Day 1: Welcome to Paris!

Eiffel Tower

Best of Paris Itinerary: We’ll gather at our hotel in Paris at 3 p.m. for a short meeting and orientation stroll around our neighborhood, followed by a panoramic tour of the City of Light aboard a private bus. Then we’ll get acquainted with one another over a delicious “Welcome to Paris” dinner together. Sleep in Paris (6 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: light.

Journal

Sunday, May 1: May Day/Labour Day
This was our first morning waking up in Paris. After a delicious breakfast of café au lait and croissants in the breakfast room downstairs, we took some time to shake off the jet lag and explore our new neighborhood. We walked through the park around the Eiffel Tower, saw the gold dome of Hôtel des Invalides, crossed the Seine on a gorgeous bridge (with a bridal photo shoot in progress), and found our way to Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which leads all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.

At 3:00 p.m., we met our tour guide, Arnaud, and the other 22 members of our Rick Steves tour group. Over wine and cheese, Arnaud led us in a round of introductions, offered observations and tips on making the most of our time in Paris, answered questions, distributed museum and metro passes, and taught us how to use our whisper audio system that would keep us connected to his instructions for the next 6 days. He delivered lots of information with the efficiency of a seasoned guide, along with a delightful sense of humor and charming Parisian accent.

Our group ventured out, walking through the Rue Cler street market, and getting to know the neighborhood. We took a brief bus tour around Paris, then had an outstanding dinner at La Terrasse: white wine-blackberry current aperitif, salad nicoise, salmon with green beans, table wine, very decadent chocolate lava cake dessert and cafe.

I’m going to like Paris!

“When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise.”

– Henry Miller

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