Paris Journals

The Filipino je ne sais quoi in Paris

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A February 2006 trip to Paris by ext212

The Filipino je ne sais quoi in Paris Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: I bought my way to heaven and took my parents to Paris: a day-to-day account.

The Filipino je ne sais quoi in Paris

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Overview

Eiffel Tower Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Last September, I did something I’ve always wanted to do for my parents: I bought them tickets to France. They’ve never traveled outside of their New York-Philippines route, and Paris is one of those places a person has to go to at least once in their lifetime. (Others say that’s Disneyland, but we can have a long discussion about that.) My parents have always wanted to go to Paris, but they’re not very adventurous in terms of traveling and spending. My mother just turned 58 and my father 59, and I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to give them, and myself, a treat.Quick Tips: Because the dollar is being slammed by the euro, two decent hotel rooms were going to cost as much as an apartmen...Read More

Paristay.com

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Story/Tip

The bathroom Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Because the dollar is being slammed by the euro, two decent hotel rooms were going to cost as much as an apartment rental. I searched for affordable hotel rooms but concerned about how comfortable my parents would be in a strange country, I decided on an apartment we can call our own for seven days. I called and exchanged emails with several agents. I judged by the agent's website and photos and how fast they returned my emails. I’ve always imagined that when I finally make it to Paris, I’d live like a Parisian so I rented a loft on one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city, on Ile Saint-Louis. For the exact listing, please visit: http://www.paristay.com/paris-apartment-ren...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 27, 2006

Day 1: Notre Dame and the Seine

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Story/Tip

Le St-Regis Brasserie Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
We arrived in Paris a little after noon. My parents waited for an hour to pick up the wheelie we were required to check in at JFK airport while I changed some dollars to a whopping €1.31 rate! From there, the adventure began.The ext212 plan had us take the lift back down to the departures area where we got on the shuttle bus to the RER B which in turn connected us to the city’s Metro. I bought three Visite cards, the equivalent of New York’s unlimited Metrocard, but wasn’t informed that I can only begin using them on Monday until those damn turnstiles showed us Xs on the small screens. I stood back in line and bought three €8 tickets to Châtelet-Les Halles, the grand mama of all Metro stops. W...Read More
Jardin du Luxembourg Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
We woke up at 11am after a long slumber. Even my parents who are early risers were surprised they slept soundly. As soon as we all got ready, we bought our first croissants from the bakery downstairs. Then I bought a cup of real hot chocolate across the street at Cacao et Chocolat. It was drizzling but we were adamant to start our walk around Saint Germain and the Latin Quarter.On Saint-Germain Boulevard, we stopped by the St. Nicolas church on rue de Pontoise to dry up and get our bearings. Not knowing how to read a map even if I’m stuck in a big city, we kept trudging on toward rue des Écoles until we finally saw a sign that said Panthéon. We walked up rue des Carmes and voila!We pai...Read More
Overlooking Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
We hit two big spots today: Musée du Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We woke up a little earlier so we were able to eat a fresh baguette and drink hot mint tea before we stepped out. We crossed Rue des Deux Ponts to the #7 and took it all the way to the museum where the line wasn’t terribly long before noon. For some reason, we couldn’t enter the Denon section straight to La Joconde, Mona Lisa, so we had to go around to find it. When we finally made it to the Italian paintings, the famous and familiar painting was just right there encased in bulletproof glass. She hogged the limelight and it was unfortunate that other people just walked by the other famous da Vincis outside the room. We took sl...Read More
Jardin des Tuileries Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
It was raining when we woke up this morning. While eating my fresh croissant with a glass of cold milk, I poured over our Paris map to see where we can go when it’s gloomy outside.I was willing to skip Musée d’Orsay, but a good friend told us that we should go anyway just to see the space. It’s open on Tuesdays, while the Louvre isn’t, so naturally, every tourist in the city had the same idea. We stood in line for about an hour with our new umbrellas so it felt so good to finally get in and warm our feet. But you know what? Seeing the lobby as soon as we walked in was just incredible.What used to be a train station until the modern trains proved that the platforms were too short, Musée...Read More

Day 5: From Montmartre to Montparnasse

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Story/Tip

Bastille Column Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
It didn’t rain at all today but it was nippy enough to keep us awake and active all day. On our way out, we stopped at the boulangerie near the Seine to buy some fresh croissants. The bakery downstairs was closed. We took the #7 to Châtelet, transferred to the #4 and got off on Barbès-Rochechouart to transfer again to the #2 for the Anvers stop.Montmartre was the home of Picasso and other artists in its heyday, but today it is as busy as 34th Street in New York, full of stores selling everything from cheap trinkets to housewares. We climbed the hill to Sacré-Coeur and saw the view of the entire city--it’s the highest point of all Paris. We realized once we got to the top that if we’re not walk...Read More

Day 6: Versailles, Beyond Paris

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Story/Tip

They all dance to classical music in the summer Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
We woke up earlier today to catch the 10am train to Versailles. My father wasn’t feeling well so he opted to stay in and wait for us in the apartment. My mother and I left for the RER C train to Château de Versailles. The ride was less than forty minutes; the walk from the train station to the château was less than ten. We joined the queue for the “A” entrance and paid €8 each for individual passes to the Grand Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen’s Suite.And grand it was! The Château de Versailles is sumptiously gaudy, yet impressive. The frescoed ceilings, the Rococo woodwork and all the marble tell you how preciously the monarchy lived. They loved themselves, too, becau...Read More

A Summary of Paris: Itinerary

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Story/Tip

Eiffel Tower Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Day 1- Le St-Regis Brasserie, bistro filled with smokers on rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile off quai de Bourbon- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, RER C to St-Michel Notre Dame- Patrick Allain Fleuriste, beautiful flowers on 53 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile- La Taverne Du Sergent Recreteur, bistro with a nice prix fixe on 41 rue St-Louis-en-l’IleDay 2- Boulangerie Saint-Louis, fresh bread every morning on 78 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile- Cacao et Chocolat, hot chocolate on 63 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile- Eglise St-Nicolas, rue de Pontoise- Le Panthéon, #10 to Maubert Mutualité, €8- La Paillote D’or, Vietnamese food with friendly service on 30 rue des Carmes- Jardin...Read More