Paris to Home

We woke up in Paris Wednesday morning to rain.

Paris from our hotel window.

Our hotel called us a cab but it never showed up. Then Duke asked them to call again They did but no one at the cab company was answering. We discussed taking public transit but Charles DeGaule Airport is a long way away and our trip to the airport would have been long and a bit complicated. Eventually Duke had them try to call again and the cab was ordered and showed up.

The rest of our trip home went pretty much according to plan. We flew Paris to Dallas then had a five hour layover in Dallas that turned into a six hour layover when the plane to Reno was delayed. Our friend Linda picked us up at the airport in Reno and drove us home. Thank you Linda! Twenty four hours after waking up in Paris we were tucked into our bed in Reno.

It was a great trip and it’s great to be home. I have several more videos to edit and publish on my YouTube channel and I need to update the itinerary here on the blog to reflect the fast that we didn’t go to Morocco so you will be seeing a few more updates.

Home sweet home

Paris – Our last day

We had a lovely last day in Europe. The temperature was right around 70 degrees and I could wear short sleeves! Tomorrow we will fly home. First thing we did today was get our preflight Covid tests. The pharmacy was right next to our hotel and for $20 each we had our negative results in 20 minutes.

Duke with our negative Covid test paperwork

My sister and I were exchanging messages today and reminiscing about our first time in Paris in 1970 with our parents and grandparents after my high school graduation. My Dad drove us right by the Eiffel Tower just like Duke and I did yesterday. Here is a picture of Barbara from that trip! It’s hard to believe that was more than 50 years ago!

Barbara in 1970 in Paris.

After we got our Covid test results we took the Metro to the Louvre and walked through the gardens and along the Champs Elysee almost to the Arc de Triomphe it is definitely springtime in Paris

The Louvre
In the Tuileries Gatden

We stopped by one of the fountains and had fun watching the kids play with their rental sailboats.

Sailboats for rent
Walking towards the Arc de Triomphe

We stopped at Galeries Lafayette department store on the Champs-Élysées to browse. One fun thing they had was free decoration for Crocs that you buy.

Galeries Lafayette
Decorating Crocs

Soon after that we caught the metro back to our hotel. For dinner we went to a restaurant we remembered from our first trip to Paris, Le Tournesol (the sunflower). I sometimes try things even when I don’t know what they are. I started with the Carpaccio de bar and Duke had the Taboulé se sardine. They were both very good.

Taboule de Sardine
Carpaccio de bar vinaigrette à La truffe

For the main course Duke had pork and I had head of veal. I’m still not sure what head of veal is exactly. It was very good and seemed to have pieces of fat that weren’t like the fat you find in a steak… very interesting.

Duke’s pork
My veal head

Dessert was yummy too, pear tart and mousse with fresh berries.

Fresh berries and mousse
Pear tart
The specials menu.

Amboise to Paris

Driving into an unfamiliar big city can be stressful. Driving into Paris turned out to be especially stressful. We had plenty of time so we decided to drop our bags off at our hotel, drive to the rental car return place and then take the metro back to the hotel.

Our hotel, the Meliã La Défense is in the high rise part of Paris west of the Arc de Triomphe near the bank of the Seine. There are multiple traffic tunnels crossing the area. There was a lot of traffic. On our first approach to the hotel we made a wrong turn and ended up in a long tunnel that provides delivery access for many of the high rises. When we finally surfaced we had to take a convoluted path back across the river to try again. Almost miraculously our second approach was successful.

The Arc de Triomphe in the distance as we circle.

We checked in, put our bags in our room and got back in the car to drive to Montparnasse Train Station to return the car. The drive across Paris was also stressful. Again almost miraculously we managed to find the rental car return place deep within the parking garage under the train station on our first try and with 15 minutes to spare!

Heading to the rental car return
The Eiffel Tower from our car

After our Paris driving adventure taking the Metro to our hotel was easy.

On the metro

The view from our room is pretty phenomenal.

The view from our room.

After resting and recuperating for most of the afternoon we took the metro back into the center. We were last in Paris in 2019 a few days before the Notre Dame fire. It was especially moving to see what’s left and the work being done to rebuild.

Notre Dame used to be such an iconic building on the skyline.
Notre Dame
The stabilization work.

Our day ended wonderfully. We enjoyed two sets of music from a saxophonist and her group at a small jazz club just across the Seine from Notre Dame.

Jeanne Michaud Latin Quintet At Le Duc des Lombards Jazz club.
The view from our room as we went to bed.


We didn’t have breakfast included at our hotel this morning so we went out to find a boulangerie for breakfast. We found one and the breakfast was wonderful.

French breakfast

This afternoon we spent several hours at the Château du Clos Luce Parc Leonardo da Vinci. It is where Leonardo da Vinci lived from 1516 until he died in 1519. The house and grounds were beautifully laid out with examples of Leonardo’ works and machines.

Leonardo’s study

After visiting the chateau we stopped for coffee and a strawberry jam crepe at a table in the sun because you can’t visit France without having a crepe and the sun was shining!

Coffee and a crepe
Duke and Mona Lisa
The grounds at Clos Luce

Later Duke did his review of our last rental car the FIAT 500 Hybrid. It is on my YouTube channel here. This review is the sequel to Duke’s original FIAT 500 review and it has some explosive revelations!

Duke’s FIAT 500 Review the Sequel

Today was Election Day in France we checked out the election action at Amboise city hall.

City Hall

For dinner we ate at the highly rated restaurant in our hotel and enjoyed great service, a nice ambiance and wonderful food.

Scallops and sweet potato appetizer
Beef main dish

Tours to Amboise

This morning we left Tours and drove a short distance to the Chateau Chenonceau. Chenonceau is the Chateau built on a bridge over the River Cher that you often see in guide books. It is called the Ladies’ Chateau because of the many ladies who lived here, built it and preserved it. They include Catherine de Medici and Louise Dupin. During WWII the river was the dividing line between occupied and unoccupied France. The French resistance used the chateau as an escape route for refugees fleeing the Nazis.


We finally had a sunny day so it was a perfect day to explore the chateau and it gardens.

The gardens
Gardens at Chenonceau

The inside of the chateau for quite stunning too.

Louis XIV
Diane de Poitiers’ bedroom
The Gallery
View from the Gallery

Before leaving we checked out the maze.

The maze at Chemonceau

From Chemonceau we went to nearby Amboise where we are staying tonight and tomorrow night. It is a lovely little village on the Loire. We had a great dinner at an Italian Restaurant. I forgot to take pictures of the pasta and pizza. The salad was great too.

Dinner salad

On our way back to our hotel we got to see something we have hardly seen on this trip, a sunset!