For me, travel is healing. It soothes my soul. It gets me outside of my head, and trust me its dangerous in there! It lets me step outside myself and connect with something else. Connect with countries, cultures, people, and ultimately to return home with a better, clearer sense of myself. During this pandemic I had 18 trips cancelled, rescheduled, and cancelled again. I did take several weekend trips, but all of my big trips were on hold. And since hope springs eternal, I would keep booking, then pushing out, rebooking, pushing out, cancelling and rebooking yet again.
So as fate would have it, we were scheduled to go to China in March of 2020…needless to say that was our first cancellation. We moved that to a river cruise through the Burgundy region of France in April of 2020, also cancelled so we pushed it back to September of 2020…cancelled. At this point, we decided to push it out a full year to September of 2021. As we got closer (and vaccinated), it looked like this one might actually happen! Even better…we would be spending extra time in Paris with my brother, BIL and daughter (her first trip to Paris!), before we joined the tour group for the river cruise. I was so excited!
I rented an AirBnB on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, which as it turned out was within walking distance of where we were supposed to meet up with the tour group. Here is the description from the website: On the1st floor without elevator, completely redone, nicely decorated and has got a mobile air conditioner. It consists of a living / dining room with an opened equiped kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with showers and 1 toilet for up to 6 travelers. On the ground floor. All of that is true. And the place was actually really cute. It was REALLY small (as are most apartments in Paris) so I was prepared for that and it was fine for the few days that we would all be there together, but probably not for much longer!
I would certainly stay there again, but probably not with five people, it would be perfect for two or maybe three people. However, the neighborhood was wonderful! We found a great cafe, Chez Louis, right around the corner and ended up having multiple meals there, having awesome conversations with the owner and generally enjoying every minute of our time there.
Our first night we were pretty jet lagged so we just wandered over to Rue de Rivoli where there was a fair going on. It was crowded! Masks were required and everyone needed to show their Pass Sanitaire in order to ride any rides. We had not yet converted our US vaccine cards to the EU Pass Sanitaire yet but the ride operators took the CDC vaccine cards with no issues.
We then walked up to Place de la Concorde and continued on Avenue des Champs-Elysees to one of our favorite places to eat, Cafe George V. After a delicious dinner at the Paris café, we hopped on the metro to head home and finally get some sleep.