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No. of Recommendations: 16
Part 1:
Actually it was just France that we were in from Sept. 18 - Oct. 3. It was a mostly great trip and a learning experience for the less than great parts.

The trip started out with a near disaster (learning experience #1). Our flight was a direct flight from Indianapolis to Paris and scheduled to leave at 6 p.m. At 7 a.m. we received a forwarded email from my SIL who was coming on the trip with us that our AirBNB host in Paris had canceled on us. Other than promptly refunding us our payment, they provided no useful assistance in finding equivalent lodgings. A company should not be judged not by how well it treats its customers when thing go right, but how well it stands by its customers when things go wrong. AirBNB failed us miserably. Andi, my spouse creature, found us a hotel in the same neighborhood as the AirBNB. It was slightly more expensive, but given its location about 1/4 mile from the Louvre, the quiet tidy rooms, the helpful people at the front desk, and the convenient reasonably priced breakfast, I give high marks to the Golden Tulip Hotel Washington Opera on Rue de Richelieu. (although if you depend on high speed internet, bring your own. 🙂)

We bought 4 day museum passes and used them heavily. Although we spent hours at each of the large museums we visited, (the Louvre, the D’Orsay, La Orangerie) we barely scratched the surface. We used the passes at other smaller museums and sites as well. The passes paid for themselves several times over.

We made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Eiffel Tower. We got up to the top a little before sunset and stayed until the lights of the city were twinkling on. I’m glad we did that.

Caroline, a friend of both ours and my SIL for about 40 years, was traveling with us and had to see the Mona Lisa. After our first trip to the Louvre, we knew the lines were horribly long so we went to the museum before it opened to be among the first in line. Caroline who has had hip and knee surgery uses a cane when she is walking a lot, and that proved to be a blessing to all of us. When the museum staff saw her cane, they ushered us to the front of the line to get into the museum and then through the line of early admissions. We were in the gallery where D’Vinci’s work was temporarily housed with a small group of about 10 people before the hordes arrived. This experience with Caroline’s cane happened repeatedly at various museums.

We loved Paris so much that we are planning another trip including it next year.

To be continued …

Afterthought: Thanks to malaoshi for reminding me that how we are enjoying retirement is a pleasant purpose of this board.
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