I Left My Heart in Paris, France
If I had to choose one city in the whole wide world that I would lable my "Shangri la", it would be Paris. This past April, my family (husband, daughter, parents) and I traveled to Paris to celebrate both Spring Break and my daugter's 8th birthday. Something very strange happened to me upon landing in the City of Lights. I actually felt as though I had returned home. I sensed an overwhelming feeling of familiarity on my fourth trip back.
Much planning went into this trip. We started our research and gathering information eight months prior to our scheduled departure. The first thing we needed to book was our flights. Between my parents and our American Express cards, we had enough points to book all five plane tickets on American Airlines at no cost to any of us. We were off to a great start! We had just saved a fortune on transportation; the average plane fare was just over $1000 per ticket.
Next, we needed to find lodging. After doing research through all of our favorite discount hotel websites: www.Kayak.com, www.Getaroom.com, www.hotwire.com, www.hotels.com, and European discount website, www.venere.com, we decided that everything was too expensive since we would have to reserve two rooms and needed an alternative. We then began researching apartments. We just typed "Luxury Apartment Rentals in Paris" and many sites popped up. However, we had a major requirement that limited our apartment choices, my mother needed an apartment building with an elevator due to her chronic knee problems. There were so many affordable apartments we could have chosen, but most of those buildings did not have an elevator. Buildings with elevators posed more of a challenge to find. Although, there were many apartmennts, perhaps because of the time of year, most had already been reserved. However, thru perseverance, we found one and booked it. We were pleased with yet another major savings. Just to give you an idea, moderate hotels were running at $400 per room per night. Apartments that accommodated the five of us, most of which had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, went for about $250 per night! Yes, just $250 per night for a two bedroom two bathroom apartment in a building with an elevator in the arrondissment we wanted, St. Germain des Pres. There was nothing to discuss, apartment living would be our choice! Living like a true Parisian was something I would be able to check off my bucket list.Continued on the next page