Wednesday, April 4th, 2001

Paris Vacation - Day 1

Arc De TriompheThe Eiffel TowerThe flight to Paris was, thankfully, uneventful. We took a late evening flight that was only about 1/2 an hour late taking off, which, these days, is considered on time. I chose The Legend of Bagger Vance as the in-flight movie – a harmless and boring Robert Redford post-war flick with luscious Savannah, Georgia scenery. Will Smith, as the saintly caddy Bagger Vance, step-and-fetchits his way alongside World War hero/alcoholic near-do-well Matt Damon's golden natural golfer who, of course, goes on to beat the then two best golfers in the world (Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen). Beautiful scenery and music and, had I not been on a moving means of transportation, I would have probably slept my way through it. Beth did sleep through one of the other in-flight offerings, some Nicolas Cage vehicle that she thought was funny – at least the sections she didn't sleep through.

My first ride in coach in a Continental 777 was pleasant enough. The flight was only partially filled so we could stretch out along a three-seater (of which there are 3 across in a 777). I'm afraid the 767 on the flight back may not afford us this luxury.

Upon reaching Charles de Gaulle airport, we retrieved our baggage and found our way to a bus stand where I first discovered what I'd always suspected: my 3 years of French was pretty much a waste of time. Beth, however, immediately started conversing with the dispatcher who couldn't have been nicer and directed us the bus we needed to take to get the Marriott on the Champs-Elysées. We were dropped off at the Arc De Triomphe and, although it was a bit of hike, it had at least stopped pouring rain long enough for us to check in (Il a plu beaucoup sur notre arrivée! ).

Beth at Le MadrigalWe wanted to push through the day so that our jet lag would diminish, but we did sneak a quick nap. Beth has meetings and more meetings until Sunday, but I only have one business day (Friday) in which I must teach our French compatriots our incident tracking system.  We did stop at our first French Brasserie, just down from the hotel on the Champs-Elysées called Le Madrigal.  I have my first real food in France – a toasted ham and cheese sandwich called a Croque Monsieur.

Beth makes a dinner reservation for four and, after leaving several messages, we finally hook up late in the day with her business associate Michael and his wife, Michelle. Apparently, their flight was much more eventful than ours as their plane had wheel problems and they had to deplane and re-plane. Eight hours late, they finally arrived in Paris. They slept the entire way, however, and are definitely up for dinner so we arrange to meet them at the Hélène Daroze in St-Germain des-Pres. As time is short, we decide to grab a taxi. What a mistake! The concierge estimated that it would take us fifteen minutes to get there…it took an HOUR and fifteen minutes. We sat on the bridge with a beautiful view of the Seine as our driver chain-smoked and screamed at the autos in from of him. The dinner reservation was for 7:30 and we arrived at just before 8:30. Yikes! The hostess, however, couldn't have been nicer and, after apologizing to Michael and Michelle for making their day even longer we settled in for a wonderful (and expensive) first French dinner. What a day!



Next Day


C. Edward George's Home Page

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8