12.30.2014

Le Village de Noel Paris

I am not one for crowded street festivals and food stands. In fact, anyone who knows me well, knows that I hate that sort of thing. 

But, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the Paris Christmas market. So I ventured out to the Champs Elysées to see one of the largest in the city. I have to say, it's a bit like going to a county fair - an array of food, rides, attractions, and artisan items and Christmas ornaments for sale to set the tone.

I love the French, but this is so typical: notice the male vendors, smiling, offering a complimentary sample, and giving me the thumbs up. The female vendor refuses to acknowledge me at all. She can hardly wait for me to leave. This happens all the time. ;)

All in all, a great way to spend the afternoon, seeing the sites while sipping hot wine. 













12.28.2014

Le Marché aux Puces

Isabelle is putting the final touches on her Paris apartment. To that end, we headed to the flea market in search of chandeliers, a set of andirons, and a fireplace screen. We didn't find the right pieces, but we had fun poking around the market and stumbling upon some interesting artifacts. After all, that seems to be what the flea market is all about.  






12.27.2014

A warm welcome to Paris

For my first night in Paris, I was invited to my girlfriend Isabelle's apartment before dinner. What a warm welcome - champagne and caviar near the fire. It was heavenly and the perfect pre-dinner reception. 




Isabelle's husband Marc and her daughter Diane below. Her sister Charlie will welcome a new baby in February. The men are delighted with the news of a boy!





12.26.2014

Home Sweet Home

My home sweet home for the next few days. I have been renting this same apartment for fifteen years. I know a few neighbors, the concierge, and housekeeper. It's become my home away from home, and I couldn't be happier about it.  


Delta Upgrade - the perks of being faithful

I love the Delta/Air France flight from Chicago O'Hare to Paris Charles de Gaulle. I am a faithful Delta passenger and take this flight all the time. The planes are clean, the staff is wonderful, check-in is easy, and food is acceptable. 

I must be the luckiest traveler ever. For the third time in a row, I was upgraded to business class. It is so much fun it is to be surprised with a new seat assignment: 8A, a single seat, along the outer aisle with a window. My trip is off to a good start!