Holidays in Paris & London

Her majesty and I just got back from our holiday trip to Europe. We hit London, then spent Christmas in Paris for 3 days, and then returned to London again for 3 days. If you had tried to comment on my blog between the 21st and the 29th, I apologize; I turned commenting off to prevent a blogspamming mess, they now work again.

We left our laptops at home, and while I had my phone, I only used it for pictures & videos. It’s 3G, but I never got around to changing my plan with Cingular. So, if you tried to contact me between the 21st and the 29th via phone, text, or email, my apologies; I’m going through everything now.

Let me first say that I heard from 4 people that the French were rude, especially if you didn’t speak French very well. This is absolutely untrue, and I’m starting to wonder where in the heck this attitude I heard from 4 disparate people came from. Everyone in a variety of places, both tourist locales and non, were extremely polite, calm, and benevolent. We really enjoyed Paris, and I definitely plan on returning again. There is so much to see, the food is usually good (except foie gras; my God, most disgusting stuff on earth), and I really liked the locals.

I was uber stressed about going to France because my French isn’t very good. I wanted to give a really good impression that I was giving an effort. I usually just let her majesty do the talking. While more people spoke English towards the Louvre and other tourists spots, like everywhere I’ve been, I hate the tourist areas. Eiffel Tower? Pretty! Surrounding environs? Bleh … I liked “real” France better. I really hate the cold, but while in France, it suddenly didn’t matter… well, as long as you were moving. If you’ve never gone to Paris, I highly suggest you go, it’s great!

BTW, the Eurostar puts the USA’s Amtrak to shame. After making 2 trips on it from London to Paris, and Paris to London, it’s blatantly obvious that America’s railroad industry rested on it’s laurels. Furthermore, I thought Atlanta’s MARTA, basically our “London Underground” was pretty bad since I had Boston & the DC Metro to compare to. After riding London’s and Paris’, I gotta say, MARTA is a joke in comparison.

My first night in London, her majesty and I managed to meet Peter and his rather large entourage up for a beer at some pub (er, cocktail lounge) called the Lab; it was his birthday. Tink showed up, too; it was really cool to finally meet him. Didn’t get to meet Richard; mofo was playing for the other team in the states, hehe!

Anyway, my last 2 months have been pretty slack, which actually has been pretty good. 2006 was frikin’ stressful to the max; I got seriously burnt out this year so feel a lot better now and recharged for 2007.

7 Replies to “Holidays in Paris & London”

  1. Haha, very funny! Must catch you next time one of us jumps the pond. I’m going to Paris on Tuesday with my gf for a few days so I hope to have as good an experience as you.

  2. We visited London after Flash On the Beach. I totally agree that the underground there rocks… their bus system is great too (and you can see stuff to boot). What KILLED me was the price of stuff. I had to pretend pounds were dollars and it was still expensive. I finally sort of got over it when I realized we still have to eat no matter what.

    I realize that part of the problem is the current exchange rate (I guess it does make my services over there a better deal though). But, man, I think the ultimate thing is that the proportions we spend on food, housing, transportation are probably WAY different then they do there. I also believe that part of the reason they’re in much better shape there is not so much the walking (or in France the wine) but because food costs so much! And, here, they serve so much on the plate.

    Anyway, I had never been to UK and found it a very nice place to visit. London is cool and all, but next time I think we’ll tour the rest of the country more.

  3. Funny you mention that, Phillip. I was in FNAC, the French Best Buy basically, and the place was packed Christmas Eve. They had these 2 1/2 ft wide stalls they funneled you through to the checkouts. What was hilarious is I suddenly realized that would in NO WAY work in America. Why?

    We’re too fat.

    I was obessed watching passerbys, both in France and London. I counted 2 obese people in France. How many can you count in the US? Granted, I was in the city, which like New York, people walk a lot.

    Regarding prices, yeah, I basically just said, “fuggit, I’m on vacation”. I never eat all my food in the US, so know what you mean by portions.

  4. It was good to meet up briefly.

    You got me worried about Rich for a second but now he’s mentioned his gf I understand you meant MS :).

    I tried to get in Peter’s entourage but unfortunately wasn’t burly enough. You wanna see the ICE he’s rocking nowadays.

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