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Unread 14 Feb 07, 01:41 AM  
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3 nights in Paris nothing to do with that Hilton Hotel bir

Departure day – Thursday 8th February 2007



Moi – Lana
Mon mari Alex – chief booker and provider of my dream break
Mon mielleur ami Siobhan – co-booker and secret keeper extraordinaire
Mon bon ami Brian, mari de Siobhan - Brian, Siobhan’s hubby, all round good guy

Its 7am, I have a sore head and its nothing to do with the heat in the room. I’m raging that I let myself drink the champagne and the G&Ts with gleeful abandon the previous night and now I have a hang over. I did say around 11pm that I wasn’t having anymore, but then Brian bought another round and so did Alex so it was rude not to drink them. Yes I have the breaking point of a kit-kat and yes I fold like origami under peer pressure. But it was such a good idea at the time I wail as I try to release paracetamol from the blister pack made of solid steel. I remind myself that is could have been worse; I could have tried to dance on the tables. Anyway showered and dressed we gingerly make our way to where they serve breakfast. Well I say ‘we’ but I really mean me as Alex is feeling great, (smart ass). The buffet is a good selection of cereals, toast, croissant and fresh fruit. Plenty of cups of coffee and we are all raring to go, keen to make check in as soon as it opens to find out if the snow will affect our flight. A short walk to the terminal building and the flight shows as delayed on screen then as soon as the check in window opens is shows as cancelled because Birmingham airport is closed. The desk clerk asks is it important we fly today? Err yes, it is, so we queue at the sales desk and practice our smile nice face and our, I’m not loosing my temper face. We get to the front of the queue after 20 minutes. They can’t transfer us to Edinburgh for the direct flight as it’s too late and they can’t move us to the first Manchester flight as it’s full. The BA girl taps at the PC for ages before saying she can get us on the later Manchester flight then onto Paris. Great, thanks. We drop off our luggage then head for a coffee, glad that at least that we will get there today.

With the threat of a cancelled holiday behind us we potter about getting into the spirit of everything French by practicing the basics for ordering food and chatting about the kids and what we will buy them to take back. Shiv is a nervous flyer but does herself proud by coping with it really well. We eventually get to our gate and on board this little prop engine aeroplane that sits passengers two together on one side and a single seat on the other. It’s so low in head height that Alex has to hunch over to walk down the aisle. I'm don’t cope well with take off or landing on any flight but if I’m honest I was worried about how this little thing would take to the air. But it does and we land in Manchester with a couple of hours to kill until the next flight. We have some lunch and a few more coffees then shop again. Back round another series of security checks which include the full monty (just short of the rubber gloves treatment) for me. I must look dodgy. These female security ladies like to be thorough don’t they? As my heeled boots pass through the x-ray machine for the second time I ask her what she looking for and get shot a look from Alex that says “shut your mouth”. The hand held x-ray machine then gets used and she feels everything that it bleeps beside, thank god I don’t favour intimate piercing.

Back on prop plane number two and heading for Paris. We arrive at CDG at the back of six and it’s the quickest luggage collection ever, with our four cases coming out first almost beside each other. Then through passport control and out of terminal 2. Because we are staying beside the Champs Elysees, we opt for the Air France Bus which leaves from the Terminal every 15 minutes and takes us virtually to the hotel door. It costs 13euros single fare or 20euros for a return ticket. The driver will load your luggage for you and it’s a comfortably seated bus ride into the city centre lasting about 35minutes with three stops, ours being the last. The friendly driver unloads the bags for us and we are really here with the Arc De Triomphe right in front of us. Woo Hoo! We made it. The weather is warm and there is virtually no breeze, not bad for February.

[IMG][/IMG]

After a few girly giggles (and those were from the boys) we get the map out to make sure we don’t end up crossing every street on the star before finding out the Avenue De Friedland was actually right behind us all the time and we went full circle before we realised. We are standing there for a few seconds before a French guy tries to give us directions in very fast fluent French. God bless him for trying though lol. Trollies in hand we head off behind us to find the hotel as close to the Arc as promised. The internet photos of the Napoleon don’t do it any justice. The reception and foyer is just so beautiful and old Parisian. The romantic theme for our break is set in the hotels history. After a wealthy Russian merchant met and fell in love with a French art student in the 1920s. They married and he bought the Napoleon Hotel for her as a wedding gift so she could continue her studies in comfort. It has survived two world wars and Nazi occupation and serves a mean Gin & Tonic.

The Napoleon from the outside

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

Check-in is swift and the Concierge takes your bags from you at the door, right up to your room. Our room is a superior room on the first floor which is slightly bigger than the traditional Paris bedrooms. I would have liked to have seen a standard room just to see the difference in size. There are courtesy chocolates and a packed if pricey mini bar if you really can’t wait until you get downstairs to the bar. We have French doors that open up onto the enclosed courtyard with water features in full flow below which is beautiful, although they remind me that I haven’t used the loo in hours.





A small but pretty bathroom (Brian and Shiv's was bigger but size isnt everything)

[IMG][/IMG]

Back down stairs for a bite to eat in the Bouvac Caf in the hotel. Eight Coronas, two penne pastas, a pizza and chefs salad (don’t know what the chef ate that night but Shiv said his salad tasted good) was 150euros. Not the most delicious food I’ve ever had but we were starving. We headed over to the Champs Elysees for a stroll at 11pm and a quick nose in some of the shops still thronging with customers. In the last hour the air has got chillier and fatigue has set in so we head back to the hotel for bed. Just in time for the turn down service and another set of chocolates on the pillow, sorry no photo of the chocolates as I scoffed them both. After the weary day of travel it takes about ten seconds until we are both fast asleep.

Edited at 05:20 PM.
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 01:52 AM  
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MrLazy
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Fantastic - sounds like you were on the wonderful Jetstream 41 for your flight - a marvel of UK aerospace engineering - is it a bir, is it a plane no its a Jetstream

At least you got there in one piece - and what tolerance and restraint at security
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 02:04 AM  
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Originally Posted by mcknigma
Fantastic - sounds like you were on the wonderful Jetstream 41 for your flight - a marvel of UK aerospace engineering - is it a bir, is it a plane no its a Jetstream

At least you got there in one piece - and what tolerance and restraint at security
well there is thorough and there is thorough
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 08:43 PM  
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highlander447
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highlander447's Reviews
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Your hotel looks great, nothing like ours on our honeymoon it was in the latin quarter and was pretty basic but hey it was 20 yrs ago
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 08:52 PM  
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loadsapixiedust
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Hotel looks lovely, very romantic!
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hope it wasn't the last time
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 09:25 PM  
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carys
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Go girl i with that hair of the dog ! THAT'S MY GIRL !
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 10:27 PM  
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SusieK
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The hotel looks lovely.
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Unread 14 Feb 07, 10:28 PM  
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MrLazy
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Great pics lana
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