I’ve arrived in Paris!!

I’ve arrived!!  It was a great flight, a new plane and I lucked out and had an empty seat next to me.  I highly recommend flying Norwegian, particularly if you’re on a budget.  You can pick and choose which aspect of your flight you want to have.  For instance, there is really no reason to pay for meals.  Get something cheap and healthy at the airport before hand and you can always order individual items on the plane as well – which I was surprised was an option.  I decided to go ahead and purchase a seat assignment to be sure I would get an isle seat (last year I flew window 15 hours to Manila with two old ladies next to me the slept the ENTIRE way, I couldn’t move, no bueno).

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The sunset at LAX airport was particularly beautiful and I’ve always loved the International Terminal.

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Much healthier than what they give on the place, and cheaper.

After getting off the plan, taking the CDGVAL tram to Terminal 2 from Terminal 1 (free) and finally taking the RER from CDG into Paris, I finally had a look at the city for the first time.  I came up from the depths like Oscar Wilde’s de profundis and stepped out on the street embanking the Seine River and, as I turned, saw Notre Dame for the first time.

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My first view of Paris.

I hadn’t really slept in almost 30 hours, having just watched some movie on the plane including “Love, Simon”, a fantastic firm as well as movie’s name I can remember but in which Melissa McCarthy goes back to college along with her daughter, and a film about players in a virtual reality video game in the year 2045.  I enjoyed watching all of them.

From the metro I just crossed the street and walked down a half a block to my hotel – the Hotel Esmeralda.  Right across from the Notre Dame it is named after the Gypsy Princess character in the Victor Hugo novel – The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  It hotel was originally built in the 1640’s as part of a monastery and was later made into a hotel in the 19th century.  My room is on the 3rd floor, a clime of the original steap 17th century wooden staircase brought me to my room – with a relatively modern metal key, not the electronic key cards we usually see these days.

 

As soon as I got into my room I immediately took a shower – it had been a looooong day and I was feeling grimy.  My friends from LA, who had come in from Amsterdam, called me to see if I had arrived, so I got ready as quickly as I can and started for their hotel, the Albe, when I got a text that they were at the Café Le Petite Pont, at the other end of the same block as my hotel.  I met them outside and had a nice dinner with some Long Island Iced Teas – our waiter – Gino – was Russian, or was he Italian, or French?  He seemed to be whatever he needed to be for his customers, but he was great.

Did I mention that Gino served our Long Island Iced Teas with fresh fruit and sparklers like it was the 4th of July?  And he brought them out while seeing Happy Birthday in English (it wasn’t anyone’s birthday).

After dinner and drinks, slightly rough for wear, we walked around the Marais and just had a great time.  They leave back for Amsterdam tomorrow and my cousin from England will be joining me after they leave.  Not sure yet what we will do tomorrow but it’s bound to be memorable.

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