Coming Out of Left Field

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Paris experience: day 5 / departure / misc.

We had hoped to go to Notre Dame on our last day in Paris, but after all the walking we'd done already, we didn't feel up to it. So my wife cast about for something close by and found the Jeu de Paume, a visual arts museum that turned out to be running a Charlie Chaplin exhibit. We spent a few happy hours looking at photos and watching several clips from his films, and left feeling Chaplin's comedy needed no translation.

The next day it was up early and on to the airport (where a security checker asked me, jokingly, "No weapons today?" and I answered, "Not anyday!"), then on the plane to JFK, then to wife's brother's house for the night, then back home to Boston the next day. It was an amazing trip, and I can't wait to go back.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

-- Bottled water was inordinately expensive, at least at the touristy spots. We ended up buying a large bottle from a grocery store and using it to refill the small ones we'd carry around.

-- We also managed to keep costs down by eating out just once a day. Breakfast came with the hotel, and we often snagged some rolls or pain au chocolat to take with us for lunch. The same grocery store supplied cheese, napkins and utensils.

-- The hotel was billed as a four-star hotel. I'd probably rank it around three stars. It was safe, clean, and located very close to where we wanted to go. It also had thin walls, two single beds that we had to push together every day after housekeeping visited, and no shower curtain.

-- I'm not sure if the hotel's TV channels catered to international guests or whether the offerings were just limited, but we saw quite a few American shows that were dubbed in French ("Law and Order", "Friends", "The Pretender", "Stargate: Atlantis", "Spin City"). We did catch some news, the French version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire", and a couple of movies with different plots but similar situations. Both featured well-off but unhappy middle-aged men who try (literally in one case) to switch lives with someone else. I've forgotten their names, but do remember one other film we started but quickly gave up on, Brève traversée. If I'm going to watch two characters whose relationship shouldn't have started and isn't going to go anywhere, at least hurry up about it.

-- My French was adequate, though my wife did most of the talking. Seems to be the case in English, too!

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two single beds that we had to push together every day after housekeeping visited

Oh Lucy - I wanna see pics - not of the twin beds but of Paris. :) Sounds like a blast, Ailsa.

Shannon ...

We just got the prints today ... didn't take as many pics as we should've, but we got a few nice ones. If I can figure out how the scanner works, I'll e-mail some to you. :)

I wanna see the pics too! It's my dream to go there one day!!!

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