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Published: July 12th 2019
The adventure began this year with a departure from Lansing at 4:00 headed for the Air France counter at O'Hare Terminal Five. We arrived on time and got through security quickly and with enough time for a snack of egg rolls. The plane was fairly comfortable though nobody slept much on the overnight flight. After picking up our bags and heading to the arrivals hall where a driver was supposed to be waiting for us with a placard, no one was to be found. Two phone calls to the company went straight to voicemail and went unreturned. This was a little frustrating because the shuttle was booked directly through Air France/KLM and paid ahead of time. We eventually found alternative transportation but were very frustrated after arriving at our Paris hotel to receive an email receipt for a trip we never took. It's going to be a hassle to have this charge refunded, but worth the effort on principle.
Next, we decided to take about a half hour walk to find a place to eat and to see the state of Notre Dame Cathedral. She looked as majestic as ever, from the exterior, but without the roof and spire. It was good to see the main towers appeared to be in pretty good shape. There were people from all around the world outside her protective barricades taking in the damage along with a significant presence of police, some even on horseback. It was clear from the audience that the world, not just Paris, was still mourning the near-loss of such a significant and timeless monument.
Finally, on the way home, we found an excellent place for dinner at a sidewalk cafe. We enjoyed a great evening of French Beef Stew, taking in one another's company and the refreshing breeze.
Paris is a bustling city and we noticed the large numbers of motorcycles weaving through traffic on our commute from the airport, Within the central city, the number of scooters, electric bikes, and mopeds was also worth noting as many corners has special parking areas just for these two wheeled vehicles.
Tonight will be an early night as we are off at 6:15 a.m. for a tour of Normandy, the D-Day Beaches, and the American Cemetery. Many of these sites were featured in recent news stories as the world remembered the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
Now, the Pilgrims will rest.
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