August 27, 2013

Vive la France, Paris

We couldn't say goodbye to France without a quick visit to the most beautiful city in the world, so we left Annecy a little early and spent the afternoon/evening in Paris.

My friend Missy lived with her family in Paris a few years ago, and when I asked her how to spend the afternoon she told me to eat a crepe in front of the Notre Dame. So we did. It was great.

We figured that since this was a cycling trip, we should finish things out on a bike. I love Velib bikes. You can rent them all over the city, ride them wherever you want, and then drop them off. Don't worry, Ryan captured it on Strava so I've got all my stats saved. 

We thought it would be fun to ride a bit of the Tour route. This picture looks calm and idyllic. It lies. The only reason we aren't weaving our way through a parking lot is because Ryan ran the red light (scaring me silly--I am not a pro tour rider!) and we had a few seconds before the cars descended upon us again. Still, despite being a little freaked out, it was really really cool to ride on the Champs-Élysées.

We climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and got a great view of the city at sunset. The iphone panorama almost worked. 

Then we found a restaurant, ate a very French dinner and walked to the Eiffel Tower. We caught a cab back to our hotel around 1 AM, and called it a successful night on the town. 

We stayed at the airport Sheraton. It was crazy, because in the atrium there is a glass floor and you can see all the hustle and bustle of Charles de Gaulle, but the hotel is nearly silent. After a good (short) night's sleep we made our way through CDG, only to be thwarted by French military complete with guns ushering all travelers to one end of the airport. You know those PSAs that say, "Please do not leave luggage unattended"? Well, they mean it. The detour cost us some time and I didn't have a chance to get my Laduree macaroon gifts (sorry guys) or breakfast. By the time we got on the flight, I was starting to get my crazy on so I took half of a Xanax my doctor had prescribed as a short acting sleeping pill. Right when the calm was starting to descend upon me the flight attendant came and said, "Mr. Packer, you've been upgraded." Ba. Bam. Best words ever. First class + Xanax = happiest memories of the trip. I enjoyed every minute of that 11 hour flight. I did not want it to end. Luckily, I had a pretty cute welcoming crew to make the transition a little easier.

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