Every day, I am thankful to live in - as that song in "Hamilton" proclaims - "the greatest city in the world." But that doesn't keep me from dreaming about and planning adventures to my other two favorite cities - London and Paris.
With New York City and much of the rest of the country currently in the deep freeze, it is a perfect time to reminisce about our trip to Paris last fall during an unseasonably warm (read: hot) September. (Thanks for coming along!)
We took an overnight flight out of JFK, and although I used a zillion AAdvantage miles to book business class tickets that had lie-flat seats, I never sleep well on planes. Scott, fortunately, has no problem sleeping; thanks to the hum of the engines, he can be sound asleep as soon as the plane takes off.
Based on my history of sleepless red-eye flights, I know better than to plan anything that requires sitting or standing still for more than a few minutes at a time for the day we arrive.
So, after landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport before 7 a.m., victoriously speaking understandable French while going through customs and navigating the airport, we hopped the RER train into Paris. We dropped our bags at the hotel, found a café to devise our game plan over coffee and croissants (bien sûr!) and headed straight up - literally - to Montmartre. What better way to walk off the jet lag than to trek around this hill in the 18th arrondisement.
It is famous for the staircase leading up to the gorgeous Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. People start out climbing very quickly, and slow down a bit as they approach the final stretches of steps. If you want to cheat, you can actually take a tram (not visible here) up from the base of the hill (just use one of your tickets from the Metro). But even if you do, you're still not off the hook, as there is not a level stretch of pavement in this neighborhood. Which is fine - because wherever you turn, you will savor a million euro view - either of an adorable street, a long narrow staircase or a panoramic view of the city.
A few of my favorite views.*
And happily - big, dark sunnies hid my very tired eyes all day long.
Can you sleep on airplanes? Show me your ways - please!
* All pictures taken by Scott, who is, quite simply, a much better photographer than I am.