM

occamsrezr
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Quote :
"Don't bother with the British museum, it's appaling, honestly it's nothing more than a monument to British colonialism, go there if you want to see that, but there is nothing british in the british museum, though the building is kind of cool."


uhhh, no shit, any tour book could have told you that That doesn't change the fact they have really cool stuff in there.

10/9/2008 10:00:34 AM

Wraith
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Quote :
"I do not recommend trying to eat english food for the "experince" as we tried, it is horrible, i don't care what anyone says about it's "charecter." Indian and middle eastern food is really good in London."


You gotta at least get some fish & chips. And Indian food is pretty much English food nowadays. And the only cool things about the British Museum is the Rosetta Stone and the Ancient Egypt exhibit. The natural history museum rocks though.

And checkout Madam Tussaud's wax museum.

10/9/2008 10:20:11 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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I like the lamb pasties or whatever they call those meat pie things. I had one in Bath and it was tasty

10/9/2008 8:18:07 PM

ssjamind
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i know you're flying in and out, but to anyone else reading and planning a London to Paris trip and taking the chunnel train from London (the station is St. Pancras) to Paris's Garde du Nord station:

there's only one ATM in the whole of Garde Du Nord -- maybe that's because they want you to use the currency exchange booth charging inflated prices. however there is also only one automatic ticket dispenser in the city metro -- that shit dont make no sense, especially if you're used to most any city metro station in the US were you'll see several machines at any station. getting from du Nord to Montmartre is a 10-15 min train ride, but getting cash and then a ticket there cost me nearly an hour.

10/17/2008 5:54:23 PM

NyM410
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Quote :
"As far as football is concerned, you're definitely going to miss out on the top leagues as christmas/new years is when they are all on hiatus."


That isn't true at all... at least not typically. They usually play Boxing day and one more time during the week. Looking at a few of the London sides, they play on Boxing Day and two days following, though so he he would miss them. Just the way the days fall this year, but I know last year some sides played 3 games in 10 days...

[Edited on October 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM. Reason : x]

10/17/2008 6:03:51 PM

OmarBadu
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Quote :
"i know you're flying in and out, but to anyone else reading and planning a London to Paris trip and taking the chunnel train from London (the station is St. Pancras) to Paris's Garde du Nord station"


we're taking eurostar from paris to london...thanks for the ATM/$$ advice

Quote :
"That isn't true at all... at least not typically."


well it is true for the days i'll be there...that's what the reply was towards - why would the reply be based on some other year/days than the one thread is based on

10/17/2008 6:35:37 PM

NyM410
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Well, I obviously read the dates on the title and then scanned the thread quickly... was just trying to pass along some information and I didn't read the itinerary very carefully since I was on the phone...

*** My girlfriend and I did some really cool pub walks when in London. They were really off the beaten path type places and the actual tours were cheap and the guides were really good. Some good history and lots of things only the locals know. I'll try and find out the company and get a website for you. I'd highly recommend them to anyone...

http://www.walks.com/

There you go. It wasn't as publicized when we did it. That schedule is for summer but I went in the winter and they were still doing them. Dress warmly at night!

[Edited on October 17, 2008 at 7:01 PM. Reason : x]

10/17/2008 6:54:27 PM

OmarBadu
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we are planning on going on http://www.walks.com/Homepage/Wednesday/default.aspx#12865 probably on new years eve so we'll be in the right area for the fireworks

10/17/2008 7:12:11 PM

OmarBadu
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bttt - anything else?

10/29/2008 3:06:42 PM

NyM410
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I enjoyed Greenwich. You can take the Docklands light rail (I think it connects with the Jubilee Line) and go right through the really interesting Docklands/Canary Wharf area and right in to Greenwich).

They have the Royal Observatory that you get great views from, a really nice and huge park, a pretty huge/cool market place and I really liked the "small town" feel of the pubs/restaurants.

I'm not sure I'd include this if I was only in town for 5 days (I was there for 2.5 weeks) but it is a decent half day trip...

[Edited on October 29, 2008 at 5:00 PM. Reason : x]

10/29/2008 4:59:24 PM

mtporter
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Ill be in london for xmas as well. There are always lots of soccer games on boxing day but its a pretty big deal so you'd probably need to get tickets soon. Also London doesn't really shut down on 26th, 27th.. They have the big sales and stuff in all the shops.. I hate to put a damper on things but it is more likely that Paris will be shut down from xmas to new years. Also I went to trafalgar square in London one year for new years and it was horrible. I was smaller and with the parents so im sure it would be better if i went now but there were tonnnnnnnnnsssss of people and it was a bit sketchy. Whatever you do though im sure itll be great.

10/30/2008 1:08:53 AM

OmarBadu
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leaving tomorrow @ 8pm

12/23/2008 11:54:09 PM

qntmfred
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have a great time

12/23/2008 11:58:26 PM

ScHpEnXeL
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i'll take over the lounge mod job in the mean time

12/24/2008 12:08:48 AM

qntmfred
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too late

12/24/2008 12:14:59 AM

OmarBadu
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don't worry - there is a thread in the mod forum that mods post in most of the time when they'll be gone for an extended period of time - heh qntmfred has it on lock while i'm gone

12/24/2008 12:15:36 AM

ScHpEnXeL
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[Edited on December 24, 2008 at 12:16 AM. Reason : (have a good time though)]

12/24/2008 12:16:13 AM

OmarBadu
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i've decided to write a blog - instead of posting it though i think i'll just c/p the text here


I believe that I'm going to give this blogging thing a chance. We'll see how it goes. My mind jumps around a lot and seems to make writing in a coherent paragraph style quite difficult - I can't figure out when to start a new paragraph and when not to - I just push enter occasionally. Who's really going to read this stuff anyways?

The day has arrived - it's time to go. [wife's name] began physically packing days ago, perhaps even weeks ago in her mind. I sort of half began last night after being asked numerous times to quit whatever it was I was doing. We decided on 1 large suitcase / 1 carry-on / my bookbag / [wife's name]'s new bag that doubles as a purse. I also have a carrying-around bag that is packed away in the large suitcase. There is a little bit of space leftover for any purchases we make while over there - maybe even room for the countless numbers of people that have asked for a gift.

Today has been a little scattered with a last minute run to the book store (even though I went yesterday as well - maybe more on that in a bit) to pickup a translation dictionary since the electronic one I received years ago decided to not work. It's a good thing we decided to go today because there wasn't a car on the roads....right. While sitting in traffic I pondered the question of how old will I be when I have driven more miles than I've ridden - my rough guess is 40-45. My plan is to track mileage of my first kid until he/she turns 16-18 and come up with a better answer - as you may imagine....[wife's name] laughed at the whole thought of me doing this and dismissed it as something I'll forget about. Onto more pressing matters - in the process of verifying we actually know how to get from the airport to our hotel - we've also rethought the train tickets in Paris and are going to buy 1-use t+ tickets instead of an unlimited pass.

There is really only one big outstanding item and it's where we are going to have Christmas Dinner - all of the places I've tried to reserve a table at or emailed have been closed. I'm fairly certain the people at the hotel will have an idea and if not maybe we'll just have a royale with cheese (I watched Pulp Fiction again recently).

We had our last bite to eat before exploring foreign food at the ever wonderful 5 Guys - I'm fairly certain France has nothing on their french fries but maybe we'll see. Speaking of food - just as I was certain that [wife's name] was finished with her stocking candy and was already eating mine - one of our neighbors brought by a delightful goodie bag filled with treats. We waited a solid 3 minutes before digging in - I'm actually eating one of those cupcake shaped cookies that is filled with chocolate right now.

Well the batteries are charged and the adapters are packed and we still won't have enough juice for my laptop to keep me entertained so I decided to venture to Borders yesterday to buy some books even though I'm uncertain they'll get read. I plan to watch Slumdog Millionaire on the plane first - everyone keeps raving about it. It's just not fair that power ports are only available to first class.

Away we go! A little under 8 hours in coach and then we arrive to a Christmas in Paris. Take note guys....because I think I'm going to milk this idea for a long time to come - something to the likes of "I may not be the most romantic guy in the world but I did take my wife to Paris for Christmas."

12/24/2008 5:24:54 PM

simonn
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five guys sucks. cookout is better.

[Edited on December 24, 2008 at 11:17 PM. Reason : sorry forgot this was the lounge... i'll keep it though.]

12/24/2008 11:16:43 PM

jbrick83
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Make sure you hit up that Eiffel Tower at night.

I went all over Europe, and that could still be one of the most beautiful/amazing things I've seen (when it lit up and "glittered").

12/25/2008 12:26:16 AM

OmarBadu
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The short and skinny is that it's 7pm on Christmas Day and we're so unbelievable tired that we are forcing ourselves to go out for dinner instead of going to bed right now. [wife's name] was able to sleep on the plane a decent amount but I wasn't unfortunately - thankfully though I was able to listen to a person nearby shuffle a deck of cards over and over and over.

Eventually though, we landed in Paris - on time at that. This is when things went in every direction except the one we planned for it to. It started when we left the designated International Terminal zone to go buy a Paris Museum Pass without our luggage. We walked by the place to buy the Pass a few times before finally deciding to notice that it was closed (even though the website says they are open every day). At this point we decided it was time to figure out how to get back into the International Terminal to retrieve our luggage. We found a lady at the information desk that escorted us back after we provided her with the right credentials. At this point we double-timed it to the baggage claim area where we saw our suitcase being wheeled off by the baggage service guy. We got there just in time to flag him down so our luggage didn't go missing. Woohoo - we're leaving the airport - slightly behind schedule.

Now onto the train system - clearly there is some sort of beginner guide that we missed - the only redeeming fact was that a whole bunch of other idiot Americans missed it too. This part is long. We started off by purchasing some tickets to get on the train - then when we went to use them we were presented with a big red X. After deciding that it must be a problem with the way we put the ticket in them machine a few times - we checked out the sign that had a picture of our exact ticket on it - Not accepted here. Thanks a lot for the sign after we purchased them (at least we are able to use them elsewhere in Paris - just not at the airport train station). We go back to buy the right ticket - which of course is more expensive than the ones we previously bought. We're off - we don't even have to wait for the train - it's waiting for us. We hop on and see that we are ~10 stops away from where we need to make a transfer. About 8 or so stop in the train stops at the scheduled area and just about everyone gets off - we almost got off as well but we noticed a few people stayed on and assumed they must know what they're doing. The stop was unusually long....15-20 minutes pass by and finally the sounds goes off that indicates the doors will be closing. 5 seconds later we realize we made a huge mistake. The train was going south towards Paris is now going the opposite direction away from Paris. We didn't switch trains or tracks or anything reasonable - the train simple decided to go back without any indication whatsoever (there was a 30-second announcement in French that we now assume said if you are French get off - we are pulling a fast one on the Americans - thanks a lot France!). At this point we just laughed - because who could have seen this coming - a train that has a linear direction map decided to not follow the path. Evidently in France it's okay to count from 1 to 10 by counting up to 8 and turning back around and counting down. Needless to say we get off at the next stop (the one we were at 30 or so minutes ago) - along with the rest of the other idiots. Luckily though, we get off at a stop where both accessible sides lead away from Paris. Everyone is confused and I make my way down to the exit and spot a police officer that knows very little English but I'm able to tell him the stop we just came from and he points across the street to some other tracks. I go back and get [wife's name] and we make our way over there - insert our ticket into the slot....big red X - retry...big red X - try the tickets we bought back at the airport that didn't work there....big red X. We go into the ticket office and I'm pretty certain she knows the deal - this must happen all the time - she might as well have had the tickets pre-printed waiting for the dumb Americans to flow in all day.

New paragraph simply because the next part isn't so ridiculous - we finally get back to the stop where the train changed directions on us and find where we believe we need to be. The printed signs clearly say we're at the right spot and the train we're waiting for will take us there - however there was a contradicting digital sign that indicated our stop was not on the itinerary. Eventually some nice guy came up to us and pointed us in the right direction - we were not waiting for the correct train. 3 trains later and we arrive at the correct stop - we were fortunate enough to have all of our luggage with us still and since the French aren't as lazy as the Americans they like stairs much more than escalators - thanks a lot.

We arrived at the hotel - a beautiful quaint location with a bubbly staff. We get checked in and the guy behind the counter recommends a few spots to check out for some great eats. We went up to the room and it was about what we expected. It was slightly small but had a nice balcony on the 5th floor and a nice view. My only complaint is the shower situation. There is a 1-2ft gap where the glass door doesn't block water from escaping the shower. This is remedied only by a towel being placed to soak up the water as it inevitably lands on the floor.



After my shower we journeyed slightly north of us (here's where we are staying: http://tinyurl.com/a9dc7d) to see the Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle. We stopped off at the Hotel de Ville as well where they have outdoor ice skating. We wondered around a bit - picked up a couple of ham and cheese crepes from the street and later stopped off at a cafe (we definitely stumbled into the gay section of town) and had a hot chocolate and a cappuccino.

We're now headed out for dinner assuming I can wake [wife's name] up and then off to a wonderful night's slumber. I'm sure we'll be up early tomorrow.

12/25/2008 2:14:59 PM

David0603
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Haha. Are you really that worried about people knowing your wife's name?

12/26/2008 2:50:17 PM

jbrick83
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Ha. The train system is actually pretty damn awesome...you just have to get use to it. It took me about two weeks in Europe before I got the hang of the trains...after that it was smooth sailing. But I didn't even try to use the trains in Paris...I had no idea what the fuck I was doing.

12/26/2008 3:14:20 PM

El Nachó
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Quote :
"(we definitely stumbled into the gay section of town)"


I honestly don't know how you'd distinguish "the gay part" from "the rest of france"

Were dudes just openly blowing each other in the street or something?

12/26/2008 3:29:35 PM

jbrick83
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^I don't remember distinctly...but I think there were a lot of gay porn shops in a particular place.

12/26/2008 3:37:12 PM

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