Posted by: David Stewart | July 7, 2013

Our last days in France

This is from some notes I took from our Spring 2013 trip

Sunday, May 19

The final leg of our journey in France was the relatively brief drive to Paris. We had reservations in the IBIS Charles de Gaul hotel which is super convenient to the airport, but just on the inter-terminal tram line. So we checked out of the Hotel Porte Mars and drove to Roissy. A minor frustration at this point is that my SFR account seemed to have run out of data by then so we wrote down directions from the Google Maps web site and managed to find the hotel without a working in-car navigator.

After leaving our stuff off at the hotel, we decided to return our rental car a day early to avoid the hassle of returning it before our flight. This was again fairly convoluted at CDG since the place is pretty huge, but we were able to figure it out and get back to the Ibis.

Based on location alone, I highly recommend the Ibis CDG hotel for a one-night at the airport. Since it’s right on the airport property, you don’t need to worry about finding the shuttle bus to pick you up or (heaven forbid) a taxi which won’t want to take you there anyway. This place is right on the inter-terminal tram at the RER train station. Perfect!

We decided on one last dinner in Paris before we took off, so we road the RER train line into town. One complication: since it was Sunday night, nearly all of the recommended restaurants were not open for dinner, once again.

One of the very few places open was Le Pot de Terre in the Latin Quarter.  This places was built in 1539 and legend has it that the musketeers used to drink here. Our tour book claimed that one of their signature dishes was tartatouille (puff pastry-encased ratatouille) so it sounded like it was worth finding. No tartatouille unfortunately, but the meal was quite tasty anyway and the chance to walk through Paris in the rain was fun.


Monday, May 20

Thanks to our proximity to the airport and having already returned our rental car, the flight out of Charles de Gaul airport was a snap. We flew Lufthansa to Frankfurt and transferred to a flight to Orlando, which was of course jammed with kids.

We planned on arriving on May 20 which is Laura’s birthday, so we could see her on her 22nd. Laura was working with the Disney College Program, which is a great opportunity for kids to work for The Mouse while making contacts in business and careers.

Unfortunately, once we landed in Orlando, a monster thunderstorm descended on the area, and they shut down all tarmac operations for the duration. For us this meant sitting about 100 yards from our gate on the apron for an hour while we waited for the worst to pass.

After getting into the airport, we learned that the international customs inspections at Orlando were really not prepared for the number of people arriving, so it took another hour for us to get through passport control and customs. After that I wasn’t in the best of moods I admit!

Thanks to Laura, we were able to get a very nice discounted room at Saratoga Springs Resort at Disney World. It was really a nice place, just next to a Disney bus stop, about a block away from a nice pool with a three-story water slide, and a reasonable restaurant.



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