Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Honeymoon in France - Le Jour de l'arrivee

June 3 – Day 1

We decided to waste no time between the ink drying on our marriage license and catching a plane to France to begin our honeymoon.  Our flight left Phoenix around 11AM with a quick layover in Chicago.  We boarded United 987, a big 777, for the near 8 hour flight to Paris.  We settled into our comfortable seats and before we knew it, the French countryside was going by below us.

Heading to Paris from Patrick Cullen on Vimeo.
Our Big 777 from Patrick Cullen on Vimeo.

After clearing customs and gathering our bags we set out to find our hired car.  This was our first lesson in the promptness of French service.  Our driver was supposed to be waiting for us in the lobby with our name on his sign.  There was no sign of the driver anywhere.  We tried to make contact with the company but that was not working.  We grabbed a guy with a black Peugeot and we were off the Isle de Citie.  Traffic in Paris is pretty bad and it took almost an hour to get to our hotel. 

We were too early to check in to our room so we dropped our bags at the Hotel de Lutece, walked over a bridge on the Seine and found a sidewalk café for lunch and coffee.  To my new wifes amazement, the café was sitting in the shadows of Notre Dame de Paris.  We had picked a hotel that was a 5 minute walk to the Cathedral.  

After a quick lunch, we set out to Notre Dame, Jennie's number one place on her things to see in Paris list.  The line wasn't bad and soon we were in the cathedral.  I've been in many cathedrals and churches, but it is easy to see why they call this the Grand Dame.  The gothic architecture and history oozed out of the walls.  Everywhere we went there were side altars, painting, statues.  It was truly an amazing place.  We made our way around to the Apse and found the altar that contained the crown of thorns.  They venerate the crown of thorns every first Friday and all the Fridays of the Great Fast.  We were unable to venerate this relic but standing in that chapel was awe inspiring.  We finished our quick tour of Notre Dame and hopped on the hop on, hop off bus.

The stop for the bus was just outside the doors of the Cathedral.  We found our place on the top of the bus at the back and saw the beauty of Paris.  The tour took us along the Seine, past the Louvre, past the Musee D Orsay, up the Champs Elysees, to the Arc de Triomphe, to the Eiffel Tower and past many churches.  We decided to hop-off at the Eiffel tower and spent some time getting pictures, taking in Paris and watching Jennie catch a few winks.  We took the bus back to Notre Dame, where we realized that we had just hit the wall around 5PM local time.  We grabbed a few snacks, made our way back to the Hotel and promptly fell asleep around 7:30PM.

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