November 1, 2023
Leaving the ship is always a challenge - there is the challenge in packing up everything up the night before, then you have to get up early (ugh) and put your suitcases out early in the morning; and finally, you have to say goodbye to the ship staff you have gotten to know and appreciate. Sometimes you head home at this point, but on this trip, we are heading off on another adventure - to Paris!
First stop on the road to Paris was the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. This is a solemn place that is both a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, while honoring the importance of the history of the times and celebrating the ultimate success of the mission. The grounds and memorials were beautiful! It was interesting to see that General Patton was buried there, with the same marker as the servicemen he led, and still in front leading the way.
Next we drove to Reims, France - the center of the French Champagne culture! Since it was still raining as we started our visit in Reims, we decided to find a place to eat lunch and have some champagne. Because of the cold, wet, windy weather and the National Holiday (Dia de Los Muertos) many places were either closed or had limited seating. We finally found a place and enjoyed a nice lunch and some very nice French Champagne (Veuve Clicquot)!
After lunch we visited the Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral. It is very similar to some of the other cathedrals we have seen, with the beautiful stained glass Rose Window. Then we got back on the bus and headed to Paris.
We arrived in Paris in the late afternoon and checked in to our hotel. The Pullman Montparnasse was very nice , with a wonderful, helpful staff. Our room had a beautiful view of the city, including Sacre Coeur, which was beautifully lit up at night.
Once we got all our luggage into our room, we went down to the lobby where we had a joyful reunion with our friend Nicolle. Nicolle used to live in Chula Vista, but has lived in Paris for eight years now, and it was wonderful to see her.
Tomorrow we see more highlights of Paris and visit the Louvre. Au revoir!