Good Morning Paris!
It's our first morning, 5:30 to be exact, and we are both awake and drinking coffee. I should probably be more concerned about facing my first day in Paris sans proper sleep but I am so excited to see the sun come up and to see Paris properly for the first time in months. If you arrive in the evening, as we always do, you just get tantalizing glimpses of the city as you drive in: the top of the Eiffel Tower or a sliver of the Seine.
It's also the first time I have blogged live from Paris, something I have resisted in the past for the simple reason that I didn't want to be tied to my computer, or connected to my real life, while on holidays. On previous trips, it always drove me crazy that Chris wanted to find an Internet cafe and I would skulk around outside chomping on a baguette and looking pissed. But Paris is part of our real life now, it's part of who we are, and I want to share our Paris.
The long trip to get here was uneventful and not stressful. Armed with travel pillows and Ativan, we boarded our overnight British Airways flight to London and both slept for over 6 hours of the 8 hour flight. No problems connecting at Heathrow with enough time for sandwiches, Cadbury Easter chocolates and this month's issue of Tatler. Magazine shopping at Heathrow's W.H. Smith is really one of life's little pleasures! We arrived in Paris a short time later, grabbed our luggage and were met by a car we hired to take us to our Cobblestay apartment.
Paris tip: hire a car to pick you up from the airport. It is the same price as a taxi and your jet-lagged self will love you for it. Plus, Parisian taxi drivers don't love North Americans with their oversized luggage and trying to get one to take you and your luggage to your destination can be a frustrating experience. When I am back in Victoria, I will post the link for the car service company.
As we have come to expect from Cobblestay, everything was perfect with our apartment when we arrived. This is the third property we have rented from Cobblestay since 2010 and for this trip, what is the first, and shorter, of two trips to Paris this year, location was the key factor in our selection. The property is centrally located, right next to Musee d'Orsay, but not so much as to drive you crazy with tourists and all the ugly things about Paris. In 2009, I made the mistake of reserving us a highly-rated hotel on rue Rivoli and while the location was convenient, there was no authenticity, no charm and as soon as you left the hotel apartment, you got hit by a stampede of fanny packs.
Here's another thing I love about Paris. By the time we were in our apartment, it was nearing 9pm and dark outside yet I had no concerns, even more telling Chris had no concerns, about me heading out on my own and walking a few short blocks to the neighbourhood Monoprix to get some essentials: bread, cheese, Badoit, coffee, milk, butter, saucisson. On the way, I passed several brasseries, a florist, a book store, two art gallery parties and was greeted several times with "Bon Soir, Madame". Less than one hour into the city and I was already charmed and feeling like my best self. Despite the fact I went grocery shopping in Paris wearing my plane pajamas slightly French-ed with an old Printemps scarf and Longchamp shopper.
The sun should almost be coming up and it is nearly time to get dressed for Paris...