Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2014 PARIS CITY STAY TOUR dates announced

Our 2014 dates have been confirmed. 
Here is your chance to visit Paris on your own terms.

 As group coordinator for
we offer you an excellent group discount 
7 day travel package 
called PARIS: CITY STAY which includes:  
  • round trip airfare 
  • shuttle service to/from Paris airport & hotel   
  • hotel accommodations 
  • daily breakfast
  • on site Travel Director
  • membership in GO AHEAD awards program
The Travel Package pricing starts at $2,459 (depending on departure city) 
and is all inclusive including taxes, fees and deposit.

$300 deposit will hold your reservation.
To calculate pricing and review details, visit our site:

This travel package allows you to create your own schedule
while in Paris, doing what you want, when you want.

Or if you want the opportunity for a guided tour
that focuses on specific neighborhoods
where you will learn the characteristics of that particular 'arrondissment'
browse a local museum, stroll a local garden and
have afternoon tea.

If this sounds like something you would like to do,
then sign up for our ART-TEA PARIS Walking Tour --
4 days and two nights of experiencing Paris like a visitor, not a tourist.  
Small group of 4 - 8 travelers will keep this an intimateand personalized experience.

for complete details visit our website:

Traveling to Paris; old post

Finally, after 14 years of dreaming to return to France, I made it happen.  This is the first post after I arrived - October 2004.   ------------->>>>>>>>>>

The night before leaving, my friend Alicia came over and aligned my chakras. I felt soooo relaxed after that I did nothing. It was wonderful. But the next day I had last minute errands to run and also decided to take a smaller suitcase which meant packing and repacking to fit it all in. When 2am rolled around I knew I couldn't go to sleep because I'd never hear the alarm go off for my 5:30am drive to the airport. You know I am NOT a morning person.

It was also obvious by now that my plans were far too grandiose to be able to do everything I'd hoped to do. I wrote lists of things I wanted to do in Angers, at the chateau and in Paris. The Paris list was so big that when I tried to condense it, I gave up and decided to rethink my plan while I was on the plane. But since I didn't sleep the night before, during my flight from LA to Detroit, I slept -- very nicely.

The flight from Detroit to Paris was longer and I could get more done. I remember the last time I flew to Paris it seems forever and they kept coming by feeding us meals, hot baked cookies and bringing us warm, wet wash clothes. Post 9/11, that just wasn't happening. I did sit next to a woman who had signed up for the Rick Steve's tour I was on the waiting list for until I decided to go it alone. She was going for the same reason I was, to celebrate her 50th birthday. I pretty much slept most of the trip and all those revised plans would have to wait.

Once we landed, all but about 12 of us got their luggage. We wondered what was going on.

Then this guy came over and ceremoniously removed a piece of luggage that was directly in front of me.*  Finally, 45 minutes later our luggage came out and I had to rush to board the shuttle to Terminal 2 and catch the train to Angers in 45 minutes.

The shuttle took forever and when it finally arrived, just as I stepped forward to board, I was pushed back and told to wait for the next one.

Finally, in Terminal 2, I cannot find any signs directing me to the train station so it was time to use my French. Luckily the phrase "where is the train station" was one of the first things I learned to say. And I said it a lot. A stewardess was helpful and explain it was at the other end of the terminal. After thanking her I turned to see 2 military guys in fatigues and holding rifles with their hands on the trigger looking straight at me. I mustered a smile and rushed toward the other end of the terminal. 2A, 2B, 2C was endless and I had 15 minutes to get to the train. 2D finally showed up, 2E and finally 2F. I looked everywhere but couldn't find the train station. I figured I was going to miss the train and gave up. Saw some escalators to the side and checked. Sure enough there were train tracks down there. The train was coming in 3 minutes and an older couple was blocking the escalator as they loaded 5 pieces of luggage separately onto the escalator. The track I needed to take was at the bottom of the escalator. Within a minute it had arrived.
I got on at the nearest entrance and loaded my bags in the baggage compartment then looked for my seat. In my haste, I boarded the wrong train car but hot, sweaty, and tired, I plopped into a seat and figured I'd worry about it later. When the train conductor came by I explained in my broken French -- my luggage that way, my reserved seat was the other way. He was very kind and let me stay where I was.

The 1 1/2 hours went by fast and there I was in Angers. Once out of the train station, I could see my hotel directly across the street.
 The people in the hotel were gracious and it was nice to settle in to the room. But I knew if I stayed there I would be asleep within 5 minutes so I washed up and walk around to see what I could see until it was time for dinner. The weather was warm and sunny with a slight breeze -- perfect. My hotel was next to a boulangerie bustling with shoppers. You could smell the bread and the pastries were beautiful. Being hypoglycemic, I knew not to try them on an empty stomach. I had to wait until 7pm to eat and it was only 5pm so I toured the streets of Angers, window shopping and oh so happy to be there.

Returned to the hotel for dinner at their bistro -- my first real French meal in a very long time. I ordered a prix-fixe meal that includes usually 3 courses at one simple price which makes it easy to figure what you owe and hard to be overcharged -- something that is warned about in every tour book. Started with a salad, which was a meal in itself -- lettuce greens (not a piece of iceberg in site), lots of tomatoes, diced ham and warm goat cheese; perfection. The main course was a beef brochette with carrots, green beans, scalloped potatoes and roasted tomato with garlic and basil. Superb. Dessert was a vanilla creme brulee which is my all time favorite dessert and this time it was the real thing. All of this for 18 euro. Not bad at all -- oh yeah, and don't forget the bread.
Forced myself to stay awake until it was a normal bedtime by watching ER in French. Not bad for the first day.

>>>>>>>post script from this entry >>>>>>
 *It turned out that there was a bomb threat and they thought it was in the luggage from our flight.  This is what delayed our luggage being released. 
**After dinner I returned to my room that offered a great view of the fountain below and the train station across the street.
 I spent some time watching the nightlife from my window.  I owe the great room to my travel agent Yolande from Enchanted France.  Her expert preparations made this trip my dream come true.  She not only coordinated everything I wanted to do but added her own special touches that really made it much more enjoyable.