FRANCE 2006

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006

DSC02268_2Our Amazing Week in France; a Trip that very nearly never happened!

Our Christmas week trip to Paris was all planned, but two days prior to departure a freak medical dilemma nearly put an end to our dream trip.  You will find out why it sometimes “takes a village to help MaitaiTom.”


Chapter One: Prelude To A Miracle, and (for better or worse) Paris Here We Come!

MaitaiTom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006  Chapter One: Prelude To A Miracle, and (for better or worse) Paris We We Come! Days One and Two: Nightmare at 38,000 Feet, Dawn Of The Dead, The Ferris In Paris And The Kindness Of Strangers   (To fully explain the ‘miraculous’ part of our journey, please indulge me as I give you details of events leading up to it.  This is a story about the importance of really good friends, the extreme kindness of absolute strangers, the love of an incredible wife and the dumb perseverance of yours truly. Finally, and most importantly, it is about my favorite city on earth, Paris.) It was 11 p.m., and as I attempted to get up from … Read more…

Chapter Two: Putting A Bounce In My Step

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Two: Putting A Bounce In My Step Day Three: All I Kneed Is A Miracle, Which Painting Is This, Halles Passage, The Best Little Church In The World, The Shot Heard ’Round The World And Dining Like It’s 1699 The good thing about awaking in the morning (beside the fact that you’re still alive) is that your body goes into action before your brain can react (hey, this is G-rated).  As I attempted to get out of bed and before I could say “Magic Cream”, I was sitting on the side of the bed with my knees bent and feet on the floor. Had I attempted this feat 12 hours earlier, I would have … Read more…

Chapter Three: A Taste Of Champagne

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Three: A Taste Of Champagne Day Four: Citizen Cane, The Train To Champagne Then Quiche Lorraine, Reims Time, Unbutton Your Damn Coat, I Surrender, City Lights And The Apple(s) Of My Eye Tracy and I were up early, because we were going to take a little day trip to the Champagne region (Reims). We walked the short distance to our metro stop: DIGRESSION: I had read (I think on Trip Advisor) that there was not a metro stop convenient to the Hotel de Varenne.  If I remember correctly, the poster said it was at least a ten-minute walk. Tracy and I had walked to the metro stop (although couldn’t go because of my bum … Read more…

Chapter Four: Walking Paris

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Four: Walking Paris Day Five: Walk Till You Drop, The Attack Of The Newspaper Man, I’m Going To Croque, Is That Sperm In The Pantheon, Giving us The Bird, What A View And Fork It Over! Looking out the window as daylight finally arrived, we surmised it was going to be another spectacularly sunny day. This provided us with an early day dilemma. We had scheduled a tour with Michael Osman, who would be arriving in a little less than an hour to take us on a tour of the Louvre. However, since it was going to be another spectacular day (something you can’t take lightly being in Paris during the winter), we really … Read more…

Chapter Five: Museum Hopping & Le Florimond

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Five: Museum Hopping & Le Florimond Day Six: The Infamous Rue Cler, A Grand Exhibition, There’s Been A Change In The Weather, The Lilies Let Down, Walk Like An Egyptian and Finally Florimond We got a pretty early start on the day, and the sky was still blue on Saturday morning, but that would change as the day progressed. We headed in the direction of the Hotel des Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb. I told Tracy that a few days ago I felt that I should have been staying at the Hotel of Invalids. Tracy sighed a sigh only a husband can understand. “I must need a new writer,” I thought. After seeing Napoleon’s coffin … Read more…

Chapter Six: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Six: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Day Seven – Christmas Eve (Paris Style), Window Shopping, Mull Over This Wine Choice, Churches Large and Small, Fat Cat, Chicken On A Spit and The Really Ugly American Our string of blue-sky mornings ended, but there was no need to worry as I had my big, black, cumbersome, disaster-waiting-to-happen overcoat to keep me warm. Besides, it was Christmas Eve, which meant we would have an extra bounce in our step all day long. We started relatively (even for us) and headed toward the St. Germain area, but my caffeine-deprived body was telling me to make a detour. It was of paramount importance that we … Read more…

Chapter Seven: Christmas Day In Paris

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Seven: Christmas Day In Paris Day Eight – Joyeux Noel, This Old House (Jacquemart-André), Wandering Aimlessly, Is That Peggy Fleming, Where The Hell Am I, Giving Me The Finger and Dining Under The Dome It was Christmas morning in Paris, but just like every other morning Tracy and I put on our walking shoes and hit the pavement early. We had thought about how much we had liked Le Florimond, so we walked over to the restaurant, only to see the sign that the restaurant would be closed for the rest of the holidays. I also was hoping to figure out what the name of that wine we drank the other night. Next, we … Read more…

Chapter Eight: Our Final Day In Paris

Maitaitom’s Christmas Miracle: Paris/Reims 2006 Chapter Eight: Our Final Day In Paris Day Nine – O Littlest Town Of Bethlehem, Chez Bien, A Day At The Opera, A Mai Tai In Paris, Herb Appeal and Get Me To The Eiffel On Time Quelle surprise!  We started the day with a quick stop for coffee and croissants. Tracy had never been much of a coffee drinker, but after a few days of being Parisian, she was getting into the habit.  It was probably a good thing we were leaving the next day, or we might have started to take up smoking, too. We headed on the metro over to the Musée National d’ Historie Nuturelle, or as Tracy more succinctly called … Read more…