Wed 31 Dec, 2008
And even slept.
Our only delay was on the flight leaving SeaTac, which had to be de-iced. Denver and Washington were both a mild 50 degrees and we had no issues at all. We both napped on the short legs, and got a solid 3 or so hours of sleep on the segment over the Atlantic. The Business/1st Class section was very empty, and we got a lot of personalized attention from our steward. He brought me wine from 1st class to drink “as a tasting”
CDG is a bizarre airport but not fiendishly difficult to navigate, just ignore the jetlag and double check your directions. Be warned: the pedestrian walkways (moving belts) UNDULATE. So don’t let go of your suitcase because it will slide down the hill and hit the people in back of you. (This did not happen to us, but I worried about it.) Customs was a check of the passport and waved through. (No paperwork????)
Finally, after moving up a walkway that spewed us out (eeriely reminiscent of the egg laying scene in Aliens, but without the goo. Or the alien.) we emerged into the baggage claim area. There we waited until about 7:15am and picked up our bag (basically our bag was the first off the plane — this much good luck does not bode well for the return trip. *sigh*).
Following the signs, we made our way to the RER, line B, bought tickets, and got on the train. Then we had a scary moment as our train, which had about 20 stops before the one we wanted, just went through station after station without stopping. We got off briefly at Gare du Nord and then realized that our train was NOW going to stop at the rest of the stations. So we got back on. And — voila! — exited at Luxembourg. Total cost = 16.80e (approx. $20).
Then it was up and out (with a little delay as our tickets initially weren’t accepted — and you can NOT get out without them) and amoment of whcih direction is North? You see, I’d mapped out our walking directions (just a few blocks) but they were based on knowing which direction is North. And the sky was overcast (it was even dawn yet — but that can’t be right, can it?). So we attempted logic and started walking. Happiness is finding a local map and seeing that you hadn’t just walked three blocks out of your way. Up, and over, and here we are at the Grand Hotel St. Michel. Thsi place looks like an old-timey hotel, but the rooms are sleekly euro/modern complete with flat screen TV on the wall, WiF, a mini fridge, a HUGE tub, and real windows that overlook a sweet courtyard.
It was about 2 hours from landing to our arrival at the hotel.
We unpacked our clothes a bit (basically hung up what we’re wearing tonight) and fell into bed. It was incredibly hard for me to fall asleep. But about 9am I put earplugs in and fell off the face of the earth until about noon. J’s having a shower and we’re getting ready to go for a walk around the neighborhood before returning to dress for dinner.