Sunday, June 24, 2012
6/24 Expressions Oui Oui Paris - Part Duex
Frugal deeds of the week: Okay, so, we saved money on the airfare, lodging, food, and enterainment and racked up a few nice freebies. On to shopping - so, we are not into kitsch so much - but my daughter's friend wanted an Eiffel Tower replica for her brother - best price - the street vendor - for which she paid 5 Euros - we saw the same one in shops for 15 Euros. My daughter wanted a - "I Love Paris" sweatshirt because there were some chilly/rainy days and she didn't fully believe us when we said it could be cold and rainy - she got one from a store near the Hilton Arc for 20 Euros - of course, she said the same sweatshirt a few stores over was 15 Euros - but she didn't feel so bad because it was selling for 45 Euros near the Palace of Versailles. Lucky for us, we only picked up a few goodies - my husband and I picked up some boxed cookies and candies to take to our respective offices from the supermarket. The girls' did splurge on some French perfume - supposedly an exclusive chocolate scent. I have to say cabs cost us more than the meter price because there were 4 of us - after 3 people, there is a surcharge. In addition we had a total of 6 pieces of luggage - surcharge for some of those also. The girls brought extra luggage - a waste because they didn't wear or use some of the item - hence - a waste. My husband purchased a set of converter plugs for around $16 at Target - they came in handy. At all of the hotels - we were able to get access to free wi-fi and send e-mails using my husband's Nook or my daughter's friend's Kindle. I had a great time flipping through cable tv channels - remember - we don't have any service other than the "free" stations at home. But even more entertaining was watching Snooki from the Jersey Shore speaking in French, etc. There were many different language channels - including English - so, no worry.
The magnificient Arc De Triomphe . . .
Now for a few bads: We ran into several scamsters - fortunately, for the most part, we were not hoodwinked. Anyway, at the Louvre - several Americans said they were pick pocketed. Also, on the bridges over the Seine River - beware - women are pretending to "find" a gold ring - and if they can catch your interest - ask you to trade it for money - or perhaps get close enough to pick pocket you? In any case - we saw them drop the ring out of their hand and it seems they were being shoo'd away. We did "donate" a few Euros to some pitiful looking women pretending to have a petition for the school of the deaf - in retrospect - I believe it was a scam also. And while the service of British Airways was excellent - let's just say, traveling economy class for such a long flight is tiring, muscle cramping, etc. Fortunately, I had a Livingsocial coupon for a massage and a wrap (I thought it was for losing weight - but it was for moisturing instead - which I was grateful for - as long flights are dehydrating). In addition, I have to say, we had 6 hours in Heathrow airport - can we say we vacationed in London also. So, I got my first forray into Herrods - expensive - but I got 2 tins of shortbread for gifts at a bargain (sale) price of 10 lbs - close to $20. My other tip is - when you have foreign coins left and don't want to bring them home - use them at the airport - and then charge the rest on a no foreign exchange transaction free credit card - like our Hyatt card to get rid of them. Will add another picture - next adventure . . . saving money after we returned home.
Oh, and before bidding Adieu for now - I wanted to add that we went to the Museum of the Invalides and visited the grand tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte . . . it was quite interesting.