Getting to Paris should have been uneventful.  After all, how difficult can a short, 1.5 hour flight be, even if it’s on a less-than-major airline?  Well, it only takes one event to bring on the stress.

The airline we chose has some rather strict guidelines.  Weight of the main luggage, for instance, can only be 40 kg (total).  If you wish, you can pre-purchase some additional weight allowance (we got an extra 3 kg) or you can take your chance at the check-in counter where it is weighed.  If you are over (with NO additional allowance pre-purchased), they are more than willing to charge you considerably more right there.  We were ok.

Now the carry-on luggage.  It must fit inside a pre-measured metal box, open on the top so you can put the carry-on in.  If it does NOT fit, there is a one-size bigger box that can be tested instead.  If it fits in that, you can carry it on…providing the plane is not full.  If it is full, they will then determine whether it should go in the hold with your other luggage (no fee for this service).  However, if that same carry-on, that is now no longer carry-on, contains cameras, laptops, medications (you know…the stuff you REALLY don’t want to lose to another destination or to someone else’s hands!) your heart might be doing more than a little pitter-patter.  Again, we were ok albeit barely.

So…where’s the problem?

When you have a folder and a recently purchased sketch (from an artist in Venice) in your hands, because you needed to go through some stuff in the folder and the sketch doesn’t fit in the carry-on, sometimes you set those things down.  On a seat beside you.

Then the airline makes its boarding call.

Then you quickly get in line so you don’t have to stand there any longer than necessary.

Then, a little while later…say…after the plane is IN THE AIR….you remember the folder.  And the sketch.

And all you can do is turn in your seat and wave goodbye.  Cuz this ain’t WestJet and no-one came running up to the plane with your forgotten items.

What’s life without a little stress?

Paris (and some surrounding areas) made up for those little problems however.  There are many, many (WAY too many!) sweet shops all over the place.  And they seem to be able to do the most amazing things with chocolate.  Such delicate, intricate work – warranted a decision to leave it, as transportation home would be nigh impossible.

Parisians also seem more than capable to do wondrous things with concrete, granite and marble.  And what’s Paris without a trip down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées?  With its view of the Arc de Triomphe, the shopping, the cafés…such an easy place to relax.  And spend obscene amounts of money.  But as grand as it is, there is one other place in Paris that, if you REALLY want to spend money, you have to visit.  That visit is upcoming.  🙂

The Arc itself sits in the middle of the most amazing traffic circle.  6 lanes of traffic (and I’m still convinced the lines on any of the roads in Paris are strictly for decoration) and 12 (yep…no typo – twelve!) entrances to that circle.  Buses (double-decker and otherwise), cars, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians all vie for spots to circumnavigate their way.  Most are successful.

Other things to do while in Paris proper is take a boat cruise down the Seine river.  About an hour later you’ll arrive back where you started, having passed by numerous Paris attractions.  The boat is similar to the HOHO buses in that you can get off anywhere along the way, and get back on later to continue your commute.

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