“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.”..... Mark Twain
Monday, May 26, 2014
We have been looking forward to France,
but not the 8 hour flight and 3 hours pre-boarding at Miami International. XL
Air was an unknown to us; no seat assignments until check in, no frills, just
the promise of $700.00 RT, what could go wrong I ask you?
For a while in Miami,
it didn’t look promising. We arrived 30 minutes before check in time, to find a
long line and the desks already open. Well, it’s a big plane so I guess that’s
alright. Check in was smooth and the desk agent was able to accommodate our
sitting together. Our luggage was under the limit, so no additional fees were
Then we were sent to concourse F. I am sure that the F
stands for filthy and funky cause that’s what it was. The carpet was nasty,
worn and the air-conditioning almost non-existent. Miami
should be ashamed!
But we boarded on time and to our delight and surprise the
plane half full. For you intrepid travelers, you know what this means: more leg
room, more elbow room, more room to twist and wiggle about for the ensuing 8
hours. Both the Monkey and I slept a solid 6, waking up an hour out or Charles
The first Locke
Not too tired, we navigated the RER train to Gare du Nord,
thru the “distastefulness of the suburbs” as a fellow traveler described it to
us.Found our way out thru the correct
exit (it’s a really big station, ya’ll) and to the post office where we
retrieved our key for the apartment. Less than 1 kilometer away, we just
continued and hoofed it to Rue de Chaudron.
The apartment is a delight on a quiet residential street.
Across the way is the Vespa repair shop. It’s a middle class neighborhood and
just right for us. After a short exploration of the tiny abode, we change to
our comfortable shoes and race to the Saint Martin
What a great spot in Paris,
is the Canal! Very reminiscent of the canals of Amsterdam.
The old locks still work, and parks flank either bank. Every so often there are
arched bridges across. Old warehouses slowly turn into the fine apartments
which one associates with Paris. We
strolled, and strolled and strolled until the canal disappeared under a lush
park which ends in the Seine.
Isn't this the cutest bridge, evah?
Enough sightseeing for our first day, we return home; buying
supplies at the corner grocer. We then stop for a traditional Parisian dinner of
Hallal Doner Kabobs and the owner introduces us to the owner of the
neighborhood Hamman (Turkish Baths). That is where I will be Wednesday!