Sunday, March 21, 2010

Let’s Hear it for Spontaneity

Met Abby in Paris as planned…and that’s where the planning stopped.  As is often the case when we travel, we let the wind blow us where it may and if we get a wild hair to do something, we do it.  No timetables to keep.  No deadlines to meet.  It works for us, but I’m sure would drive other people NUTS.

After wandering about the city Friday afternoon, it was about time to head out for dinner.   Spur of the moment as we were walking out the hotel door, we thought we’d ask the concierge to check on a Seine dinner cruise for us.  It’s Friday night.  7:45.  You have to be onboard by 8:15 or you’re left at the dock.  Turned out there were two cancellations, but we had to step lively.  Upstairs, changed, out to cab and onto boat across town in 20 minutes.  And we were seated on the window with full and perfect views as everything passed by…Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Pont Neuf, Notre Dame.  We’ve been through these on foot several times, but seeing everything by boat was a nice new spin.  Not bad for day one.

Onto Saturday, more wandering was on the agenda after a little breakfast on the Rue Cler.  We agreed it was time to see something new and, while we had talked about how fun it would be to see an opera while in Paris, we knew there was zero chance of scoring tickets same-day for a Saturday night, sold out show.  BUT, you can tour the opera house at least.

Long story short, we ended up running into a chap needing to unload his front-row center, box seats, for that night’s show and given the hour (it was 5pm, show at 7:30), we had to make a move.  Same as last night…back to hotel, upstairs, quick change, back in the cab…made it with 2 minutes to curtain raise.  AWESOME seats.  Not my favorite opera (Faust), but well worth the overall experience.

Now, on the TGV to London…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bon Soir

Abby has two weeks worth of recruiting work for Microsoft in Europe, and while I would have really enjoyed joining her the first week in Warsaw (never been, incredible history, etc.), that was too long to be away.  It worked out that I could join her in Paris for the weekend before heading into London for her next week of work. 

I’m sitting in LAX waiting for my connection and realizing our last trip to South Africa has probably ruined me entirely for all air travel from now on.  Figuring it would be our last trip for the family grew (and look at that, now we have Jack!), we stepped up, cleared out the frequent flyer miles, and went first class the entire way.  Gotta say, first class on British Air is niiiiiiiiice.  We’ll see how Air France comes through.  But hey, it’s the means to an end.  Paris in 10 hours…