Our flight from Prague was super smooth and I must say that knowing what I know now I would never pay the going rate for a “mainstream” airline again.  I am sure that some people who fly all over Europe for business might get frustrated by some of the minor delays we have had but if you don’t mind the odd 30 to 60 minute hick up EasyJet is awesome.

We have sat in the front row on all our flights. Leg room o’plenty and the staff have been first class. Upon arriving at CDG north of the city we hopped on the RER into the centre and transferred to the metro for the last 10 minutes of the journey to the Airbnb.

Our host Armondine was there to meet Dale and by all accounts was very gracious and welcoming.  She was leaving town for work for the week so we got her apartment for the duration of our stay.  I had already taken up a people watching position of epic proportion at Le Commerce Cafe just around the corner on Rue de Commerce.  We had discovered this place on a family vacation here 8 years ago.  This area of Paris is known as the 15th and is a good blend of residential, commercial and recreational.


Le Cafe Commerce is a typical non touristy brasserie that serves a marvolous plate de jour and the vin rouge is French and excellent.  For our entertainment was Paris and its street culture.  Men, women and children all heading somewhere in a hurry.  Many necessary stops must be made.  Baguette at Eric Kayser, cheese at the fromangerie. It seems as the cultural and style seams are bursting everywhere you look.  People, food, cars, scooters, furniture stores and couture shops look good. Really good!

Those of you that know us personally will know that even when things seem utopian someone will always find a way to get under our skin and ruin the zen. On this afternoon the one percenters were a few Romani aggressive scroungers that would not leave the normal hard working people alone.  We looked at each other on numerous occasions and said don’t, don’t, don’t do anything, don’t.  But neither of us could take it anymore and when one of them approached our table he wished he hadn’t.  We yelled so loudly at this mutant that the people sitting at the sidewalk table to our left jumped out of their perfectly tanned and buttery smooth skin.


I thought I immediatley smelled that smell you smell when a baby fills his diaper.  But this clown wasn’t wearing his didi so cest la vie!  Good guys 1, gypo’s nil!    We then paid for our vin rouge and sauntered down the Rue to the Monop (grocery store) for picnic supplies for our supper in the park.

With baguettes, chèvre and some assorted meat we approached the cash register.  I forgot to mention individual vin rouge comes in well presented 4 packs near the cash desk so we collected one for the accouterments.   Park soon after and 30 minutes later the batteries were recharged and we were en route for the Eiffell and as many other land marks as our feet would take us.  So, we saw and photographed  L’Ecole Millitaire, Eiffell, place de Concorde, the Orangry, the Champs, the Arch de Triumph, and several more.  Night time is once again the right time for being a European tourist.  What you want to see without the bus tour people and freedom of time and space.

A great time capped off with a 6 euro cab fair home to Armondine’s.  We were exhausted so right to sleep and back at it in the morning.  First stop on this trek was Les Invilades and Napolean’s Tomb.  A huge wow factor. It seems very weird describing a final resting place no matter how ornate as wow, but wow.  The French have an uncanny ability to present their military history in such a proud manner.  They are to be congratulated.  From there we strolled down to the D’Orssay but is was heaving so we took a pass. We then walked on and saw the remaining of the 1st and 2nd and kept going. We followed the left bank and enjoyed a break at Cathedral Notre Dame.

More walking and tons more sight seeing including the HQ of several Haute Couture houses topped off the afternoon.  Most of the last part of the afternoon was like flipping through the pages of Vogue but all of the models were real. We needed some respite for our feet so the Metro returned us safely to Commerce Station.  Same again for dinner and then a few tins were purchased by Dale to have during an evening in watching the All Black game.

Paris is all things to everyone.  I am buying a Scooter and I don’t care what any of you guys say!

Bon Soir Mon Amis.  A’demain.

:for lots of photographs click on the Instagram hyperlink in blue on the menu page.


  1. “We yelled so loudly at this mutant that the people sitting at the sidewalk table to our left jumped out of their perfectly tanned and buttery smooth skin.” …… This is the best line I have ever read. Ever.


  2. Hey Mark and Dale, loving your travel journal, very entertaining! I too have encountered Roma and Gypsy beggars here in Italy, more than I’ve ever seen before! I haven’t had the opportunity (yet) to yell so loud at one that the chic, tanned and well dressed Florentines around me jumped out of their Ferragamo sweaters and Prada loafers!….but hey, I’m in Italy for another 10 days so there’s still time 😉

    Thought I’d try and connect with you guys in Rome but it looks like maybe you skipped on that part of the plan.

    Viaggi sicuri,

    Ciao, Stick


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