My Mother's Day Trip to Paris

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by hugs4evry1, May 14, 2010.

  1. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Good Morning all...

    Sorry I haven't been on here sooner to update you all about our trip but I've just been so tired again lately, I think sleeping with hubby might have something to do with it. I think I'll have to kick him out again for a week or so and experiment with that again. I miss all of that energy I had!

    Our trip....was interesting to say the least. First of all, I found out my husband is basically terrified to fly and I didn't know that. He flies for business all the time (poor guy) and he never let on how much it bothers him. We were at the Stuttgart Airport and he had a large beer (at least the size of 2) and since he has gluten allergies and never drinks I found this odd.

    I too, at one time was terrified to fly after a harrowing flight to Bahrain, we had broken wing flaps, a 109mph wind storm and it took 3 tries to land in the Azores, a tiny dot of an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean....terrifying to say the least. So.....

    We spent a great amount of our time at the airport discussing how his strategy to work with his fears isn't really working at all, how all of my recent flights have been wonderful, short and amazing destinations. I even asked him about 2 minutes before boarding if he'd like to just stay home, of course...he said no.

    So we fly to Paris...all things going well until it's time for landing. I could tell that something wasn't 'right'...we were coming in too fast, very close to the ground and the plane started going sideways, not smooth....very glad to be close to the beloved ground again....and the pilot ABORTED the landing. We were either on the ground for a split second or 3 feet from it, it was so close.

    So many things go through your mind at this point and one of them is 'really? we're going to die on a trip we didn't need to take?'.....cause if the pilot can't land safely what's really gonna happen? I looked out and saw another large plane taking off and just hoped the airspace was cleared enough that we wouldn't meet mid air.

    We spent the next 30 minutes or so praying so hard, he was terrified after I finally had him talked into how wonderful this was all going to be and although we never felt the pilot turn the plane we did eventually land safely in Paris....whew!!!

    We got to the hotel, there was construction going on outside the lobby and we had trouble even finding the reception desk. There was a problem with our room, although we had reserved and confirmed a smoking room twice but they found us a room. (Things really aren't going as we planned at this point)

    We took a taxi to the Hard Rock Cafe (remember I haven't lived in the states for over 15 yrs so was looking forward to the American food, but the taxi couldn't get us there, the police had some roads closed due to demonstrations. He let us out in the middle of an intersection, very dangerous and we walked the rest of the way. (Again, not what we had planned. If you've never been to Paris you can't imagine the roads and driving there. They don't paint lanes in the streets, they wouldn't help.

    We get back to the room but the air conditioner was broken so we finally called for someone to come and repair it. It took the guy about 45 minutes to get it running so it was about 9:30 by this time, way past my bedtime....

    Although I'd been to Paris before, I was completely turned around at this hotel and couldn't really figure out exactly where we were. A bit confusing for me. We did see the Arc de Triumph on the ride to the hotel. At this point hubby hadn't even seen the Eiffel Tower.

    We actually discussed throwing in the towel at this point and possibly just going home and giving up. But I'm not a 'give up' type of person, we had massages scheduled for Friday morning and I wanted to see how it would go.

    Yet at 4:30 am some idiot walked through our hall clapping his hands loudly....ensuring that everyone on this floor was awake...oh this really isn't going well.

    The massages at the spa were just wonderful and hubby came back to the room without any pain at all which was completely new for him. We were pampered and well taken care of, very nice.

    The plan was to relax, have lunch in the room then go see the Veneration of the Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame at 3:00 that Friday. They only bring out this precious relic once a month and during Lent and this plan was the highlight of my trip. I already knew that I was going to order the French Onion Soup for lunch and I was looking forward to it. made me extremely illl. I got up after eating, got dressed to go out and suddenly a wave of illness came over me and I just had to go back to bed. As long as I wasn't moving I was ok, and feeling just a bit less than horrible. Hubby slept and I know he needed the rest.

    We talked about how this wasn't going as planned but it was our vacation, our only vacation, our only time alone together in 15 years and all that we had been through to get to this point. Also our 25th anniversary trip too...

    I know I am married to the sweetest man on earth, he was fine with me being sick in bed even if we had to do this the entire weekend... bless him!!! (That's why I chose a very nice hotel in case I am unable to do much, at least the hotel is nice)

    Then the most annoying person moved into the room next door. As we were laying in bed, I heard a commotion in the halls. It was so loud, I had to turn the tv up so I could hear what I was watching. Then I turned it down to see if perhaps I should call the front desk to have them check out the problem.

    This continued until I realized that it was coming from the room next to ours and it was a man ordering room service. I could hear everything he ordered, including which meal was for his son!

    And there it was.... the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I was ok being sick from their meal, I just needed a peaceful place to do so and needed rest so badly. But....this was something I just couldn't deal with so....

    I got dressed, told hubby I was going downstairs and he decided to go with me. I asked him to please just let me do the talking, he was fine with this. I went to reception and told the available person about the problem. Since she was in training, I knew this wasn't going to help much.

    Then the person who checked us in became available and I told her that I just wasn't happy, and why. She let me know that the hotel was fully booked but she would speak to the manager who happened to be on the phone at the time. I told her that if they couldn't help me with this problem that my next stop would be the concierge to ask for train tickets to just go home. (I was still sick at this time)

    So they asked if I would mind taking a seat in the lobby. I remained calm the entire time just simply stating all that had happened and how much this trip had meant to me but it just wasn't working out as planned. And I knew that I just couldn't spend the entire time in a room that I couldn't relax or rest in.

    The manager came out about 15 to20 minutes later and apologized for making us wait so long. She said she had a room she would like to show us to see if it met with our approval and would we mind following her....umm sure ok....

    At this point, I'm still sick, trying not to throw up, past time for me to eat for my blood sugar problems but scared to put anything in my stomach just yet so I really wasn't paying attention in the elevator when she pushed the floor button. I was just trying to walk and keep up with her, it was a really, really long way from the elevator.

    Then she opens the door ( or double doors I should say) and asks if this room will be 'ok'??? It's a suite.... a very very beautiful suite....the corner suite.....and all I could think of to ask was 'this isn't a smoking room is it?'.... She replies that no it isn't but she wants us to be comfortable so we can smoke, just please open the windows.

    And by windows I mean 4 sets of French doors overlooking...drum roll please.....everything that Paris has to offer!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Then she asks that all we do is pack....and continues to offer me something from room service so I asked for some peppermint tea to see if it would help my poor tummy. She seems relieved that I finally ask for something.

    The conversation in the elevator was regarding the man who moved in next to our old room. She stated that he was a problem even at reception and that in her position she wasn't allowed to (I added show him the door??) and she said she wanted to make us as comfortable as she could.

    Hubby packed up our old room for me...and met the waiter who had delivered room service to the butt head next door. He asked if we were moving due to the noise, and offered to bring up our bags. His eyes bulged out when hubby showed him which room we had moved into.

    The sign on the back of the door of the suite had a price.....get this....5000 EU a NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( Hubby was smart enough to take a picture of it)

    It took me about 2 hours of gazing out the window with my peppermint tea and ash tray to realize that I was staring at the Lourve....I knew the other view was the Eiffel Tower and we overlooked the Toulleries (sp) gardens and entrance to it.

    This was the room on the postcards, the view they advertise on the website and I could only imagine the kind of people who had stayed her and paid the full price!!!

    The room service was like in the movies.... They wheeled in the table with full linens, pulled out the sides to make a nice round table, arranged the chairs for us, made sure the linens and table wear were placed 'just so'...... and would you believe we had a hard time leaving the room????

    We just sat with our jaws on the floor completely amazed at how life can change on a blessed we were and how amazing this trip turned out to be....and to be honest, giggling at our good fortune.

    I did pull hubby out on Saturday morning to sit at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on the same bench that Katy and I had sat on so many years ago. We took the Batteau Bus down the Seine to the Notre Dame Cathedral and went through it again.

    I love that Cathedral, I feel it's one of the most holy places on earth at least for me. And I can honestly say as I was talking to God there, that it was worth the journey to get back there....the trip and the fears that we faced.....all worth it.

    We checked out Sunday as planned, were given paperwork to sign, looked at it, saw the 2000EU and felt that yep, that's about right....smiling the entire time. It wasn't until Monday morning when we looked at our account and Visa slips that we realized that the 2000EU was the amount she comped us....our entire stay was free with the exception of the food and massages.....color me stupid but I never realized that. I honestly thought we were paying our old room price for the new suite!!!!!!!!

    I asked about the salon that's advertised on their website as we were checking out and we were given a private showing of it. Just beautiful...and amazing.

    We had a bit of trouble getting out of Paris, there were demonstrations again that Sunday morning and the police had closed our road. Lucky enough a taxi at the next hotel over had decided to leave and we flagged him down as the car we had hired couldn't get to the hotel.

    We arrived back in Stuttgart at 2:05 pm and they closed the airport at 3:00 due to the volcanic ash...whew....made it just in time and had a lovely, uneventful flight home.

    Hope you enjoyed the story as much as we enjoyed this precious vacation. I know I'll never, ever forget it!!!

    Hugs all,

  2. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    c'est magnifique!
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    What an adventure, Nancy. From the pits to the palace. The sour to the suite?
    The bitter end to the better end.

    Last time I looked the Euro was worth more than the dollar.

    Here's something you may or may not want to pass along to DH. (What
    a shock to find out he was afraid of flying.)
    We were discussing flying at the office one day. The boss said he never
    worried about a plane crash. Figured it was a good way to go.

    A few minute of terror; then a painless death. Better than a lingering illness.
    True, it's not neat and tidy, but you don't have to do the clean up.

    Never been to Paris. My son went there on his honeymoon. I have ancestors
    from France though. They moved to England and some of their descendants
    moved to the New World a few hundred years ago.

    Hope you catch up on your rest and feel better.



  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Cela s'est avéré être un merveilleux voyage/
    That turned out to be a wonderful trip!
    (at least that is what the translator said it meant, LOL)

    Despite all the problems with illness and fear of flying and obnoxious neighbors...
    It sounds like everything turned out well. I am so glad the hotel bent over backwards to help you out, regardless, tho I'm not sure exactly what they ended up "giving" you for your problems with the neighbor. I do believe in the "power of place" - if you like some where, wherever that is, there is pure enjoyment from just being there.

    The one time I went, I really enjoyed it; Parisians were very friendly and I just enjoyed riding around on top of the tourist bus looking at old buildings and carvings. I was there over Easter, we did walk thru Notre Dame while service was being held on Good Friday (tho I'm not Catholic) (& - I was surprised they let tourists in while mass was ongoing in the center), enjoyed Montmarte, and my most favorite part actually was going to Giverney by train/bus to see Monet's house/gardens. It was mostly Japanese tourists there, actually, LOL.

    You are so close to so many things, I envy you... I hope you get more opportunities to see more (via rail. Personally I'd probably prefer the train there over flying, I think airports are a hassle.)

    Wish I could see your photos! and relive my own trip maybe...

  5. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    Hi Nancy,
    What a story you have to tell! I am so glad it all turned out so great for you both.

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