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We were unable to travel to France in 2015.  But this year, 2016, we are returning to France.

On Wednesday March 2, we drove from our home in Winona Minnesota to Minneapolis-St.Paul Airport. We took a Delta Airlines flight to Detroit.  There we took an Air France flight to Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport arriving around noon on Thursday March 3.  From CDG we took the regional train (RER) to the Gard Du Nord train station.  From Gare du Nord, we walked to the Hotel Plaza Opera which was an excellent hotel with breakfast included in the price.  Unfortunately we did not walk their directly.  We, actually Phil, went the wrong way, but we got there plus some extra exercise.

That evening we walked to the Galeries Layafette. It was our first visit to the big department store and the view  of Paris from the terrace top was amazing.  That evening we ate at Pizzeria Abradavio.  Sandy had margherita pizza and I had lasagna boulognese.

On Friday March 4 we visited Notre Dame de Paris.  We used audio tours which were very good.  The cost of the audio tour was 5€ which also included access to the Treasury which is usually an extra 4€ cost.  We got there early which was great.  By the time we left, it was getting very crowded.

We took the bus to the Picpus Cemetery (Cimetière de Picpus). It is a private cemetery with quite a history.  The Marquis de Lafayette is buried there.  He was a General in the French Army and the American Revolutionary War Army.  To this day his grave is marked by an American flag.  We didn’t realize the cemetery did not open until 14:00 so we had a nice lunch at a local restaurant, Bistro du 5.  It was great food and we really enjoyed talking with the proprietor.

That evening we ate at Cafe Monaco.  I had steak and fries and Sandy had roasted chicken.  It was very good.

On Saturday March 5 we visited the Musee D’Orsay.  It is in a former railroad station which has been restored. The movie “Hugo” was filmed inside.  It is a beautiful building.  This in contrast to the Louvre has more modern attractions and is easier to navigate. We used audio tours which were very good.

That evening we ate at Le Baron.  It is a very pleasant restaurant.  We had a delicious meal.  We both had stuffed breast of chicken with eggplant.

Sunday March 6 was Sandy’s birthday! The hotel gave her a half bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates as a gift. We had a lot of issues getting to Victor Hugo’s house in Place Voges.  The Paris Half Marathon was held that morning, so the bus schedules and routes were disrupted.  We made it eventually, but it took twice as long as we had planned.  We took multiple buses and the metro in the process.  Victor Hugo’s house was very interesting.  We used the audio tour process again and it was worthwhile.  We plan to voyage to the Channel Island of Guernsey this summer and visit Victor Hugo’s home on the island.  Afterwards we took the bus to the Eiffel Tower.  We took a picture of ourselves with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

That evening we ate at the Professore Restaurant.  It was a really nice place and we had a great meal.  Sandy had artichoke lasagna and I had pork loin with peppers, onions and potatoes.

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