27 Mar, 12:18pm
On the way to Dallas
First flight of the trip, from San Diego to Dallas/Ft Worth, TX. This morning I woke up at 5:30a, took a shower, and we were on the road by 6:45a. We made a quick Jamba/SB (starbucks) stop and parked our car at an off-airport parking lot. The nice man in the yellow van drove us to our terminal, where we checked in. After proceeding through the rather short (yay!) security lines, and having my mom scrutinized by TSA for having so many liquid bottles, we headed to the Admiral Club. My dad had this card for a 1 time admittance into the American Airlines Admiral Club. It’s like a nicer place to wait for your flight to leave. They’ve got TV’s and nice quiet sitting areas (quiet until I got there at least…). We waited for about 1.5 hours for our flight to leave, and as of this moment we have been flying for a little over an hour.
Once we get to Dallas we will have a relatively short stopover period (less than 2 hours) and then we take off to Paris ! The flight to Paris should be approximately 8.5 hours. That would put us in Paris during the middle of the day (their time) – although to us it will feel like really early in the morning! Hopefully none of us will have too much jet lag, but we don’t have too much scheduled for the first day – so that’s good.
2 hour time change from San Diego to Dallas
27 Mar, 6:06pm
On the way to Paris ( CDG Airport )
After a short break from flying at Dallas/Ft Worth, I am now on my second flight of the day. At Dallas we got a bite to eat (a burrito) and some dessert (mint ice cream!). The flight to Paris should take about 8.5 hours, which puts us there right on time at 9:30ish tomorrow morning.
The plane that we are on is pretty nice. We are sitting in this in between like section between business and the rest of coach. There are 4 rows of seats with a divider in both the front and the back. It’s sorta like business but without all of the fancy amenities… …and no cool seats L.
We’ve got two movies scheduled for the flight (The World’s Fastest Indian and Last Holiday). As for other entertainment, I’ve got my ipod to listen to.. and a charger that plugs in under the seat. Also magazines, paris/london books and a phrasebook to study ;).
28 Mar, 7:24am ( Paris ) – 9:24pm ( Oceanside )
It’s been less than nine hours, and we’ve jumped nine hours forward! Weird. It doesn’t feel like it should be just pass 9pm right now – I feel WAY more tired than that. It could be due to lack of sleep last night… but who knows.
We’ve seen 2 movies over the course of the flight (I only watched the second one). I’ve been listening to music, working on the trip itinerary (studying up on what there is to do in both Paris and London ) and fighting with Cameron about being able to lie down in the seat (haha jk).
According to the in-flight monitors we’ve got 2:06 left to Paris ! Yay, that’s about a period during a block day at school.
Once we get to Paris we’ll be picked up by a Shuttair.com shuttle which will drive us directly to our little apartment. That way we don’t have to worry about taking public transport (the metro) as soon as we get there… we can figure that out in the future.
We’ll have all day, really, but we will all probably want to sleep for at least some period of time. Our apartment is (I’m guessing) a 10 minute metro ride outside of the center of the city. We’ll purchase an orange card that let’s us take any method of public transport in the city, and then we can go wherever we want, whenever we need to. I’m guessing that we’ll get to the apartment, fall asleep and wake up for dinner. We could head down to center city and pick a nice place to eat, and then head back to the apt. to finish catching up on sleep. By tomorrow morning, our biological clocks should be adjusted to the Paris time schedule, and we’ll be ready for a full day of museum hopping, sight seeing and eating of delicious Parisian food!
28 Mar, 11:30pm ( Paris )
It feels really weird. We’ve been in Paris for almost 12 hours, and it seems like we’ve done nothing!
We got off the plane at around 10:20am and we hopped in our Shuttair.com shuttle. As soon as you step off the plane, you know that you are in a foreign country. For a number of different reasons 1)everyone is speaking French 2)people smell gross 3)the airport looks like something out of a movie about a poverty stricken country. The nice man in the shuttle spoke very little English, but he knew how to get us to where we needed to go.
They drive crazy here. Ridiculously crazy! Note to self: never rent a car in France , especially near Paris . At least the shuttle driver knew what he was doing – flying in and out of traffic pushing his way through.. felt like a ride at Disneyland !
The driver stopped so that Dad could pick up some money at the ‘cash machine’ (we were going to need to tip the guy when he dropped us off). The road that our apartment is on is one of the main roads of the city. It’s got three or four different names, but it’s all one long street. In our section (neighborhood = Neuilly , pronounced NEW-YEE), it’s called Avenue Charles de Gaulle.
When we got to the apartment it was still dirty! The cleaning guy showed up minutes after we arrived, and pretty much kicked us out until 2:00. We left our bags, and started to explore our new Paris neighborhood. I was starving, so we wandered into a bakery-ish place and bought some stuff. Most people speak at least a little bit of English, and that definitely helps. We stopped to eat on a park bench. After we ate we wandered into a church of some sort.. W. Churchill? It was girondous, and pretty cool. Then we explored a place called Monoprix which is like the Wal-Mart of France . We needed some shampoo, here it is called “shampooing”. Interesting…
Eventually we got back to our apartment.
It’s no easy task getting into the apartment. You start off with a code to open the door that is on the street. The door is easily recognizable, as it’s right next to a Chinese restaurant, Mandarin Chinese. You put in the code and push open the door. Then you walk across this random looking courtyard to another door. You use one of your two keys to open the door (but you stick the key in the wall, not the door.. weird). Then you proceed up a spiral staircase with a red running carpet stapled tackily to the floor. You use yet another key to open the door to your apartment.
The apartment is actually pretty nice! I’ve never been to Europe , so I don’t know too much about the hotel situation – but apparently hotel rooms are tiny. This apartment is really big (ish)! There are two bedrooms – one with a queen and a twin, and one with a king. A living room with a nice big plasma TV, couch and internet. A kitchenette with all of the amenities needed to make a meal, and of course a bathroom.
As soon as we got into the apartment we just konked out on the bed. We slept for more than 4 hours and woke up around 7pm. When we woke up we were all pretty hungry, so we figured we would go find dinner! We walked for what seemed like years (it was probably an hour, actually) and eventually stumbled upon a place called Coffee Parisien. The placemats had portraits in order of all of the US presidents, and there were posters on the wall depicting quotes from people like Bill Clinton and JFK. Mom and I had linguine, Cameron had Ravioli and Dad had Salmon. Cameron and I had milkshakes for dessert (which were delicious) and Mom had Crème Brulee (with Whip Cream of course..). The bill: 73 euros (which is roughly 90USD).
We had a LONG walk back to the apartment, seems like it took forever (oh wait.. it did). Tomorrow we are going to see all sorts of things, and it’s going to be a really long day!
We’ve got 4 days to see Paris , and then we are off to London .. we better hurry up!