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Published: April 11th 2011
Three years ago, on the 1st of April 2008, Mari and I had our first kiss. Since that day, a lot have happened and you've been able to follow a lot of our adventures around the world. Mari has changed my life, for the better, and through every kind of weather! For our anniversary, we had planned a little romantic week-end in Paris with Leslie. For the “both of us” time, this will come, later on. But for now, it's few days of fun with Leslie in France.
Mari and Leslie landed at 7am directly from Bangkok. I had been in Paris the day before, meeting few people and having lunch with my long time friend Christophe. No fancy restaurant this time, no fancy club, just a very fancy stay.
We stay at the Ritz on Place Vendome. First, the disclaimer, our bill at the end of our stay at the Ritz was a simple 50euros, as usual I used on of our little trick to have the bill down a little. If you do not know the Ritz, this is an iconic Palace in Paris, old style, seriously glamorous, on of THE address in Paris, where Coco Chanel
lived for years.
The program for our first day was to enjoy the first truly sunny day of the year in Paris. With temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius, it was more summer time than spring time. We walked all our way from Place Vendome to the Eiffel Tower. At the Eiffel Tower, we joined the queue “to climb” by the stairs the first 2 levels as there were huge queues for the top floor. After this, we took the metro to visit Notre Dame and enjoy more sun, before retreating to the Ritz.
The Ritz Paris is a very serious institution. The hotel is on Place Vendome, one of the most beautiful square in the world in my opinion. This is a kind of place I would only have dream to sleep in 20 years ago. But tonight, for less than the price of a 1 star dirty hotel in Paris, we are enjoying a little luxury. We were even upgraded from a superior room to a deluxe pretty big room on the top floor. Our room was pretty amazing, huge bed, but the best must have been the bathroom as well as the double terrace on the
roofs of Paris, with as a bonus a view of the top of Place Vendome.
We also spent some time in the swimming pool. If you have heard about it, that's A swimming pool, a place full of serious history.
The Ritz is lately known for the last place where Princess Diana had dinner before her fatal accident in Paris. We didn't meet anybody famous in the hotel, at least nobody that we knew. But as we were arriving by foot from the airport bus, loaded with luggages, we did receive a fun look as we were really over-loaded by nobody else than Jack Lang, former french culture minister...big smile time!
As we were leaving the Ritz the next day, the doorman asked us if we needed a taxi...reply was...no thanks we have too many bags, we are taking the metro 300 meters away...I think he never had such an answer.
Breakfast was another great experience the next morning, later on that day, as the rain had followed the sun, we spent our morning at the Louvre.
The firs Sunday of each month, the Louvre entrance fee is free....meaning huge crowds, and huge queues to go in...but there is a
trick (one more), if you want to avoid the two hours wait to go in, enter by the “Porte des Lionnes”...and you wait will be less than 5 minutes! We spent two hours wandering around, but could have done it for two days...another time...
What we didn't do at the Ritz was having a drink at the famous Hemingway Bar. Two reasons, no more cigars inside bars in France, but better, the Ritz had put a nice complimentary bottle of Champagne in our room, so we had time to enjoy ourselves up there, as Leslie was already seriously in his dreams...
Leslie had stay at the Ritz in London three years ago, the breakfast was way more impressive in London, but the “Bonjour Monsieur, bonjour Madame” is something that Mari and I really enjoyed.
We had planned to have dinner in Leon de Bruxelles on the Champs Elysees that night. Not the most romantic spot, but a prefect place to kill the jetlag for Mari and Leslie. Best part, the Ritz provides a complementary car to restaurants in the evening, and Leon was not that far...so we enjoy a little Jaguar ride over the Champs....bear in mind, we took the
metro on the way back.
That was an experience! I will not put the trick public on how I ended up paying only 50 euros to enjoy the room, the breakfast as well as the Champagne, but feel free to send me a private message if it is of any interest to you. And it's not because we were “cheap” that we had to endure a lower level of service, service was simply amazing!
By lunch time on Sunday, it was time for us to take the metro to the Gare de Lyon for our next adventure. More about this coming soon, but I've been with a very low level internet connection the last few days.
Enjoy life, because we do....that was a birthday celebration...but more celebrations to come soon...and some more serious romance!
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