In another life I was a travel agent. I took advantage of the many "deals" that were offered to agents from airlines, cruise companies and hotels. In 1988, I took what was known as "familiarization trips" to Paris, France.
trip happened in July of 1988 just after my 26th birthday. I was there
for a week to familiarize myself with the city of Paris so that I could
then make recommendations to clients who wanted to visit. To me it was
the trip of a lifetime!
stayed at the Omni Hotel and because someone had to cancel their trip
at the last minute our names were put into a hat to see who would get
the king room with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and the winner
was...(drum roll please), me! I went to sleep every night that week with
the best view!
our mornings visiting various hotels that ranged from a Best Western to
The George V. The hotels ranged from beautiful to outrageous luxury and
everything in between. In 1988, staying at a Best Western in Paris was
like staying in a luxury hotel here in the United States.
afternoons were spent visiting the sights of Paris. One afternoon we
went to Louvre. Obviously this was not nearly enough time to appreciate
the spectacular works of art that are there. However, I did get to see a
few paintings just not the ones I really wanted to see, Claude Monet's
Water Lilies series.
another afternoon we went to Palace of Versailles which made my head
spin with it's beautiful gardens and fountains, the Queen's Chamber's
and the Hall of Mirrors. The front entrance with it's gold gates and a
history that spans centuries.
another afternoon we went to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A church
steeped in both French and Catholic history. With beautiful music coming
from the organ, breathtaking stained glass windows, paintings and
sculptures I could only stand in awe. It was peaceful so I took a few
moments to sit in one the pews and said a few prayers for my family.
we were pretty much on our own. We hit the Latin Quarter for some great
food including an American BBQ restaurant, who knew! We went to several
jazz clubs which were great. We even went to the Moulin Rouge and had a
fantastic time. However, I think the best night was our last night
there. There was a small group of us who had been out at a jazz club and
decided to go Montmatre Cemetery to watch the sunrise over the city. It
was a glorious view that morning.
I hope to one day go back to Paris.