13 December 2008

PARIS - Arriving

I don’t care how you plan it, traveling always eats up almost a whole day on each end of a trip. We head early to the aeroport in Malaga, although our flight isn’t until around 11:00am, BG and KG have an early morning flight to Madrid. Our Madrid to Paris flight isn’t until around 4:00pm, so a bit of a delay isn’t unsettling. CA has been sick for 24 hours—intestinal stuff.

We arrive for the first time at Beauvais airport about one hour outside Paris. A darling young French journalist shares our exit row [traveling mercies—we got leg room!] and commits to shepherding us through the connections in Beauvais. How sweet, but it was almost dummy-proof as Beauvais is the smallest airport we have ever flown in or out of! The bus has a huge blue sign declaring it to be a cheap 13€ ride to Porte Maillot.

We know Porte Maillot from previous trips to Paris and quickly decide to take a cab to avoid lugging our bags and carry-ons down and up too many Metro stairs. The Renaissance Vendome is between the Tuileries and Place Vendome, just down from Opera and La Madeleine.

We know immediately that this will be a great week—this is a quiet location surrounded by designer boutiques and residences. The lobbies and rooms are masculine and urbane. Our drapes and coverlet are café au lait tattersal check, the carpets are the same yummy tan checked with cream, and the sheets [too many threads to count—so-o-o- nice!] are also café au lait.
There is a very European feel to the room—cupboards instead of closets and drawers. Both the bathroom and WC are concealed behind frosted glass doors with heavy chrome hardware. We have a flat-screened television, and the management has left us gifts! Good gifts—a classy bottle of water, candies, chocolate lollipops, and a card “game” with Paris walking routes.

I need dinner and CA needs to try to eat something. He has been holding it together all day choosing to forego any nourishment other than a bit of a sandwich in Madrid and some hot tea. It is already close to 9:00pm so we head to the rue de Rivoli just opposite the Tuileries and find a typical French café where we order chevre chaud salad and roast chicken and pomme frites. I can’t resist a café crème, even though it is late.

It feels so, so good to be in Paris again.

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