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Paris City of Lights – Making Dreams Come True
It’s only been a couple of days since our amazing trip to Paris! It was everything I had hoped for and more. I had been to Paris a long time ago. I went when I graduated High School and hadn’t been back for 27 years. I was looking forward to it maybe more than my family. It was more beautiful than I remembered. Let’s dive right in!
Planning for the trip of our Lives
One thing my wife did before we went on our trip was mapping out plans for hours upon hours for months. It was like a huge liquid 3-D jigsaw puzzle that had thousands of pieces that needed to be put together. Every time you thought you had it right it would slip and slide and move in different directions. Almost like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands. After all the planning, once we arrived those plans evaporated and we had to go with the flow of each day.
Walking… Talking… More Walking…
What did we do every day? We walked everywhere and even when we took the train and the bus we walked to them. I had my Samsung Galaxy S7 and I kept track of how much we walked every day. The first day was a modest nine miles. Not too bad. Then it got more and more. Reaching a high of 16 miles! I felt like I was on the Walking Dead but I was a Zombie looking for brains to eat! Besides all the walking we talked a lot. It really was a great time to bond with my kids. It might sound like I am complaining about the walking but it got me closer to my kids. The experience was priceless and I would walk double that again if I had to do it again.
Some Tips on Paris
One of the biggest takeaways that I learned on my trip to Paris was that don’t read too many reviews on what and where to eat. The first place we went to eat was a famous restaurant that only served steak and fries. I won’t give the name but you can google it. The place has a line to get in even before it opens. Reading online reviews and seeing the line being so long made me want to get in and eat a glorious dinner! Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The food was ok to good. The service was bad because we had the waitress from hell and it was expensive. Totally not worth it.
Review sites are NOT the best sources
So the takeaway for me is that these review sites are for lazy people or people with little time. We weren’t lazy but we only had a few days. There are just so many restaurants. Which one is good, that you’ll enjoy and not waste your time and money? That means people just like you are all going to the same places recommended on Yelp or Trip Advisor. People aren’t going across the street to a place that might be better and offer better food and service. This is really a shame. Our favorite meal was our last meal at a bistro a couple of blocks away from our apartment. Food was great and cheap. If it looks like most of the customers are locals that usually means it’s likely good.
Things that are worth it
Here are a few things that we did that I thought would be overrated but completely worth it. First was the paying to go into the Garden at Versailles For some reason even with the Museum Pass we had to pay when we go there. Usually, it is supposed to be covered by the Museum Pass. However, this was a 10 out of 10! This is a must see and when you’re there rent a bike to see the whole grounds. You won’t be able to see everything in one day without the bike.
The River Cruises I thought would be so touristy and pointless. We had walked almost along the whole Seine River it seemed, so I thought it would be a waste of time. I was wrong. I give it a 9 out of 10. The perspective is completely different than walking. It was beautiful to see the sites while actually relaxing. The Cruise that we went on offered an audio tour in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Portugues.
Lastly going up the Eiffel Tower was completely worth it. It was a 10 out of 10! We were so used to walking that we opted to walk up the stairs. It was a good hike but we went up to the middle of the Tower. The views are spectacular! I recommend it only if you’re in shape. Don’t want to have a heart attack! 😉
Tie in with Credit Cards
In an earlier article, I wrote how I paid for the trip with my credit card rewards. After I used my Capital One Venture Card to pay for most of my trip I got two more credit cards. The first was The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I signed up for that and got 50k in points. Then I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and got another 50K in points. Those points are valuable and I will use them for my next trip. But the coolest benefit of having the Reserve Card is the Priority Pass Card that you get for yourself and another authorized user.
Priority Pass and Lounges are the Best
The Priority Pass is a card that enables you and your guests to go into Airport Lounges for FREE. In New York, we gained access to the Korean Air Lounge. The food options were minimal but the atmosphere was so much better than having to wait outside by the gate. The kids and my Tiger Mom were thoroughly impressed by the surprise.
Then on the way back in Paris at Charles DeGaulle Airport in Terminal 1, we gained access to The Star Alliance Business Lounge. This was even better. The food was plentiful and drinks were good as well. After walking around for six days it was good to kick back and have a few beers and sake and a little wine. We didn’t want to leave! Hahaha!
To sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card follow the link here.
Back to School
Now we are back and ready for another year of school! Kids are happy with their classes and teachers. I will be writing about what my kids are up to as the year goes on.
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